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Red Lives Matter

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The Black Lives Matter movement has been great in basically all conceivable ways. But I think there is one exception to that, which is that, at least in my readings and observations, been fairly blind or downplaying that not only are the cops killing black people for any reason imaginable, but are doing the same to Latinos and Native Americans as well. I have no doubt that many BLM leaders are well aware of this and no doubt part of the problem is that the media, including large swaths of the leftist media, see racial problems in the United States still primarily in terms of African-Americans and whites. But the interruption of the Netroots Nation presidential candidate forum last year that was specifically discussing immigration and the oppression Latinos face by BLM protestors was lacking in the intersectionality one would hope for from such a movement, something which almost no one noted in the aftermath. On the community level of course, this all has different dynamics, since police murders of people of color naturally enough unite the people who are in that community and who of course then tend to be of the same racial and ethnic groups. But still, more attention to the fact that racial discrimination in this country is not exclusively against black people would be really useful. Because the cops are slaughtering Native Americans too, in this case shooting a woman 5 times accused of stealing.

“Loreal is a victim of discrimination, and we want justice,” Curley said. “We can all relate to this case because we have all been racially profiled by law enforcement. While we are saddened at (Loreal’s) death, we’re not surprised because we know that this is a systemic issue.”

Curley said the group supported the independent investigation into the shooting and asked the Navajo Nation to take a more active role in this case.

In a statement, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said, “We hear about these types of shootings happening across the country. If there is no legitimate justification for taking Tsingine’s life, then the Navajo Nation wants the fullest extent of the law to be taken in serving justice.”

Vice President Jonathan Nez posted the following statement on Facebook: “The Navajo Nation sends our condolences to her family during this tragedy. Significant numbers of Navajo citizens have expressed public outcry over this violence. We will continue to investigate.”

Tsingine’s family admitted she had some mental health issues, but they didn’t go into detail.

Organizers of a vigil scheduled for Saturday demanded that the name of the officer involved in the shooting be released and that their concerns on police brutality against Native Americans be taken seriously.

Of course, where this is happening is in Arizona, in New Mexico, in South Dakota, in Oklahoma–in other words, far away from the eastern media and where those journalists come from and pay attention to, including the leftist publications. That should change. Discrimination against Native Americans is widespread. They get slaughtered by cops all the time. We need an anti-police violence, anti-racist movement that is about all the oppressed races in the United States. Our racist past allows us to forget marginalized groups all too often. Our anti-racist organizations shouldn’t do the same.

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  • Whidby

    But I think there is one exception to that, which is that, at least in my readings and observations, been fairly blind or downplaying that not only are the cops killing black people for any reason imaginable, but are doing the same to Latinos and Native Americans as well.

    This sounds dangerously like a preamble to declaring that “All Lives Matter.”

    The least these people could do is come up with another catchy slogan. Maybe something like “Red Lives are Really Important” or “Hey, Latino people are people too.”

    • Thirtyish

      How do you figure? The whole point of “All Lives Matter” is to deflect attention away from the fact that police violence disproportionately affects blacks and other people of color. What Loomis is advocating is an extension of Black Lives Matter that recognized that it’s not “all” lives being destroyed by police violence, it’s those of people of color.

      • Thirtyish

        *recognizes*

        • Whidby

          The primary motivation that I have seen behind #Alllivesmatter is to 1) rhetorically assert that #blacklivesmatter implies that black lives matter MORE and 2) to deflect attention from fact that blacks are disproportionately targeted by police for abuse/killing.

          You can’t remove #alllivesmatter from the context of its creation; that is a reaction AGAINST #blacklivesmatter, not an amplification of it.

          • Thirtyish

            If I were actually arguing to reclaim “All Lives Matter,” I would see your point. But “All Lives Matter” is, and has been since its inception, bullshit. And Erik Loomis understands that and advocated nowhere that “All Lives Matter” be used in place of Black Lives Matter.

            • Whidby

              What I said was that any attempt to glom other _______livesmatter onto the black lives matter movement can only be interpreted as a dilution of the BLM message.

              I think we all agree that the Black Lives Matter movement has been great in basically all conceivable ways. I would go further and say the Black Lives Matter movement has been great in basically all conceivable ways.

              When you say redlivesmatter or brownlivesmatter that is just a parasitic appropriation of blacklivesmatter. Its just a step away for bluelivesmatter and whitelivesmatter and alllivesmatter, all of which are implicit rejections of black livesmatter.

              • Hogan

                What I said was that any attempt to glom other _______livesmatter onto the black lives matter movement can only be interpreted as a dilution of the BLM message.

