It’s All a Matter of Your Point of View

Today is a federal holiday in the Not-so-United States. In this case, however, this day that gives federal employees, banks, and postal workers a day off brings more contention in an already divided country. For some, it’s Columbus Day, to celebrate the “discovery” of the New World. For others, it’s Indigenous People Day, celebrating the millions of people who were already living here long before 1492.

Sadly, the culture clash continues.

Christopher Columbus, of course, is the fall guy for this sad situation. The historical record indicates that he treated indigenous people with respect and expected his crew to do so as well. However, you can see how his “discovery” opened the door for many to come here who were far less benevolent.

Anyone who totally denies the premise behind White Supremacy is seeing the world through their own very distorted lens. The concept of exploration and expansion date back millennia. The conquering spirit was looked upon in a favorable way, at least by conquerors and their followers. Not so much by the conquered.

I live across the street from Lake Buchanan in the Texas Hill Country. It’s a man-made lake and reservoir created from the Lower Colorado River. This past July I took one of my granddaughters on the Vanishing Texas River Cruise, which took us up the river into very remote areas. The rugged beauty was awe-inspring.

I couldn’t help but think of the Native Americans who originally occupied this part of the country. There are many tales among the locals of how brutal the Comanches were. In looking at this beautiful country, I could see why it was worth fighting for.

Lower Colorado River in Texas Hill Country.

Setting aside American history from the viewpoint of the white man, consider this. What would you do if suddenly your property was invaded? People not only coming to steal your land, but kill you and your culture? What would you do? I don’t know about you, but I would definitely exercise my Second Amendment Rights and fight back.

The biggest problem with White Supremacy is that there is no acknowledgement that what was done was wrong. Did you realize that the horrific treatment of indigenous people actually traces back to the Vatican?

The first papal bull issued for King Ferdinand in Spain after Columbus returned from the Caribbean stated: “All people of North America are no better than feral animals and may be slaughtered at will.” 

And that bull was followed by another one that accompanied the North American land grants: “All land grants will be governed by the same rules as the land grants in Spain, to which you have been accustomed. Thus, as usual, any people populating your land defined by the land grant here issued are your slaves.”

Granted, this was prior to the formation of the United States with its Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. But things did not get any better for the indigenous population. We stole their land, treaties were broken, their children forced into boarding schools where they were forced to cut their hair, punished for speaking their native language, and taught their culture was wrong. Many aspects of it are nothing short of genocide.

In writing “The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits” I learned a lot about Native American history. I was absolutely shocked by what I learned. Most Americans are entirely oblivious to it, as I was. What I and my Northern Cheyenne co-author, Pete Risingsun, have attempted to do is not only put together a thriller that entertains, but also one that includes an intimate glimpse into Native American culture. One that, in many ways, is far superior to what the white man has to show for himself today in a world gone awry.

Book two, “Return to Dead Horse Canyon: Grandfather Spirits,” will be published before the end of the year. It includes even more Native American History of the Northern Cheyenne tribe.

Every tribe has its own unique history, traditions, and cultural roots along with numerous languages. If you know nothing of their way of life, maybe it’s time you set aside what are probably numerous misconceptions and learned something. Multiple tribes existed on this land for millennia. They honored the land and were far more spiritually connected with their Creator than most white people are today.

Take a close look at our sick world today through wise indigenous eyes that see all living creatures and even the Earth Mother herself as alive and worthy of respect and honor.

Then decide which side you fall out on, Columbus Day or Indigenous People Day.

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