Contact Me By Email

Contact Me By Email

Saturday, July 04, 2020

ICU Doctor: Top 10 Things I learned Treating Coronavirus Patients | COVI...

Two Americans

The Dilemma of the Fourth of July

"Not Your Savage" Mark Charles



"Commentary
Editor’s Note: This commentary was published last year on July 3, 2015. With the Fourth of July weekend upon us, Native News Online is republishing.
The other day I was eating dinner with my wife in a restaurant located in Gallup New Mexico, a border town to the Navajo reservation. Gallup was recently named “Most Patriotic Small Town” in a nationwide contest. Soon after sitting down I noticed that we were seated at a table directly facing a framed poster of the Declaration of Independence.
The irony almost made me laugh.
When our server, who was also native, came to the table, I asked if I could show him something. I then stood up and pointed out that 30 lines below the famous quote “All men are created equal” the Declaration of Independence refers to Natives as “merciless Indian savages.”
The server was concerned that I might be upset so after our dinner the manager of the restaurant came to our table and asked if everything was OK. I showed her the quote and assured her that I was not trying to cause problems. After more than a decade of living on the Navajo Nation, I have become used to such offenses when I travel outside of our reservation. After the manager left, I noticed that another Native couple seated near us had taken interest in our conversation. So I invited them over and showed them the same offensive line hanging over our table. They were astounded that throughout their entire education they were never told the Declaration referred to Natives in such a way.
If the poster had labeled any other group of people as “savage”, or if the source of the words was anything else besides one of our country’s founding documents, the restaurant in question would have long ago been sued and the parties responsible for hanging the poster most likely disciplined. But because the targeted group was Natives, the source was the Declaration of Independence and the responsibility for hanging the poster belonged to the restaurant’s national corporate offices; not only is the poster still hanging today, but on July 4th the entire nation will celebrate the message of this poster and the signing of this Declaration. For we have declared it a national holiday complete with fireworks, parades and speeches.
This is the dilemma that Native ‘Americans’ face every day. The foundations of the United States of America are blatantly unjust. This land was stolen. Native peoples, Africans and many other minority communities have long been recipients of systemic racism. And the roots of it are right there for the entire world to see, printed in many of our founding documents; like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and United States Supreme Court case rulings.
We announce it. We flaunt it. We celebrate it.
But the reality is that the United States of America exists because this land was colonized by Europeans who used a Doctrine of Discovery to dehumanize, steal from, enslave and even commit cultural genocide against indigenous peoples from both the “New World” and Africa.
Georges Erasmus, an Aboriginal leader from Canada, said, “Where common memory is lacking, where people do not share in the same past, there can be no real community. Where community is to be formed, common memory must be created.”
Those are wise words that get to the heart of our national problem regarding race. On days like Columbus Day, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July, the United States of America celebrates its history. But a majority of our citizens celebrate in ignorance. After traveling throughout the country and educating audiences on the Doctrine of Discovery and its influence on our nation, I would estimate that less than 3% of Americans know this history or understand its impact on the current-day situation of Native peoples.
As a nation, the United States of America does not share a common memory, and therefore struggles to have true community.
So this Fourth of July I invite every American to start their day by learning about the Doctrine of Discovery. Allowing the reality of the dehumanizing nature of this doctrine to temper your celebrations.
You can still light your fireworks and eat your BBQ as you celebrate a hard fought victory over the British. But at the end of the day, I humbly ask you to conclude your celebrations with the following prayer.
“May God have mercy on the United States of America and give us the courage necessary to create a common memory."


The Dilemma of the Fourth of July

Why 'The Noose' is no joke: Maryland's history of lynching. My cousin Henry Armwood Jr talks about the lynching of George Armwood.

Why 'The Noose' is no joke: Maryland's history of lynching. My cousin Henry Armwood Jr talks about the lynching of George Armwood.

At Mount Rushmore, Trump exploits social divisions, warns of ?left-wing cultural revolution? in dark speech ahead of Independence Day - The Washington Post

President Trump at Mount Rushmore for a Fourth of July celebration on Friday evening.



"At the foot of Mount Rushmore’s granite monument to his presidential forebears, President Trump on Friday delivered a dark speech ahead of Independence Day in which he sought to exploit the nation’s racial and social divisions and rally supporters around a law-and-order message that has become a cornerstone of his reelection campaign.

