Those Voices you Hear

Oh , my love

Those voices you hear?

They are real.

They are your forebears and from the future,

Calling you into Being and pulling you into

and out of Yourself.

Fear not, young one

You will no longer feel anything alone

Yet you will feel more…

More intensely, more deeply

More of nothing

And everything

All.

One. In one.

In you.

Breathe, child. And be.

Glorious.

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International Gaming and Missing and Murdered Women and Children

Last week, I listed Indian casinos that actively participate in The Fuckery, what may be the largest sex trafficking network in the world. I do not know that definitively but their reach includes the following casinos, that where easier, have been separated out by company rather than country:

Genting Casinos:

  • UK (Birmingham, London and More),
      • New York City,
      • Malaysia,
      • Bahamas,
      • Singapore

Casinos Austria:

  • Reef Hotel and Casino, Cairn AUS
  • Grand Casino Viage, Brussels
  • Casino Copenhagen
  • Casino Marienlyst, Denmark
  • Casino Royale, Sharm el Sheikh
  • Casino San Maritz, Switzerland
  • And more properties across 11 countries

Olympic Casinos:

  • Tallinn, Estonia
  • Malta
  • Radisson Blu, Lietuva Lithuania
  • Voodoo Casino, Riga Latvia
  • Hilton, Warsaw

Mexico:

  • Hipodromo de las Americas, Mexico City
  • Hotel Pueblo Amigo, Tijuana

France:

  • Casino Lacanau, France
  • Casino de Crans Montana
  • Casinos Barriere in
      • Cannes, Paris,
      • Ribeauville,
      • Lille,
      • Le Toquet,
      • Paris, Plage,
      • Deauville,
      • Dinard,
      • La Baule,
      • Nice
  • Casino Nice (Partouche)

Switzerland:

  • Grand Casino, Luzerne Switzerland
  • Casino Interlaken, Interlaken Switzerland
  • Casino Zurich
  • Grand Casino, Baden and Davos

Italy:

  • St Vincent Casino Resort, St-Vincent, Valle d’Aosta
  • Casino San Remo, San Remo

Casino 2000, Luxembourg

England:

  • Maxim’s Club Casino, London
  • Les Ambassadeurs, London
  • Hippodrome Casino, London
  • Aspers Casinos:
      • Newcastle
      • London
      • Milton Keynes
      • Stratford
      • Northhampton

 

South Africa:

  • Rio Casino, Klerksdorp
  • Emperor’s Palace, Johannesburg
  • Sun City Resort, Sun City
  • Umfolozi Resort and Casino, Kwazulu-Natal
  • Suncoast, Durban
  • Sibaya Casino, Durban
  • Grand West, Cape Town
  • Carnival City, East Rand
  • Windmill Casino, Bloemfontein

Namibia:

  • Avani Hotel and Casino, Windhoek
  • Plaza Casino, Windhoek
  • Desert Jewel Casino, Windhoek

Canada:

  • River Rock, Vancouver
  • Parq, Vancouver
  • Casino Rama
  • Casino Regina, Regina Sask
  • River Cree, Edmonton/Enoch
  • Stoney Nakoda, Kananaskis, AB
  • Casino Woodbine
  • Elbow River, Calgary
  • Elements Casinos: Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick
  • Casino Ajax, Ontario
  • Eagle River Casino, White Court AB
  • McPhillips Station and Club Regent, Winnipeg
  • Sand Hills, Carberry
  • South Beach Casino Resort, Scanterbury, Manitoba
  • Bear Claw Casino and Hotel, Carlyle, SK
  • Living Sky, Swift Current, SK
  • Dakota Dunes, Whitecap, SK
  • Painted Hand Casino, Yorkton SK
  • Northern Lights, Prince Albert SK

Great Canadian Gaming:

  • Hard Rock, Vancouver
  • River Rock Casino Resort, Richmond British Columbia
  • Great Blue Heron, Port Perry ON
  • Elements Casinos and Shorelines Casinos across British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario
  • And other casinos related to the sister company, Great American Gaming

Gateway Casinos:

  • Starlight Casino, Edmonton and New Westminster
  • Grand Villa, Burnaby and Edmonton
  • Cascades Casino Resort, Langely BC
  • And other Chances and Gateway casinos across British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario

Europe:

