yellerpup's Journal - Archives
Posted by yellerpup in Astrology, Spirituality & Alternative Healing Group
Thu Nov 24th 2011, 03:28 PM
Synopsis of "Weep"
In Cherokee legend it is said that at the beginning of the world people and animals spoke and understood each other’s languages. “Weep” is a story about a woman whose life changed after just such an encounter with a carriage horse in Central Park. Nikki Twig has spent most of her life hiding from her past. Nikki and her best friend, Belinda Carpenter always wished to be sisters when they were children. Upon the death of their friend and mentor, Wally, they learn that they are related to each other through a Cherokee bloodline, but are left to their own devices to determine exactly how. In a story set in present day Oklahoma, Nikki finds identity and belonging.
I wrote this in the two weeks after the bombing. It is published in "Ensemble Studio Theatre: Marathon '97" by Smith & Kraus. The monologue has been performed by Conchatta Farrel, Socorro Santiago, and Patricia Neal professionally, and many others from readings in nursing homes to high school speech and drama contests. The Oklahoma City bombing marked the biggest terrorist event in US history, and the crime was committed by Americans.
My back yard is like a birdland Peyton Place in April. They’re up there in the treetops, lookin’ fancy for each other and singin’ their birdie love songs--courtin’, flirtin’, and braggin’ on who builds the best nests before they decide who they’re gonna marry and mate with. They love to peck in my garden, too, so rich with worms and tender little shoots. Grampa taught me the trick of plantin’ a mulberry tree smack in with the peaches. Birds will go straight for the berries and stay clean off your fruit.
I get up with the birds, I surely do, and get right out here every mornin’. I bring out the quilt I’ve slept under the night before and toss it over the clothes line to air. You want the sun to hit it ‘cause sunshine kills a lot of germs, but you don’t want your quilt right out in the hot sun, because that will fade your colors. So, I air my quilt before the sun gets too high, and do my level best to keep the birds out of the garden. It’s too early to pick, so there’s nothin’ else I can do until the dew burns off. I use the time to give thanks for the day. In my own way. I’m not much of one for church.
I had been out here for a while. I judged it to be comin’ up around nine o’clock and I had started back to the house for my sun hat when all of a sudden, all the bird sounds went flat dead. I looked up to see if a hawk was flyin’ over, but there wasn’t no hawk. Not even a cloud. Just shock stillness.
Then, out of nowhere, this crazy little female sparrow flies straight into the screen on my kitchen window. I never seen a bird so terrified. She was beatin’ her wings bloody, peckin’ and pullin’ at the stray wires stickin’ out of the screen, squawkin’ shrillin’. What a racket! She was tryin’ to get into my house, which for a bird is downright crazy. It’s a bad omen. A real bad omen. It usually means a death in the family.
For a second, I thought it was gonna be me, ‘cause my heart fell heavy like ten tons of lead and my guts went all quivery on me. And that bird was still pitchin’ such a hissy fit she was near flailin’ herself to death against the screen, so I whipped off my apron and waved it around to shoo her off...fly away bird! Fly away! Fly away!
My mouth suddenly filled with the taste of copper, and I spit and spit, but I could not get it out.
I went on in the house and latched the screen door tight. I turned the light off in the‹ kitchen and pulled down the shade. I thought I’d make myself a cup of tea and call Doris Ray. She’s the cousin who keeps the closest tabs on the family, so if something bad had happened to us, she’d be the first to know. I put on a sweater and hunkered up over my tea.
The birds were talkin’ amongst themselves again, but not up to level. Definitely not up to where they were... I peeked out. When birds hug the branches in broad daylight, there is evil afoot. I decided I had to know, so I dialed up Doris Ray. She said, “Turn on the TV, Merriweather. Turn on the TV right now!”
What channel?”, I say, she says “Any channel,” and hung up.
I turned it on. Oklahoma City. A bomb.
