Monday, January 30, 2023

Dig. Dig Man. Dig for those Women in the Landfills

A Winnipeg man with white supremacist posting on social media, has been arrested for killing four Indigenous Women. The murders are said to have taken place between March and May of 2022. Four Indigenous Women: Rebecca Contois, 24 of O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi (Crane River), Morgan Harris, 39 of Long Plain, Marcedes Myran, 26 of Long Plain, Unknown Woman (Buffalo Woman-Mashkode Bizhiki'ikwe). Police say the remains of the Women, are in the Landfills of the Winnipeg City. There is a controversy about whether or not the Landfill should be searched.  A "Feasibility Study" is being financed by the Canadian government on whether or not if it is worth it to search for the missing Indian Women in the garbage dump. So it comes down to how much an Indian Woman's body is worth against the cost of garbage dump disruption.  In a recent media release by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC, Provincial lobby group for Manitoba Chiefs) there has been no funding for the feasibility study and it is suppose to be complete by March 31, 2023. This is a really weird undertaking. Basically you are studying the worth of a person, or the cost of a dead body. 

The costs to dig for the bodies in the Winnipeg Land Fill, the garbage dump will be huge.  Most of the  country would likely side with saving the money.  I can hear it in my head, "Let's be practical" and "they should not have been careful, not partied there" and "they brought it on themselves." What is a reasonable cost for searching for dead people? Searches for missing people is not uncommon. An individual falls off a ship in the ocean and a search will take place. Not matter the situation it always comes down what the costs are going to be. 

People have no issue spending money, only if it is in their interest. With the lost Spirits in the garbage dumps, no one really has an interest. If there was a lost painting in the garbage dump it may increase interest to do a search. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled [detail] (1982), sold for $85 million at Phillips “20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale,” May 18, 2022. Image courtesy Phillips.

With no 85 million dollar paintings in the garbage, Some cities have gone to mining landfills. Landfill Mining is said to have great potential. Since this is being a look at the future of the Landfill industry, might be an opportunity to start now? I know it's a far fetched approach to consider. The fact there is value in the garbage itself; metals, etc., and not the bodies of Women, is really strange. 

I don't know what the outcome of the feasibility will bring, I just know this, if it was my Mom, my Sister, my Cousin, my daughter, or your family member, I would say, "feasibility study? Dig man! Dig."

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Pretender Identity Sweepstakes

Michelle Obama said: "I will pit my Blackness against anyone." She said this about the attacks on her husband's identity while he was running for public office. Barack Obama was challenged for not being "Black enough" for some in the Black community.  In the Black community they have similar conversations about who is "them" as well as in the Native community. When I say Native, Indian, Indigenous, I am referring to the original inhabitants of Turtle Island, or as called today, the Americas. So, Michelle listed off her pedigree of her own Blackness. This comparing our pedigrees is also common in the Indian world. It's funny, I think of my Romanian friend who lives in British Columbia. He has a Woman friend who is Chinese. She lives in China, so they have a very long-distance relationship. Anyways in Indian country we use the term Apple to describe White Indians, and the Chinese really do use the saying Banana to those who they see as White Chinese.  Indian's use Apples to describe another Indian, who they feel is trying to "be white." I guess it is the same with the Chinese who see another Chinese person trying to be white. Same with the Black community, people are judged for what is seen as being white. Look at Wayne Brady, a Black Comedian. He has been poked at by other's for seemingly being too white. Being compared to being white is really insulting to Ethnic people, People of Color, within their respective community. What's more insulting than being called white by someone in your own group, is being called white by white folk. So a whiter than Whiteman, Bill Maher made fun of Wayne Brady and his perceived lack of Blackness. Maher didn't see Brady as a menacing Black Man, in other words not the stereotypical scary Black. Maher, everyone knows is one of those White Men who feels he has privilege in the Black world, so he can get away with anti-Black sentiments or statements. It's all over this "more than you" game. There is a Netflix show called Wednesday with this young Latino (Mexican American-Puerto Rican) actress. There is a video of her trying to speak Spanish. The reaction of her speaking Spanish has been harsh: "She's not Latino, she can't speak Spanish." There are some folks who see this criticism as laughable as Spanish is a colonial language. "Jenna Ortega is Latina because we are more than what other people think we are, and we can be everything at the same time. Period." The Identity sweepstakes is always a minefield of bombs. There is a challenge to everyone's heritage, there is the who is going to be more than you sweepstakes.

The weird thing about the identity sweepstakes, some may feel it as a curse, while some may see it as exotic and are envious. So envious they want the exotic identity as their own. White people want to have some added mix in their background, they will go to great lengths to find a Slave in the ancestry wood pile. It is not strictly white people who want to claim another heritage but they seem to be the most proficient at entering into the heritage sweepstakes. The pretenders are so good at becoming Black, Indian, Latino, that they can even fool their own family members. The pretender will even invent a compelling back story of their life. You can see the story coming from the lyrics of "A Change Will Come, Polk Salad Annie, and Patches." 

There are groups of people who identify in a different gender than what they were assigned to when born. For this group I wonder if there are pretenders, but who knows. My big gut says, nope, they have no reason to pretend. The only acceptable (or not) place they can pretend is in the movie and tv industry. It's funny because the entertainment industry is notorious for having Pretenders as a driving force in the Identity Sweepstakes. White people would be literally painted "red" to be the Indians in all Cowboy-and-Indians-John-Wayne-kill-them-up movies. There are many areas of pretend where it is suppose to be fun. Lot of films made where men are dressed as women, women as men, gays being straight, straight being gay and human's as apes, dogs, cats and aliens. 

When we take a look at the pretender in the Identity Sweepstakes, we all wonder, "what the heck?" The Pretender is more often driven not by the beauty of the Identity they covet, but by the rewards which can be had. Pretenders will push aside the Blacks, the Indians, the Latino's, the Gays, the Women so they can attain a reward, a position, a recognition they won't have among their own group. Weird, I know, right? For some reason, the pretender gains popularity in institutions; academics, politics, justice, films and activism. What is even more weird, the pretender doesn't seem to suffer the inherent systemic abuses felt by the groups they infiltrate. You don't see them being shot by the cops, having their babies taken away, denied a table at the big lunches. Nope the pretender only basks in the glow of the awesomeness of being Black, Indian, Women, Latino and Gay. The Pretender is a strange creature. If only they could feel the oppression their stolen community has to contend with, perhaps they would reconsider their weird obsession. Until this happens, we are going to continue to see a lot more Jessica Krug's, Rachel Dolezal's, Joseph Boyden's, Michelle Latimer's, Carrie Bourassa's, and Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan's. Yeah, it is continue to be weird out there in identity sweepstakes. 

Martin Luther King Jr. - Poverty, Militarism, Racism, Materialism. The 4 evils. 

Cherokee Fiddle, cause Good Whiskey Never Let Him Lose His Place

 Urban Cowboy is a 1980 movie with a soundtrack steeped in western songs that had great Redneck lines like, "single bars and good time ...