October 29, 2008 Big Mountain, Black Mesa - It is that season again for societies to commences to its every fourth-year ritual of being caught up in the politics of the ruling class and eventually, after being caught up into this false mindset, they will go out to cast their votes for the best, assumed candidate. Yours truly, Chief Loner, has unfortunately never partaken of this ritual of engaging in the political realm of thought nor have I ever casted a ballot or been a registered voter. Perhaps, I have no “right” to speak about the privilege of being an “American citizen” or having the right to vote. I am an indigenous person from the country of Big Mountain Dineh Nation, and I was raised by my Dineh communities that truly believed that they were never conquered by the U.S. military or its government.
Do my traditional elders know about the U.S. politics? They certainly do, and when one is being oppressed by a foreign government, they will know more about the oppressor’s politics because that targeted society or community would have experienced the brunt of harsh policies. Currently, the Big Mountain matriarchs made up of traditional Dineh (Navajo) elders are still defying relocation and land-partitioning policies that were passed by the U.S. Congress in 1974. This executive order, Public Law 93-531 and which has been amended several times since, has reduced the indigenous population from 20,000 to about 400 within an area of 900,000 acres. The only reason behind this 1974 Act and that which has been proven also was for the purpose of coal and profit. There were no evidences found to support the U.S. government and Peabody Coal Company’s claim that there was a “range war” taking place between the Dineh and the Hopi tribes.
In 2006, presidential candidate Senator John McCain introduced a bill that was to be the ultimate Indian relocation program and which was to be immediately enforced at Big Mountain and other areas where small families were still resisting the relocation law of 1974. McCain mainly felt that not only was the government spending too much money on a small group of Indians that refused to move, but that the U.S. appetite for fossil-fuel consumption was being tested internationally. The elimination or limiting the dependency on foreign oil and the need for a national shift towards increase coal production within the U.S. became the trends in crafting legislation in Washington, D.C.
McCain also wishes to have the potential to rise as another legend from Arizona a state which is the most fascist and right-wing, and is a state with the most native American population. Most of the coal that the U.S. can depend on was in Arizona on Black Mesa where a handful of stubborn Indians are in the way of Peabody’s long and overdue, coal mining expansion. Senator McCain has to have his name in history like all his predecessors: Barry Goldwater, Paul Fanin, Sam Steiger, Morris Udall, and Kit Carson --all whom were haters of Indians and were Indian fighters as well.
But are we not all in this mess together even as some of us are “caught up” in these politics of our era? We can have color to our skin or that we maybe poor whites, but we may just fit into those above categories of the title of this article: minority, non-privileged, in poverty and/or forgotten. The most saddening thing about all this is that the giant, corporate votes that have all the monies will win in this election, and so it does not really matter if it is Obama or McCain. People need to seriously think of what they will be breathing, drinking and digesting in their future, and the power of the people needs to think beyond their pocket book or beyond the rights that they think they should have. 400 indigenous lives in a remote place in northeastern Arizona may be nothing compared to other larger populations at risk, but take into account these: genuine cultures of antiquity that are still intact among the Hopis and the Dineh, pristine territories still inhabited by indigenous life-ways, and the threat of massive coal mining into 2040 without a guarantee that coal will be a clean energy resource.
Some Fossil-Fuel of Thoughts in Regards to Obama:
Peabody Energy (Peabody Coal Company’s new brand name) has contributed largely and secretly to Senator Obama’s campaign. It is a race and so bets are placed for “whatever the outcome.” Obama and Peabody both share the idea and the phrase, “clean coal technologies.” What they refer to is a method of capturing greenhouse gases while burning coal but it is a method still in the beginning stage of research. Then when research is brought up in government where the corporations definitely has a stake they will decide whether such a research, that will obviously be paid by tax-payers, will maintain and enhance the market economy or will it endanger it. Furthermore, Obama supports something that will implement “pollution rights” for those countries that are the highest emitters of green house gas. This could be a new international market based on the carbon-trade and it might require other countries to purchase rights for countries like the U.S. and China to have rights to pollute. 'Spread the revenues evenly,’ huh?
Senator Obama has been active in co-sponsoring numerous coal Acts and he is no stranger to dependency on domestic coal and the profit gains from it all. He has recently supported an old idea of liquefaction of coal or coal-to-liquid (CTL) but he is also aware that this requires great demand on the environment like water, extra chemicals and electrical power to transform CTL. Finally and amongst other developing information, Senator Obama supports a public-private partnership firm called, FutureGen. It is a firm seeking to build on an illusion of a power plant that will be “coal-based” but with “near-zero-emissions.” FutureGen calls itself a ‘nonprofit’ organization that represents the world’s largest coal companies and electric companies which includes Peabody Energy.
In conclusion and if you end up voting for the Great Black Father To Be, Senator Obama as your next President of your United States, do not come crawling to Big Mountain, Black Mesa and tell the traditional Dineh resisters, “I truly didn’t realize that he would allow this! I’m so sorry!”
© Sheep Dog Nation 2008