All right, class, let's see who knows what two plus two is. Yes,
I have a question. Two plus two what?
Two plus two anything.
I don't understand.
Ok, Doris, I'll explain it to you. You have two apples and you get two more.
How many do you have?
Where would I get two more?
From a tree.
Why would I pick two apples if I already have two?
Never mind, you have two apples and someone gives you two more.
Why would someone give me two more, if she could give them to
someone who's hungry?
Doris, it's just an example.
An example of what?
Let's try again-you have two apples and you find two more. Now
how many do you have?
Who lost them?
YOU HAVE TWO PLUS TWO APPLES!!!! HOW MANY DO YOU
HAVE ALL TOGETHER?????
Well, if I ate one, and gave away the other three, I'd have none left, but
I could always get some more if I got hungry from that tree you were
talking about before.
Doris, this is your last chance-you have two, uh, buffalo and you
get two more.
Now how many do you have?
It depends. How many are cows and how many are bulls, and is any
of the cows pregnant?
It's hopeless! You Indians have absolutely no grasp of abstractions!
-Beverly Slapin, Through Indian Eyes: The Native Experience in Books for Children
Go, Ghost, Go
At this university upon a hill,
I meet a tenured professor
Who's strangely thrilled
To list all of the oppressors --
Past, present, and future -- who have killed.
Are killing and will kill the indigenous.
O, he names the standard suspects --
Rich, white, and unjust --
And I, a red man, think he's correct,
But why does he have to be so humorless?
And how can he, a white man, fondly speak
Of the Ghost Dance, the strange and cruel
That, if performed well, would have doomed
All white men to hell, destroyed their colonies,
And brought back every dead Indian to life?
The professor says, "Brown people
From all brown tribes
Will burn skyscrapers and steeples.
They'll speak Spanish and carry guns and knives.
Sherman, can't you see that immigration
Is the new and improved Ghost Dance?"
All I can do is laugh and laugh
And say, "Damn, you've got some imagination.
You should write a screenplay about this shit --
About some fictional city,
Grown fat and pale and pretty,
That's destroyed by a Chicano apocalypse.
"The professor doesn't speak. He shakes his head
And assaults me with his pity.
I wonder how he can believe
In a ceremony that requires his death.
I think that he thinks he's the new Jesus.
He's eager to get on that cross
And pay the ultimate cost
Because he's addicted to the indigenous.
Sherman Alexie - Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian
"...jessie (little doe) and her husband, Jason Baird, who also is fluent, are raising their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Mae Alice, entirely in Wampanoag. She is the first native speaker in seven generations. Six or seven other Wampanoag community members also have attained conversational fluency and are working towards total mastery. Some 50 people, from small children to elders, and 6 teachers attended a recent immersion camp at which only Wampanoag was spoken." (more).
Idren met (now 5 year old) Mae Alice earlier this month at the Mashpee Wampanoag 'Wow. Remarkable. Indeed, ini N8V African & N8V American haffi much to teach one a neddy, o?
"There was a third white destroyer: a missionary who wanted to replace all knowledge of our way with fables even our children laughed at then. We told the white missionary we had such fables too, but kept them for the entertainment of those yet growing up - fables of gods and devils and a supreme being above everything. We told him we knew soft minds needed such illusions, but that when any mind grew among us to adulthood it grew beyond these fables and came to understand that there is indeed a great force in the world, a force spiritual and able to shape the physical universe, but that that force is not something cut off, not something seperate from ourselves. It is an energy in us, strongest in our working, breathing, thinking together as one people; weakest when we are scattered, confused, broken into individual, unconnected fragments."
~Ayi Kwei Armah
Fela: I was talking to one of my friends today and he said the French government wants me to play at the French cultural centre and they’re going to pay me 45,000 Naira. Do you know that 45,000 is not even up to 500 Dollars, man? Could the French government pay any musician with a 16 piece band in France 500 Dollars? For a whole show? See the whole game, man? And here Africans are rushing for this bread . . . because to us one Naira seems like its equal to one Dollar. Do you know that for a Nigerian to watch my show for 150 Naira then I’ve killed him? Ah ha! You see now. It’s a lot of bread! Yeah this is what is called the Whiteman’s conspiracy—called the devaluation of currency.
Femi: So that westerners can buy our resources cheaper . . .
Fela: Thank you. Then I ask them, I am the one with the oil. They say, no your money is not one Dollar, your money is one eightieth of a Dollar. I say, but my oil has not devalued has it? .You see their f******g cheating man? All the heavy slapping, boxing, kicking, karate, leg kicking . . . My brother anything, they’re just giving it to us here in Africa. They are now telling me that our currency is of low value, but our crude oil is still considered as one of the highest qualities in the world. The validity of the oil remains the same.
Femi: So I mean...
Fela: You see now that’s democrazy.
( ..more ).
Long burn the Iyes, awo.