February 12, 2008

20 HALF-BAKED RETRACTIONS BY DAVID YEAGLEY

from the Bad Eagle journal

White supremacist David A. Yeagley is feeling the heat, and is suddenly wanting to retract the videotaped statements he so enthusiastically provided for the propaganda video: Historiens Fångar ("prisoners of the past" or "history's prisoners").

But the explanations Yeagley now gives, are just as inaccurate as the videotaped ones, and must largely be considered as mediocre attempts to backtrack and keep an imagined favor with Indian people. For two reasons, Yeagley’s retractions are simply half-baked:

A. he is not regarded in any positive way from Indian people so there is no logical reason to backtrack at all; and,

B. he is not actually retracting anything important.
Let’s take a closer look at the basic twenty points that Yeagley hopes to pass off as Historiens Fångar retractions, and why those rationalizations fail miserably.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #1
YEAGLEY — “Prisoners of the Past,” a documentary made by Danish Television, has been recently posted on the internet. I was featured in a way I did not anticipate.”
So Yeagley didn’t think his words would be considered anti-Indian? That’s very hard to believe. Yeagley said what he said: we can see him saying it, we can hear it coming from his own mouth. There’s very few alternate ways his statements COULD be taken, not many alternative connotations there:
YEAGLEY — “When the warrior was finally defeated, he became the reservation Indian. Th, the loser. The alcoholic. The depressed, keep-away-from-me, leave-me-alone. They have enriched a few. A few families. Generally speaking, they have not enriched Indian people across the country. Casino money has a created a circumstance where all the weakness of Indian government are aggrandized, magnified, multiplied beyond tolerability. The idea that you can build a community with its own government, with its own economy, its own schools, its own language. That’s the idea that many Indian leaders are hoping for. They cut off themselves from participation, from successful positive participation in the world around them” (2-8-08).
From his video statements above, Yeagley makes several seriously erroneous assumptions:

A. Yeagley mischaracterizes all Indian people as a warriors, when only a percentage of the population were. He falls victim to his own warrior-esque stereotype, a common stereotype among non-Indians.

B. Yeagley misinterprets the problems faced by Indian people as self-inflicted, rather than accurately stating the causes as imposed upon indigenous people from outside those communities. Kill a people, corral a people, brainwash their children, and you’ll get exactly what indigenous people still endure today, no suprises here; it was and is imposed on indigenous people.