My god, I’ve never seen so much blood outside a war. Did somebody start a war? A day care center, they say, a truck bomb like at the World Trade Center, but this time it’s Oklahoma. Oklahoma!?
Here comes a woman runnin’ up to the wreckage. She’s lookin’ for her baby and they can’t hold her. She’s past one cop. Wait, mamma, wait! You can’t go in there. Let the man do his job. They got her. Hang on, girl. Hang on.
It’s the Federal Building, so it’s gotta be political, but what a price? What are we payin’ for? Oklahoma? What the hell do we have in Oklahoma that anybody wants so bad they got to blow us up?
Doris Ray called back. Her emergency/disaster unit wasn’t activated to go down there, but she was on call anyway as we were expectin’ bad weather.
I said, “Come on Doris Ray, let’s me and you go give blood. I got to do somethin’ before I cry myself blind.”
We pull up to the hospital, and the line was already two blocks long. Whoever did this must not have counted on us standin’ up for each other like we do. We’re tough damn people. Everybody whose family has been in Oklahoma more than a hundred years is descended from either Indians or outlaws, or both, and we’re gonna get you, you son-of-a-bitch. We gonna put you down like a mad dog.
That’s all people was talkin’ in the blood line, and at the Post Office, and in the bars that night. Speculations on Saddam Hussein or Khaddafi--but to me that didn’t make sense cause Oklahomans have had good relations with the Arabs for years. Half the steak houses in the state serve taboulleh.
Somebody else said Waco because it was April nineteenth, but that didn’t make sense either. Who the hell cares about some weird, gun-collectin’, apocalyptic-cult, pederast who thought the world owed it to him to be a rock star? What kind of hero kills his own people?
The experts were sayin’ Middle East, and I was thinkin’: fine. Let’s see how you like diggin your dead babies from the rubble. Blood for blood. We’ll bomb you all. Bomb you into oblivion, and we won’t care if it’s your babies, or your old people, or what.
Then, it came out that the guys were from Michigan, and I just couldn’t picture wipin’ out all the people in Michigan the way I could when I thought it was gonna be
somebody over there in Baghdad.
I said, “Doris Ray, I am so ashamed.”
She said, “Don’t beat yourself up too bad, Merriweather, you just had a little knee-jerk reaction.”
She’s a paramedic, so I took her word.
Okay, you live in the free-est country in the world. You can go where you want any time you want, say what you want, live any way you want to as long as you don’t hurt anybody. You hate the government? You don’t want to pay taxes? Fine. Stay off the damn roads. Deliver your own goddamn letters. Dig yourself an outhouse in the back yard and dig yourself a water well, too, while you’re at it. See how long you last.
Well, you just can’t wallow in bitterness, can you? Can’t just watch TV and cry. Doris Ray came over and we tried to figure out if we knew anyone who--was in it. We didn’t think we did, but it turns out that my chiropractor’s niece had a job interview at the Department of Agriculture that mornin’. Some lady showed her where the bathroom was on that floor so she could give herself the once over before she went in. She made it, but the lady who showed here where to go got killed. And, Wynona Stokes, right down the road, used to babysit two little boys on her ex-husband’s side who were cousins to one little girl who died in the blast. None of our blood kin was down that way.
So, Doris Ray and me, we started a blanket drive. Blankets are important to our people--her and me are both part Cherokee and blankets count for--let’s call it ‘security’ to us, -- on a lot of different levels. When a couple marries, he gives her a ham and she gives him an ear of corn and we say they join the blankets. When a couple divorces, we say they split the blanket.
I couldn’t find the key to my cedar chest, so Doris Ray broke in with a nail file. She’s the handiest girl with tools I ever seen. I started unpackin’ and unfoldin’ my quilts, and spreadin’ them out on the bed. We’re a long line of quilters in my family.