                Because it can’t possibly be an extension that that message. The only possible reading of redlivesmatter is redlivesmattermorethanblacklives. ‘S obvious, innit?

                • Whidby

                  How hard is it for people to come up with their own hashtags rather than trying to appropriate the awareness that was created by #blacklivesmatter?

                  Particularly when we are operating in the twitterspace where alllivesmatter and whitelivesmatter and bluelievesmatter are actively operating to dilute the message of #blacklivesmatter?

                • Hogan

                  You’re not addressing my argument so much as turning your back on it.

              • DrDick

                Um no. Creating solidarity among peoples of color, who disproportionately are impoverished and victims of police violence, actually strengthens the movement. What dilutes it is over privileged white folks whining that their lives matter, too!

              • Brien Jackson

                “When you say redlivesmatter or brownlivesmatter that is just a parasitic appropriation of blacklivesmatter. Its just a step away for bluelivesmatter and whitelivesmatter and alllivesmatter, all of which are implicit rejections of black livesmatter.”

                I don’t think you could have possibly made a worse argument in favor of your point than this.

          • You can’t remove #alllivesmatter from the context of its creation;

            Unless, of course, you want to take a cheap shot at Erik, such as declaring that calling attention to police killings of other people of color “sounds dangerously like a preamble to declaring that “All Lives Matter,” which requires you to remote the phrase from the context of its creation.

            • Whidby

              Hey Joe, Erik is perfectly capable of making up shit and attributing it to other people without your help, so you can get off your pony there Mr. Noche Bianca.

              • wjts

                “Sr. Caballero Blanco”, tonto.

                • Thirtyish

                  Well, in fairness, maybe Whidby is commenting from above the Arctic Circle, where he is soon to experience some white nights.

                • wjts

                  Even if that were true, why would he use an Italian adjective to modify a Spanish noun?

                  Oh, right.

                • Thirtyish

                  Maybe he’s been on a Shakespeare bender this weekend and accidentally used the term more readily available in his memory.

                  Or maybe he’s a dingbat.

              • Making shit up? I quoted you.

                Your argument was not only dumb, but you contradicted yourself mere moments later.

                Making fun of my race is neither here nor there.

                • djw

                  Making shit up? I quoted you.

                  Hey, is Bill O’Reilly commenting here now?

      • Barry Freed

        There you go with the logic again, Thirtyish.

    • According to Whidby “Black lives matter except for the black women who clean up Florida hotel rooms on spring break”

      • Whidby

        Erik, I would appreciate it if you would not make up shit and attribute it to me.

        That’s dishonest and cowardly.

        So show me where I have said that or apologize.

        Thank you.

        • Am I being a prissy killjoy getting in the way of your fun again?

          • Whidby

            Look, you made up something, put it in quotes and then attributed it to me.

            That is dishonest.

            • wjts

              Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidière for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, Whidby in 2016 for vanderleun in 2008, the nephew for the uncle.

        • Thirtyish

          Given that you called Erik a “prissy killjoy” for bringing attention to the burdensome and frequently disgusting labor that mostly poor women of color are forced to do every year after Spring Break, I think it’s fair that at least where poor women of color are concerned, you don’t particularly care. But no, you didn’t actually say their “lives” don’t matter, so well done. Go ahead and put a chip down on your “How to Argue Like an MRA” bingo card. Actually, put down two chips, because you also referred to Hogan as a “white knight” in that very same thread.

          • Whidby

            Given that you called Erik a “prissy killjoy”

            I did not.

              • Whidby

                Ummm, indeed – here I what I said:

                Where the Boys Are was published in the 50s and “spring break” was already well underway then.

                By the 80s there were 375,000 plus people flocking to certain Florida beaches. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1987-03-25/news/8701190571_1_clarendon-plaza-hotel-holiday-inn-oceanside-fort-lauderdale

                I suspect that there have been prissy killjoys around at least as long as spring break has been a thing, too.

                I was responding to another poster who asked when “spring break” started to become a thing, as in massive drunken debauchery. The article to which I linked showed that people had been perceiving it that way for decades which implies that there have always been prissy killjoys who fret about how “kids today are out of control.”

                • Whidby

                  And lets compare this to the flat out dishonest post by Erik that stated:

                  According to Whidby “Black lives matter except for the black women who clean up Florida hotel rooms on spring break”

                  So, are you going to apologize or not for saying I said something I did not?

                  ?

                  ?

                  ?

                  ?

                • Thirtyish

                  We can try this one on for size:

                  I’m sort of getting the feeling that Mr. Loomis would not be much fun to take along on Spring Break.