C. Yeagley uncritically reasons that ‘assimilation’ is the solution to problems created by the ‘self-inflicted isolationism’ that Yeagley wrongly attributes as the cause of indigenous poverty. However, poverty is systematically imposed on indigenous communities from the outside, not from within. Imposed poverty is forced on indigenous populations and is not a byproduct of indigenous or aboriginal behavior inside the communities.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #2
YEAGLEY — “Comanche people were presented in a way which was not anticipated as well.”
You mean, Yeagley did not anticipate that Comanches would object to his speaking on their behalf like he did? So, let’s get this straight, Yeagley did it, but then thought he would not be seen as doing it? That makes no sense at all. Of course Yeagley anticipated it, he endorsed the anti-Indian implications and still does. What he did not anticipate, is the backlash he is incurring, and is simply trying to distance himself to avoid embarrassment, which we have stated before is not even necessary. Most Comanches already regarded him as an embarrassment prior to the video propaganda.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #3
YEAGLEY — “In March of 2007, I was first contacted by Danish Television through Michaela Kirst, a New York liaison. Poul-Erik Heilbut was putting together an unusual documentary on indigenous peoples around the globe. Naturally, he wanted to feature American Indians, and the personal, psychological experience of American Indians in modern society.”
What is meant by Yeagley’s “unusual documentary” comment? It is very difficult to believe that Yeagley wasn’t told the video was a propaganda piece on indigenous casinos; and it is very clear that Yeagley was ‘noticeably eager’ to participate in the video. He probably knew all along what was happening, and only created this ‘half-baked’ retraction after he started receiving flack about it. If Yeagley truly objected to it, why is it still on his John Birch bio? Yeagley likes the exposure, and most likely knew the full intent of the video all along.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #4
YEAGLEY — “In mid-April, he interviewed and filmed me an entire day, at my own home here in Oklahoma City. The next day, I escorted him and his camera crew to Lawton, Oklahoma, where he interviewed selected tribal employees of the Comanche Nation. I made great effort to insure that the appropriate Comanches were involved, namely Geneva Navarro, (Comanche language speaker and teacher), and Carlotta Nowell, RN, (professional and teacher). Juanita Pahdopony, an administrator, hosted the Danes. I don’t know that she was interviewed. I had not given them her name. I had told our chairman, Wallace Coffey, however, about this documentary, as I understood it. He was out of town at the time of the interviews.”
So Yeagley made a “great effort” to insure the “appropriate Comanches” were involved; you mean, like the ones sitting in the empty CNC classroom? Like those Comanches? Of course Yeagley is trying to take credit for ‘guiding’ the Danish video crew when he was the one begging to be in the video himself. If Yeagley made any recommendations to videotape other Comanches, it’s obvious they never made it into the final product. But it’s a far more plausible explanation to say that Yeagley only recommended himself as the “Comanche expert” that the video should rely upon.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #5
YEAGLEY — “Heilbut was impressed that the Comanche Nation had its own college, the only tribally owned college in the country. I said our chairman was progressive, but that at present our college was not accredited. Heilbut was also interested in our casino operations.”
Yeagley’s opinion is not credible here at all; it smacks of an ill-conceived half-baked retraction in a lame attempt to shine up Yeagley’s badly tarnished image. Heilbut was not impressed enough to put any positive CNC footage in the film, “guided” by Yeagley’s advice, nor is there any attention given to Indians having successful colleges. Not only was Yeagley's video appearance misguided, but to declare the CNC as the only tribally-owned college is again nothing but Yeagley’s half-witted hyperbole. Yeagley continues to be absolutely wrong on his facts; and, considering the facts are relatively easy to find, we must therefore conclude (rightly so) that Yeagley is intellectually lazy. Take a look at all these tribal colleges:
http://www.aihec.org/tribal_college_roster.cfml

http://www.ed.gov/about/inits/list/whtc/edlite-tclist.html
And read this article about the vitality of tribal colleges: "Tribal Colleges are fighting for survival, new study shows."

The 24 tribally owned colleges, most of them started in the last decade on reservations in the West, represent "the most significant and hopeful development in our long history of failed policies toward Native Americans," said Ernest L. Boyer, the president of the foundation, a nonprofit group that studies education policies.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #6
YEAGLEY — “I told him our operations were distinguished from many ‘Indian casinos,’ because we have avoided most of the socio-economic issues caused by many of the larger casinos on the east and west coasts. The Comanche Nation has always sought healthy cooperation with the Oklahoma people in Comanche environs. I knew of no major public issues with the Comanche Nation. I was proud of that, and commended our leaders.”
Wrong again. You clearly spoke “as a Comanche spokesperson” about how no one except a select few benefit from your casinos. You did not say Comanches were the exception, no. You did not indicate that most casinos are heavily watched, and are among the heaviest regulated operations in the entire country, more regulated than non-Indian casinos. In fact, Indians pay for the regulations to occur, at the Indians’ expense, and have become the supreme example of the cleanest-of-the-clean operations, far above any of the state or federal standards.

Yeagley is trying to “damage control” his shameful appearance in the propaganda video, but it’s all too convenient to claim he said things that were not edited into the film, after-the-fact. No, we must regard Yeagley’s backhanded retractions now, as a grand “suck-up” strategy, in hopes that the Comanche people might not loathe Yeagley more than they already do. But it’s easy to see through the smoke at Yeagley’s real intent by participating in the video so eagerly: Yeagley willfully intended to speak against Indian sovereignty and declare a war on Indian people to sovereign self-government. We see his lips moving in the video, and nobody can deny that proof, not even Yeagley. To try spinning that ‘extra’ footage and ‘unseen statements’ never made it into the film, is nothing more than unsupported hearsay.
YEAGLEY — “Who rules the world? ... White men... Christian men... European white. Judeo-Christian, "Bible" white. This throne, in this world, will not change. It is secure. White man will not be de-throned. The position is permanent... it's still the Great White Throne” (2007)

