Monday, May 17, 2010

Hey you F*ing Wagon Burners



Been over to my sisters place in the Reserve for a BBQ today. It was a nice day. I like the Reserve and the family. The Reserve sure has some great aspects, like knowing who people are. Even the people in the nearby town. When we were kids we used to go to town and walk around, maybe a little shop lifting for small junk. I was one of those guys that didn't think anything of my actions. Just did what my mind said to do.
The thing was in town, even though we look white, the town folk knew who we were, we were Indians. Which is fine, it's the best that way. You belong with who you are. You knew were you stood. There was a line both figurative and literal as to who you belonged to. In the hospital we had the two waiting rooms, one for Indians and one for Whites. It wasn't racist, it was just the way it was and it was comfortable.
We were not town folk and they were not Indians.
I remember it was normal to walk along the road in the Reserve and White people would drive by and yell at us, "hey get the f**k off the road you f**king wagon burners". It was just the way it was. I remember we used to throw rocks at cars or the big semi-trailers going through the Reserve. Dumb I know. It was the way it was.
Been thinking about that a lot lately, 'the way it was'. I remember as kids with games played,we use to do the 'e-ni-mi-ne mi-ne mo, catch a n****r by the toe' rhyme. It was not right but it was the way it was. But that's the thing, it doesn't have to be just the way it was, the way it is. We have the ability to change it.
Doesn't matter if we are ignorant of the fact, it is not right. We need to get informed, to learn, to educate ourselves. It never occurred to me as a kid that the Jew in the Bible was related to the Jew used as a metonymy for cheap. It is wrong and there is no excuse for it. I don't want my kids growing up and saying that's the way it was. We need to be better than that.

I want my kids to live better than I did. To be better than I am.

7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kind of frightening when a post is called back. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. steve, i understand you completely. when i was younger i lived in nephi utah, where i was graced with a foster sister , she was hopi. beautiful girl. i love her deeply.i remember how the town people were.imagine a 11 year old boy from the beaches of california. finding out how small brained some people were. to be honest i really didnt understand it. i once came upon jeannie crying and asked her why. she told me some guys were saying less then likeable things to her. so, i went to the nearby farm and borrowed a few bags o fmanure . went to their place and spread the joy.felt good.i dont recommend this kind of action at all. just it was the only way a boy could understand such stupidity.recently jeannie died.i miss her spirit alot. she had taught me so much about the world, the earth.things that mattered.like how to understand the trees.how to know when it will rain.how to listen to the wind.you, are a lucky and very fortunate man.all of your people are.you are all as close to what being truly human is.my best essay in sociology was a definitive proof that canada is socialist(neo marxist) using the oka incident as my proof.i got to get back at them you may say.heheheh.but back then.you may have grown used to it.but people like me, were around.who really loved and embraced your culture.i had a great professor, john steckley. he found the name of one of the rivers in toronto.i think it was in your language! not sure though.but i seem to remember him saying that.anyways, i am tired , so if i am rambling i am sorry.take care steve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. if only your comment was relevant

      Delete
  4. It looks like you had a great time, and I think you're a great father/grandfather.
    I love Indians for some reason.
    Your new template is lovely!
    Warm regards
    B

    ReplyDelete
  5. "I remember as kids with games played,we use to do the 'e-ni-mi-ne mi-ne mo, catch a n****r by the toe' rhyme. It was not right but it was the way it was."

    I learned this as 'piggy' as a child in the early 70's. It was only in recent years that I found out about the much worse word.

    Well, that's all good, right?

    But we did engage in shameful Native stereotype play (cowboys and indians), war whoops and all.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kia ora Steve,
    The childhood memories I have of growing up next to the Oneida reservation in Wisconsin are full of things that make now me cringe. I am sorry.
    Kia kaha.
    Rangimarie,
    Robb

    ReplyDelete