The Dashing Chronicles: Standing Rock and Progress
- Winston McLean | November 15, 2016
The images of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe protest in North Dakota got me thinking.
I am not a fan of standoffs. But like every rock star I felt outrage when confronted with the images of our relations getting roughed up by armed police and private mercenaries.
Clearly government forces are so brave and courageous that they must wear masks in case their awesomeness leaks out as they club and shove protesters. So much pride and honour.
Clearly the sweetgrass in the air posed such a lethal threat that tear gas, mace and armoured personnel carriers are the only rational response. The supporters of the Dakota Access Pipeline people are lung enthusiasts.
Clearly the singing of sacred songs justified the unleashing of dogs on unarmed civilians. Yup, there’s nothing so tasty as freshly bleeding music to feed the dogs. Animal lovers.
To my incredible mind it seemed we are no better off than we were 20, 50, 100 years ago, and it may only get worse if a certain orange tinted, small fingered, blowhard gets elected to the presidency.
But then the more I let my huge brain dwell on the situation it became clear that progress has been made.
Rock stars, celebrities and even Marvel’s The Avengers turned up to support our Sioux relations to the south. THE AVENGERS people! I saw the Hulk, Thor, the guy that plays Samuel L. Jackson. They turned up, supporting the Standing Rock Sioux!
Hell, even the young lady who played Tris from the movie Divergent got arrested there, though she’s not as big a deal since I have a restraining order against her. Long story. And, no, I did not specify what kind of restraints are to be used nor what the safe word is.
But I digest.
It’s true that most mainstream media are ignoring the situation. However, social media is going nuts. So nuts it’s almost bananas.
Gone are the days when governments and corporations are free to violently oppress peaceful protesters. Yes, they are still doing it, but there is a price they too must pay. The world is watching.
And in a clever move, the protesters have done the unthinkable. They have unmasked the perpetrators. Splashed all over Facebook is the CEO and the Police Chief. Awe, their children must be so proud.
Teacher: “Jimmy, what does your father do for work?”
Jimmy Spankleton: “He clubs people when they pray. When I grow up I want to be a Stormtrooper, or a masked government thug.”
The next logical move for the protesters should be to target stakeholders and stockholders, anyone with an interest in building that bloody pipeline. Hit the company where it matters.
We live in a very different world than the generation that preceded us.
We have social media. We also have the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. We have the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
We have a series of Supreme Court Decisions that require governments to consult when they are even thinking about the possibility of the idea crossing its mind that perhaps they might take a course of action that might have an impact on our interests.
Gone are the days when greed could run rough-shod over our interests, flouncing through the meadows without a care in the world.
Wait. Is it possible to run rough-shod and flounce? Is greed in shape enough to run?
Wait. I’m digesting from my original point.
The Dirkster can testify that governments and companies in this country are moving in the right direction, whether they want to or not. They cannot afford to ignore us any longer if they want to prosper.
Now, the conversations may be awkward. They may feel clumsy. Mistakes will be made. After all, we are talking about bridging generations of isolation, ignorance and misunderstanding so, yeah, it’ll feel weird for quite a few people, including our people as we finally get to know each other.
Of course there will be push-back from those who prefer the days when Indians were meek, compliant and irrelevant. They may want to minimize our interests. Perhaps they resent the comfy, laid back and lazy “benefits” that come with being an Indian.
I can only warn you, it’s going to get a whole lot worse for you.
But for those who get it, we’ll prosper together.
Dirk says, The safe word is “Apples”