  • Marriott Hotel Casino, Warsaw Poland
  • Pelaamo Tornio Rajalla, Tornio, Finland
  • Casino Helsinki, Finland
  • Casino Cosmopol, Stockholm Sweden
  • Platinum Casino, Bucharest
  • Emerald Resort, Vanderbijlpark
  • Senator Golden Palace, Tsaghkadzor Armenia
  • Casino Shangrila in Yerevan, Armenia; Tbilisi, Georgia and Riga, Latvia
  • Holland Casino, The Hague

Asia:

  • Casino Nepal, Kathmandu
  • Mayfair Resort and Casino, Gangtok India
  • Deltin Royale and Deltin Jaqk Casinos, Goa India
  • Andaman Club and Casino, Thahtay Kyunm Myanmar
  • Paradise Casino, Myanmar
  • Regina Hotel and Casino, Myanmar
  • Golden Triangle Paradise, Myanmar
  • Star Vegas Resort and Casino, Aranyaprathet, Cambodia
  • Aristo Hotel Casino, Lao Cai, Vietnam
  • Grand Diamond, Krong Poi Pet, Cambodia
  • Savan Resort Casino, Savannakhet, Laos
  • Kings Romans Casino, Ton Pheung, Laos
  • Dansavanh Nam Ngum Resort, Laos
  • Gangbuk Millenium, Seoul Hilton
  • Inspire, Incheon South Korea*
  • Resorts World, Sentosa Singapore
  • Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

And there are more. So many fucking more.

 

 

 

 

Human Trafficking Is Not Traditional, Except When It Is

One of the myths about human trafficking is that it’s not traditional. However, the phenomenon of human trafficking, particularly that of children and women from Indian Country, is entwined in the histories of indigenous peoples all over, including those in North America. That we’ve put them ‘out of sight, out of mind’ physically, educationally, and historically does not help modern victims, perpetuates the roles of traffickers and law enforcement, and negatively impacts those rescued who are not believed or cannot find resources for healing and recovery in their communities.

Long before the Spanish flooded Mexico and other Europeans made it to the mainland of what is now the United States and Canada, indigenous peoples stole women and children for labor, for sex, and for trade for goods–to other tribes and then to the Spanish, French and English. We can’t approach the healing of communities or eradication of the modern practice without understanding the larger and historical context.  The methods of abduction and modes of travel may have changed but the basics remain the same; exploitation of vulnerable communities and individuals, the routes used to transport, and sale to the highest bidder for the maximum profit.

Andrés Reséndez’s work called The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America, from which I’ll be quoting heavily, traces the historical movement of Indian slavery across the Caribbean and North America. It’s a fascinating, mind-numbing (not the prose but the scope) and heart-breaking accounting of how so many communities were decimated, not just by the diseases that we are told about in history lessons but by the theft and sale, particularly of women and children.

He begins with this:

The beginnings of this other slavery are lost in the mists of time. Native peoples such as the Zaptocs, Mayas, and Aztecs took captive to use a sacrificial victims; the Iroquois waged campaigns called “mourning wars” on neighboring groups to avenge and replace their dead; and Indians in the Pacific Northwest included male and female slaves as part of the goods sent by the groom to his bride’s family to finalize marriages among the elite. Native Americans had enslaved each other for millennia, but with the arrival of Europeans, practices of captivity embedded in specific cultural contexts became commodified, expanded in unexpected ways, and came to resemble the kinds of human trafficking that are recognizable to us today.

By historians estimation, based on a variety of documents available to them, in the America’s alone, between 1492 and 1900, there were between 2.5 and five million Indian slaves.  These numbers do not include those shipped from the east coast of what’s now the United States to Europe; the numbers of which are not known beyond estimates. What is known is that this particular phenomena began by Indians offering their own slaves to Europeans in exchange for goods like food, weapons, metalwork and more. Reséndez shares this:  “What started as a European controlled enterprise, however, gradually passed into the hands of the Native Americans. As Indians acquired horses and weapons of their won, they became independent providers….In the Southwest, the Comanches and Utes became regional suppliers of slaves to other Indians as well as to the Spaniards, Mexicans, and Americans.  The Apaches, who had early on been among the greatest victims of enslavement, transformed themselves into successful slavers.”

