June 25, 2008

Comanche Film Score Controversy

I do have comments on this expose (below) but will possibly add them later, as I seem to be one victim of the exposed controversy along with the Comanche Nation. I must say that I did not know some of the discoveries made in this expose by the author, but what I personally know from saved correspondence matches up with the facts presented below. I’ve been scoring for a long time, even teaching it professionally now days. But the real losers in this controversy are the Comanche People, many of whom I consider good friends. It looks as though the Comanches were largely ignored rather than joining in any sincere collaboration which would have been the decent course.

Did a White Supremacist Intimidate the Oklahoma Historical Society on Comanche Film?
from IndieBay.org

The musical score for an early silent film with Comanche actors is at the center of a tangled legal dispute involving possible threats, theft, libel, charges about Oklahoma Historical Society President Robert Blackburn’s contempt for the Comanche community, notorious white supremacist David Yeagley’s disputed claim of being Comanche, and a possible “million dollar lawsuit.”

Did a White Supremacist Intimidate the Oklahoma Historical Society on Comanche Film?

The musical score for an early silent film with Comanche actors is at the center of a tangled legal dispute involving possible threats, theft, libel, charges about Oklahoma Historical Society President Robert Blackburn’s contempt for the Comanche community, notorious white supremacist David Yeagley’s disputed claim of being Comanche, and a possible “million dollar lawsuit.”

Daughter of Dawn

Last year the Oklahoma Historical Society decided to commission a musical score for Daughter of Dawn, a 1920 silent film. The actors are almost all Comanche or Kiowa. Such a film obviously is of great interest to Comanche people. Many of the actors were grandparents or great-grandparents of many Comanche living today.

Brent Michael Davids, a Mohican classical composer with eighteen years of film scoring experience and over two dozen film scores to his credit, was the early favorite to score the film. A number of prominent Comanches, including educators Juanita Pahdopony and Leslie Whitefeather, recommended him. Robert Blackburn, the president of the OHS, praised Davids’s work on the film repeatedly and other employees of the OHS also at first believed Davids would score the film.

Enter White Supremacist David Yeagley

David Yeagley is perhaps the most notorious figure in all of Indian Country, surpassing even Ward Churchill. An outspoken white supremacist who claims to be part Comanche, Yeagley is a proud associate of many extremist groups on the far right. Yeagley is a speaker for the white supremacist conspiracy theorists the John Birch Society. The society is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its hate speech and is best known for claiming fluoridated water and rock music were Communist plots, along with claiming Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy were Communists.

Yeagley also co wrote articles for the anti-Indian group One Nation with Barbara Lindsay, something that Yeagley’s lawyer today denies even though the articles are widely available. Yeagley works with the Neo-Nazi skinhead group Stormfront and other white supremacists like the National Alliance. He welcomed them to his online forum and discussed plans to turn the US into a whites-only nation. Yeagley has also publicly praised other white supremacists such as the Minutemen, Serbian nationalists who committed genocide, and even Hitler.

Other actions by Yeagley have generated controversy in Indian Country. He called the Virginia Tech massacre victims “cowards,” compared Janet Jackson to an ape, wrote a series of articles titled “Niggers in the News” and “The Word Nigger Should Stay,” and frequently claims any who disagree with him are Communists.

One of the earliest, strongest, and most effective critics of Yeagley was Brent Michael Davids. Prominent Comanches had recommended Davids for his talent and experience. His being a critic of Yeagley was just a bonus, since virtually all Comanches hold Yeagley in low regard. (Yeagley ran for tribal office and came in a very distant fourth place out of four, getting the vote of about one percent of registered Comanche voters.)

Yeagley was livid over the choice of Davids to compose the score. The Comanche Nation had previously wanted Davids to compose for them before, for their annual fair. Yeagley called the tribal offices, screaming abuse. Officials in tribal government listened patiently, and then ignored him as they always had.