YEAGLEY — “But I propose the idea of guilt... American Indian guilt... American Indians are responsible for whatever misanthropy exists in the United States government... The throne is white. The whites built it, and anyone who tries to deceive the races into thinking that throne belongs to all people is a psychological criminal, a moral thief, and an ideological terrorist” (2007)
HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #7
YEAGLEY — “I did speak, however, of Indian issues on a national level, and noted ideological concepts which apparently cause social inhibition and lack of development. There are numerous historical images of the American Indian. I led Heilbut through the different images—the host, the warrior, the reservation Indian, the protester, and now the gangster.”
Yeagley is not a national spokesperson, and has little knowledge outside of books what the historical or contemporary American Indian is all about. Besides having no authority to speak in this way, Yeagley has quite frankly no knowledge about the Indian populations nationwide that he is pontificating about. The so-called stages of “development” that Yeagley espoused are nothing more than a bunch of indigenous stereotypes, over-simplifications that often plague the poorly-researched books obviously coveted by Yeagley uncritical curiosity.

Though Yeagley set himself up as a so-called “authority” on the issues of sovereignty, he did not recommend the video producers talk with actual authorities like the president of the National Congress of American Indians. No, Yeagley simply ran off at the mouth in his mother’s old living room, without considering the ill effect that his lies and distortions might have on indigenous peoples around the world, let alone Comanches. Yeagley simply wasn’t thinking, which appears to be his usual modus operandi, if you follow his blogs.

Added: Someone just emailed that Yeagley self-admittedly 'doesn't read books,' so it's more likely he has little knowledge outside the internet, not books.


HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #8
YEAGLEY — “Heilbut was advocating the idea that it is harmful for indigenous peoples the world over to remain separate, and to refuse assimilation. The film asserts that indigenous peoples suffer psychologically and sociologically devastating consequences from their isolationism. The reservation concept, according to the film, is disastrous.”
Yeagley is only half correct. While the video unequivocally promotes assimilation of indigenous peoples, it states absolutely NOTHING about psychology, nor sociology, nor the impact of those ‘-ologies’ on the indigenous people. The video does not address any of that.

To try deflecting “just criticism” away from Yeagley’s unruly appearances by inserting ‘-ologies’ into it that were not there, is a failed attempt at deflection and distraction. Yeagley is attempting to sway readers who may not have seen the footage at all, and attempting to reinterpret the actual footage by interjecting his own distortions into it.

The video actually questions why Indian leaders are forcing their people to live in primitive conditions, and posits the false notion that leaders are controlling and hurting their own populations. The video did not speculate on psychology, nothing on sociology either. Again, Yeagley is fabricating what he wishes was in the video, not what was actually there. He is making things up. Go watch the film yourself and decide, or read the transcript of his statements.


HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #9
YEAGLEY — “Prisoners of the Past” does not present false material, or inaccurate material. It merely presents incomplete material.”
Actually the video presents false material as well as inaccurate material, just like Yeagley does in his half-baked retractions:

A. The video falsely blames indian leaders for keeping people in poverty.

B. The video sets up a false dichotomy between one indigenous people against other indigenous peoples that does not exist in reality.

C. The video creates a false straw man argument about Indians in the past versus indians in the present, and then uses that fake argument to attack Indian sovereignty.

D. The video mistakenly deduces that Indians are responsible for their own impoverished conditions, without explaining the true causes that are imposed upon Indian people from the outside.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #10