Trump focused most of his address before a crowd of several thousand in South Dakota on what he described as a grave threat to the nation from liberals and angry mobs — a “left-wing cultural revolution” that aims to rewrite U.S. history and erase its heritage amid the racial justice protests that have roiled cities for weeks.
Praising presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, the men carved into the cliffs behind him, Trump declared that their legacies are under assault from protesters who have defaced and torn down statues. As he has done with increasing fervor in recent weeks, the 45th president denounced not just rioters and vandals but also much of the social movement that propelled the mass demonstrations in response to the killings of black men at the hands of police.
“The radical ideology attacking our country advances under the banner of social justice. But in truth, it would demolish both justice and society,” Trump said. “It would transform justice into an instrument of division and vengeance and turn our free society into a place of repression, domination and exclusion. They want to silence us, but we will not be silenced.”
The president, who recently signed an executive order aimed at punishing those who destroy monuments on federal property, referred to “violent mayhem” in the streets, even though many of the mass demonstrations have been largely peaceful. He warned that “angry mobs” were unleashing “a wave of violent crime” and using “cancel culture” as a weapon to intimidate and dominate political opponents — in what he compared to “totalitarianism.”
And Trump asserted that “children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe the men and women who built it were not heroes but villains.”
“This radical view of American history is a web of lies,” he added.
“They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive,” Trump said. “But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country and all of its values, history and culture to be taken from them.”
His address was capped by a fireworks display above the federal monument in what White House officials have touted as a weekend of celebrations around Independence Day that will continue with the president presiding over another fireworks event in Washington on Saturday.
Though the Mount Rushmore trip was billed as an official White House event, the president made an overt appeal to his partisan supporters in attacking liberals. His appeal came as he has faced tumbling public approval over his handling of the mass protests and the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Yet Trump’s efforts to rejuvenate his struggling reelection campaign with events in front of large crowds outside Washington was set back for a second time after Kimberly Guilfoyle, a Trump campaign fundraiser who is dating his son Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, ahead of the president’s arrival in South Dakota.
Guilfoyle had not arrived at the venue and she was not in contact with Trump, and Don Jr. tested negative, said a person familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss their personal situation. A campaign aide said Guilfoyle was asymptomatic, but she and Don Jr. were both isolated from others and intend to cancel upcoming public events.
The two are planning to drive back to Washington to avoid contact with others, said the person who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The New York Times first reported Guilfoyle’s positive test Friday evening.
In his remarks, Trump, whose son Eric and daughter Tiffany were in attendance, did not mention Guilfoyle and he largely avoided any mention of the coronavirus, other than thanking doctors and first-responders for their efforts to contain the outbreaks.
Guilfoyle’s diagnosis came two weeks after Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa — the first after a months-long hiatus amid widespread coronavirus shutdowns — was marred when several campaign staffers and Secret Service agents contracted covid-19.
Trump has sought to minimize the threat from the pandemic as he pushes for much of the nation to reopen businesses, touting this week a better-than-expected jobs report from mid-June. Yet experts have warned that spikes in the coronavirus in many states, which have contributed to new cases in the United States topping a record 50,000 per day this week, is likely to dampen the economic recovery.
Trump, who has faced criticism from lawmakers in both parties for his refusal to wear a mask in public and reluctance to encourage Americans to do so, maintains that the surge of new cases is a result of increased testing capacity and that the virus will soon “disappear.”
Trump arrived in South Dakota just as sheriffs and the National Guard cleared dozens of demonstrators blocking a key artery leading to the site.
The mostly-Native American demonstrators, protesting the taking of land from the Lakota people, gathered hours before Air Force One arrived in the state. They chanted, held signs and sang songs as members of the National Guard and local authorities dispersed the crowd using pepper spray, according to the Associated Press. Police also towed three vans that blocked the road.
The tribes had warned that Trump’s push for fireworks, which have been banned at the site for more than a decade, could result in wildfires and contaminate the water in the surrounding Black Hills. And they have voiced serious concern that a massive gathering without any safety restrictions could cause a coronavirus outbreak in their communities.
Ahead of Trump’s visit to the monument, the Mississippi flag was removed from an area of the site where all 50 states’ and U.S. territories’ flags fly. Mississippi’s legislature voted this week to remove the Confederate symbol from its flag and thus the state’s flag pole will be empty.
In his speech, Trump vowed that Mount Rushmore “will never be desecrated. These heroes will never be disgraced. Their legacy will never ever be destroyed. Their achievements will never be forgotten. And this monument will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and our freedom.”
The crowd stood and applauded, while chanting, “USA! USA!”
At Mount Rushmore, Trump exploits social divisions, warns of ?left-wing cultural revolution? in dark speech ahead of Independence Day - The Washington Post