Among Comanches, Yeagley is regarded by many as a crank that turns up at tribal council, where his speeches are often met with amused laughter. He proposed starting the “first American Indian bank.” The first American Indian bank was begun back in the 1920s. Yeagley gave a speech about “Comanche clans.” The Comanche don’t have clans. He claimed his mother (or by some accounts his stepmother) was the first woman ever elected to the Comanche Business Committee. She ran but was never elected, and Yeagley actually hid in the Comanche courthouse from Comanche women questioning why he lied.

Did Yeagley Use Threats Or Libel?

What happened next is the subject of much debate, and possibly of legal action. According to multiple sources at the McMahon Foundation, Yeagley spoke to two young Comanche girls working in the Comanche Museum gift shop. He demanded they take him to the OHS president, Robert Blackburn. One of the sources described Yeagley as threatening and issuing demands to Blackburn. The source described the closest thing to an “endorsement” either Blackburn or Yeagley could find from Comanches were these two young girls who responded to a request to meet Blackburn.

What we also know is that neither Blackburn nor anyone else at the OHS ever contacted any of the Comanche leadership or asked for their advice or recommendations for someone to score the film. The Comanche tribal offices were never contacted. The Comanche Nation College was never spoken to. The Comanche Film Festival was likewise ignored.

In fact, all of the Comanche leadership who gave an opinion on Yeagley strongly objected, but Blackburn not only ignored them, he was openly contemptuous. A member of the Comanche Nation Constitution Committee who wrote to Blackburn was among the many pointing out Yeagley was a white supremacist and a racist extremist. The objections of the Comanche Language and Cultural Preservation Committee likewise were rejected. Perhaps most bizarrely, Blackburn claimed objecting to a racist who most contend is not Comanche as the composer on a Comanche film was “political” and “irrelevant.” Blackburn also repeatedly refused to tell anyone just who the alleged recommenders for Yeagley actually were.

Later Blackburn would claim in emails that he hired Yeagley “solely because he was Comanche” and that “Comanche and Kiowa tribal representatives” demanded he hire Yeagley. Yet neither Blackburn nor Yeagley have ever publicly named any American Indians who supposedly recommended Yeagley, and the Comanche leadership were never consulted, and ignored when they offered their opinion. Blackburn then went one step further and even threatened a lawsuit if this article were published or the subject written about.

The reason for that threat of a lawsuit may be that, ironically, it was libel coming from Yeagley himself, or perhaps a Yeagley supporter, that caused Blackburn to drop the most likely, experienced, and highly recommended candidate, Davids, in favor of Yeagley. Blackburn has now entirely changed his story, and claims that Davids was dropped because he had no experience scoring films. Yet Davids has extensive experience, over two dozen film scores and eighteen years of experience, while Yeagley is an amateur who had absolutely no experience in film scoring. Blackburn had previously highly praised Davids’ proposal and partial scoring of the film as “a great job” and “highly professional,” indicating he had not only seen it and listened to it, but given it long and serious consideration.

By his newest claim, Blackburn explicitly puts the suspicion on either Yeagley, or a supporter who recommended him, for libel that could prevent the film from being shown with Yeagley’s score. Libel for the purpose of denying someone work could be legally considered a threat, or perhaps even a civil rights violation since the job was denied to an American Indian in favor of a white supremacist. That Yeagley, who as white supremacist is publicly opposed to affirmative action, only received his position (according to Blackburn) because of an affirmative action-like position of Blackburn’s is also ironic.

The question then becomes, was Yeagley the one who libeled Davids with the false claim of him having no experience, in order to score the film? Or did a supporter of Yeagley’s tell the libel to Blackburn? If so, did Yeagley know about the libel from that supporter, or even ask him to say the libel? Or is Blackburn simply not telling the truth now because he is embarrassed about giving into Yeagley, or his believing libel told about Davids that could easily have been checked, and the embarrassment to the Oklahoma Historical Society for ignoring what Comanche leaders wanted done on the film?

