November 2, 2006

David Yeagley and the Prince of Dumbness
(an extended, but good, read)
By Brent Michael Davids, 11/2/06

From Mr. Yeagley we read constant bellowing about truth and about his squealing aversion to detestable lies. Yet, he upholds Dracula as a myth, a stereotype, and a cultural hero to justify his pro-genocide stance. It seems Mr. Yeagley is not limited to championing negative American Indian stereotypes to the inclusion of non-Indian ones too.

David Yeagley absolutely loves and adores “the truth” as he immediately posts the only existing comment to his own Dracula article, after realizing he has glorified a liar and needs to make sure we readers do not mistake him as a liar lover. But his so-called “definition” of truth must appear to the rest of us as a simplistic dualism, as if truth and lies are the flip side of some cosmic coin. His logic here is magnificently dumb (2006):

“the prince of darkness is the prince of deception. Darkness never appears as darkness, but always as something else” (David Yeagley, article)

“I personally believe in the truth... If there is such a thing as a lie, as we all know, I dare say, there is such a thing as the truth” (David Yeagley, comment)
Ironically, Mr. Yeagley's “comment” (above) feigns a love of truth while his “article” (continued below) clearly admires the deception of Dracula. The arresting lack of compassion in these words is both horrific and for Yeagley somewhat autobiographical in a stereotypical way, considering his recent calls for genocide against Muslims and his “talking point” gyrations against Iran:
"The foul, fetid beast feigns great intimacy, intense interest and care--especially for the weak. He senses weakness immediately, and hones in for the kill. So, what's so monstrous about that? Isn't that what we all do, in different ways? ... I'm not sure exactly what sort of pretense we're practicing if we do see him as so offensive... He is alone and loathed. He lives off other people. He must deceive them into his confidence. He must lure them into a relationship. And he then lives off their blood... He survives, just like we all want to. He triumphs, as we all dream of... Being human is monstrous” (David Yeagley, 2006)
Almost on cue, he launches from glorification of the impaler into is paint-by-number form of logic, the attack-advice (attacks cloaked as advice), a contextual game of “pile-on” to see how much more illness he can add to build up an even bigger pile. The pile-on game below includes attacking: Muslims, Arabs, the Clintons, immorality, Islam, and women. No evidence to support any of it, just slander, and rather lame with regard to the Clinton reference, who’s been out of office for 6 years now. Bush is to blame for 9/11, for removing the safeguards and intelligence the previous administration had already put into place. I suppose dumb is as dumb does:
"Ask the Muslims ... Which Arab setting next to you on the plane, with his lovely wife and children, is not a mass murderer? ... The vampirism of the Clintons tempted the dignity right out of politics. It's now a lazar house of moral zombies, or so it sounds, if you listen to commentators. (Bush rarely gets the kind of credit he deserves for staying above the fray, out of the mud. The day after 9-11, he called Islam "a religion of peace." Everyone knows that isn't true, but, Bush gave them, at least formally, the benefit of the doubt. A rare, kind moment in political history. Everyone knows, Islam is the religion of misery. Ask the feminists.)" (DY, 2006)
Perhaps not surprisingly, Mr. Yeagley’s mental “acuity” is not limited to recent history, because back in 2001 he wrote similarly of Dracula, even positing another fantastically incoherent theory that flies contrary to the known facts:
“I have a theory that once a people or nation survives a great threat of extinction, that people become themselves aggressive expansionists, in their determination never again to be so vulnerable... it was men like Dracula who saved us... there is something in his ruthless conviction that we need today... Where is our Dracula today? ... He annihilated his foes without mercy. He filled their hearts with fear... Where is Dracula when you need him? Pacifists of the Christian Left, be warned. Had your ancestors thought like you, you would have no freedom to practice Christianity today” (DY, Oct 15, 2001)
So let me get Mr. Yeagley’s “theory” straight: (1) those who are victimized by genocide become genocidal themselves, which (2) is something America needs more of today, because (3) that same aggressive genocide fosters true freedom and compassionate Christianity?

On point 1, Mr. Yeagley is clearly NOT thinking like an American Indian, which I will explain shortly. On point 2, he is clearly part of the lunatic fringe trying to overthrow America’s constitution and is therefore completely un-American and 100% unpatriotic. And on point 3, Mr. Yeagley appears naive to the simple cause-and-effect reality of life, namely, that “what goes around comes around,” or what a Christian might know as simply “the golden rule.” Mr. Yeagley’s so-called Christian compassion is about as loving as Rush Limbaugh’s vicious attack on Parkinson sufferer Michael J. Fox. The pumpkin head logic of Mr. Yeagley’s “theory” staggers the mind.

