Wednesday, October 13, 2010

reconsider columbus day campaign

Better late than never...
Apparently this year there is a Reconsider Columbus Day campaign. (You also might want to check out Truthout: Reconsidering Columbus Day Campaign Suggests Honoring Indigenous People's History Instead I was tempted to just do a recap with plenty of similar links I've mentioned before over the years on previous Columbus Days (and Thanksgivings) but then decided against it. It isn't that I think such reminders are useless... rather I imagine that most of the sympathetic and interested readers of my blog already understand that some of our national American celebrations have an underside to them and it would be hard to say anything surprising or new.

On a related note: A few months ago, well before Columbus Day, it had occurred to me that if I'm honest with myself, in spite of how "down" I might think I am, I don't think I have a really good sense of American Indians want or need. I mean, I've blogged on the above-mentioned holidays from time and realize that some Native groups advocate for more mindful alternative commemorations. And I've also blogged a little on using ethnic mascots for sports teams. But aside from those symbolic struggles what else is there?

Are there specific treaties which are important to enforce? Do tribes want greater sovereignty? In what ways? Are casinos a good source of revenue? Should reservations be expanded? What would be necessary in order for the US to fairly redress the historical wrongs which were done to Native Americans? What would a "just" United States look like? Seriously. Should non-Indians just all pack up and leave Idi Amin style? And if not, then what is the most just arrangement moving forward?

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