                  This was in response to the post itself. The implication sure seems to be that criticizing frat boy debauchery that creates unnecessary and revolting labor for poor women of color is anti-fun, with “fun” apparently being reckless drunken behavior that is frequently destructive. But I’m sure you’ll tell me that that’s me “reading into” your perfectly devoid-of-meaning-and-subtext statement, so there doesn’t seem to be much point in bothering with you.

                • Whidby

                  Sure, saying

                  I’m sort of getting the feeling that Mr. Loomis would not be much fun to take along on Spring Break.

                  can only logically be interpreted as

                  According to Whidby “Black lives matter except for the black women who clean up Florida hotel rooms on spring break”

                  #dumbasscan’tread

                • DrDick

                  So, are you going to apologize or not for saying I said something I did not?

                  He has nothing to apologize for since his is the most reasonable interpretation of your remarks regarding the plight of the mostly women of color housecleaning staff.

          • Whidby

            Given that you called Erik a “prissy killjoy”

            I did not.

            If you are going to try and drag in things I said a week ago in different threads, you might want to try and get it right.

            • ChrisTS

              I suppose to be fair we could admit that you called everyone who was upset at the treatment of those women a prissy killjoy.

              • Whidby

                Go back and read the article to which I linked.

                That was what my “prissy killjoy” was specifically responding to.

                • Hogan

                  So hotel owners in Fort Lauderdale complaining that the spring break business has moved on to other places are what you meant by “prissy killjoys”? Seriously?

            • Thirtyish

              “Heads, I didn’t say that, Tails, nuh-uh” doesn’t actually change the fact that you wrote what you did (and the passage of time doesn’t actually make it less so).

              • Whidby

                Its kind of funny to me that Erik posts something that is flat out dishonest by attributing a quote to me and the response is “Yeah, but you said something once that could with some effort be interpreted as being an insult of Erik, so how dare you try and back away from our interpretation of what you said.”

                Never mind that no interpretation at all is required to understand that Erik’s statements about what I said were clearly false.

                • Chuchundra

                  Forget it Whidby, it’s Eriktown.

    • ThrottleJockey

      This is a feature not a bug.

      If I recall correctly the three female founders of blacklivesmatter are Californians so they certainly should be familiar with the threat that Latinos face from Cops. I don’t think they focused on blacks because they don’t understand intersectionality (two of the three are lesbian) they made their choice despite the fact that they understand Latinos face similar levels of violence from Cops.

      I’d like to think that other minority groups can create their own hashtags and still all work together.

      • Whidby

        Quite right.

        Are the imaginations of some activists so impoverished that they can’t even come up with their own hashtags rather than just glomming onto #blacklivesmatter?

        I’ve lost count of all the knock-offs I have seen.

    • This sounds dangerously like a preamble to declaring that “All Lives Matter.”

      Because the sentiment being “All Lives Matter” is to draw more attention to the abuse of police towards people of color?

      I’m sorry it sounds like that to you, Whidby.

      • Whidby

        Because the sentiment being “All Lives Matter” is to draw more attention to the abuse of police towards people of color?

        If that’s what it sounds like to you, you haven’t been paying attention.

        • Lol

          Man, you don’t even know how stupid you sound.

          No, dumbass, I just made fun of you for your comment which relies on that mistake. Your silly perception that talking about the police abuse of Latinos or Native Americans “sounds like” the slogan All Lives Matters is your delusional error. I’m not arguing that; I’m making fun of you for writing a comment that relies on that.

          What is this, “You’re the racist for noticing my racism?”

    • pillsy

      Dude, you’ve gotta be a troll, since there’s no way anyone could argue this badly without making a deliberate effort.

      • John Revolta

        Only took somebody an hour to figure this out? You lot gotta be pretty bored this morning.

      • His clumsy appropriation of terms like “white knight” are the obvious monkeying around of a troll pretending to be a leftie.

        • Hogan

          While righteously defending BLM against parasitic Native Americans. I’m sure BLM is appropriately grateful.

          • DocAmazing

            The neat thing about that comment is that it works for the earlier version of BLM.

  • Yossarian

    Great post — to which I would only add that another overwhelming statistical reality here, cutting across even the racial minority numbers, is that more than half of the people killed by police are people with disabilities. I think one of the reasons we tend not to recognize this is because there’s still a cultural bias against realizing that mental illness “counts” as a disability. But it’s a huge problem both in shootings and in the criminal justice system generally, which acts as a fucked-up warehouse for poor people with mental health issues.

    None of this is to imply, by the way, that systematic racism isn’t also going on here — it surely is. But the disability issue is a major undercurrent to these stories that deserves real attention, too.

