Saturday, June 10, 2006

Indians Honor Warriors

From the New York Times:
Honoring Warriors From Both the Past and the Present

“Where are your lands?” a trader once taunted Crazy Horse.

“My lands are where my dead lie buried,” the Sioux chief responded.

About 200 people crossed that rolling prairie on horseback last week, riding from Nebraska to South Dakota in a four-day tribute to honor all military veterans and the revered Crazy Horse.

“It was a way to say thank you to our warrior culture,” said Charles Brewer, 40, of Pine Ridge, S.D., who organized the ninth annual Crazy Horse Ride.

Most of the riders were children and teenagers from the Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Sioux tribe. Others came from Chicago, New York and Germany to take part.

Mr. Brewer, a mechanic who also raises buffalo and horses, said he wanted to pay tribute to war veterans, including three of his uncles, who reflect Crazy Horse’s courage and strength.
This is not an isolated case. Wisconsin’s own Ho-Chunk Nation did something similar on Memorial Day to honor their warriors.

The irony here, as will be obvious to all Marquette students and alumni, is that a politically correct administration at the university dropped “Warriors” as an athletic nickname on the grounds that it demeaned and insulted American Indians.

Leave aside for a moment the fact that a lot of people would have been happy to get “Warriors” back even if the mascot was a type of warrior other than an American Indian. Are Indians insulted to be thought of as warriors?

It seems real-world Indians are quite happy with the image of “Warriors.”

Some of the politically correct types will say that it’s alright for real Indians to be “Warriors,” that that whites pretending to be Indian warriors are out of bounds.

This, of course, is a typically convoluted argument, of the sort to which politically correct people have to resort. Nobody complains when people not of Greek extraction stage a pageant to honor the ancient Greeks. And it would be an actual civil rights violation for a school pageant honoring the Pilgrims to exclude children not of “Yankee” extraction. Can you imagine: “you can’t be on stage if your ancestors came here after 1650!”

But political correctness is not about applying the same moral and intellectual standards that usually apply. It’s about the articulation of grievance.

But real-world Indians, doing what they want to do and not pandering to politically correct whites, celebrate their heritage as warriors.

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