Opinion | Politics

Terese Mailhot: Indigenous voices can impact America's election






Terese Marie Mailhot. Photo from Facebook

Writer Terese Marie Mailhot (Seabird Island Band) urges solidarity as America's political zoo continues to be dominated by Republican Donald Trump:
In this metaphor we’re the children being dragged by the limbs. Not to insult Gorillas, but there are parallels. Trump’s unpredictable. He has a primate’s temperament, makes threat displays often, and, if he’s given any amount of trust, who’s to say he won’t pull society limb from limb with his dangerous, albeit small, hands?

Nobody blamed the child who willfully crawled into the enclosure. Haven’t we been willfully ignorant? Yes, some of us saw the danger in him, but so many never thought he’d make it this far. We all thought we could sit back and laugh from a safe distance, while he did cute or disgusting things for the audience.

Some of us blame the zoo. Why does is it even exist? To preserve some semblance of a conservation effort for democracy? In truth the enclosure, the zoo, politics as we know it, have run amok. The proof: Trump is a candidate. The zoo should be abolished. It doesn’t work for us anymore. Democracy, or, American democracy, has never worked in favor of Native Americans. We only have to look to our currency to see how Indian killers are lauded as “forefathers.”

The good guys? People like Elizabeth Warren, who reduces Natives to romantic imagery: high cheekbones and antiquated stories. People like Hillary Clinton, who uses racist phrases like, “off the reservation,” to describe her opponent. Would it kill these people to acknowledge a minority among minorities? Wouldn’t that be progressive? The foundation of democracy was built on the exploitation of people of color.

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Terese Mailhot: Trump: The Small-Handed Gorilla (Indian Country Today 6/10)

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