    • A very good point

    • dm

      I just hate it how nearly every time the cops shoot someone the report always has to go there — that the person used drugs or maybe has some emotional difficulties or whatever. It makes it seem like it was somehow the ‘fault’ of the target. I so much want to see reporters not using those descriptions at all but if they must then wouldn’t it be nice if they used them to illustrate how poorly trained and ill-equipped police forces seem to be. It is their DAY JOB to be peace keepers. Most school teachers know how to handle distraught people with kindness and compassion. Why can’t police officers do the same?

      • tsam

        If you ask cops, nobody ever shows them kindness or compassion.

  • Ronan

    Well, according to this it is a black issue primarily. Latinos and native ameticans (and other” people of color”) don’t seem to be significantly more subject to police violence than whites.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/31/the-counted-police-killings-2015-young-black-men

    And id assume when you correct the white figures for income or region they’d be higher. Question then is why is “disproportionately” the important factor ? And are people sidelining poor whites because they aren’t as sympathetic a demographic ?

    • Ronan

      Just to clarify, The last two questions here aren’t meant to imply theres a problem with making it black focused (I think it makes sense personally) , but were written in the context of the main post. This does seem to be disproportionately a black issue, rather than an issue for “people of color”. It would appear to make much less sense to make it a “people of color” issue without including poor whites, but if it’s black focussed it seems to be more logically coherent.

      • It really is not just an African-American thing, at least in states where there are lots of Native Americans. In Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Montana for instance, basically the entire racist structure and ideology that is commonly seen as the core of American racism toward African-Americans affects Native Americans, including in education, housing, poverty, drug use, suicide, and police violence. The Albuquerque Police Department is under federal investigation because it kills so many people, mostly of color.

        • Ronan

          But could the same not be said about poor whites on a regional basis ? The figures I linked to above (and what I’ve seen elsewhere ) seem to imply that the scale is much more significant in African American communities, and that native Americans and Latinos seem to be closer to whites(even before you correct for income, which will bring the white figures down) than to African Americans.

        • Victor Matheson

          The data presented above suggests between 10 and 16 Native Americans were killed by police during the entire year. Perhaps that qualifies as “being slaughtered all of the time” but it doesn’t seem to be out of proportion with killings of whites.

          And if we believe Erik that in places like NM, AZ, and the Dakotas that police disproportionately kill Native Americans, (without actually providing any data, mind you) in order for the nationwide statistics to balance out the way they do, officers in the rest of the country must kill native Americans at a lower rate than whites. Funny thing, data.

          I have no problem believing police racism extends beyond African Americans, but the data show that when it comes to police killings, nationwide the black experience is simply different than the experience of other minorities. If you believe in data, at least.

          • Or not.

            Why, it’s almost as if looking at one sole number on a chart might not provide the whole story! But I realize that context would make those who fetishize “data” uncomfortable.

            • Ronan

              Edit: -removed as it wasnt in response to me, and I don’t feel like arguing it

              • My point is that data is often deeply flawed and highly misleading, so if we just take it as accurate, we are often making large mistakes. Moreover, data does not represent the human dimension of anything and thus can be fetishized as something that it is not, see “data-driven journalism” as an example. Whose data? Who does it work for? How does it support power? How can it be manipulated? What is not showing up in it? These are always questions we have to ask and quite frequently we choose not to ask. That doesn’t mean that attempting to conduct statistical analysis is not necessary. Of course it is. But it’s also usually quite problematic at the same time. So we can’t just say “what are the numbers” and then assume those numbers are correct.

                • Ronan

                  I’d removed my post before your response. I don’t necessarily disagree but I don’t think what was going on was fetishizing data. As I said u still need to data to understand the phenomenon (African Americans bring killed by police ) exists. You still analyse data and find meaning from it for your day job. And u disputed my claim with data

                • You still analyse data and find meaning from it for your day job.

                  It’s mostly stories rather than numbers I am analyzing. But whatever it is, I am highly skeptical of all of it.

                • Ronan

                  On the broader point I do wonder where class comes into this, particularly police violence against subsets of the white-working class. You need both numbers on it and historical /sociological knowledge . I don’t think they’re in opposition

  • dm

    I consistently hear the message from BLM spokespeople that the movement is intended to be intersectional and kind of has to be by its very nature. And that it is intended to be transformative which is why the movement chose not to endorse any candidate. Electoral politics can make small changes but it can’t ever really do enough on its own. Lasting change almost always comes from outside agitation and pressure. Indigenous people continue to be oppressed in outrageous ways. I mentioned Leonard Peltier in another comment. He remains a political prisoner because powerful lobbies (police and extractive industries) have managed to keep him locked up even when the whole world condemns his incarceration. A whole lot of wealth continues to be stolen from indigenous people and their lands. The ‘system’ benefits from making his story a cautionary tale.