Yeagley has a completely different version of how he got to score the film over the objections of numerous prominent Comanche leaders. Yeagley says an unnamed friend tipped him off. Yeagley further makes the unlikely claim that he was chosen because of work he did with a symphony in Europe, and that he did not know of any Natives competing for the film score. Neither Blackburn nor any other account agrees with Yeagley’s claims, or explains why an inexperienced amateur and pariah within the Comanche community like Yeagley was chosen over someone far more experienced and well liked by Comanche leaders like Davids.

Even the reason given by Blackburn for awarding the film score to Yeagley is highly disputed. Many American Indians have long said Yeagley is not even Comanche, including many Comanche. Yeagley himself admitted on his own forum the disputes about his ancestry go back many years, long before he was widely known as a figure on the far right. Blackburn was informed of the lengthy disputes about Yeagley’s claim of being part Comanche at the same time as Comanche leaders wrote to him to object to Yeagley being chosen. Why Blackburn chose to ignore them is still not clear.

The Comanche Museum also has been quite clear about its feelings on the OHS giving money to a white supremacist widely disliked by virtually all Comanches. One source described the Comanche Museum Council explicitly voting against Yeagley as the choice to score the film. Comanche Museum President Dan Bigbee Jr. confirmed that the museum wants nothing to do with the film project or Yeagley.

Every other state and local government agency and Comanche official contacted for this story also confirmed they never recommended Yeagley for the film score. Even other employees and members of the OHS seem to have had no say in why the film score was awarded to a white supremacist with heavily disputed claims of being Comanche. One OHS employee even admitted he did not know if Yeagley was Comanche or not.

Allegations of Stolen Notes and Copyright Violation

The story becomes more sordid because Blackburn had asked Davids in an email if he could take Davids’s notes and proposal on scoring the film. Yeagley, after all, had no experience. Some leading Comanches believe Blackburn wanted to let Yeagley use the notes to help him score the film. It took Yeagley as an amateur over half a year to compose the score, where an experienced professional composer could have done so in less than a third of the time.

Blackburn then seems to have panicked. Davids’ notes were legally protected by copyright. If Blackburn showed the notes to Yeagley, even once, this is a copyright violation. A copyright dispute would affect the film being shown with Yeagley’s score, as well as the sale of any music from either OHS or Yeagley of the film score. But Blackburn ignored or delayed on eight different requests to return the notes, coming from both Davids and his assistant over several months. Several Comanche leaders indicated in their emails they believed Yeagley could have stolen part of the score from Davids, or that Blackburn played a role in possible theft and copyright violation.

In June, Blackburn completely changed his story and claims to have never even seen or heard any of Davids’s work on the film. Suddenly Blackburn now falsely claims that Davids had sent unsolicited work (false), that the work came multiple times (it was a single proposal), that others were part of the decision (though he refused to name them), and that never cared if Yeagley was Comanche (several of Blackburn’s own earlier emails say the opposite). He even claimed to have thrown Davids’s notes and partial score in the trash, unseen and unheard. Yet he also claimed in the same email both that he had not listened to Davids’s work on the score, and that he did not like Davids’s work.

Blackburn’s own earlier emails to Davids may wind up being the smoking gun in the legal disputes over the film score. The emails clearly show Blackburn had earlier lavishly praised Davids’s work, indicting he had seen the notes and listened to the work. Blackburn even described in his emails having the folder and CD of Davids’s partial score ready to be mailed back, but then wrote three emails trying to delay legal action from Davids, making false promises of his intent to return the material “soon.” Yet Blackburn also made contradictory promises of both keeping the material confidential, yet wanting to keep it.

The story took a further bizarre turn when Yeagley lavishly praised Comanche Nation President Wallace Coffey. Yeagley had earlier been very bitter in his criticism of Coffey after the Comanche President publicly praised Rudy Youngblood, the Comanche actor in the Mel Gibson film Apocalypto. Yeagley was upset because he was convinced Youngblood was part Black. Some of Yeagley’s followers even issued death threats to Youngblood’s family.

