November 15, 2012
A Different Perspective
On Wednesday November 14 I walked into McGuire hall, I had no idea what I would walk into, but I knew that this would count as an event for lit so I sat down and prepared to enjoy the speaker. The speaker was name Louis Eagle-Warrior; he is a Native American flutist and also historian that ALANA has asked to come to Loyola to speak about Native American culture.
The audience consisted of only about fifteen students, which gave the event a very personal touch. Eagle-Worrier started out by playing the Native American flute, which he explained was on a different scale than musical instruments. After he finished playing he started right into history of Indians (which he prefers over Native-American). He said that there is an unfair stereotype that all Indians lived in tee-pees. Eagle-Warrior said that only plain Indians would live in tee-pees, and ride horses, while Indians in the north would have homes made from wood and leaves. Also, most of the clothes we may picture Indians wearing were only worn by plain Indians.
After playing another flute, Eagle-Warrior began to speak about some of the Evils of America.
“This holiday thanksgiving, that you all will be celebrating soon,” he says, “Is really just celebrating when the white man killed 700 Indians, by calling them out of a meeting, then shooting them, if they did not come up quick enough they just burned them alive. Then the white man said today we give thanks for the dead Indians, and that’s what you all celebrate.”
He said all this with such hostility that I could not help but thinking that it was my fault that this tradition continues. He also went on to explain how he does not like thanksgiving because we waste so many turkeys.
Then he continues about the irony of America. Starting with Columbus, he told us how Columbus did not discover America but rather just raped and killed millions of Indians. Making this the largest holocaust in history. He said that if we are to have a Columbus day then why not designate a holiday for Hitler. He also continued to talk about the fact that America stresses safety from terrorists, but in reality America itself is really the terrorist.
Diversity and Justice is a very important to justice education. Because just viewing injustice from a distance is not personal enough to make an impact ones life for them to make a difference. Though the words of Eagle-Warrior came from such a passionate, emotional place that sometimes they came off as offensive. Due to the fact that some of his words were overpowered with hate it was quite difficult to take his facts for truth. I suppose that this only strengthens the point we came across in the beginning of the course, that one cannot be passionate about an injustice unless they witness it firsthand. For me I was more concentrated on defending myself from the animosity that Eagle-Warrior was sending out, than being passionate about how Native-Americans were treated.