July 5, 2008

"The 4th of You Lie"

by Jimmie Beason (Osage/Mvskoke)

Every year on the 4th of You Lie (July), patriotic Americans engage in their multiple colored foray of pyromania by blowing up fireworks to celebrate the birth of the United Snakes.

This is appropriate as it's a metaphor for Indigenous genocide. The fuse of colonization was lit and exploded with Manifest Destiny and conquest ripping through OUR freedom; a true Freedom that existed for thousands of years before the European invasion of our continent.

Amerikkka's policies toward us have done nothing to help, only to destroy. Treaties were made and signed with the "utmost honor" only to be broken. In 1492, it is estimated that 5 million Native people inhabited the Western Hemisphere. By the 1800's our population was reduced to 600,000. At the end of the 19th century--250,000.

Hardy patriots who support Amerikkka, claim this country to be the epitome of "freedom."

But can a country that took the land and freedoms of Indigenous people boast about "freedom" and how to attain it? Can a country that is built on thievery, the enslavement of 11 million Africans, resource exploitation and broken treaties be a beacon of hope?

It becomes apparent that any kind of Independence on the part of "brown" people was not achieved, but merely turned into a gushing wound wrapped in legislative band-aids by haughty European-Americans hoping to silence us.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, there our Native brothers and sisters who claim they are fighting and dying for "freedom." Meanwhile, everyday the State and Federal governments are seeking ways to continually restrict our status as Indigenous people—diminishing our rights in our own lands.

It should be noted that everything about their so-called civilization has nearly destroyed who we are. If we still maintain our ways, it is hanging on by a thread and threatened to be cut by Christianity.

As a foreign occupying force, the United States retains no legitimacy as a governing entity and neither do the States. The question is, in what ways do we prove that? One way is to seriously question their institutions from religious, to educational to legislative. Then hard work within the community, creating our own agenda and ignoring their agenda. So on this 4th of July (You-Lie), resist the urge to light some fireworks, because every explosion and shiny burst represents a Native life snuffed out by Amerikkka's "independence."