Several have cynically suggested that Yeagley wants the Comanche Nation to pay him for his work on the film. But the chances of Yeagley getting funds from the tribal government that so strongly opposes him are remote. One of the sources in tribal government contacted for this story even wants Yeagley disenrolled, both for this dispute and for Yeagley’s role in a white supremacist film in Europe, Prisoners of the Past.

Daughter of Dawn may have trouble getting shown with Yeagley’s score, given the lawsuits it likely faces. The same is true of any sale of recordings of Yeagley’s score by either Yeagley or the OHS. Davids has spoken of filing a “million dollar lawsuit” against both Blackburn and Yeagley. However, the film is in the public domain and there is no reason other composers, ones whose ancestry is not in dispute and whose extreme politics and racism are not so objected to, could not compose a score, one from an actual professional. Ironically, Yeagley’s effort to promote himself and get revenge on his most successful critic may backfire. Yeagley’s sole Comanche supporter to ever be at his online forum, Beverly Isaac, has also issued a call for Yeagley to be disenrolled.

Complaints about the open contempt with which Blackburn and the Oklahoma Historical Society treated Comanche leaders in this episode may damage relations between Comanches and the OHS. But that may not be much of a change after all. As one Comanche leader noted, “Sad to say the system at Oklahoma [Historical Society] is still closed to Indians.”

By Dr. Al Carroll

June 23, 2008

Yeagley denies his own denigration history

from the Bad Eagle blog

Yeagley rather consistently denigrates our Black citizens of America. In his latest so-called "explanation," being criticized for his obsessive rants against people of color, Yeagley comes out with a totally laughable tidbit. For yeagley, it seems that nonwhite citizens do not get a seat at the American table, though he tries to sideswipe the issue with false claims. In his attempt to put forth what ‘appears to be’ an honest open dialog about Obama, Yeagley makes this laughable claim:

YEAGLEY — “Contrary to popular belief, I'm not against black people!” (June 2008).

However “trite” Yeagley tries to make the negative popular criticism appear, there is much evidence pointing to an apparent ‘whites-only’ thought process in Yeagley’s ranting that justifies the negative criticism he regularly receives. One has only to look very briefly at his past statements to see the pattern of abusive mischaracterization. Here is a brief list, by no means exhaustive, compiled by the Editrix. Many more examples exist, if you have the stomach to go find and read them.
YEAGLEY — “The darkness of the Negro has always repulsed other races” (2002).

YEAGLEY — “There is a tremendous drive in many white women to experiment with the darkies” (2002).

YEAGLEY — “White society is literally being forced to accept the "black" body as equally sexually desirable. Any natural, psychologically negative associations with darkness, any Freudian sexual aversion, and any sense of uncleanness, must be over come by studied, determined, political effort. America is being told what is sexually attractive. America's sexual emotions are being dictated, through the media and the legal system, no less” (2004).

YEAGLEY — “These days the white woman is expected to humble herself before the darkie” (2002).

YEAGLEY — “What does ‘nigger’ mean? What does it refer to? When everyone says how marvellously offensive it is, no one says why. Why? ... I just think it is neurotic and preposterous to make the sky fall because somebody says ‘nigger’ ... It is ludicrous, in fact” (2006).

YEAGLEY — “Slavery, properly understood, is not an evil at all. True, the 13th Amendment is known as the Amendment which abolished slavery, but that was only as a commercial institution... and it was very much in response to the hysterical rhetoric about racially-based slavery in the South. Clearly, the baby was thrown out with the bathwater” (2006).

YEAGLEY — “Non-black women who bow to the black man are really, really sick. I suppose this reflects on the men of their own race, whether Indian or white. The men of a race have failed when their women get involved with other races” (2005).

YEAGLEY — “The black man is invading Indian country, and too many Indians are confused. They think they have to lie down before the black man, to demonstrate their non-racist, accept-all, equality ideology. They think they have to receive the black man, sexually... This is STUPID, and very, very harmful. It is mistaken, and it has permanent consequences, which all have to live with. It is a dreadful misunderstanding of race, or honor, and of culture” (2005).

