Sunday, October 30, 2016

I Stand With Standing Rock! ...but how to Stand, that's a Tough Question

Originally a Facebook Post:

I'm struggling right now. I am really struggling! I'm crying as I write this update, because I feel like I need to go to Standing Rock and support my Native brothers and sisters. I feel like I need to do that, so that I can look my son in the eye and say I did what I could to protect our water, and to protect our people.

I am just one person, with very little money, with no political influence, who is overweight, and a little hot-headed. I have people counting on me. A wife, kids, co-workers. I'm managing the software implementation of for a local 911 call center, and that is a big deal. Peoples' lives could depend on it.
But I still need to be in standing rock, holding my head high as I show support for the most marginalized group of Americans this country has. Tears are streaming down my face as I write this, because I can't feel good about any decision I make about this situation. I'm doing the wrong thing no matter what!

This summer, I met my tribe, and heard first hand how they've overcome the trauma that was inflicted on them by having their kids stolen and forced into boarding schools, where they were abused, and molested by adults who were supposed to take care of them. They returned to the reserve and have made something beautiful. Everyone has a place there. They welcomed me, my son, my blond haired blue eyed step-sons, and my white wife...all as family. They said my step-sons are all members of the bear clan. For me, that is what it means to be Indian. It means we stand up for what is right, and we welcome people even if they don't fit what it looks like to be family.

So today, I need to stay here and care for my family, and I need to get in my car and drive to South Dakota. I'm not going to change the tide of how things will work out there. In fact, I could get hit with pepper spray and die of an asthma attack, or be hit in the head with rubber bullets or a bean bag fired from a 12 Guage Shotgun and die from blunt force trauma. But my people. My native brothers and sisters have been kicked, and beaten, and taken advantage of repeatedly for hundreds years, and right now, they are again coming together to stand tall and protect their water supply. This oil pipeline was originally supposed to cross the river in a different location, but that plan was abandoned, because it threatened the drinking water for the city of Bismark. Isn't it interesting how threatening Indian drinking water is not a problem?

Standing Rock South Dakota is, right now, seeing the largest coalition of Indian tribes to resist an incursion onto traditional lands in more than 100 years. This is history, and I don't know how to be a responsible Indian, a responsible father, and a responsible husband at the same time.

My people are strong, they have refused to be killed off. We have survived many attempted genocides, in fact the Nazis studied how the US treated natives while crafting their final solution.
Guess what, we're still here! I don't know what I'll end up doing in the end. My family can't necessarily afford for me to go, and I honor that, but I am torn on such a deep and profound level, that I don't know what to do and how to make peace.

If you can go to South Dakota and stand with the Indians please do. If you can (and I know you can) call the white house and ask the President to take a stand on this issue, please do:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 2050

Call and write your senators:

Call and write your representative:

If you can send money to support the Indians, please do:
I don't know what I'm going to to do, but I'm working on figuring it out!


Thanks for your comments! :-)
My wife says comments save fairies. I mostly just want to know that the traffic hits I get on my statistics aren't Russian Spam-Bots!