Things were only slightly different in the Eastern part of the new country. “Between the period between 1670 and 1720, Carolinians exported more Indians out of Charleston, South Carolina, that they imported Africans into it. As the traffic developed, the colonists increasingly procured their indigenous captives from the Westo Indians, an extraordinarily expansive…militaristic slaving societ[y]….”   The Westos and others roamed from Virginia to Florida taking captives to sell to other Indians and to Carolinians.

I knew when I was in the desert two years ago some of the historical context but sometimes when Ancestors attempt to explain things in a manner for which I have no context, I can’t grasp the Bigness or Oldness of a thing. Then, I was thinking 40 years ago, going back maybe a half a century, not four or five centuries. I remember driving south on Arizona Highway 85 into Ajo, feeling similar to how I’ve felt at other places; the slow-slog travels of long ago, the feeling of lostness and displacement from the places and people that mattered most, much newer fear layered on top of that, and only then began to recognize the length of time they were trying to express. It didn’t begin to become clear until I began researching.

It was not lost on me that the center of this network, though it may stretch to Australia and South Korea, is in the Phoenix metro area. Phoenix has only been a city since 1868 but the history of those who lived and moved through there predates our written recordings. Maps before modern borders came into being show trade and seasonal migration routes from what is now Central Mexico and into Colorado, Idaho, California, Illinois, and more. Linguists trace the same from Western Mexico along the Gulf Coast as far east as Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Before we carved up the land with imaginary lines and paved highways, people moved much farther that we’ve been taught in school and, in doing so, stole, traded and sold much than we’ve been taught as well.

The beginnings of Indian enslavement in the Southwest have direct ties to sex trafficking today and The Fuckery’s hub in Phoenix. The relationships built over time by families, lawful businesses, criminal organizations, militaries, traders and travelers, particularly along the country’s borders, have been evolving since long before white faces showed up on the continent. However, the Spaniards discovery of silver and the labor necessary to mine it and refine it, created a mass-commercialization of trafficking that survived it’s illegality and royal antislavery activism and has morphed into it’s current state. The illegality that made it difficult for Spanish slavers to work created an avenue for Indian traffickers to fill the void. “Thus new traffickers, new victims, and new slaving routes emerged in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.”

One incident cited by several historians seems to exemplify in rather gross way how these factors came together. “In 1694, barely two years after the Spaniards had retaken control of the province, a group of Navajos arrived [in a market in New Mexico] with the intention of selling Pawnee children. The Spanish authorities initially refused to acquire the young captives [because Indian slavery was illegal by royal decree]…The traffickers proceeded to behead the captive children within the Spanish colonist’s sight. In the short term, the Utes lost their “merchandise”. But in the longer term, the stratagem prompted New Mexican officials to reconsider the ban against “ransoming” Indian captives…In effect, the Navajos, Utes, Comanches, and the Apaches forced New Mexican authorities to break the law and accept their captives.”  Reséndez adds, “By the middle of the eighteenth century, these commercial and diplomatic relations had become normalized.”

Archives like government treaties and mission and military communications related how the expansion for more human ‘goods’, particularly by the Comanche, refashioned the livelihoods and ‘neighborhoods’ of desert, Plains and Plateau tribes. As horse-heavy Comanches and Utes repeatedly raided, people moved to escape and, when family was captured, often moved to join other bands. And those that were captured, if not sold, were married into or enslaved for life in other communities. “The Comanches took many of their captives to New Mexico, where…in the absence of money or silver, women and children constituted a versatile medium of exchange accepted by Spaniards, Frenchmen, Englishmen, Pueblos and many other Indian groups in the region.” The flow of the Indian slave trade then saw Apaches sold by Comanches to French colonists in Quebec to the extent that the Apaches came to comprise as many as one quarter of all Indians slaves of known origin in New France.” The opening up of California and the expansion of Europeans across the West only expanded the practice again with new traffickers, new routes and new victims. Navajo, Utes and others sold captives to those moving westward and resupplied traffickers when they made their way back to the east.

Now as then, multigenerational rivalries, intertribal animosities, military history, other ties to ancients and lost ties to lands and resources still fuel the trade.

Stolen and sold for labor and to increase tribal populations, Indian women and children were the most often taken. Their value was nearly double that of adult males. I don’t know how much a young woman’s ‘value’ is determined by traffickers these days. I’m going to assume it’s a lot more than the $150-200 from the 1850s.  I do know that the ‘return on investment’ now exceeds what anyone imagined then. With the advent of modern technologies, the ease of intercontinental travel, and the myriad of ways and number of times a young person’s sexuality can be exploited, the amount of money brought in by thousands of disappeared young people is staggering.