It was a treasure chest full, with most every design: Double Nine Patch, Tumbling Blocks, Prairie Star, Star of Bethlehem, and a plain, big block quilt pieced by my dear old blind Uncle Bus. Grandma Ruth’s quilt: Flyin’ Geese, she brought from Burke County, North Carolina in 1832. Aunt Taffy’s satin rosette spread--too fragile almost to be handled. A Dresden Plate, signed Leota Charles, 1907. These were family heirlooms, not mine to pass outside the family, so I decided to donate just ones I’d done myself.
Doris Ray started sweatin’. She said, “Hell, let’s go to Wal-Mart and just buy some new.”
I said, “I’m gonna pick three.”
Every time I’d pick one up, she’d say: “Not that one.”
I settled on the Log Cabin I pieced out of Daddy’s workshirts and overalls when he died. Then, I took up the Tree of Life that reminds me so of Mamma, and put it on the pile.
The third one was my pride and joy. Fifty States. The one that has a block for each state embroidered with the official bird and flower. Real colorful, a pleasure to the eye. I took the blue ribbon at the Tulsa State Fair for it.
Doris had eyes for that one, I knew she did, and she bit her lip when I put it in the box. Then she gave me a hug and said, “This will warm their hearts.”
I had worked every thread with love, and my spirit was strong in them all. I chanted a healing prayer over the box before I taped it up. Doris took it out to her car, and I came out back, as I hadn’t been in the garden for four days. I needed a good day in the garden.
The birds had took their chances on each other. They were all paired up and busy building nests. I goosed a few weeds around the tomatoes. I thought of old Nana Sims, that old girl could sure gum a tomato—gobblin’ and grinnin’ with the juice runnin’ down her chin like a little ol’ toothless baby....then, I thought of those little toothless babies, dead in Oklahoma City, who was never gonna get a chance to taste any kind of‹food at all, and it like to broke my heart.
I dragged the hoe on out to the squash. There I found the sparrow, dead. The ants had got to her. I got the shovel and dug a sparrow grave. Coulda done it faster with a post-hole digger, no bigger than a sparrow is, but I felt I owed her a decent burial. She was the first messenger to bring me the terrible news. I think the sky grew too thick with the souls of human beings that day, and it frightened her to death.
Now we gotta try to get over this. We’re not ever gonna forget it, but we got to find a way to put ourselves back together. When they did this to us, good people came from all over to lend a hand, and our brothers and sisters who could not come, let us know they were united in thought and in deed. It happened here, and it happened to us, but we all know it could have been anybody.
In this land, we’re made up of every shade, every color, every stripe. In the morning, we all greet the same sun, and together or apart, agree or disagree, when we lie down at night, we all sleep under the same patchwork called One Nation Indivisible.
They have ripped at our heart. We pick up our thread, pull the pieces together, and we begin to mend.
My parents carried guns everywhere (before there were rules forbidding it and after there were rules placing restrictions on carrying) even though they were never threatened by anyone, never stalked, and not engaged in illegal activities. They had no need to carry arms for protection as they had neither friends nor enemies. They carried guns because they were afraid of everything. As my parents aged they grew more paranoid. They became much frailer in body and more feeble of mind, but still they clung to their guns even though they had accumulated nothing worth stealing by the end of their lives. Ironically, the only thing they owned that might have made them a target for robbery was their cache of arms and ammunition.
Because we moved often due to my father’s line of work, every time we moved into a different house the first thing I did was try to find a safe spot for my bed. I preferred for my pillow to be in a corner, so that if bullets started flying through my window I wouldn’t get shot in the head. I figured I could survive getting shot in the arm or leg, but I was pretty sure getting shot in the head would do me in for good.
When my father worked the night shift, my mother would walk the floors all night long, creeping from window to window with her pistol in hand, muttering about how she was going to shoot whoever was out there “in the ass” if they would only come out of she shadows. Sometimes she would yell at these terrifying lurkers to “come out where I can see you.” If my brother or sister or I awoke while she was acting out her fantasy, she would draw us into the game, “Get down; get down! Somebody is out there!” This specific parental behavior caused me to be obsessed with being shot in the head from the age of four. FTR: no one was ever out there.
