Chase Iron Eyes has offered up some points and perspective on the armed take over of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Oregon. Many of his points are similar to ones I made during the Nevada stand off in 2014.
On the other hand, it is refreshing to see people committed to protecting the Constitution of the United States and expressing willingness to protect the rights of citizens of this country against the repressive state that imposes its will on Tribal Nations and citizens with its control of the departments used to expropriate & imprison the aforementioned. These people are willing to take up arms as many in the Tribal Nation community say they are willing to do.
If Native Americans and Tribal Nations look past the blatant racist double standard being applied to the armed militia and the racism of at least the Bundys of the Military (Cliven is a known racist) these are potential allies against the oppressive neo-liberal colonization machine. These armed militia-men are those who are protecting your rights as Americans, not necessarily those over-seas in U.S. Military uniform at the behest of the financial-military-industrial-complex and big oil.
Yes! We can play the “who’s more oppressed” game all day long, and completely forget the fact that there is a severe disconnect between the interests of the people of America (be they white, brown or black) and the interests of the “financial-military-industrial-complex and big oil.” This system used white settlers and ranchers as a useful tool to subjugate Indian Country, but the system has since moved on to become a global capitalist machine which has adapted Indian Policy to the Middle East, Central America, South America, Africa, Southeast Asia and any part of the globe that doesn’t bend to it’s will. As it expands it’s power globally it must crush any internal dissent against it’s legitimacy at home. These white settlers have essentially withdrawn their support from the system and refuse to recognize it’s legitimacy. This is a good thing for Native peoples.
The United States, as currently controlled by Too Big to Fail Banks & Finance Conglomerates, Too Big to Fail Oil, Gas, Carbon & ancillary business interests, and other Too Big to Fail Big Money Having Lobby Sects, is considered to already be a fascist state. An oligarchy moving in for the kill on the last freedoms of Constitution-defending Americans. This is tyranny. Those controlling the oligarchy have moved in on our privacy (Edward Snowden exposed that); they are moving in on Americans’ right to oppose the questionable policies of the American Government (the NDAA allows the President to arrest anyone suspected of “terrorism” without any due process protections or defining what terrorism is); they are moving in on Americans’ right to bear arms albeit justified by every school shooting; they have already moved in on Americans’ right to free speech, press and assembly by punishing anyone who calls for real action by inciting others to take action (inciting riots, etc.).
This is the state of affairs we find ourselves lumped into as Native Americans and Tribal Nations and we need as many allies as we can get. Even if the enemy of your enemy is your friend. At the very least prominent Native Americans and Tribal Nations should involve themselves in popular discourse. Can you imagine a completely legit, open-carry, armed, peaceful take-over of the Black Hills? That is in the imagination of many but while we ponder on our keyboards Steve and Dwight Hammond Jr. are set to go back to prison Jan. 4, 2016 for the same helpful controlled burn they already did prison time for.
Iron Eyes is demonstrating here that the United States is largely an enemy of the people, something that 1 out of 4 Americans recognize. Resistance to this neo-liberal system will look different coming from Native people than it does coming from conservative whites or liberal whites.
Just like the occupy movement you had Indians criticizing the name of the movement and refusing to support it online because these immigrant occupiers were not recognizing Indian title to the places they were occupying. At strategic times we have to think of the bigger picture. I cannot sit here and downplay the impact an armed take-over could have if for instance the Paiute people who have original claims to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and much more would join the armed struggle with the militias agreeing to advocate for their claims where there could be agreement.
Iron Eyes lays out a strategy here that is a true threat to the system’s hold on our lands. Too often we make racism our #1 enemy, and side with the greater threat of the United States’ global, corporate oligarchy by criticizing popular dissent that doesn’t come in our favorite flavor. The US is moving away from racism and Manifest Destiny as it’s legitimizing ideology and is attempting to forge a shallow, multicultural identity for all Americans that is conveniently all inclusive now that it has a firm and unchallenged grip on it’s portion of the North American continent.