Harold Monteau: Let's move away from 'era of intolerance'
"We American Indians know what it is to be discriminated against because of national origin, class, race or religion and we know that we have never wanted to be “equal” to the white man in the sense that we wanted to be “just like” him. No, we want to be recognized as being of “equal worth” no matter what our nation of origin. I believe that is true of other Americans of color. We should not be treated as second class or third class citizens simply because the majority has been raised with certain “truths” about us that are actually learned “generational racial prejudices. We have no interest in joining “mainstream America” if that mythical status even exists. We want you to recognize that our culture, our religion, our way of life and our ways of thinking are as equal (worthy) as yours. We try not to “pre-judge” you because you are white, but the majority of our experience with those of your race may not be so good. But, we will give you the benefit of judging you by “the content of your character” as shown by your actions “and not by the color of your skin”, to paraphrase Dr. King. Mainstream America is not one stream, it is many branches of streams, brooks, creeks and rivers all flowing into a sea of humanity. When it gets to the delta it can be as muddy as great plains sod on a rainy day. It takes it’s color from streams of red, brown, black, white and tan. (I hate to use yellow because I haven’t met a “yellow” Asian yet and have yet to meet a “black“ African. For that matter I‘ve never met a “red“ man and most white people seem sort of “pink“ to me. I loved the great line in the movie “Precious“ when Precious asks the Social Worker played my Mariah Carrie “What color are you?) But, I digress. Suffice it to say, that in many native cultures the sacred colors are red, yellow, black and white, which is probably not just a coincidence.

The inspiration for this article arose out of the reaction of the non-colored “far right” citizens of this country when the U.S. House of Representatives passed comprehensive Health Care Reform. House members were called “niggers”, “faggs” and “baby killers” by so called Tea Partiers and by their own fellow members of the House. It was also “inspired” by the recent legislation in Arizona essentially codifying racial profiling as a police tactic. This overt intolerance of people of color has become the hallmark of the far right and, unfortunately, the Republican Party. It is the manifestation of a previously subliminal reaction of the non-colored majority in this country to the election of an African American President who has filled his administration with women and minority appointees. It is racial and cultural intolerance fueled by appealing to the most base “fears” of the non-colored majority that the colored minority is wresting away the rudder that steers this ship of Democracy."

Get the Story:
Harold Monteau: American Mainstream is a bit muddy (Pechanga.net 5/11)

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Harold Monteau: Republican Party displays its intolerance (5/3)