I loved them, but I pitied them more. Having well-armed parents never made me feel safe. Every night when I prayed “…if I should die before I wake…” I was hoping that I wouldn’t die from being shot in the head. I knew that my mom and dad wanted very much to shoot someone and I never was sure that it wouldn’t be me.
biggest influence. She had a kitchen in the house and a separate "cookhouse" so we could cook to our heart's content and keep the main house cool enough to still be able to sleep at night. She taught my mom (a teenage bride) to cook and mom always made good pies (including the crust which no one in our family would ever dream of NOT eating) and quick breads like biscuits and cornbread, muffins, pancakes & waffles. Grandma always had a huge vegetable garden plus an orchard, and we spent most days all summer long in "putting up" one thing or another. Tomatoes, chow chow, piccalilly, okra and stewed tomatoes, quart upon quart of green beans, beets, and dill pickles. We made apple butter, plum and grape jelly, and jars of whole pears from the orchard and pint jars of wild blackberry jam. The only fruit we would buy was strawberries for ice cream and jam. Being interested in eating made me interested in cooking and exploring different cuisines. I was the first person in our very well-fed family to ever try a mushroom or a tortilla. I'm still hooked on both. She also had a pecan grove, raised a steer and two or three pigs to share with the rest of the family every year. Then there was the small dairy herd so we always had fresh milk. We churned butter but sold the good stuff off for cash while we bought and ate oleo for five or ten cents a stick. Grandpa had a hand for chickens, so we were never lacking for eggs either. On the other hand, the men in our family hunt, so we also had duck, rabbit, squirrel, and venison. My favorite motivating quote from Grandma: "If you can get to where you can cook good enough, honey, you can get practically anybody in the world to come to your house to eat." She was right.
As a teen, I began cooking for crowds. My family moved at least once a year, so I was always the new kid in school and having to start from the ground floor to make friends in each new town. All I had to do to draw a crowd of teens was offer them food. I started out making home made pizza, but soon the local boys thought it would be fun to challenge me, so I also learned how to prepare frog legs and pheasant just to prove I could without being grossed out. For years, I expressed my creativity almost totally through cooking. It is still a favorite activity that I can be excited about and know that it will also calm me down.
On edit: I forgot to mention peaches!
XOXO right back at you!
This letter is being sent to everyone we know.
This past Thursday I spent a bit of my own time visiting the office
of my representative in NY. I went because I had gotten frustrated watching TV news reports of the
behavior of people at various town hall meetings around the country.
Apparently many people feel that bellowing insults and accusations,
threatening violence, and generally acting like jerks, is acceptable
political speech. I disagree.
What motivated me to take action was an email appeal from Barack
Obama's "Organizing for America" campaign. During the campaign last
year I sent money occasionally but never joined any organized meetings
or gatherings, mostly due to time limitations. But I've also never
been one for joining mass movements or going to rallies. I believe in
the effectiveness of one well-written letter over almost any other
form of political action.
I'm not writing this now for any other reason. I paid my visit to
Rep. Lowey's office and filled out a brief feedback form on the OFA
website afterwards. No one asked me to follow up in any other way. But
I feel I made a valuable contribution with that small gesture.
Here's why I think health care reform is necessary. For 25 years I
was a successful, self-employed artist, with a prestigious client list
that I built myself. Most of my clients were well-known magazines, but
the magazine market had some serious reversals in the 1990's and I
struggled to find my footing in the transition from being self-
employed to searching for a regular job. I could have, with similar
effort, rebuilt my freelance career, but it wasn't just losing
clients, it was the fact that health insurance for freelancers and the
self-employed just kept getting more and more expensive. We would
often let it lapse for years at a time, and the only reason we could
get away with that was that we had no kids and were young and in good
health. Then when we got a little ahead we would get insurance for a
time, but each time the premiums were due, they got higher and higher,
and so did our deductibles. It was a no-win situation.