YEAGLEY — “Heilbut however insists that the worst of the story is the weight of the story.”
Actually, there is no such amendment nor retraction from Poul-Erik Heilbut. Heilbut has never made such an apology as Yeagley suggests. Nope. This opinion is nothing but a half-baked explanation and is a complete fabrication by Yeagley. Search for it yourself, it exists nowhere. Yeagley is hoping you will ‘take his word’ on this lie, but most Comanches already know what his word is worth.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #11
YEAGLEY — “The addictions, the physical abuse, poverty, etc., are highest among the reserve peoples of the world. Depression is rife, and endemic. This is what is important.”
Not endemic, no. The word Yeagley is searching for, but cannot utter for political and ideological reasons, is “imposed,” not endemic. “Endemic” would be mischaracterizing Indian hardships as a disease. There is depression and other negative results from imposed poverty, like suicide. But those negative conditions are a direct result of abuse caused to the Indian people from outside the tribe — imposed upon them — not by choice but by force. What is important and not mentioned at all by Yeagley, is that Indian people are contemporary and living in today’s cultural milieu, which is a complex situation of surviving genocide and its lingering affects, combined with the ongoing abuse still carried out by non-Indian people outside the Indian communities.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #12
YEAGLEY — “But nowhere does the film deny the right [of] people to maintain their traditions. Nowhere does the film advocate racial intermarriage. The film does not recommend the elimination of culture. It simply notes the dangerous effects of social isolationism and separatism. I don’t see that as mistaken.”
If you actually watch the video, you’ll see that it does recommend the elimination of indigenous cultures, contrary what Yeagley may ask you to believe with his half-baked retractions. Of course, the video does not implore the supplanting of non-indigenous culture, no. But it absolutely advocates for a welcomed destruction of indigenous cultures, yes. The video goes further than that, actually, by questioning whether Indian leaders are “hobbling” the Indians to the past, and answers that question by calling for the traditions to be given up, lost, forgotten, as a better path toward material wealth and material happiness.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #13
YEAGLEY — “What is mistaken is the fact that the film doesn’t show the other side of cultural preservation, and the indomitable will of certain people to maintain their identity—and the benefit to the world such determination demonstrates. In an age of multiculturalism, when every culture is threatened, the message of the indigenous ought to be seen as hopeful and encouraging.”
This assertion by Yeagley is an attempt at misdirection yet again. But Yeagley’s attempt at slight-of-hand is riddled by a huge stupidity. The video clearly argues for the desolation of indigenous cultures, but fails to identify the true culprit: the continued oppression of indigenous people by non-indigenous people. In fact, the video goes-out-of-its-way to make sure that all the blame — 100% of it — rests squarely on the indigenous people themselves. The fact of this erroneous assumption cannot be denied, it's in the video. Just watch it..

The major problem for Yeagley though, is that culture is not static, and could never be misconstrued as such, except by, perhaps, ignorant anthropologists or by Yeagley himself. Cultures grow, shift and change, continually; it is a natural state of cultures to do so. What is at stake in this explanation is the TYPE of change: mutual change versus forced change.

If a culture changes because it is advantageous to do so, on a mutually respected footing, cultures will adapt without any threat whatsoever. No threat. But when one culture tries to dominate and force another culture into submission, that is coerced culture change.

It is a false argument to imply that cultures are static and are under “threat” unless you also acknowledge that only forced culture change threatens a culture — not mutual culture change, which is under no threat whatsoever. Again, the video’s rationale, wholly supported by Yeagley, is an argument ignorant of the flexible realities of culture change.

No, the “threatened” culture that Yeagley hopes you, as a reader, will envision is the white culture, which holds true for, at a minimum, 90% of his blog rantings. “Multiculturalism” is not a genuine threat; only forced contact change is a threat, and only threatening to those who are oppressed, like indigenous people being threatened by imposed poverty. Again, Yeagley is merely attempting to distract readers away from his own video blunder by interjecting things that have no basis in reality in hopes he can distract criticism away from himself.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #14
YEAGLEY — “The historical and ethnological circumstances of the Laplanders are simply incomparable if not irrelevant. And there are numerous American Indians, for example, who are talented, educated, and modernized, yet who still love living with their own people, and still observe their cultural traditions. The film is completely silent about Indian success stories.”
Actually, the Sami people are very relevant, and are a wonderful comparison. They suffer from similarly imposed poverty from non-Sami people outside their communities, they struggle to maintain their cultural and political independence in the face of voices trying to silence them. Yes, they are very much like American Indians, totally comparable and totally relevant.

