Thanks Mike for your thoughful post.
--- On Sat, 18/9/10, mike brown <uerusub...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
From: mike brown <uerusub...@yahoo.co.uk>
Subject: Re: [Zen] Re: Sharing religions
Date: Saturday, 18 September, 2010, 12:51
Hi Audry and Artie,
It's quite a different situation in Australia regarding Aboriginal people. When
the conservative leader John Howard was in power he refused to say 'sorry' to
the indigenous people despite being called upon to do so for a number of years.
His argument was similar to both yours: that he wasn't personally responsible
for the crimes committed by people of a different generation. The Aborigines
point, however, was that policies enacted by a different government still
affects Aborigines today (for example, taking 'half-blood' Aboriginal kids from
their mothers and putting them into foster care or Christian missions - just
because they had white blood in them). Furthermore, people living in Australia
today live on the land that was traditionally Aboriginal land and was taken
without payment. Does kinda make a point that white people living on land taken
from the native people (nearly always by force) do share responsibility with
those people from a
different generation. To say, "Sorry" is to recognise that there is no 'break'
from the past (how convenient for whte landowners, eh?) and that we continue to
enjoy what was once somebody elses without due recognition.
ps Audrey, I used to be in the British infantry and have great respect for the
US Marines (not as good as the Brit Army, but still damn good!) : )
From: roloro1557 <roloro1...@yahoo.com>
Sent: Sat, 18 September, 2010 18:40:26
Subject: [Zen] Re: Sharing religions
Hello Audry :-)
I very much agree with your post.
--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "audreydc1983" <audreydc1...@...> wrote:
> When I see a white person attempt to connect (to the land, or deity) in a
> Native American path (or one that just mimics a native american path), I
> usually wonder about what "hole" they're trying to fill. Most of them are
> blissfully unaware that their own ancestors had a similar tradition of
> ancestor/land/god worship - but the NA traditions are more accessible, call
> it a choice governed by proximity.
Yes, exactly- the "hole" you speak of is what I meant when I said they are
Indeed, we all come from aboriginal people with rich traditions- and ultimately
I don't think nature cares what name(s) are used.
> I think, ultimately, that the commercialization and commoditization of Native
> American culture feeds itself. Ever buy a book on NA spirituality? Ever buy a
> dream catcher, or get one as a gift? Yes, they bring awareness of NA culture
> - but at a HUGE price - it cheapens it, and turns culture into commerce.
I used to work in a bookstore, that's how I knew so many books were being
written about it by white people. My son's father was Native American, so (as
if you couldn't tell by my previous posts) I have strong feelings about this
issue. I agree with you completely about the huge price and the cheapening, and
the turning culture into commerce! Not to mention that most native Americans
themselves do not agree wit it. These are not kids playing "cowboys and
indians", these are real people whose culture and spiritual traditions have
deep meanings for them. That should be respected - and not just with Native
Americans, but with people everywhere.
> I will not apologize for what my ancestors did. It was not my choice to be
> born here, live here (and ultimately, die here). Their choices are not MY
> choices. I wish that the NA peoples didn't have to go through what they did,
> but "SORRY" will not bring anyone back. It will not reverse the damage to
> North America. It will not reverse government trickery and ignorance of
> treaties. It will not stop the shameless commercialization of their culture.
> "Sorry" is empty - especially when it isn't your apology to give.
> In retrospect, I think that white people who insist that other white people
> apologize for their ancestors' actions are suffering from what I call "The
> Great White Guilt". They think "sorry" means something; just because it makes
> them feel better, they think that the apology acceptor should feel better too.
> So, in respect to the NA culture, I do not practice it. I acknowledge and
> accept it for what it is.
The Native Americans I know (friends of 30+ years) do not want whites to
apologize for what their ancestors did, they know it won't change what
happened, as you said. They want what people everywhere want- to live in peace
according to their traditions, they want respect in the present.
It's good talking with you Audrey :-)