This country needs to be more accommodating to the self-employed,
freelancers and entrepreneurs. Large corporations cannot make the
innovations, inventions, and technical and artistic advances that keep
a culture viable. This country needs the self-employed like it needs
clean air and water. A big step in that direction is making health
insurance available regardless of one's employment status.
Another problem with the insurance industry these days (although this
wasn't an issue addressed by OFA) is that insurance companies should
not sell stock or be publically held. Insurance companies should be
beholden to one group, their policyholders. If they're not, they are
not doing what they claim to be in business for. Once they have
stockholders, they are no longer serving their purported purpose.
Short of forcing a divestment of insurance company stocks, if a
government-sponsored alternative can force a change in the current
status quo then so be it.
Now that health care has become about making every aspect a profit
center instead of about health care, the people shouting and
threatening at town hall meetings might as well be wearing insurance
company logos on their shirts.
If these sentiments strike a chord with you, visit http://www.barackobama.com /
and see if there's anything you can do to counter the ignorance and
shouting. August is a crucial month because our representatives are
home for recess and need to hear from you!
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
While arguing with my conservative brother who thinks Afghanistan should just be leveled…(I know, it’s already been leveled) because opium sales fund Taliban activities, I came up with an alternative.
Buy the entire opium crop. Own 95% of all the pain relief in the world. Corner the market and use as needed. Anyone, anywhere who has pain can have relief from pain at the hands of the USA. Every person who has ever had surgery or had a loved one who had surgery understands the importance of pain relief. Why can’t we give that (free or at a modest mark-up) to the world?
Illegal opiate sales would ideally drop in direct proportion to the percentage of the world opium crop the US would own because illegal product would no longer be available.
Instead of demonizing the product, which has been famed for it’s comforting qualities for millennia, why can’t we, in cooperation with the people of Afghanistan make a gift of pain free operations to everyone in the world?
If the USA controlled 95% of all the opium in the world we could have control over whether it ends up as professionally administered medicine and severely inhibit its client base and drive down recreational use.
Afghanis could still grow beautiful fields of flowers and continue to make their living as they have made it from time long forgotten with the only difference being the middlemen cut out so that we could pay a better price than the present drug dealers pay. Surely the USA has the wherewithal to make an opportunity for these beleaguered people to help them choose peace and give them enough money to care for themselves and their families at the same time.
I bet Bill would say that you are selling yourself short. You do have cast iron skillets, don't you? Chicken Betty insisted on using cast iron. I have two, one is a very deep 10" skillet with 5" sides and a lid, and the other is a 10" skillet with 3" sides. The lid fits both skillets perfectly perfectly. I am telling you this because I'm going to be cooking for my fundraiser between now and Saturday and won't have a chance to track down the recipe for you immediately. Chicken Betty was the eldest of 11 children and had been frying chicken from the time she was a little girl and was a somewhat temperamental cook. Local restaurants around Kansas City hired her when they had the chance, although I seem to recall that she would get in a tizzy over one thing or another and indulge in a little drama and walk out taking both her clientele and her skillets. She likes her fryers about 3-1/2 lbs. so they have some meat on their bones. She washes the pieces in cold water, pats them dry, then lets them air dry long enough to shake the refrigerator chill off. Salt and pepper both sides of chicken and roll them in seasoned flour. She likes salt, pepper, and a little paprika mixed in with about 4-5 C. of flour in a big bowl, and wisks all together with a fork. Divide the seasoned flour and make an assembly line with the flour on both sides and a bath of eggs beaten with milk and salt (and a drop of liquid pepper) in the middle. Chicken Betty said to "tump" the chicken into the flour mixture one piece at a time, vigorously thumping the flour into each piece. Next step, dredge the floured chicken piece in the egg mixture and let the excess drip off before rolling it into the second flour mixture and again "tumping" the flour on so that it will stick. By the time you get all the pieces dredged, dipped and floured, the deep skillet should be about half full with the oil/lard just under the smoking point (about 375) and ready to fry. She insists on using lard for frying and disapproves of oil, she did say something about Crisco, I think, but times have changed. I got into the habit of making lard when I got into making tortillas, so I use that when I make fried chicken, but these days I use a bit of it for flavoring the main frying medium, canola oil usually. Chicken Betty says it's important to let the chicken have room to float a little in the first cooking, then you transfer the pieces (when they turn golden) into the shallow skillet with the lid on tightly until the chicken begins to splutter, then you turn down the fire and set the lid ajar. Don't get into a hurry during this phase. You will be turning the chicken in the short pan several times and will take 15-20 minutes for the crust to become deep brown and very crisp. Keep the batches warm in the oven while you fry.