YEAGLEY — “My theory is that dark men are attracted to white women. So, dark women want to look whiter. That is obvious. But the underlying question is still why? Why are dark men attracted to white women? It is all psychological. Dark is mysterious, bad, evil, even dirty. White is honest, good, clean, and heavenly. These are the archetypes. So long as Western egotism is the made the root of sexual attraction, so long as sex is a matter of personal ego, these archetypes will rule. For a dark man, sex with a white women seems higher, cleaner, nicer” (2003).

YEAGLEY — “American Negroes today always think their experience in slavery was the worst... That's only because their skin is the darkest” 2006

YEAGLEY — “The same people who want to remove the word ‘nigger’ want to remove ‘Christmas,’ and ‘God’ (2006).

YEAGLEY — “the laws of America tend to require a non-Negro person to dutifully respect and value the Negro, regardless of any personal preference. The law thus makes a world of hypocrites, in a way, in the name of equality” (2005).

YEAGLEY — “I'm tired of talking about blacks. I'm going to start shutting down some threads and banning people” (2007).

YEAGLEY — “White women are dying to have sex with a dark man... It's the psycho trend in the world... I've written about this time and time again. White women feel they can ‘save’ the poor darkie by having sex with him... combined with hidden sexual perversity” (2007).

YEAGLEY — “Judeo-Christian religion allowed the European Caucasian race to advance above all other people. The darker races now encroach through integration and intermarriage” (2002).

YEAGLEY — “WHITE WOMEN ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, desirable creatures on earth, judging from the way dark men crave them” (2002).

YEAGLEY — “And, because the girl's [the Nazi girl group ‘Prussian Blue’] father uses the swastika sign on his belt buckle, and brands his cattle with it, the girls are called racists, spreading ‘racist hate.’ I wonder. The white race has no hero? ... Perhaps the girls (and their parents) simply know that, and chose to try and ride the wave out. The girls even wear Hitler smiley t-shirts” (2005).

YEAGLEY — “Superior beauty is in the white race...In the darker races, everything is always the same, dark brown and black a beastly bore” (2002).

YEAGLEY — “Are we doomed to see our men run after blondes and our women lie down and be raped by Negroes? Somehow, I don't see dissing Columbus as a solution to these problems” (2006).

YEAGLEY — “I do want to say, this kind of disrespect, so very typical of Indian men... and also typical of black women, together, is just the kind of thing that says these races deserve to be on the bottom of the barrel. They cannot appreciate good will, they are possessed by envy, and have no higher thought than lies” (2005).

And finally this gem of a howler. Honestly, could anyone be more self-clueless?!
YEAGLEY — “I'm beginning to think there's no such thing as racism. If there is, it is very rare” (2005).

June 19, 2008

David Yeagley succumbs to Baracknophobia!

Yes, David Yeagley (not surprisingly) succumbs to Baracknophobia in yet another of his white supremacist pontifications. Yeagley is feigning the victim yet again, "oh, it's too horrible to repeat — SO HORRIBLE — the homosexual libel against Obama, so horrible that I cannot repeat it here on my blog, I morally cannot post it at all, I simply cannot," but then Yeagley posts it all anyway. This two-faced behavior is exactly why no one cares about Yeagley's views whatsoever. It's all too easy to see Yeagley's own hypocrisy.

In his earlier silly rant, Yeagley attributes a black president to changing the color of the entire ‘white’ house for the worse — the lowest of the low in racial outlook. Yeagley is fearful of genuine American equity in this country, American equity, the fair market, the Patriotic commonwealth, the common good of all American Patriots — all seen “bad” in Yeagley’s ranting. Not only shortsighted on Yeagley’s part, but downright discriminatory and anti-American. Yeagley’s no patriot. He’s no warrior. He’s behaves like a disgruntled white supremacist who’s afraid of sharing the commonwealth with all other Americans, including his many Mexican relatives. It’s a sad shame when internalized racism grabs hold of anyone and leads them to this lowly behavior. Sad and a pitiful shame.