And, in my opinion, the trafficking of women and children for the labor of sexual exploitation, is indeed, normalized. It’s so ‘normal’ that when someone sees something, they don’t say something.  It’s so ‘normal’, that the political infrastructure of bringing new Indian casinos into being, long before construction has begun, includes plans for how to incorporate the sale of sex by slaves in new communities, with new victims, new routes and notso new traffickers.

Human trafficking in Indian Country is, in many parts of the continent, traditional. Now though, maybe, people will stop long enough to say something; say something to their tribal council and white legislators, say something to victims, those who pimp and pander, ask questions, demand accountability, and openly challenge the practices and people that allow it to flourish and rip communities apart. This is one tradition that needs to be eradicated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian Gaming and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

 

The Fuckery, the name I’ve given this sex trafficking network, would not exist without the active participation of Native American-owned casinos. According to the National Indian Gaming Association’s Fact Sheet from 2015, in 28 states there were 317 Indian casinos with Class II and Class III machines and they reported revenues of $29.9 Billion dollars. The Fuckery operates in 174 of them.

They are:

  • Talking Stick Resort, Scottsdale AZ (Salt River Pima Maricopa)
  • Wild Horse Pass, Chandler AZ
  • Desert Diamond-3 locations
  • Chumash Casino Resort
  • River Rock Casino, Geyserville CA
  • Graton, Rohnert Park CA
  • Table Mountain, Friant CA
  • Cliff Castle, Camp Verde AZ
  • Dakota Magic, Hankinson ND
  • Dakota Sioux, Watertown SD
  • Northern Lights, Walker MN
  • Prairie’s Edge, Granite Falls MN
  • Shooting Star, Mahnomen, MN
  • Sky Dancer, Belcourt ND
  • Prairie Knights, Ft Yates SD
  • Warroad, Warroad, MN (+2)
  • Spirit Lake, St Michael ND
  • Four Bears, New Town, ND
  • Mystic Lake, Prior Lake, MN
  • Fort Randall, SD
  • Downstream, Quapaw, OK
  • Apache Nugget, Dulce and Cuba, NM
  • Red River, Devol OK
  • Kiowa, Devol OK
  • Cherokee, Ramona OK
  • Black Hawk, Shawnee OK
  • Seven Feathers, Umpqua, OR
  • River Bend, Wyandotte OK
  • Wind River, Wind River WY
  • Ilani, Ridgefield WA
  • Red Wind Casino, Olympia WA
  • Chinook Winds, Lincoln City OR
  • Win-River, Redding CA
  • Angel of the WInds, Arlington WA
  • First Council, Newkirk OK (+2)
  • Indigo Sky, Wyandotte, OK
  • Spokane Tribe, Airway Heights WA
  • Goldsby Gaming, Norman OK
  • Riverstar, Terrell OK
  • Riverwind, Norman OK
  • Lucky Eagle, Rochester WA
  • Red Hawk, Placerville CA
  • Isleta Resort, Albuquerque NM
  • Wild Horse, Pendleton OR
  • Colville 12 Nations, Omak WA
  • Eagle Mountain, Porterville CA
  • Colusa, Colusa CA
  • Bucky’s, Prescott AZ
  • Flowing Water, Fire Rock and Twin Arrows
  • San Manuel, Highland CA
  • Choctaw, Durant OK
  • Blue Lake, BLue Lake CA
  • Viejas, Alpine CA
  • Cache Creek, Brooks CA
  • Three Rivers, Coos Bay OR
  • Quil Creek, Tulalip
  • Casino Pauma, Pauma Valley CA
  • Muckleshoot, Auburn WA
  • Pala, San Diego CA
  • Thunder Valley, Lincoln CA
  • Sycuan, El Cajon CA
  • Jamul, Jamul CA
  • Morongo, Cabazon CA
  • Agua Caliente, Rancho Mirage CA
  • Chicken Ranch, Jamestown CA
  • Spirit Mountain, Grand Ronde OR
  • Cities of Gold, Santa Fe
  • Buffalo Thunder, Santa Fe
  • Silver Reef, Ferndale WA
  • The Point, Kingston WA