I have taken liberties with Chicken Betty's recipe in all ways over the years except for using cast iron to cook in and using 100% lard for frying. I have brined, not brined it, added several combinations of dried herbs and spices, and it has all been good. The success of her recipe is in the method, and the key to her method is cast iron.
I'll try to find and copy the whole article next week.
In 1965, at the end of the second term when I was in the tenth grade, my dad lost his job in the oil fields of Oklahoma. Oil production was slowing in the mid-1960’s so there were no more jobs to be had in his area of expertise and there were no career re-training programs like there are now. We moved to a very small town where it was cheap to live and rented a house across the creek from my grandparents farm for $30 a month.
The only job my dad could get was a job working on commission selling “orange drink” – not orange juice, but a drink more like Kool-Aid – door to door. It took him quite a while to find that job, and he didn’t even earn a paycheck for it most of the time. My mom got a job cooking at a café fifteen miles away. Her hours were from 5:30 AM to 5:30 PM and her pay was $5.00 per shift. That works out to sixty cents an hour. I turned sixteen that spring.
At my new school, there were a total of eight sophomores in my class. I liked school and made good grades, and because of the dearth of competition, I also lettered in track and softball that spring. With only eleven girls in the entire school, grades 9-12, it was not hard to find a place on any of the sports teams, all we had to do was show up…
Most of the kids in that school lived beneath the poverty level. I don’t remember what the dollar amount poverty level was when Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty started but I do know that the first minimum wage was set at $1.60 per hour. When Mr. Palmer, our high school principal found out how our family was struggling (my mom and dad never asked for help, so I don’t know how he knew) Mr. Palmer called me into his office and offered me a job in the cafeteria through the Neighborhood Youth Corps, part of the War on Poverty program. Depending on what work needed to be done, I worked every day for at least an hour before school and for at least two hours after school doing jobs like sorting beans, washing and making salads, stocking the milk bins, sweeping, mopping, and waxing the cafeteria floor. The work was physical and not exciting, but not nearly as hard as what my mom was doing. When I worked the minimum of fifteen hours I made almost as much as my mom made working a six-day-72-hour week.
During the summer months, I babysat my younger brother and sister and cooked breakfast and lunch for them as well as the family’s evening meal so my mom, who was on her feet all day long, didn’t have to keep working after she came home. I did our laundry and took in ironing from people around town, charging $1 for a dozen pieces, I worked in the garden and scrubbed the big cooking pots at the local café two nights a week for seventy-five cents an hour. Restaurants, then as now, are not required to pay their workers minimum wage. When school started again in the fall and I began earning minimum wage again, I felt rich! When your family is broke, people feel awkward and you feel that you have make up for their discomfort by apologizing for living.
That fall, I managed to stay on the honor roll, letter in basketball and volleyball, represent my school in the Fairest of the Fair competition at the State Fair, appear in the Christmas pageant and keep my job washing pots in the restaurant. My mom demanded a raise at the café, so they fired her. The good thing was that Mom was able to stay home and take care of the little ones again. I also stopped taking in ironing. Dad began getting temporary jobs as a laborer, so he was bringing in some money, but he still didn’t have a job that he was proud of and he became very depressed.
