Sunday, May 24, 2015

I could be crazy

An item on Facebook newsfeed made me think about a student who told me one time I had to be crazy because he did not like the assignment I had given. I told him, "I could be, so behave". He wanted a rip-roaring reaction and got nothing. He looked around and started working like the rest of the class

One Saturday several months ago, I had a good time commenting on a post by Robert Reich. I was well blasted by a few and supported by others. I started an awesome thread and was the center of attention by moderating, talking back, liking, ignoring. At the end of the day, I had gotten little done. But I did have a long copy of all the comments.

I know Facebook will soon be dead for me. I can feel the urge to cancel. It is not the newsfeed or flotsam that floats around. It is the fact that it is replacing quality reading. Yes, I am learning new things but when did any of us need to know so much opinion. Who cares about facts, the world is presently run on feelings and outright indignation.

There are some nuggets I did learn. One was why native Americans cannot stand hearing people say they have Indian ancestry. I theorize it is sheer frustration from the ever unrelenting forces of assimilation and broken promises. If I had some power, I would honor the treaties between the United States and Native American Nations.

I also know native American's like being called Indians. So to the woman from New Jersey who years ago told me I was a racist Southerner for using the word Indian, I roll my eyes for you once again.

And to the native American on facebook who called me a wannabe and I should focus on not being a racist and saying something nice to a native American kid. Too late, I am the McDonald's of school teachers. I have served millions of lessons to thousands of children. I have had many high and mighty lectures from children and an occasional parent. Get in line, please.

Besides I'm not a racist or a wannabe. But I do know many people like me have native American ancestry, and no I don't have sudden moments I become one with my Indian self no more than I do with my German, Irish or Scottish self. Frankly, if I wanted to emulate a culture. I choose American. Not because it is the best. It is the one I know how to be. Plus, being a bossy older female is more appreciated although not always liked.

My favorite student was the summer school male who figured out after about two weeks that that line in the sand I drew was still there and they may as well respect it. After the power struggle, you got an incredibly bright mind.

My favorite lesson I delivered was to a teacher. She had managed to squeeze 12 programs of 30 minutes in the StarLab for me to do in one day. Since one requirement was she come in and monitor the students for everyone. She wanted to cancel so bad after lesson 8. Never play with a retired teacher. We love the game too much. Plus, I come from good pioneer stock. I had the large planetarium packed up and ready to go before she returned from taking the last class back to their rooms to go home.

I had a lesson delivered to me in that man's reply on a native American page which I am still processing. It began with a posting making fun of a group of Georgian's in North Georgia having a pow wow.

If you are familiar with North Georgia, you know everyone is white. I worked with a teacher whose dad was very bigoted. They were invited to a reunion with his grandmother's sisters family. Everyone at the reunion was black. Dad stopped the race talk. A lot of black people disappeared into the white population of Appalachia.

Another group of people disappeared into the white population and they were native Americans. Disease killed large amounts of native people. This began with the Spanish explorers. When the English came, they were more of a threat because they wanted land. not trade.

The highland clearance of Scots introduced the Scot traders with the Indians. They intermarried with the native Americans. My dad would tell the story that the Scots were wild people tamed by the Indians. Historically, that is true.

The Scots also minded their own business about religious differences. My mother was from Northeast Alabama and my dad was from South Georgia. Neither believed in proselytizing. My uncle did not like that we went to a missionary baptist church.  Those old beliefs were passed down.

I made a clumsy attempt in trying to tell the group that those men probably were Native American and white. I knew better than try to convince people who did not want to hear a different opinion. I also let my feelings run amok. No one likes to be rejected, and I identified with those men. Plus I rather a bunch of hillbillies being Indians over White Supremacists.

The moderator of the group had an issue with one of my facts. Now whether it is a fact is what I don't know anymore. Facts aren't always true no matter how many times you have heard it repeated.

This is the fact, The English wanted the people they used to colonize North America to intermarry with the Native Americans. They were most successful in the Southeast. My question is, have you ever heard this and what source would back it up? I have heard it several times and I think one of those times were on the PBS show "How the West was Lost".

So this is my last tether to FaceBook. I would like to give an answer to this man.

Indians suffer oppression today. Being white, I have not had to face the discrimination many Indians have. My Indian ancestry is a badge of honor. If I were full blood, I don't know if I could take the negative stereotypes or the idealistic images of media.

What I learned is to try to walk in someone's shoes better. Yes, I have had some pain in the rump and funny moments about my Indian ancestry but that is another blog post.

Other than that, follow me on Google plus and I will follow you back. As far as learning something new, I have a feeling I will learn more which I hate. However, I would hate losing my marbles more.

8 comments:

  1. Facebook and it's facts, or lack there of, are pretty sad sometimes. But you can get quite the convo going with the haters and such on there. I'm not sure if that fact is true, first time I heard it. I suppose it would be an easy way to win them over and such to intermarry, so maybe

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    1. I've been reading trying to find a reference. Such a touchy subject, I am going to stick to just the facts like the guy on Dragnet.

      I really think for the early settlers and for many native Americans it was more a happy to be eating and surviving kind of thing.

      My thing is I heard stories as a child from teachers or my dad. I never really thought about them much but I now know those stories weren't about the 1800's. They were from the 1600s. I would like to write them down but the stories are so sketchy and short.

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  2. I avoid Facebook for the most part, but it's a good way to keep up with some friends and family.

    I think a good many people stay too serious about the things that happened in the past like they can change any of it. The whole Indian thing does get kind of confusing as brought to light recently by the gaffe by California politician Loretta Sanchez. I'm no fan of hers but personally I thought funny of her story of being confused when she was scheduled to meet with an Indian American group and wasn't sure if they were Native American Indians or Asian Indians.

    The early explorers made a big confusing goof when they labeled the people they found in the New World as Indians and then no one later ever fixed it. Pretty dumb.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. So true about not being able to change the past.

      I remember when I first heard you forgive people for yourself. I thought you have to be kidding. But thankfully, I have been able to shed some weight with that attitude.

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  3. So many families claim Native American heritage, probably because there was a lot of intermarriage in those early years. I avoid Facebook discussions. They can be vicious and no one wants to concede to anyone else's opinion.

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    1. True on both points. Conceding to different opinions is getting to be a rarity in modern discourse. I have a brother who is a fox news aficionado, and the entire family has to get him talking about something else. I'll be glad when these extremes in opinions run their course. It may not be in my lifetime. However, I remember when if you weren't liberal, you were thought to be out of it.

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  4. I apologize if this posts more than once...it wouldn't accept my Wordpress account (where my blog is), so I had to use an old Google account.

    I have to be pretty selective about what and who I read on Facebook. I have some friends I like a lot but had to unfollow (not see the person's timeline posts but still keep them as a friend) because they posted so many political memes that it drowned out pretty much everyone else on my page. Facebook is how I keep up with my family and long-distance friends, but sometimes I only go there to play Candy Crush. :)

    -The Prozac Queen, visiting on the A-Z Roadtrip!

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  5. I'm so glad I miss most of those kinds of Facebook discussions. I also think that while black oppression and rights is what most people hear, it was the Indians who were screwed the worst.

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