“Free your mind, your ass will follow.”
Utah’s congressional delegation has penned an op-ed in opposition to Joe Biden’s move to expand Bears Ears National Monument. On Friday, Biden restored the original boundaries of Bears Ears via executive order, claiming at the signing that a little girl had asked him to protect the monument. I don’t buy that one for a minute, but who knows, that may be the way Joe remembers it.
Look, I am an outdoorsman. I don’t hunt, but I hike and backpack and I even gave up a pair of knees and endured permanent damage to my legs for the cause of defending public lands against wildfire. I’ve worked myself into a sweat during the day and froze my backside off on the desert floor at night. And dammit, I’ve got an intermittent limp to prove it. I did my bit. And unlike Joe, his lobbyist, and the white-wine spritzer crowd, I’ve actually been out on some of those lands. I’ve hiked them and lived on them. And truth be told, I loved every minute of it. And if I were not so old, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. There is more to firefighting than just a sense of adventure and some good stories to tell your grandkids. There is also the ineffable feeling of being committed to something greater than yourself, and if you have never felt that, I urge you to go in search of it.
One of the reasons for expanding Bears Ears is its cultural significance to Native Americans. I get that, too. But the Utah delegation raises the issue that input from the area residents, including local tribal members, was ignored in the expansion process. Despite what the Left would have you believe, not all Native Americans are the same. Contrary to the narrative, they are human beings with opinions, ideas, dreams, and goals of their own. They like the same things you do, want a good life for themselves, and their kids clamor for the same stupid crap yours do. As offensive as it is to stereotype them as criminal addicts, it is just as offensive to stereotype them as people who do nothing but sit on top of mountains having intimate conversations with a leaf. Their relationship to the environment is their own, and any attempt by non-Indians to contextualize that for personal gain is racism in its purest if most covert form.
One of the things that infuriates me about the Left is the fact that they treat Native Americans or anyone who is not white as a commodity. Again, unlike Joe Biden & Co, I was once married to a Native American woman whose father was the president of the local chapter of the Native American Church. I had the privilege of learning about gathering cottonwood for a meeting, sweat lodges, the Gourd Dance, and a host of other things from the people to whom those things belonged, not some white would-be hippie who has a fascination with peyote and has declared themselves a shaman because they might have been 1/300th Cherokee and had a satisfying acid trip once. I remember when I was an Episcopalian, the diocese was planning on having an event in our area. One of the planners suggested inviting the local tribe to sing some “Indian songs” as an added bonus. Never mind that those songs have meanings. By having a drum group show up and sing “Indian songs,” the cultural inclusion box had a nice blue checkmark. Good God, the hubris of it all.
But that is the way of the Left. Put up an oil or natural gas rig? Bad. Put up a multi-acre ski resort or mansion? Good. And whatever they can do to preserve their pristine view from intrusions by people like you is just part and parcel of the game. And if they can keep their private paradise intact by co-opting Native Americans, believe me, they will. Any lefties here? Any racial activists? Fine, book yourself a night in one of these resort towns. I guarantee you, most of the “people of color” you will see will be pushing brooms or lawnmowers or changing sheets. And may I point out that these places are populated with progressives? But feel free to keep blaming conservatives and middle America. Ever notice no “Occupy” groups or protesters tend to show up in these places? Just some food for thought.
I want to take a moment to address any actual BIPOC people who might be reading this. Not some idiot trust-fund SJW loser on her third Womyn’s Studies degree or pathetic soy boy wearing a “Future is Female” t-shirt because he thinks it will get him laid. I’m talking to actual native, black, and Hispanic people. Has it ever occurred to you to ask yourselves why white progressives keep getting rich while you stay poor? The progressives view everything and everyone as a commodity. That includes the land and that includes you. The sooner you figure that out, the closer you will be to actual freedom.