YEAGLEY — “As the slavish media continues to blather on about Michelle and Barack Hussein Obama, we note that the ghetto level behavior of black ‘culture’ has already accompanied them... absolutely vomitable... Michelle Obama is quintessentially hypocritical. She feigns (and fawns) over her supposedly lowly background near the street--the very kind of place were faddish behavior is breeded... You'd think the Obamas were white... They say Joseph Goebbels believed that propaganda made the Third Reich... In the case of the Obamas, one thing is clear: the blacking of America. The constant visual, in your face ‘change’ of color... their way of ousting the hated white conservative power” (June 2008).

Above, we see Yeagley throwing the ‘third reich’ at Obama, the “blackening” of America when America was never white to begin with, Yeagley’s own upchucking bodily functions, and the deep mischaracterizing of nonwhite culture as the ‘ghetto.’ However, one of his blog followers, made this astute comment:
JASON — “ ‘It is clear of her now, as it has been of Barack Hussein for some time, that we simply don't know Michelle, or her husband. We don't know who they really are [Yeagley].’ So, if ‘we’ don't know Barack or Michelle, if ‘we don't know who they really are,’ as you claim, could you explain your frothing at the mouth diatribe against them every other post for the past several months? You act as though you do know them, continually assigning to them motivations you've cobbled from other blacks and simply projected to them... You need to start asking yourself why you are so angry. And ponder this, as I mean it with upmost sincerity... your views are almost exactly the same as David Duke's. Aside from your self-professed love of Jews and Judaism, what difference is there between you and the Dukster?” (June 2008).

Well said!! What Jason points out is absolutely true. And if David Yeagley’s idiotic rants were not enough, he just keeps digging the idiocy hole deeper for himself in the comments. Just look at his response to the one comment that actually made sense, and again tainted with misogynist doltishness.
YEAGLEY — “you [Jason] have not yet displayed the ability to think objectively, and to comment on the blog... You react emotionally, like an angry woman” (June 2008).

Like we said, Yeagley’s idea of American Patriotism extends only to white males. The true heroic patriotic Americans of the entire American commonwealth, well, in Yeagley’s world you are out of luck, out on the street, out on your ass. He does not care one iota about you. The true commons, the vast majority of America and American patriots who populate our wonderful country have no place in Yeagley’s limited vision. Truthfully, we're the genuine American partriots who care about our entire citizenry, not Yeagley.

We love what John Stewart had to say about this issue. Much better outlook than Yeagley’s backwards and apparently twisted pathology. Take a look.

BARACKNOPHOBIA
Behind the mild-mannered facade, Barack Obama is intent on enslaving the white race.



June 16, 2008

Yeagley slams Comanche women, trying to appease his past mistakes

from the Bad Eagle blog

This week, it seems Yeagley is still at it. You know, “it.” Misogyny. Misogyny seeps into most anything Yeagley blogs, but this time it’s a backhanded slap at the Comanche women. In one breath, Yeagley is trying to commend Wallace Coffey for his goodwill toward others as a virtue to which Yeagley himself supposedly aspires. But in the same breath, Yeagley turns around and baits the Comanche women into a potential argument about why the Comanche Nation is so angry and divisive. Interesting that Yeagley’s admiration for Coffey does not extend to the Comanche women. It’s as if he has not learned anything from Coffey at all. No surprise there, I’m a skeptic given Yeagley’s never-ending white supremacy rants and his voiced desire for Mexican immigrants to be left dead in the desert rather than welcomed into Indian country. That’s not very “Wallace Coffey” of Yeagley, is it? Nope, it’s not.

YEAGLEY — “I cannot describe the drama of a Comanche election... the content is unspeakable. The things that the opposition is willing to put in print about a candidate is incredible, literally. Much of it simply cannot be believed, or trusted, no matter who the source is... usually a female elder” (June 2008).