One night I came home and Dad was crying really hard. My dad almost never cried—the only time I had seem him cry was when he had to sell our nice Ford station wagon and buy a clunker that was so embarrassing to be seen in that we would all sink down low and pretend we didn’t notice anyone who waved. Dad was as low as a person can get that night and when I walked in his eyes were puffy and blistered looking. Mom and my brother and sister were all trying to cheer him up, but nothing was working.
He howled in outrage, “We don’t have a life anymore. I never asked anybody for anything. I worked hard all my life and here we are now–on welfare…” he fixed his gaze on me…“and you know that it’s all your fault, don’t you?”
I said, “We aren’t on welfare, Daddy! I have a job! I work for the money I get; that’s not welfare.”
He sneered, “My daughter is paying our bills off a government program that Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson cooked up together. It’s welfare and it’s worse than welfare!” He cursed a blue streak; Dad was a mighty cusser. “It’s communism!”
That’s when I realized that he was deeply, personally angry with me but I did not understand why. I sensed that anything I said would not be taken well, so I said nothing.
He said, “I’ve started thinking that if I don’t get a job by Christmas, then all of us would probably be better off dead.”
Mom grabbed him and gasped, “No, no, honey. Don’t say that! Don’t even think that!”
My little brother and sister started crying, too, and they both piled on him and showered him with their innocent kisses, “No, Daddy, no! Don’t cry, Daddy! Be happy, Daddy! We love you! Don’t be sad.”
They all had their arms wrapped around him and they couldn’t see his face. He glared at me out of those red-rimmed eyes and I knew that he meant every word and that he was still thinking about killing us all. I lost all respect for him in that moment, when I realized that his pride meant more to him than all our lives.
I stopped going home after work and went to my friend’s house instead. I knew that there was nothing I could do except to keep working and keep doing what I knew was right. I still paid the rent, but I stayed off his radar because I didn’t trust him. Lucky for our family, he found a job before Christmas.
Let me put this another way. If your pregnant daughter took off to parts unknown when she was near her due date, (and she is an adult whom you have no control over) then the next time you heard from her was six or eight months later, she tells you she has given the child up for adoption because she is/was impaired by drugs or alcohol, wouldn't you want the child back in your family? The law gives you recourse that would enable you to get the child back with your family so he could be raised with his siblings, so you file for custody while the child stays with his foster parents while the case is worked out in court. You win after a long court trial because the law is on your side to protect your family from exactly this type of adoption and you get the baby back. You don't consider giving the child to the people who adopted him illegally because the child is a member of your family. It wouldn't matter how many years you had to fight to get your child back because custody does not go to the people who held the child the longest, the child goes back to his family. You are a mother and I believe that you if you lost your child shortly after his/her birth then found him, say, four years later, you would fight to get him/her back.
All this nonsense about blood percentages is insulting to native people. Everyone has 100% blood and it is all interchangeable. The native tribes of this country have traditionally accepted children of mixed heritage because they are family members, unlike the Europeans who sired children upon native or black women then used them as slaves or for target practice. Nobody has 7/8 white blood or 3/4 tribal blood, that was an invention of the US government to rob the survivors of the American Indian genocide of money settlements that they (and their heirs) were due from negotiated treaties.
Posted by yellerpup in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Fri Aug 29th 2008, 10:55 AM
They think that Palin is going to bring in Hillary's 18,000,000 "cracks in the glass ceiling" votes!
Posted by yellerpup in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Fri May 02nd 2008, 01:25 PM
I watched a complete sermon (GD America) by Jeremiah Wright a few days ago and was completely blown away by it. I am an ethical atheist/agnostic and very happy to be situated outside the debate of faith. I prefer to take my cues from animals, who never kill except to eat. There are animal exceptions of course, but individual animals who kill wantonly are shunned by their own kind. When was the last time you heard of a war between the gnus and the giraffes?