Back to point one, Mr. Yeagley is no where near to thinking like an American Indian. To better understand how far, far away he is from Native thought, let me recount an old Mohican story of the snow beast or cannibal giant; it is an interesting story because (1) it teaches what 'good' and 'bad' are to Native people, (2) it shows how Indians dealt with the colonials who first came to this continent, and (3) it reveals how Indians look at the world and how they see non-Indians.

There are many versions of this story, or many stories that are similar to this one; they are sometimes called the 'big foot' stories or the sasquatch stories, but are really nearer to a whole genre of cannibal giant stories from the Northeast Woodlands tribes. Here’s the basic story:
Once there was a family, a father, mother and child, living in a wikkum [wigwam: home]. It was very very cold. They would burn wood inside to keep warm, but they thought they might run out of wood. It was so bitter cold, that the fire they tried desperately to keep going was only hot enough to keep the inside warm; the cold was working its way further & further into their home. Fearing the harshness of the cold, the husband decided to go out and try to find more wood to burn; this was not an easy task because their was more than the cold to be concerned out. There were the cannibal giants.

The Snow Beasts were huge giants who were fierce and their voices would make the mountain rumble. As they walked, trees would tremble and their skin was hard as stone; no arrows nor weapons could hurt the giant. Their heads were proportionately larger than their bodies. The beasts could not communicate, even with each other, and would eat people. They were cannibal giants and lived in the cold as their hearts were made of ice. The snow beasts could change form to look like people, quite often like someone familiar, like a relative, a mother, brother, or an uncle. The only way to recognize the snow beast was through its behavior; if it behaved like a non-relative, it was really the beast.

As the husband was getting ready to go out into the cold, they heard some noises from outside. They knew it was a snow beast; they had heard the stories of how a beast was going from village to village eating people. The snow beast was outside their home! The beast did not like the heat coming from their home, so it could not come too close. But the beast was coming nearer and nearer, and their fire was getting cooler and cooler. They all knew that soon, the beast would be at their door and would come inside and eat them.

Then, just as the beast was ready to push its way into the wikkum, the woman got an idea and spoke up — loudly — so the beast could hear, "Look husband, your long lost brother has come to visit us!" With that, the beast was momentarily startled and wondered about what the woman had said. In that moment, the husband joined in, "Brother, it is so good to see you again! Where have you been? Please, come in and tell us everything!" So, the beast was even more startled and its head grew a tiny bit smaller.

As the husband questioned the beast about all the things they had missed as youngsters together, the woman invited the beast to eat. But the beast could not eat what she offered because it could only eat people. The woman offered it a cloak to be warmer and the beast, now quieter, listened to all the detailed stories of adventures that the beast had missed while away. "You are welcome to live with us here, my brother" the man offered. Listening to him, the beast grew a little smaller and calmer.

Eventually, the beast decided to accept the woman's offer to eat, and he went over to the kettle of soup cooking over the flame. In a quick moment, the beast grabbed the hot kettle and poured scalding soup into its throat as it swallowed the soup all at once! With that, the beast's cold heart was melted and it grew smaller and smaller; its face grew smaller and became more like a person's face and it became as a man is.
Looking at this indigenous story, five observations jump out:

1. The beast lived in a cold harsh place. The beast makes everything else around it 'cold and harsh, or that it thrives in cold and harsh environments. This "coldness" is a bitter and unhappy situation.

2. The beast could resemble a human but it consumed people instead. First, people are known by their actions not their appearances. The snow beast was historically a way for Mohicans to deal with the newly arriving light-skinned settlers. If the settlers acted as a “relative” might act, they were commonly accepted as friends; if they acted as monsters and consumed people (or land) than they were seen as cannibal giants. In this way, I think there is a Mohican “theory of otherness” at work that includes non-Indians right along side the Mohicans themselves, and stands in direct contradiction to those “eat or be eaten” non-Indian perspectives. Second, even your own family member, your father or uncle for instance, could become a snow beast discerned by anti-person behaviors.

3. The beast did not know how to communicate. The traditional Mohican world is based on a life-and-death reciprocity, an all important kinship among a world of relatives. In other words, to be 'bad' is to behave as a non-relative or a non-person; while to be 'good' is to act as a relative or a person who is related. It is clear from this story that even humans can be considered as non-people or anti-people if they behave as non-relatives (like monsters).

4. The beast was welcomed into the family as a relative. This aspect of the story was a pro-active plan chosen by the family to deal with the beast. The family did not try to kill the beast, but cautiously accepted the beast into their midst. They did not let it eat them, but they did try to get the beast involved in their family life.

5. The beast melted its own icy heart to become human. Anti-people can become 'good' by way of their own decision. Where they can be supported by family and friends, it is they, themselves, that must undertake the actual task of transformation.

