Yesterday I erased a post and then replaced it.
Today I had really good intentions to become like a Trappist monk and remain silent, but shit happens.
So, let’s begin.
On a relatively gloomy and wet Friday afternoon, I went to get a coffee and a cranberry-orange scone, and I walked out having bought a book by Thomas King, entitled The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America.
As a little aside, I would like to note, that while the 50 Shades of Gray aficionados have copious amounts of books permeating the rather firm and bulging shelves of an entire Erotica section at our local Chapters, the Native people of our country, do have their very own, dusty, but half-filled shelf, but hey, they should feel lucky I discovered it.
But let’s get back to Thomas King and the Inconvenient Indians.
I started reading Thomas King’s account of the struggles and frustrations of North American Indians as soon as I got home, and fifteen minutes prior to writing this post, I had finished.
I made some notes, and I finally put it down. It is sitting right here, next to my laptop, staring at me as I type this. All 296 pages of it. All six years of hard work and a lifetime of experience that provided the courage to write it.
This is a book that will certainly divide us, but I’m feeling giddy these days, and getting to a point in my life where I really don’t give shat. (That, by the way, is the past tense of shit, in case you were wondering, and wanted to know).
I really don’t know where to begin, and I have so much to say that I am partially worried that this piece of writing will become an uncontrollable mess. A loose and baggy monster. But I will keep it short and call it a day.
The Inconvenient Indian is a bitter, honest, satirically funny, well researched, and by far, one of the most insightful works of non-fiction I read in a very long time. This book is so good, that I don’t believe any educational system will have the courage to do anything with it.
Once you get kids talking, they will never shut up, and how will we get to the important things, that they won’t remember in a few years?
I’m not a Native person, although that is not totally true. I am part of the Slavic nation, a tribe of Polaks, from the European land mass, but unlike the aboriginal people in North America, my tribe has a distinct homeland, sovereignty, economic security, a richly preserved, written and oral tradition, and a bountiful history. In a sense, I am very lucky. Our Nazi and Soviet occupiers were destroyed or outgrew us. The Inconvenient Indians are still waiting for their uninvited guests to kindly remove their fingers from their throats.
I just know if I continue writing a lot tonight, it will not end well.
I find myself overwhelmed with so many thoughts and emotions, but I am most definitely most embarrassed and angry, by the ignorance and malice of a Catholic Church, that tried to ‘kill the Indian, in order to save the man’.
Behold the man.
They certainly didn’t.
North American history is nothing more than a bloody crucifixion.
A systematic annihilation of a culture and many peoples. It is Darwin’s gift, I guess. Nothing more than the survival and triumph of a species. The triumph of the master race.
Without the love of my mother and father and deprived of an innate knowledge of their faith and courage, not to mention their sacrifice, I would be tempted to second guess my obedience and my faithfulness to Rome.
Perhaps I am being a little melodramatic, but you’ll have to forgive me. Great books, bring that out of me.
This is the probably the best time to leave. Soon, I hope I will have another opportunity to resume this curious account of the native people in North America, but I will save that for another time.
I do want to leave you with a little something.
It never happened.
There was no massacre. There are no records indicating any truth of this fictitious account. The whole thing was made up by a man who had a little too much to drink. And what amazes me is that the humble people of Almo, Idaho, are fully aware of this.
Yet the plaque remains. It stands tall and proud. Erected in 1938 and dedicated “to the Memory of those who lost their lives in a most horrible Indian massacre of 1861”.
Now we know certainly know where Kellyanne Coway got her inspiration for the ‘Bowling Green Massacre’.