  • Drexciya

    There are about a million ways to make most of this same collection of points (some of which Loomis has used in the past) that makes police brutality against Latinos and Native Americans focal, draws attention to existing intra-community activism about it, and captures its immediacy and horror, but Loomis chose the method that politically guilts black-focused movements for being too black-focused and presupposes that a black left movement has insufficiently left character if it’s not a stepping stone for other left movements that he, as a white man, feels deserving of equal and apparently interchangeable emphasis. And then presumes, without the slightest hint of deference, that the language created for those black-focused movements and conditions is freely accessible to unrelated groups and causes.

    Also, that’s not what intersectionality means or how it’s intended to be politically used, although I confess to being intrigued about why you used that word instead of solidarity. That intrigue stops short of inviting an exchange about it, I fear.

    • wjts

      I’d say I’m curious as to why you’re arguing that the murder of non-black minorities by predominantly white police officers is both “unrelated” to the murder of black minorities by predominantly white police officers and so far distant that the language used to address the latter is “inaccessible” to those addressing the former, but I’m not.

      (This pissy preemptive closing of discussion is fun! Everyone should do it!)

      • I love that Drexciya’s normal mode of action is to talk about someone is “shutting down dialogue” or something while completing shutting down and delegitimatizing voices that he doesn’t see as legitimate.

        • Where do people get this sense of entitlement that they should only have to participate in discussions with people who agree from the outset to defer to them?

    • apogean

      I don’t think one has to advocate for expanding Black Lives Matter into a movement focused on all groups of color to say that interrupting a discussion focused on non-black people of color is a failure of intersectionality. Intersectionality doesn’t have to mean “everyone fighting all fights at all times” but it sure seems like it should mean not impeding other groups.

      • Hogan

        And the question is whether that is so characteristic of BLM activism that it’s a fair judgment to lead off with in assessing it. Other than one incident eight months ago that got a lot of play, I haven’t seen anyone bring in a lot of other examples.

    • Lasker

      I agree that the OP’s choice to use Native American activism against police killings as a jumping off point for a criticism of BLM was bizarre.

      But I am also confused by your post – are you objecting to hashtags like #nativelivesmatter? Or only objecting to the presumption that you ought to accept them?

    • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

      There are about a million ways to make most of this same collection of points (some of which Loomis has used in the past) that makes police brutality against Latinos and Native Americans focal, draws attention to existing intra-community activism about it, and captures its immediacy and horror, but Loomis chose the method that politically guilts black-focused movements for being too black-focused and presupposes that a black left movement has insufficiently left character if it’s not a stepping stone for other left movements that he, as a white man, feels deserving of equal and apparently interchangeable emphasis.

      That’s one impressively long-ass sentence.

  • But I think there is one exception to that, which is that, at least in my readings and observations, been fairly blind or downplaying that not only are the cops killing black people for any reason imaginable, but are doing the same to Latinos and Native Americans as well.

    An example of this would be really helpful. Frankly, it’s completely opposite my experience.

    • Drexciya

      Yup.

      • Thirded. It’s tough to think of anyone who is talking about that more than BLM.

    • I would say the way the conversation during and after the Netroots Nation event was one example that supports my thesis here. That said, I am sure that there are lots and lots of counterexamples.

      • Drexciya

        Then why did you make the post and assume that the position you disagreed with most was the dominant characteristic of BLM?

        • You for one, and I have directly asked you to address this in the past, have never, ever, ever on this site had anything to say about either poor people or other groups of color. As far as I and at least some others have been able to tell, you have nothing to offer on these groups at all. You never had an answer to the NN event interrupting an event dedicated to dealing with immigrants, which is a long time ago now and maybe not all that relevant. But I think at least on this site and the way you have presented yourself here, you yourself have a lot of work to do on intersectionality before you start insulting others.

          • Drexciya

            …what?

            • Whidby

              You have to understand, according to Erik Loomis “Black bitches best shut up cause I need to preach some about oppression up in here.”*

              * This, of course, isn’t a quote and Mr. Loomis never said it, but according to Mr. Loomis this is the appropriate method of discussion and argument: make up stupid ass quotes and attribute them to other people. See above.

        • Hob

          Dominant characteristic? What the hell? Loomis’s very first sentence said BLM was “great in basically all conceivable ways”; he then went on to raise one concern where he thought more attention to this particular topic would be a good thing, and immediately qualified that complaint by saying much of the problem was with the media.

          Anyone reading the post can easily see that he’s not saying anything remotely resembling “this is the dominant characteristic of BLM”, so your question is kind of a “when did you stop beating your wife” thing that doesn’t deserve a serious answer. It’s even weirder that you bothered to ask this after writing your comment below where you basically said he has no business having an opinion on the subject anyway.

      • OK. But unless the comments here were made by members of BLM I’m not seeing the connection.

        • Sorry, I didn’t mean at LGM. I meant the general conversation around the issues I read across the internet.

          • Jackov

            part of the problem is that the media, including large swaths of the leftist media, see racial problems in the United States still primarily in terms of African-Americans and whites

            Perhaps contrasting the reception and impact of the BLM activist at the immigration forum with the Native American activist at the black experience forum would have been a better avenue for making this point. Or reparations being actively discussed during the presidential primary while treaty obligations are all but ignored.

            • Or reparations being actively discussed during the presidential primary while treaty obligations are all but ignored.

              This is certainly a good point. I haven’t seen any evidence that Coates particularly cares or is cognizant of this issue of racial injustice. Which, I mean, whatever, he doesn’t have to be. But you are correct, even when we talk about radicalism and race in left publications, treaty rights are almost nowhere to be found and certainly that’s been the case in this recent discussion of reparations.

  • Drexciya

    We need an anti-police violence, anti-racist movement that is about all the oppressed races in the United States. Our racist past allows us to forget marginalized groups all too often. Our anti-racist organizations shouldn’t do the same.

    I was going to leave this alone and try to ignore it, but no. There’s no “our” and “we” that simultaneously sets the desired trajectory of black priorities and black activism (much less the priorities of people of color write large) and has a white dude pontificating from on high about what that agenda should be and who it should include. You’re way out of your lane and I know you know that and don’t care. I’d say we need an anti-police violence and anti-racist movements that are about the specific, non-interchangeable structural conditions of specific racial groups, with similarly specific histories of both activism, police violence and the cultural associations that have been generationally passed on and developed in response to them but we already have one, and I’m fine with that, thanks. Defining proper leftism and left-activism within the narrow positional confines of what you think, from the outside, is best for us is assuming a utility for your thinking that’s not reflected by the stakes of your participation or involvement. It’s, at best, extraordinarily arrogant, and at worst it’s the kind of patronizingly manipulative attitude I see from white left circles that respects and gives space to black politicking only insofar as it involves and promotes things they care about more.

    You have every reason to be interested in that, but I’ll pass.

    • and at worst it’s the kind of patronizingly manipulative attitude I see from white left circles that respects and gives space to black politicking only insofar as it involves and promotes things they care about more.

      Precisely. You have summed me up precisely. I am white. You should listen to me.

    • prplmnkydw

      This betrays such a vast lack of vision and imagination. And I love the use of jargon-laden condescension to imply someone else is condescending. And the little rhetorical flourish at the end of all your posts…. Amazing.

      Maybe, just maybe, it is perfectly acceptable for smart leftish thinkers with a decent sized soap box (I mean Loomis here) to suggest that we think broadly about the issues of the day?

      And I would ask to what ends you think Loomis is being manipulative here, or why he would approach this topic with special arrogance, but, like you (Drexciya) like to say, I dont care why you think that.

  • Thom

    Here is a place where the history of anti-racist struggle in South Africa provides a very positive example. Instead of accepting apartheid categories that divided the indigenous Afrian majority from other oppressed racial categories like Indian (South Asian) and Coloured (mixed race), activists in the Black Consciousness Movmement circa 1969 declared that all who were oppressed by apartheid were black. This designation was widely accepted by youthful activists and became part of the political language of South Africa. Of course this would be difficult to pull off in the US for a variety of historical and demographic reasons. The designation people of color tries to bring this unity, but “the lives of people of color matter,” does not roll off the tongue. But it might be worth trying to think along these lines.

    • ThrottleJockey

      I can see why black South African would buy into that. How did South Asians mixed race people see things? Did they buy into it as well? And I don’t mean just among the activist Community but broadly among those groups.

      • Thom

        My impression is that it was much more accepted by youths (at the time, through the early 1990s) and activists, but mostly not accepted by older, less politically active South Asians and Coloureds, who often carried their own racism against Africans and were somewhat privileged by apartheid compared to Africans, while still being disadvantaged compared to whites. But even acceptance by a significant minority was important. The non-racial UDF, founded in 1983 to oppose the tricamleral constitution, then built on this with the slogan “Apartheid divides, UDF unites.”