The above story reveals how Indians ourselves look at how thickheaded anti-people consume everyone around them like an illness, and this illness is not something revered, nor desirable, nor idolized, nor admired, nor acceptable within Indian communities. Even further, American Indians do not inflict genocide on others for having it inflicted upon us.

Based on the above story, read again the Yeagley “theory” and one can easily see that nowhere does it even remotely resemble Indian philosophy.
"I have a theory that once a people or nation survives a great threat of extinction, that people become themselves aggressive expansionists, in their determination never again to be so vulnerable... it was men like Dracula who saved us... there is something in his ruthless conviction that we need today... Where is our Dracula today? ... He annihilated his foes without mercy. He filled their hearts with fear... Where is Dracula when you need him?” (DY, Oct 15, 2001)
In fact, one might even argue that Mr. Yeagley is perhaps theorizing in some autobiographical sense about his own prowess with his so-called “theory,” himself a thick-skinned hammerhead who drains the energy out of most people he meets. If Mr. Yeagley was a legitimate citizen of the Comanche Nation, one might speculate on kinship-based approaches the tribe might take to heal Mr. Yeagley. But I highly doubt Mr. Yeagley’s claims of tribal heritage, based on the available evidence and upon his obvious non-Indian rationalizations, which largely serve his own selfish interests. No, I simply do not buy into Mr. Yeagley’s charade.

What Do Actual Natives
Think of Yeagley
(Especially Comanches)?

Originally Posted by Dr. Al Carroll,

In only four years, Yeagley has managed to make himself the most despised person anywhere in Indian Country. Some of the more charitable Native opinions on him are that he is too much of a clown to worry much about, or simply crazy.

My earlier estimate was that Yeagley had perhaps half a dozen actual Natives agreeing with him out of an American Indian population of seven million, perhaps literally one out of a million Indians on his side. I was too generous. So far I have only been able to find a grand total of one Native (plus one other who may possibly be Native) who agree with Yeagley's far right politics and belief in white supremacy.

1. Betty Ann Gross-A Lakota woman initially drawn to Yeagley by their mutual support for "Indian" sports mascots. Gross's current main motive for her fervent support for Yeagley is their mutual racist hatred and fear of Blacks. By her own account, her racism was triggered by one of her family marrying a Black person.

2. Barbara Lindsay, of the anti-Indian and white supremacist group One Nation, claims part Cherokee ancestry. Like Yeagley, white supremacists find Lindsay's CLAIM of Native ancestry useful in misleading the naive. Also like Yeagley, Lindsay is herself a strong proponent of white supremacy regardless of her alleged ancestry. Whether she is actually Cherokee is not known. She is not enrolled with any of the three recognized Cherokee bands. Lindsay was kicked out of a Cherokee heritage group and denounced by them as a traitor to Cherokee people once they discovered her part in One Nation.

What do actual Comanches think of Yeagley and his white supremacy views?