The fact of the video not trumpeting any success stories, is exactly what Yeagley hoped would happen when he inserted himself as a national “American Indian” spokesperson. We have already proven that his half-baked attempts at distraction, deflection and interjection are simply attempts to avoid just criticism toward Yeagley himself. We need only look to the Comanche Nation College footage to see Yeagley’s direct influence on the video, the empty classroom. He admittedly accompanied them to Lawton and to the CNC.

Remember that Yeagley advised the producers on which people to videotape, and what was “appropriate” for the video’s purpose. The film is silent on true indigenous life BECAUSE Yeagley personally advised them and went along with it himself. His retraction now, after the damage is done, is implausible and lame.


HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #15
YEAGLEY — “any streak of white superiority in the film might rather be a subliminal gesture of self-defense, considering the cultural threat Northern Europe currently suffers from the hands of the murderous Mohammadans [sic].
The three words “might rather be” are Yeagley’s mistake here, as they are pure hyperbole on his part. Yeagley knew full well when appearing on this video what he was saying and doing. To try deflecting the white supremacist goal of this video is nonsensical and ridiculous. Nowhere does the video, even remotely, mention Muslims — not one solitary time. No, this is clearly another attempt at deflection, with race-baiting thrown in for added impact.

Yeagley’s wishful assessment treats viewers as if they are stupid, pandering to intellects supposedly ‘lesser than himself’ who cannot see the “subliminal gestures” like he can. Apparently, Yeagley has a need to explain the video’s ‘hidden meanings’ to us, so that we ignorant immature younglings can understand the mysterious and ineffable realities that Yeagley, by way of mighty intellect, can discern as a gifted psychological sooth sayer.

To be clear, the major problem with this half-baked retraction is — it’s all made up — literally. Yeagley’s suggestion here is complete nonsense. It is nothing more than imaginary second-guessing, and is intended purely to divert criticism away from himself.

The video purposely intended to posit a white superiority over indigenous people, only find one apparent “shining” exception in the Sami people, who the video used to race-bait every other indigenous group. Yeagley has remained committed to that same ideology himself, even championed it. But Yeagley’s anti-sovereignty activities have developed at the expense of indigenous people around the world this time around, including his own supposed tribe, the Comanche Nation.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #16
YEAGLEY — “it makes our Comanche college look like a big failure. That was certainly not my intent... Maybe he showed up on a bad day or something, when the weakest classes were meeting. Geneva Navarro is one of the most honored Indian laguage [sic] teachers in the state of Oklahoma. One student is shown in class with her.”
This statement above is really an outright denial of the truth. It was exactly Yeagley’s intent to show the Comanche Nation College as a failure for a couple of reasons. Yeagley argued on camera that Indian leaders are ‘wrongly’ trying to preserve an independent nation, economy, culture and schooling. Yeagley contrarily argued, on screen, that Indians are ‘wrong’ to maintain their “isolationist” sovereignty:
YEAGLEY — “The idea that you can build a community with its own government, with its own economy, its own schools, its own language. That’s the idea that many Indian leaders are hoping for. They cut off themselves from participation, from successful positive participation in the world around them.”
Though after-the-fact, Yeagley tries to reassert a more positive view of the Comanche educational and economic system that he so blatantly trashed, we must remember that it was Yeagley himself who directed the producers to the “appropriate” people and appropriate “Comanche” representatives personally. He even drove them to Lawton, the tribal offices and the CNC.

This fact, when combined with another, is probably all the information necessary to question Yeagley’s motives here. Remember, that Yeagley was unable to be accepted as an instructor, or even a janitor, at the CNC, because he is not welcomed there given his dismissal from the Oklahoma university for misrepresenting himself as a university spokesperson. In other words, he embarrassed the university so badly, they apparently dismissed Yeagley for his inability to control what he says.


HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #17
YEAGLEY — “The film showed the worst of the problems. Now, the fact that there are huge success stories doesn't mean that the problems are any less significant or unimportant.”
Actually, the success stories would put the problems in proper perspective, mostly by putting the issue of indigenous sovereignty in proper perspective. But even with this criticism, Yeagley is ignoring the larger piece of information missing from the the video — that reservation poverty and inequality comes from continued discrimination against the indigenous peoples. Yeagley’s opinion that these problems are caused by the Indian people themselves, with their “isolationist” tendencies, is a phony argument. Yeagley uncritically skirts the real cause, which is continued racism.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #18
YEAGLEY — “I think this film is a kind of reaction against the threat of Danish culture by the Mohammadans [sic], who destory [sic] every culture in their path... hey, everyone needs to assimilate into modernity... the film makes an heavy, undeniable point. I think is good for thinking.
Again Yeagley fails to speak the complete truth here, by completely ignoring the fundamental root of imposed poverty today, and the continued results of oppressive policies and attitudes still directed at indigenous people. As for Yeagley’s assertion that “everyone needs to assimilate,” Yeagley can be regarded is an obvious advocate for white supremacy. Yeagley can attempt to deny this fact, but his blog writings, along with his inability to speak against the racism in non-imaginary ways, tell a truer picture of what Yeagley advocates: the loss of sovereignty, and the assimilation of indigenous peoples.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #19
YEAGLEY — “The material presented is not false. No, it isn't complete, but the elements it did not show do not make false the elements it did show.”
Again, Yeagley is wrong. The video misrepresents everything about indigenous cultures; it presents a ‘false representation’ argument. The video skews the idea of individual cases that unfortunately result from living in oppressive conditions, and tries to pin them on the indigenous communities. The video completely omits the true cause: the systematic and sustained abuse that is institutionalized by non-indigenous cultures against indigenous people.

Then, by taking this skewed rationale, the video reasons that this ‘prison’ is of the indigenous and aboriginal people’s own making. The propaganda video argues that the unequal caste system is created and maintained by the indigenous people themselves. The video wrongly suggests that assimilation is the best response to this condition, completely ignoring the actual causes: genocide and continued racism.

Further, it is painfully obvious to those of us who have now witnessed David A. Yeagley’s disgusting statements on the propaganda video, that such racism is still a problem for indigenous peoples around the globe, as demonstrated by propaganda videos exactly like this one. Yes, this video actively contributes to further oppression, and in no way leads to any solutions, except for one historically-coveted “assimilation” model that is loved by the white supremacists.

HALF-BAKED RETRACTION #20

YEAGLEY — “Our Indian reservations have problems. Why? ...How do we get Indians to stop being alcoholics? Does their alcoholism have anything to do with the reservation? There are people who advocate the dissolution of the reservations. Are they right? Can we prove them wrong? I say, yes we can. I also have to say, we haven't proven them completely wrong just yet!”
Actually, these questions are infantile, and largely answered already. Of course, reservations are impoverished because the isolation was imposed upon indigenous people from OUTSIDE the reservations by NON-INDIANS. Yes, reservations are now, by default, the main places you can find concentrated indigenous culture, also the direct result of imposed poverty. Reservations, reserves, indigenous and aboriginal communities are living repositories of living cultures. Why? Because they were herded up and forced to live there without the same rights and privileges as everyone else.

Although reservations and reserves certainly can be improved from within, there still remains the continued racism and oppression that comes down on the heads of the indigenous peoples from the outside. By continuing this immature practice of indigenous holocaust denial, Yeagley is directly responsible for contributing to the efforts that keep ‘imposed poverty’ in place, as well as undercutting genuine indigenous sovereignty where it now exists.

IN SUMMARY

Yeagley could, and I suspect will, try to deflect criticism away from his own blunder, using all sorts of slight-of-hand rhetoric to redirect, race-bait, and even outright falsify with pure imaginary fabrication. However, every argument Yeagley may wish to put forth, really rests on one underlying assumption about the video: does the video advocate for indigenous assimilation?

We know, from his own blog, that Yeagley has continually argued for a ‘supposed need’ for American Indians to assimilate into the superior white race, or the “great white throne” as he likes to call it. As ridiculous as this may sound, Yeagley has on many occasions denigrated people of color (which includes the Comanches) as “darkies,” while in the same proverbial breath advocating subservience to the “great white throne.”