        • Spiny

          I think it’s hard to use that as an example, honestly. My experience in 2013-14 was that Coloured and Indian South Africans who viewed themselves as black were a very small minority, primarily those who have remained loyal to the ANC in its current (somewhat dismal) state. A primary reason for the defection of Coloured/Indian voters from the ANC was a sense that once in power, the ANC privileged black communities and voices over theirs. Those youths who may have accepted the idea in the 90s are now middle-aged DA voters.

          I’m sure the anti-apartheid struggle grew a sense of common “black” identity to some extent, but it doesn’t seem to have been strong enough to survive in a democratic society.

  • AMK

    I dunno if it’s the best idea for Native Americans to be calling themselves “Red.” I get that maybe they want to re-claim the term, but in the broader public it just becomes an excuse for the Dan Snyders of the world.

    • Lasker

      “Red lives matter” appears to have originated with Erik. But there is a #nativelivesmatter hashtag in use.

  • DrDick

    The situation for Native Americans is actually much worse than for any other group. They are shot by police more often and are far more likely to be the victims of violent crimes. Few of these crimes are solved and many are never even investigated.

    • Ronan

      Well, thanks for the link Dr dick. I stand corrected on some of my claims above (I’d still like to see it broken down by class, region etc although stepped pyramids once explained to me that the data isn’t collected on socio economic level, so difficult to work out class bias from it)

      • Victor Matheson

        Hmm, I wonder why the 2015 data Ronan provided earlier is so much different than the 1999-2011 data from DrDick. Certainly makes me wonder about trends and demographics.

        • Ronan

          I might be being dense here, but could you elaborate ?

          Edit: sorry, I might have misread you. Ie you might be wondering, whereas I read u as implying there’s an obvious answer

        • DrDick

          Not sure, but this Guardian link looks similar to me.

        • djw

          I don’t see why we should be surprised if data for a single year is pretty noisy for something like this.

  • Nick Conway

    So many terrible things continue to happen to the Native American population in this country. The Star Tribune did a really good investigation into Tribal Schools in Minnesota recently:
    http://www.startribune.com/part-1-indian-schools-a-nation-s-neglect/283514491/

    It’s tough too because, as Erik mentioned, the Native population is so isolated in this country. It’s different when we are talking about police brutality, which is a (mostly) local issue, but when talking about the Department of Indian Affairs low level of funding and bad management for schools, it hurts that there are very few politicians who feel indebted to the Native vote. You can likely count the number of Senators and Reps who really need the native vote on one or two hands; Heitkamp, Tester, some of the Reps from New Mexico.

    Ann Kirkpatrick is in a tough race for senate in Arizona, has faced really tough races in the House, has two Apache reservations in her district, yet still goes ahead and gives away their Sacred Lands to mining companies. The Native Vote just doesn’t carry with it the same power as other minority groups, and native activism is so much tougher to get on the national radar.

    • dm

      Though only 2% of the total population, indigenous people make up a significant percentage of the population in rural areas. Structural reasons such as long distances to polling stations, extreme poverty and a quite reasonable distrust of the system combine to make voting more than a little difficult. If we could break those barriers I think the first nations would need to be courted. Sanders has been actively reaching out to these rural communities with results like what we saw in Oklahoma.

      • Ronan

        What are the demographics (roughly) on where native Americans live ? My understanding is mainly in the west ? Is it primarily the rural west? Do the majority still live on reservations, or segregated in towns/citues, or is there more integration?

        • dm
          • Ronan

            Thanks, that actually does answer all my questions, and about 5 others that i was going to follow up with

        • DrDick

          Most Natives live off the reservations today, as there are no jobs there and they are not actually large enough to support the current population (or in many cases the population when they were established). Most live in cities now.

          • Ronan

            How do the “tribal ” (or ethnic? I’m not sure of the terminology ) identities come into it ? Going by the wiki page above it seems to imply that for some (particularly those on the reservation ?) the tribal identity is still a central part of their identity , but for others(most?) it has become less important ?

            • DrDick

              Tribal identity is still very strong among most Native people, at least those who have any connection to their roots (not all do). They think of themselves as members of their tribe first and Indians (the term most of them actually use) secondly. To be legally Indian (yes it is codified into federal statute) you have to prove that you are of at least 1/4 Native ancestry or a legally enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe (not all tribes are, but that is complicated). If you can do that the federal government issues you a CIDB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood). You may also be able to enroll as a legal, voting member of your tribe (tribal rules vary). My son an grandsons are enrolled members of the Cherokee Nation.

              • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

                I worked with a guy who was also an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. They have an interesting system – they don’t require any specific percentage of ancestry, so you end up with some unexpected members (like my blue-eyed coworker who looked more Scandinavian than anything).

                • DrDick

                  Which is why they are the largest tribe in the US with over 300,000 members. On the other hand, they have one of the largest numbers of native speakers of the language and more full-bloods than most tribes have members. My son is half and both of his maternal grandparents were native speakers.

            • dm

              Most people live in cities but the reserves tend to take up large areas of land and so represent voting blocks. The indigenous population is increasing almost twice as fast as the rest of the US population.

              I think the word you might be looking for Ronan is ‘culture.’ That’s a pretty complicated question. How does your cultural upbringing affect your personal identity? Do you tend to vote like the community you grew up in?

              • Ronan

                I agree it’s a complex question, but it’s not really culture I’m talking about I don’t think . More as a generality (so leaving aside the nuance and specificity) do people still identify along tribal lines, or is there a larger Indian identity above that. How does this vary depending on where they live ( reservation versus urban areas). (Although dr dick seems to have clarified this above)
                On your second question, interestingly I came across an article recently that claims to have found the Norman conquest of Ireland a statistically significant predictor of voting behaviour . I’ll come back to this later, when not on my phone

                • DrDick

                  Tribal identity is paramount among the vast majority of Native people, regardless of where they live. That said, there are far more people who generically identify as “Indian” in urban areas, in part because they are more tribally and racially mixed.

      • Nick Conway

        There’s definitely still really unfair barriers to entry, but groups like Western Native Voice and the Tribes themselves have done a really good job of registering native voters and getting satellite voting stations set up recently. Partly this is due to protections from the Voting Rights Act and lawsuits that have forced counties in states like Montana and the Dakotas to make voting easier on reservations.

        But in any case, research suggests that the voting gap for Native Americans has largely disappeared in recent elections:
        http://uclajournals.org/doi/abs/10.17953/aicr.38.2.lth8l2314u772j47?journalCode=aicr

        This suggests that turnout isn’t the main thing keeping politicians from courting the Native vote.

  • Wow, while I was out, this thread got off to one hell of a start, didn’t it?

  • aidian

    WRT police violence against Native Americans at least, the biggest part of this issue isn’t that there’s a willful blindness to Native American concerns as that native communities are ill-served by American journalism in general. Native Americans live disproportionally in very rural areas where the closest daily newspaper is dozens of miles away and the closest TV news operation is a small-market station dozens or even hundreds of miles away.

    That’s not a racial issue but an economic and a rural/urban issue. If you had black people being murdered by cops in similar places you’d find the same lack of coverage.

    There are also issues of trust and access in many native communities (and by many I mean every one I’ve had experience with). There’s a reservation in about a quarter of my newsroom’s coverage area. Getting news from there is a massive struggle.

    I’ve experienced this in many communities that have been oppressed or exploited — they view members of the press as part of the system and culture that have oppressed them, and clam up. IDK if this was true in prior generations — probably was in some cases — but it sure ain’t now. And it seems to be more the case in native communities than in black, latino, or any other community I’ve covered.

    • DrDick

      Right. The national press (and often local press) largely ignores Native issues and stories. However, about 70% of Native Americans live in urban metro areas today. Wherever they live, they are largely invisible.

      • aidian

        70%, wow. Didn’t know that. Thanks.
        FWIW, every news organization I’ve worked for has done the exact opposite of ignoring Native issues and stories. We haven’t done as good a job as we should have covering them, but you could say the same thing about many other areas.

        • DrDick

          It is particularly bad in large urban areas, less so in smaller towns and cities near reservations. Of course there are a number of reservations near to major urban centers (Miami and Seattle for instance) and there are a number near LA and San Francisco. The number of Indians living in NYC is greater than the total population of most tribes. BTW, Indian Country Today is one of the best sources for news on Indians.

  • slothrop

    Any suggestions about historical novels honestly reporting the genocide of America indegenes? I had my kid reading Centennial, which is sympathetic, but poorly written.

    • AMK

      I have to disagree there. Michener’s style can come off as a bit dated today, but it’s still great writing, and his portrayal of Native Americans in Centennial circa 1974 was a helluva lot more complex and informative than anything I got in AP US history class 30 years later. It been awhile since I read those books, but I remember the first part of The Covenant being by far the most damning picture of slavery in fiction I’d come accross.

    • dm

      Not novels but …

      In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen (reads like a suspense novel)
      Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
      Black Elk Speaks
      An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

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