"David 'Pole-dances-for-white-guys' Yeagley...he's as far from being Comanche as Tonto was being a real representation of Indians."
"Mr. 'Bad Eagle,' the original hang-around-the-fort, anti-sovereignty supporting, pro-mascot uncle tomahawk himself. (and those are the NICE things I've said about him in the past.) He never grew up anywhere near our community...I have no love for that traitor."
— Gerald Tieyah, self-described Comanche nationalist
"I challenge his connection to the Comanche culture and Comanche people."
"I don't like Yeagles anymore than anyone else...I don't care what his sexual orientation is. It is his speaking engagements, writings and cozying up to anti-ndn groups that should remain the focus of concern."
— Juanita Pahdopony, Comanche educator, artist, activist, and member of Comanche tribal government
Sent to me from another member of the Comanche tribal government:
"I was researching Comanche stuff on the web, found his website and began to read. I couldn't believe it. I was extremely angry so I met with the Comanche Business Committee during a monthly meeting behind closed doors. I gave them information, copies, the works about what he was saying and doing on his website."
"No one at the tribe takes him seriously. My whole point to the CBC was the fact he was speaking for Comanches in general. I told them he doesn't speak for me or my family. Only our elected tribal leaders can speak for us, which he is not."
"He's tried to get on with the Comanche Nation Constitution Revision Commission and was turned down. He's tried to get on at the Comanche Nation College and speak about his support of mascots, he was turned down. "
"He's tried to get 'in' at the tribe. Everyone thinks he's pohtsah (nuts)."
"A nephew told me David Yeagley embarrasses the family. They all think he's nuts. All he knows how to do is beg for money. He's made his website a non-profit and asks for donations because he is too lazy and disreputable to get a real job."
"He has crossed the sacred line."
Fron another:
“I met Sad Eagle several times after he approached me, kind of scary walking up to an elder, isn't it? The reason I avoided eye contact was not for some Comanche humility, I simply didn't want to look at you, that's all. Let me see if I can remember back to the Constitution Committee's forming, as I remember you had quite a burr under your saddle to get onto that committee; so, how’d that work out for you? I seem to remember you bringing your "brand" of superficial patriotism to the tribal council meeting once; how’d that work out for you? And, if memory serves, you also clamored to join the ranks of the educators at CNC; and, how’d that work out for you? I almost wish you would apply for [Ward] Churchill's job, and get far away from here. We don't banish people, but you have come closer than anyone I've ever avoided. Every time I see that trashy old dusty gray car your mother left you wandering lost around Lawton, I feel like recommending you for that Colorado professorship myself. With my credentials behind you, maybe you’d stand half a chance of getting it. But the educator in me would never inflict that upon any student. The thought of you 'grading' them.”
“He's been turned down by everything and everyone at the Comanche tribe. Wow, who would have thought someone so educated and 'revered' in 'conservative' 'non-Native' circles would not be considered. I guess he has ZERO power in the tribe even though he capitalizes on the connection ad nauseam.”
— Comanacha
Natives from other tribes join in the angry criticism:
“He is a pathetic loser and leech….Guy is a piece of ****. And then he insults the ancestors of the Caribbean. If he would have said that to my grand parents or any Guajiro or Jibaro in the good old days, he would be sure to find a machete shoved far up his ***. Then he most likely probably would be tasting metal...I mean, what, he thinks he is invoking the spirits? He is as red as an apple, yellow as a twinkie, brown as a potato.”
— DacaTaino
"That hateful man."
— Bee Neidlinger, Munsee traditionalist, founder of Yahoo group Ancient Native Heritage
"Indian Country's favorite Michael Jackson look alike....Thank god we have Yeagley! Or else Indians wouldn't know what their identity is...You can bet he left all those white ladies disappointed that night [speaking before a meeting of anti-Indian groups.] Yet another characteristic he shares with Michael Jackson!"
"No one ever accused Dr. David Yeagley of being in touch with Indian Country."
In the Hoop
"An Indian liberal for David's purposes is someone who supports, well, being Indian... He seems to be against anyone more famous or liked than him. Of course that covers just about everyone, so he is fond of attacking every respectable Indian leader and policy of self-determination.
Yeagley seems to hate Indianness...More than anything else he angers many Native Americans with these hateful tomes against Indian people...We understand why he hates Indians: He's not one."
— Cinda Hughes, Kiowa activist and activist for the disabled
"The darling of the right wingnuts...Nearly a lifer of a student...There's nothing in his writing to suggest any knowledge of tribal ways and protocols or involvement with actual Indian people... The more he publishes, the more he reveals his ignorance about Indian country...He never misses a chance to call Indian people names...[He] resembles the white men who used to wear feathers and tan pancake make-up for old cowboy-and-Indian movies...He shrieks about being a warrior and a patriot, but has never faced combat or donned a uniform. The closest he's been to war was a visit in 2001 to the Museum of the U.S. Army 45th Infantry Division."
— Suzan Harjo, Cheyenne author and activist
"Why is Mr. Yeagley a hypocrite? Because he ‘resents’ lies, although he champions them if carried out by leaders he favors."
"Mr. Yeagley’s efforts are nothing but a game of contextual pile-on: to see how much added denigration can be piled onto the original slander to increase its rank stench."
"Mr. Yeagley’s pseudo-arguments are mostly racial and misogynist attacks that are cloaked as advice, ‘attack-advice,’ that serve only to denigrate people of color and women. Mr. Yeagley appears to be following the standard ‘talking points’ coming from the right-wing warmongers and war profiteers, without any serious examination."
"What he does appears to directly coincide with those whom he wishes to please in order to keep his fake warrior facade alive."
— Brent Michael Davids, Mohican composer and activist
"White people stand up. Yeagley's suggested position for Indians is kissing white behinds. How much more proof do you need that this guy is a freaking traitor and a racist?"
— Jake Al, Cherokee activist
"Is it better to completely ignore these nuts or keep bashing them? How many articles have been written about Yeagley's overnight wannabe antics? Yeagley is like a pest you can't get rid of... Him and that white woman with an adam's apple do not speak for American Indians that's for sure!"
— Keenmah
The list of Natives opposed to Yeagley could go on and on since it includes literally every Indian who ever heard of him outside of Gross (and possibly Lindsay.)

The most striking lack of support for Yeagley comes from his own alleged family. Not even his own supposed brothers or sister by blood come forward to defend him. They have not done this even to point out he is not lying about being related to them or disprove what is widely known, that he was adopted.