  • Clearwater, Suquamish WA
  • Blue Water, Parker AZ
  • Seven Cedars, Sequim WA
  • Hon-Dah, Pinetop AZ
  • Tachi Palace, Lemoore CA
  • Little Creek, Shelton WA
  • Chukchansi Gold, Coarsegold CA
  • Cherokee, Ramona OK
  • Northstar, Bowler WI
  • Two Rivers, Davenport WA
  • The Stables, Miami OK
  • Quinault Beach, Ocean Shores WA
  • Legends, Toppenish WA
  • Shoshone Rose, Lander WY
  • Ohiya, Niobara NE
  • Choctaw, Durant OK
  • Skagit, Bow WA
  • Hard Rock, Tulsa OK
  • Tonkawa Hotel/Casino, Tonkawa OK
  • Seneca, Niagara Falls NY
  • Saganing Eagles Landing, Standish MI
  • Soaring Eagle, Mount Pleasant MI
  • Swinomish, Anacortes WA
  • Santa Ana Star, Bernalillo NM
  • Emerald Queen (Fife and Tacoma, WA)
  • Barona, San Diego
  • Mazatzal, Payson AZ
  • Apache Gold, San Carlos AZ
  • Apache Sky, Dudleyville AZ
  • Mountain Gods, Mescalero NM
  • Winnevegas, Sloan IA
  • Kwataqnuk, Flathead Lake MT
  • Sands, Bethlehem PA
  • Akwesasne Mohawk, Hogansburg NY
  • Del Lago Resort, Waterloo NY
  • Kewadin Casinos, Sault Ste. Marie
  • Firekeepers, Battle Creek MI
  • Odawa, Petosky MI
  • Four Winds, New Buffalo MI
  • Northern Waters, Watersmeet MI
  • Paiute Palace, Bishop CA
  • Diamond Mountain, Susanville CA
  • The Mill, North Bend OR
  • Kla-Mo-Ya, Chiloquim OR
  • Indian Head, Warm Springs OR
  • Cache Creek, Brooks CA
  • Mole Lake, Crandon WI
  • Gray Wolf Peak, Missoula MT
  • Stonewolf, Pawnee OK
  • Twin Pine, Middletown CA
  • River Spirit, Tulsa OK
  • Osage Casino and Hotel (3)
  • Treasure Island, Welch MN
  • 7th Street, Kansas City
  • Avi Casino Resort, Ft Mohave AZ
  • Coushatta Casino Resort, Kinder, LA
  • Gun Lake, Wayland MI
  • Coeur d’Alene Casino, Worley ID
  • Sandia, Albuquerque NM
  • Dancing Eagle, Cibola NM
  • Santa Claran, Espanola NM
  • Sky City, Acoma NM
  • Casino San Pablo, San Pablo, CA
  • Cypress Bayou, Charenton LA
  • Choctaw Pines, Dry Prong LA
  • Paragon, Marksville LA
  • Winstar, Thackerville OK
  • Wind Creek Casinos, Alabama (3)
  • Fort Hall, Pocatello ID
  • Mohegan Sun, Uncasville CT; Pocono,NY
  • Meswaki, IA
  • St. Croix, Turtle Lake WI
  • Grand Casino, Hinckley MN
  • Lucky Star, various locations OK
  • Grand Casino, Shawnee OK
  • Thunderbird, Norman OK
  • Menominee Casino, Keshena WI
  • Seminole Hard Rocks, Florida (2)
  • Seminole Immokale and Coconut Creek
  • Sky Ute, Ignacio CO
  • Ute Moutain, Towaoc CO
  • The Artesian, Sulphur OK
  • the to-be built Pamunkey casino, Norfolk VA*
  • the to-be built Legends Casino and Resort, Russelville AR*

These casinos and resorts in the United States are not the only ones involved with this network.  There are others in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Prince Albert, Winnipeg, Montreal and the Toronto areas that are active participants.  This list does not include over 60 casinos and resorts that are owned and operated by private corporations and public interests in other parts of the continent.  In addition, this list does not include those corporate participants across Europe, Russia, Asia, and Africa.

 

**These casinos have not been built yet. However, the parallel political maneuvering, consulting and lobbying processes outside the legitimate legislative negotiations, have included discussions between partners and participants of The Fuckery to expand the movement of current trafficking flow to be incorporated as new revenue streams.  Let that sink in for a minute. That is how institutionalized and ‘normalized’ the gaming industry’s involvement in sexual trafficking is.