Of race and politics, Yeagley is clearly a white segregationist, which is why many actual Comanches regard him as an Indian-in-name-only who pushes for indigenous people to give up their sovereignty to better satisfy the superior race. Yeagley will, most likely, continue to obfuscate in lame attempts to better his name, after his recent video blunders. But let us examine the fundamental question, is the video advocating for assimilation?


The clear answer is yes.

A. The video questions whether traditional culture holds the answer to the imposed caste system, without ever asking the alternative (and more historically sound) questions regarding oppression and the generational effect of genocide on an abused people.

B. The video admonishes Indians to “no longer live as victims of the past,” falsely setting up a straw man argument that dismisses past indigenous cultures in favor of present day cultures, but failing to regard all indigenous cultures as 100% present-day cultures.

C. Keith Windschuttle mischaracterizes the aboriginal lands as “wilderness” areas, relying on that mythical stereotype for the foundation of his rationale. Indigenous lands were never considered wilderness areas except by non-indigenous people. The ethnocentric discrimination of Windschuttle becomes even more blatant when he starts referring to indigenous land as the mythical “garden of eden,” which is actually a Western-European mythology, and not indigenous at all. Moreover, Windschuttle falls into an anthropological trap, one practiced by the old armchair anthropologists, of not distinguishing between what is actually happening within indigenous cultures versus what Windschuttle himself imagines is going on. Windschuttle falls victim to the already defunct Western myth of “the primitive” vs. “the modern” archetype, when all indigenous people are of the modern variety.

D. The video falsely states that Indian people were “given autonomy” (Keith Windschuttle), and it has been a failure. The truth is, of course, that aboriginal people everywhere have not been given equal status nor equal opportunities, despite proclamations to the contrary. In a very practical sense, no justice means no equality. By mistreating indigenous people as victims of their past, as victims of their leaders, or of their culture are all false straw man arguments, intended only to preserve racist inequality. These imaginary justifications are all completely ahistorical.

In the video, Keith Windschuttle states that Indian languages should die off, because they are of no further use. Obviously, they are considered of no use only to Windschuttle and most probably David Yeagley. But Windschuttle is completely ignoring important calls of the indigenous communities themselves to maintain indigenous languages and thought. Windschuttle’s view is reductionist and utilitarian from a purely Euro-centric point of view, and he should have no proper place on the ABC board, his recent appointment under increasing criticism.

Also, in the video, Windschuttle clearly states that white society should get the indigenous “children” to white schools, to assimilate them into society even if their parents will not be assimilated. Am I mistaken or does this sound exactly like the Carlisle Indian boarding school failure instituted under Col. Pratt? Our advice to Windschuttle is that it’s already been tried, and already failed miserably.

If you really want to hear it straight, it’s a reality that Indigenous people around the globe will not be ‘put down,’ it’s that simple. This propaganda video, Historiens Fångar, including David A. Yeagley’s eager but egotistical contribution, are actually part of the same assimilation propaganda they seek to overlook in their own video.

Windschuttle’s ethnocentric lack of empathy, Yeagley’s uncritical racial pandering, and even the disordered speculations of One Nation United’s Barbara Lindsay, are all three contributing factors to the continued ‘putting down’ of indigenous people. Any back-peddling Yeagley may attempt in the near future, will not alter his willing participation — as a national “Comanche” spokesperson — that clearly advocates for an anti-Indian agenda.

Yeagley both assisted, and appeared in, this ill-conceived propaganda video with his own eager-beaver support, fully aware of his own egotistical role as an assumed ‘national spokesman’ for indigenous people everywhere.

We may never know why Yeagley (or the other two) do what they do, but Yeagley clearly does most of what he does to pitifully bolster his personal notoriety. From the observations above, and from Yeagley’s own misstatements, it appears that Yeagley’s participation had very little to do with genuine altruism. But this time around, Yeagley set himself up for obvious criticism, desired or not, by directly arguing for continued assimilation of indigenous peoples and by advocating for forced culture change that exists for the sole purpose of keeping indigenous people buried under imposed poverty.

No comments: