Ethnic Studies 158 - The Roots of American Indian Tradition
Week One Reading Assignment
“For America to Live, Europe Must Die.”- Russell Means
In his speech, Means is very aware of who his audience is and is consistent with pointing out what he calls “New European Revolutionary” ideologies, in this case all that which descends from European thinking such as Marxism. Means goes on to say that all this “new age,” to put it in such terms, ideas are nothing but the same type of colonial system modified in alternative ways, where those who have been colonized are still at the subjugation of the need for European control to continue. It is a perpetuation of Europe to destroy other peoples’ cultures and the environment itself, while using words like “progress.”
p.1:“I do not really care whether my words reach whites or not, they have already demonstrated through their history, that they cannot hear, cannot see; they can only read of course (there are exceptions, but the exceptions only prove the rule.)
p.4: “Marx himself called us pre-capitalists and primitive; we have always been economically retarded in Marxist terms.”
He also acknowledges at the very beginning that his speech is being transcribed into the English language, which is foreign to the native language before European invasion and makes it clear that it was by this type of writing that Europe destroyed most of the Original people of the Americas. Which brings me to a question: Why is he still calling it America? When America was named after an Italian “explorer,” to what degree is Means speech problematic?
Another important point that he makes is speaking of the mental slavery that Europe has imposed on it colonized people, whether it be through the use of education or training such as those imposed on soldiers.
There is one particular question that came to my mind when Means speaks of the Fifth race; is he in any way coming with this notion from Jose Vasconcelos and his “Raza Cosmica,” but maneuvering to fit his own version of humanity?
Proclamation by Chief Arvol Looking Horse
This proclamation begins by stating that for too long ceremonies and its usage has been exploited and with exploitation it is meant: new age beliefs, indecent mockery and the use of using ceremonies for lucrative processes, rather than healing circles.
On the other hand, it was also a way for bringing forth a unity within Native communities and to reinforce ceremonies as a way of resisting. As Chief Looking Horse puts it:
p. 7: “these protocols are traditional knowledge passed down through oral history and need to be brought back to strengthen our Ho-co-ka (our sacred alters) once again.”
One important detail I found interesting was the mentioning on non-natives not being able to participate in any…