Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Company Spokesman: We Don't Do Politics

Because Playing Indian at Adult Summer Camp is so much fun!

On the e-group, the school was challenged to account for its paucity of engagement with effective, indigenous-led resistance to Amerikkkan apartheid and genocide. Below is the company spokesman's official answer.

And let's us emphasize that a 501c corporation is NOT forbidden to adhere to international, domestic, treaty, and human rights law; a 501c is only barred from lobbying or electioneering. Check out all the "politics" for example that this 501c corporation run by Quakers engages in regularly. Hardly the shrinking violets the Drum phonies seem to be, aye?

To: teaching_drum@yahoogroups.com
From: redwolfreturns@teachingdrum.org
Date: 21 Nov 2005 12:43:03 -0600
Subject: Re: [Teaching_Drum] Re: New Age Definition


At any rate, I sat down and caught up on reading this past week's e-group messages just yesterday. Afterwards, I had a talk with Tamarack about the questions you've brought up, and here are our thoughts; To answer your question about the Teaching Drum Outdoor School's involvement in political activism; the Teaching Drum is a 501c3 non-profit educational organization, which by virtue of the nature of it's existence as a legal entity (i.e. a stack of papers), is prohibited by law from engaging in political activity. So the “official” answer to your question is that the school is what it says it is -- a school. It is not a political activist organization, nor is it a front for political struggle or revolutionary activities.

The primary purpose behind what we do here at the school is to awakening us to who we really are in all our relationships in the circle of life. This is not a political act, because it is not connected to any particular geographic region or particular human culture. It is a fundamental human act. It may have political as well as social, cultural, religious and geographical ramifications, but it is not bound to any of these.

“Saving” or “helping” American Indians is not the issue that confronts us (especially not if we are injecting ourselves into their communities based on our own needs to assuage excessive liberal guilt). The issue that confronts us is being in solidarity with ALL native people (not just human native people, but the wolves, the trees…all of our relations). We are able to be in solidarity with native people only when we re-connect with what it means to be native ourselves. Anything less is a token sham designed to let us feel good about our colonial ways and continued rape of the Mother. ("Sure I pay the electric bill that funds the coal mine, but I took the elders some flour and sugar") As for the individual people here at the Teaching Drum, some of us do have political involvements and commitments, while others do not. Both Tamarack and I have already shared with you a number of our engagements with the struggles of local native people.

So far the feeling both Tamarack & I have each received from your words is that your mind is already highly prejudiced in regards to us. We would be happy to discuss what any of us can do to deal with our own colonial legacy and contribute our energy to a more respectful world, but prefer to engage in an open, respectful and constructive sharing. Neither Tamarack nor I are interested in feeding energy into a conversation that is one-way and results in little more than us and our community being bashed for not living up to your standards of radicalism and guilt-induced sacrifice.

If you want more sharing from us, then we’re going to have to see you share a bit of yourself. This needs to be a respectful exchange if we are to continue, not an abusive one-way street (i.e. where we share and you merely judge and criticize).

So what is your story? What are you doing, and what have you done to come alongside native people in their struggles? What are you doing to take responsibility for the effects of your actions and the reality your life’s energy creates on a daily basis?


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