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View Diary: Forced Navajo Relocation Continues on Big Mountain (Update) (197 comments)

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  •  Yes, we have to be careful about (6+ / 0-)

    fitting every single dispute into the same round hole we love. My step-father, Ted Warmbrand a very dedicated long-time activist in Tucson, founded the Tucson Big Mountain Support Group years ago. After working on the issue for a while and traveling there in person he concluded he did not know which side was in the right and did not know what solution might be found that was just for both.
    If you think you understand what is going on after reading a diary, think again.

    •  From the link I suggested reading (5+ / 0-)

      if you didn't understand.

      Part 1: Boyden, Peabody, & McCain

      John McCain was out of the torturous grip of the North Vietnamese for approximately one year when Congress passed Public Law 93-531 in 1974. Public Law 93-531 was called the Relocation Act, and was falsely justified by what "Peabody Coal Company's public relations and lobbying firms" falsely constructed  as the "Hopi-Navajo land dispute." This "range war" was not true. What was true, was lawyer John Boyden with the assimilated Hopi Tribal Council.


      Boyden formed a Hopi Tribal Council that consisted of several First Mesa Hopi who had been converted to Mormonism, based on an election in which about 10 percent of the Hopis on the reservation voted. The newly elected Tribal Council then hired Boyden as their lawyer.

      John Boyden with his "several First Mesa Hopi who had been converted to Mormonism " wanted Peabody Coal to strip mine Black Mesa after the natural resources had been discovered. More than 10,000 Navajo and 100 Hopi did not want Black Mesa stripped.

      Boyden's efforts culminated with the passage of Public Law 93-531, which authorized division of the joint-use area and the relocation of 10,000 Navajos. With the exception of a handful of congressmen and senators who knew of the relationship between Boyden and the Interior, those who voted for P.L. 93-531 were completely ignorant about the Indian situation and trusted the land-dispute story of their colleagues, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater and Congressman Morris Udall. Their story also convinced President Ford, who signed the bill into law in 1974.

      Tying this all together is the fact that the corrupt lawyer, John Boyden, had Peabody Coal as a client; hence, "Peabody Coal Company's public relations and lobbying firms" falsely constructing the so called "Hopi-Navajo land dispute."

      The coal strip-mining on the Hopi reservation is primarily the work of Boyden client Peabody Coal,

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 06:25:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I understand what you are saying. (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mickT, navajo, zett, capelza, rebus, dewley notid

      But the problems American Indians are facing are not due to their own actions.  They are the results of US actions.  The constant in-fighting amongst the tribes is a direct consequence of the past actions of our own government.  Look at Palestine and Israel.  Same thing, different Geography.

      •  This was meant in response to tribalypredisposed. (0+ / 0-)


      •  Yeah, like I was saying... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caj, capelza

        It is actually racist to take the view that native groups cannot possibly have done anything to cause problems, cannot possibly have invaded an area. Yeah, Europeans have done a lot of damage. But even sweet little brown skinned people can be imperialists and try to conquer their neighbors. In this case the Hopi were absolutely there first. The Navajo did not move there because of Europeans.
        Palestine and Israel is extremely different. But yeah, lots of people who claim to be progressives take the side of the Palestinians simply because they are less European and therefire are assumed, based on racist prejudice, to be innocent victims. This denies them their history as members of the peoples that invaded and conquered various parts of Europe for over 800 years, not to mention large parts of India and obviously all of the Middle East.

        •  Racist against who? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, Tyto Alba

          Like Ferraro claimed everyone was racist against her?

          She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

          by Winter Rabbit on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 07:18:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thought it was obvious... (0+ / 0-)

            racist period. Any belief in differences based on membership in a group, believing for example that white people are violent aggressors always and brown skinned people are always peaceful victims is just flat out racist. In this case, it is a racist view of both.

            •  That's a conservative deflection method (5+ / 0-)

              for denying the truth of what happened. Convenient, really. It's racist to say the White Europeans committed genocide for 500 years? I call that, False Historical Memory Syndrome.

              Better not say the ones who committed genocide against American Indians were white europeans, then your racist. Holder is right, this is a nation of cowards.

              She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

              by Winter Rabbit on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 07:48:32 PM PST

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              •  No. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BoxNDox, Fresno

                It's racist to say the White Europeans committed genocide for 500 years?

