A monument to Wambdi Okicize, a Dakota leader commonly known as War Eagle, in Sioux City, Iowa. Photo by Kevin Abourezk

Ivan Star Comes Out: Modern history and ancient Native cultures are not important anymore

Native Sun News Today Columnist

As a young boy, I recall reading an epitaph, “The South will rise again.” This particular society, founded on a conviction of racial superiority, includes capitalism (corporate/private), slavery, segregation, and now deep-state activities that influence government. Sadly, people today take it as wholesome politics all under a clean and tidy democracy. Too many voters refuse to “see” it for what it really is.

The majority of citizens in this country need a cattle prod to jolt their memories. Historically, several “southern” states enacted unusual laws based on the theory of white supremacy, called the Jim Crow laws. This particular era began in 1865 (end of the Civil War) when congress ratified the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery in the United States.

The name Jim Crow is a character from a popular minstrel act performed by a white entertainer Thomas Dartmouth Rice (1808-1860) in 1830. Rice wore blackface and performed jokes and songs in a stereotypical slave dialect. His act was a massive success among white audiences and eventually took it on tour in the United States and Great Britain.

Ivan F. Star Comes Out. Photo courtesy Native Sun News Today

These “southern” laws once restricted black people’s rights and they did it with the “grandfather clause,” which exempted them from the law’s restrictions. In other words, African Americans could not cast a ballot. The laws also banned interracial marriage (miscegenation) and allowed public facilities and businesses to practice racial segregation.

Adding to this situation is a Supreme Court case (Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U. S. 537. 1896) that upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation at public facilities as long as they were equal (14th Amendment). “Separate but equal,” became popular in the wake of this decision. I know, it is a bit confusing but still bigoted.

Recently, Republicans have been reviving that bigoted ideology. They smeared Democrats as “out-of-control, out-of-their-minds socialists.” Through a variety of media (electronic, print, social media, etc.) outlets, vehement charges of “socialism” are hurled at everything the left (Democrats) has done, as if it were a deadly virus.

Realistically, as if they have no will of their own, these right-wing officials have turned democracy upside-down. Ironically, though, the GOP is now ensuring their wealthy sponsors enjoy the benefits of socialism with federal tax breaks and “bail out” monies. Recently, the Mississippi governor declared “Confederate Heritage Month” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country’s rich (the 1%) are in control of world events. Their republican marionettes are creating mayhem and the far-right neo-Nazi groups and trump supporters are provoking violence while “the law” and the media are taking part in it. Obviously, the “South” did not forget their history. In fact, their memory of “racial superiority” is the driving force behind their effort to survive.

When King George III was doing similar acts to the thirteen colonies, they got together and tore themselves away from Great Britain. The revered Declaration of Independence is testimony to this great refusal to accept violations of basic human and civil rights. What happened to that pronounced defiance that produced the United States of America?

Anyone in this country, with an 8th grade education, can see the transition from patriotism to nationalism to ultra-nationalism. Congress’ GOP has become ultranationalists by openly taking loyalty to their benefactors to a brazen and extreme level. Now, we are looking at fascism. This has been occurring even when appalling acts to American citizens are committed.


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Ivan F. Star Comes Out can be reached at P.O. Box 147, Oglala, South Dakota, 57764; via phone at 605-867-2448 or via email at mato_nasula2@outlook.com.

Copyright permission Native Sun News Today

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