Actually, much of the negative content in the last Comanche election stemmed from Yeagley’s own failed run for office, and being confronted outside the building by many Comanche women upset about his fabrications. Yeagley was trying to claim family accolades he never earned and claim a Comanche history that never actually occurred. According to all reports except for Yeagley’s own revisionist retelling, the women correcting him startled him enough that he was noticeably unnerved and retreated back into the building. Safe, inside — but doubtful of his former public claims — and rightfully so. He had publicly spread misinformation and falsified his lineage, and was publicly reprimanded for it.
YEAGLEY — “Now, Wallace Coffey was imminently qualified... He is nationally known in a number of capacities, particularly education, but also universally beloved as a pow-wow Master of Ceremonies (MC)... Wallace doesn't get mad at people... I don't get the impression it's ever with malice or vengeance. Only when I began to accept this way within myself, did I begin to notice it, and appreciate it, in Wallace” (June 2008).

Wallace Coffey is a generous person, even to non-Comanches. When my "Powwow Symphony" was being performed yet again, this time by the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Coffey was willing to step into the MC’s role when beloved MC Sammy Tonkei took ill. My thanks to Wallace for his generous offer though a scheduling conflict led to a third performer into the MC's role.

However, the second part of Yeagley’s claim above is suspect. As already pointed out, Yeagley’s newly-asserted benevolence does not extend to Comanche women, and there is an ulterior, possibly selfish, motive for Yeagley to praise Wallace Coffey at this particular moment in time. Yes, I’m a true skeptic searching for the truth, and I see an interesting and yet unexplored back story emerging in Yeagley’s recent assertions. Simply connecting the dots.
YEAGLEY — “If one loves the people, one accepts this horrid behavior from the people... It is the misapplication of the authority of our women elders" (June 2008).

What do we make of Yeagley’s comment above? Not many ways to take the comment, it’s denigrating Comanche elders and gnashing teeth over the old matriarchal system of Comanche life. Yeagley’s new vision for Comanche governance would be placing the males in authority positions, males such as Yeagley himself holding office. I am totally glad that the misogynist, backward ways of the neocon are finally losing ground, even in the bought corporate media that neocons like Murdock primarily created. America is becoming a bit more cosmopolitan, more interracial, more open and freethinking, slowly but surely. Still a long way to go, but the move toward tolerance and equity won’t be stopped. Yes we can.
YEAGLEY — “I see Wallace Coffey as a model leader. I have told him myself that I simply want to offer who and what I am to the people. It all belongs to them, if they want it. If they don't see any use for it right now, that's okay, too. It's not something to become angry and frustrated about. That's not the true Comanche way. He understood exactly what I was saying, and commended me for it” (June 2008).

This above quote is where I think there may be a double agenda. The assertion here is that Yeagley’s whole blog, his supposed sense of purpose, his ranting against “darkies,” his tirades against racial “mixing,” his association in the John Birch Society, are somehow all beneficial for the Comanche people. And even though it is a known fact the John Birch Society is an acknowledged antigovernment organization, a fact provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center, I suspect Yeagley’s above quote is specifically referring to his role on “The Daughter of Dawn” film soundtrack.

After his terrible appearance in the racist propaganda film “History’s Prisoners” where he willingly joined in denigrating the Comanche people as 'backward prisoners' of their own 'awkwardly primitive' lives, he has been backpedaling and searching for ways to ‘makeup’ with the rest of the Comanche Nation. Although it’s not necessarily a good thing the Oklahoma Historical Society hired a rather poor role model to create music for the Comanche’s wonderful historic film, I doubt the Comanche people will be too swayed in favor of Yeagley’s continued misogynist rants simply from some nice and well-deserved acknowledgment of Wallace Coffey’s generosity toward both Rudy Youngblood and David Yeagley — in equal measure.