                Clearly that isn't even remotely close to what the poster was saying.
                Rather, he/she is arguing that it's racist to assume that the Hopi/Navajo tribal disputes are manufactured by Europeans; it reflects an attitude that the indigenous people are basically too simple to have their own inter-national disputes, and indeed that they can be duped into acting out fake ones.

                •  You defend a comment with this in it? (0+ / 0-)

                  But even sweet little brown skinned people can be imperialists and try to conquer their neighbors.

                  And as for your comment below, possible false analogy. Was she telling the Navajo how to pronounce their language or what their culture is? I haven't written a book on culture or history. Authors who are non indian who write about their culture are supposed go have tribal approval. Is it O.K with you I quote an interview below with Louise Benally? Is that "trying to "tell their story?'" The journalist was then too I guess, right?

                  I'm speaking against their forced relocation in the instances cited, which is current.

                  And you missed this too, defending it?

                  The Navajo did not move there because of Europeans.


                  Navajos at Big Mountain resisting forced relocation view the 19th Century prison camp of Bosque Redondo and the war in Iraq as a continuum of U.S. government sponsored terror. Louise Benally of Big Mountain remembered her great-grandfather and other Navajos driven from their beloved homeland by the U.S. Army on foot for hundreds of miles while witnessing the murder, rape and starvation of their family and friends.

                  "I think these poor children had gone through so much, but, yet they had the will to go on and live their lives. If it weren’t for that, we wouldn’t be here today.

                  - snip -

                  "The U.S. military first murders your people and destroys your way of life while stealing your culture, then forces you to learn their evil ways of lying and cheating," Benally said.

                  Of course, the Europeans were already here, and the American Indians came from the Old World.

                  I am aghast at some the willful denial displayed here on this thread.

                  She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                  by Winter Rabbit on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:01:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  My brain is still in that frozen mode.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that one gets after eating ice cream too fast.

          Were the various Indian nations not always living in peace between themselves? Of course not. It is a sad part of human nature.

          But to say the Europeans had nothing to do with this is absurd. I'm from Illinois. There is a lot of history about how the French and English played the tribes off each other for political gain. At the end of the day, France and England still exist. The native American tribes in Illinois? No so much. Thousands of years of history gone.

          I doubt they would have killed themselves off without European land greed.

          But you really overreach when you think that a farmer living near Khan Yunis in the 20th Century has anything to do with empire growthand decline that went on for thousands of years in the Middle east. Maybe it's okay to take an Italian's farm because of the Roman empire? There are a couple of good Souvlaki stands in Greece I think I am entitled to because the Greek empire surely screwed over some of my relatives a few thousands of years ago. Those damn Greeks aren't innocent!

          And that you think that people that actually write books on the history of region, speak the various languages, and as such are upset at the current settlement policy, are 'racists' is quite telling of your own thought process.

        •  Re: racism (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Once on a trip to the Navajo Nation I checked out a panel discussion on Navajo code-talkers. I teach cryptography, and thought it would be awesome to cover their code in detail.  The panel included surviving code-talkers and a lady who wrote a book about them.  
          Really the event was just to promote the lady's book, but I got some great stuff:  the code-talkers recited example transmissions, and they distributed handouts of the code samples.  We got to hear all about their experiences in the service.
          At first it was very awesome, but when it got to the Q&A session I was shocked at how the book's author treated the Dine like children.  She kept talking about how she was trying to "tell their story," but if anyone asked them a question she'd just cut in and answer it for them.  She'd let through some very simple softball ones, but cut them off when anything got beyond a fourth-grade level.  
          It was particularly jarring because these dudes were super crypto badasses--the accuracy and speed at which they transmitted secure messages was unheard of in the military at the time---and the white lady just wrote a book about how they were super crypto badasses.  Yet when put on the spot, she acted like her subjects had to be sheltered from complex ideas,  given a sippy cup and a nap.
          I have seen that kind of behavior online before, but never in person and never so starkly.

          •  I know of at least two tribes that don't have (0+ / 0-)

            "enemy" in their language. Maybe you can find out whether or not the Navajo and the Hopi do. I'm betting they don't. There's a "complex idea" for you that actually relates to the content of the diary.

            She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

            by Winter Rabbit on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:08:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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