Anyway, as I listened to J.W. preach I found myself longing to be challenged to live my convictions the way he challenged his congregation that Sunday. This is the kind of eyes-wide-open Christianity could actually move me into a pew week after week. He was pushing the limits of his congregation that day, playing with them psychologically, manipulating them by offending them and them loving them because they were offended. At least that was my visceral impression of his sermon. You may be less shocked than I if you attend church services and your pastor challenges you in the same way. I've never experienced a more inspiring sermon. I can understand why Obama would give this man the benefit of the doubt.
Then Wright seemed to go power-mad last Monday and after having a rough time in the press, Obama was right to repudiate him. The brouhaha was certainly dramatic; it allowed Obama to give a couple of great speeches and huge face-time all over the msm. The controversy kept the spotlight on him while showing off his "toughness" in dealing with media-driven issues.
At this point in Bill Clinton's primary campaign he was dealing with bimbo eruptions on a regular basis and that didn't prevent him from getting the nomination. I loved Bill Clinton. True, he was a cheating husband, but he wasn't MY cheating husband. Maybe he is trying to give Hillary this election as payback for all her years of self-sacrifice in their marriage. I can identify that she feels that she 'earned it' years ago. Damn right, he owes her. I don't, though, and neither does anyone else. If the rules were really fair, she would have been able to take over the Presidency once she caught him with his pants down. I'm sure she would have been great as president then and we all would have been tremendously grateful to have a nice, competent Clinton running the country while the other very competent Clinton remained distracted by frivolous lawsuits.
I want the President who works at reconciliation, who can explain what he is doing and why he is doing it, who is beholden to no special interest, and who can excite the rest of the world with the possibility of change in the way the USA conducts foreign policy. Obama is our hope for the future.
Right you are about Sequoya being half. John Ross, the Principal Chief during the Trail of Tears, whose wife Quatie died on the march was only 1/8 (in 1838). I have uncovered so much fascinating, untold history in researching this geneaolgy that began when I asked myself, "Why is it that so many generations of bright, beautiful people who were in America at least a century before Ellis Island was established ended up dispossessed in Oklahoma?" As with African Americans, even one drop of native blood made all your possessions forfeit to any white who was willing to kill you for it or use the courts to take it from you--unless of course, you could "pass". That's why many mixed bloods show up 'white' on census records. Here are two snapshots in time.
“The steam-boat Industry, Capt. Johnson, arrived at this place, about noon, on Wednesday last, having on board about 100 cabin and deck passengers, principally emigrants to the Territory, and about 200 emigrating Cherokee Indians, from the old nation, who are on their way to the Cherokee country up the Arkansas. A few of these Cherokees have a little of the appearance of the Indian, but the principal part of them show no signs of retaining in their veins any portion of the aboriginal blood.”
Arkansas Gazette, January 19, 1830
“I fought through the Civil War and have seen men shot to pieces and slaughtered by the thousands, but the Cherokee Removal was the cruelest work I ever knew.”
Anonymous Georgia Volunteer, later
A Colonel in the Confederacy
There are more mixed-blood Cherokee survivors from the genocide in this country than from any other tribe (because of a targeted program of integration). If you have information on your ggg-grandmother here is a link that you can plow through (if you have the patience) to see if you can find your line. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/inde... "Twinkie", "Wannabe", and "White Trash" are sometimes used by those whose blood is less dilute to describe those who have been cut off from their heritage. The anthropologist, James Mooney ("Myths of the Cherokee") said in 1803 that the Cherokee were not worth studying from an anthropological point of view because they were already so acculturated to European ways. Don't let it get you down. It's the same thing as some saying that Obama is not 'black enough'--for what? It is a frustrating attitude, but if you learn the history you can get some pride back, I promise. The Cherokee Nation website http://www.cherokee.org is a wonderful, accepting place to explore and you can sign up for free lessons in the Cherokee language. Cherokee BTW in Cherokee is Tsalagi. You've set the first foot on the path of an interesting adventure. Good luck to you in your quest.
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