It’s conservative of Yeagley to recognize Wallace’s character, of course, but will that sway public opinion of Yeagley’s continued efforts to undermine the rights of Indian sovereignty by his railing against tribal casinos? his continued verbal attacks on Women? Gays? Blacks? Arabs? Mexicans? Or, those of so-called “mixed blood”? Doubtful.

As for “The Daughter of Dawn” film, I sincerely hope it is enjoyed by the Comanche people. It is a spectacular film. I greatly enjoyed experiencing it. I actually scored a sample scene from the film, and provided a detailed music "cue sheet" describing each moment of film, but my services were deemed too expensive in the end. I think it’s actually a noble thing for public institutions to hire inexperienced or amateur composers and give them a crack at museum projects, so I’m actually glad they did that from a purely objective point of view. Budget considerations are always a factor too, but more opportunities should be provided by larger institutions for 'direct artist support' and not simply these organizational arts grants that never seem to "trickle down" to the artists. Money trickles up, not down, which is the major flaw in supply-side economics and the free market myth.

But I am not supportive of the decision to employ blatantly poor role models for our Indian youth, because it encourages further confusion, misappropriation, stereotyping and other anti-Indian activities. It was an unfortunate decision by the Oklahoma Historical Society, and I hope it does not haunt the Comanche people in years to come. Without commenting on any soundtrack, the “silent” film is very wonderful, and it’s marvelous the National Film Preservation Board took the film into it’s collection for restoration. It is now a public domain film, and the Comanches should be able to enjoy it for years to come.

A side note, any film from the 1920 era is now in public domain. That means that should any Comanche folks wish to copy and reproduce their own version of the film, they’d be perfectly free to do that, even sell the public domain copies they make. In this age of copyrighting everything and anything in order to control it, it’s very nice to have such a wonderful piece of history that is actually free and accessible to anyone who wants it. If you don’t know where to find it, simply search around and/or get your hands on a copy from someplace, and you could easily create copies for yourself and all your friends. You could even add your own colorization, add your own music, or simply take off the existing music all together, whatever suits your fancy.

I did this myself when I composed the full orchestra score to “The Last of the Mohicans” silent film, also from 1920, which was premiered in Landmark Hall by members of the Society for New Music and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra last year at the Syracuse International Film Festival. Although I own the copyright to the musical score that I wrote, the film itself was free to reproduce and many people have enjoyed watching it, and I’m grateful for that. I bought a “copyright free” copy directly from the Library of Congress collection for the price of a DVD; the Library of Congress worked with the Film Preservation folks and the George Eastman House on the physical restoration from a nitrate negative rediscovered in an old theater attic in France.
COMANCHE NATION NEWS — “In December of 2007, the Oklahoma Historical Society commissioned Comanche composer Dr. David A. Yeagley to write the music for a 1920 silent film entitled ‘Daughter of Dawn.’ Yeagley writes symphonic music, and he was commissioned to write a symphonic score for the movie. Yeagley is the first American Indian to be professionally commissioned to write a movie score... Plans are to release a DVD with music sound track within a year... The film is historical, and deserves to be considered quite seriously” (June 2008).

Nothing out of the ordinary above, except for the claim of exclusivity. Many films have been already scored by American Indian composers, yes “professionally” hired to score the films, and previously hired to score them for full orchestra. This may be one of those obscure factoids that only film composers would value, but Jay Chattaway is actually part Native. Chattaway has composed the orchestra music scores for many films, including: Missing in Action, Invasion U.S.A., Silver Bullet, Braddock: Missing in Action III, Red Scorpion, and many of the the Star Trek shows, like Deep Space Nine. Not counting my own long career, there are Natives who have proudly scored films including Buffy Sainte Marie, George Quincy and several others — Just to correct the record on the above mistaken assertion.

Well, okay, I suppose that’s enough correcting-the-record blogging for this week. But stay tuned. I suspect, like Twain quipped, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." So Yeagley’s past rants may rhyme their way into his future ones, and the truth telling sites popping up all over the web will certainly correct the future records just as they are today. Over and out.