After days of cloud (it is November), there are patches of blue sky, marking a perfect contrast to the burnt orange oaks and maples still holding their leaves. The ever-present November wind shakes the trees, stops, then returns. The freeze a couple of nights ago killed the front garden, yet the back garden, mostly prepared for bed, continues to provide veggies.
We’ve been keeping an anxious eye on goings on at Standing Rock and in the general election. The “mainstream” electronic media, PBS being the exception, has largely ignored Standing Rock; when they do mention it, they tell the story from the pipeline company’s and police perspective, ignoring Native history, values, and aspirations. Their coverage of the general election has been equally insipid, as they refuse to demand the candidates address the central issues we collectively face. They also, largely ignore the growing racism and violence from the political right. Being a household with Jewish, Welsh, Scottish, and Native ancestry, we find the threats, racist remarks, acts of desecration and violence, and mocking of disability deeply troubling.
Watching the violence against Native people at Standing Rock on Twitter and Facebook is simply too evocative. I remember all too well watching the televised police attacks on civil rights workers in the south during the early Sixties. November 9, next Wednesday, is the anniversary of Kristallnacht or The Night of Broken Glass, the event that effectively began the Holocaust. Then there are my family’s repeated warnings that all governments are racist and dangerous for Native people. “Better to be invisible.” It is all too familiar, and we wonder where it will lead.