 

 

 

 

Are ‘They’ Spiritually Ill?

A recent exchange on Facebook began with something like this: “Are racists and xenophobes mentally ill?  No, they are ‘sick people’ who are spiritually ill. They have lost their connection to the community, to hope and to love.”

That’s not an exact quote but it gets to the gist. When I asked how ‘spiritually ill’ was defined, there wasn’t a definition but I was asked to contribute to that and how keep each other ‘spiritually well’ and how do we deal with people who are spiritually unwell.  Without doing either, I mentioned I happen to know a bunch of racists and xenophobes who are well connected to their community, have hopes for their children and selves and families just like everyone else and certainly love.

This here is how racism, xenophobia, ethnocentrism, and other cliquish ‘isms’, ideas and behaviors begin. The moment anyone separates another person or group of people as ‘not enough like me to keep me comfortable so therefore I must define them as unlike me as I can’ is the beginning of being exactly that which you are judging.

It’s that attitude that has decimated communities across the globe in the name of religion, racism, capitalism, and destiny.  Because brown people aren’t people; because Jewish, Muslim, Christian people aren’t enough of whatever we say they need to be more like us so we can take what we want from them.

My Facebook response:

“Why not just love them how they are, how they show up in the world? Why call them ‘ill’ at all because their experiences have brought them to a different way of understanding the world and their relationship with the things of the world?  Isn’t the ‘medicine’ to the ‘illness’, the healing, in loving them, those we call ‘other’? If their behavior or definitions or identity is that of separation aren’t we doing the same thing by labeling and judging in this way?”

Because when we do, yes, we are.  Prettying up the notion of hate or separation and devaluation by race, class, political ideologies, country of origin, opinions and choices, and illness by calling it anything associated with ‘spiritual’ is what begat Crusades, genocides, abusive gurus, and, perpetuates slavery and the violence we see today.

We can’t change that by echoing it.

Love. Want to help? Find ways to connect with people who are not like you. Take a class on non-violent communication. Introduce your kids to kids in other communities.  Invite your neighbor to dinner. Be kind. Read books by people who are not like you–without arguing about what you’re reading. Mentor a kid. Volunteer with a local NGO. Help a family. Drive someone to run an errand. Join discussion and reading groups. There are spaces and people in every community doing good works. Join them. Or start your own but don’t start with the notion you have to heal anyone who views life differently than you.

I see you. Thank you.

Dene Thá, Poplar Hill, Acho Dene NWT, Fort Nelson, Bad River, Pictou.  Thank you.

Tobique, Windigo, Shibogama, Paawidigong, Wabuskang, Munsee Delware, Tetoten Community, Kwikwetlen, Semilahmoo, Marmora Mine, Curve Lake, Hiawatha, Aldervil, Tyendinaga, Bay Qunite.  Thank you.

Leqand, Sumas, Swantlen, Matsqui, Sapotaweyak, Nisgaa, Okanagan, Chiniki, Treaty 8, Paul, Enoch and Alexander First Nations. Thank you.

Skwah, Squiaala, Tzchentn, Soowahlie, Douglas, Shxw’ow’tamel, Skaahlook, Dakota Ojibe, Poplar River, Island Lake, Long Plain, St. Theresa Point, Lake St. Martin, Adena, Wyandotte, Sioux Valley, Rolling River, Sandy Bay, Weywaysee Cappo, Cote, Keescehowenin, Rouseau River, Conchiching, Fisher River, Hitchi, Catawba, Shawnee, Apalachee, Muscogee, Yuchi, Kijicho Manito Madadeskarine.

 

Thank you. I love you.

 

We’re the Dark Force

There is no secret occult, invisible evil, or supernatural Dark Force spinning a web of entrapment and sexual slavery.

It’s us. Solid human beings that actively choose to create harm; some in what they weigh as ‘small’ ways, like creating a ‘friendship’ online that leads to a meeting in person and drinks with a drug in it.

It’s the mother whose son hears, “That girl! Look, she’s nothing but a tramp, she’s worthless!” It’s the girl who hears that–maybe from her own mother, who may or may not know that her father has been raping her since she began to toddle.

It’s the human need for connection and the capacity of other’s to exploit that, as well as economic poverty and other forms of lack.

It’s the collective agreement that the election of a mayor, tribal council person, school board, preacher or President who ‘grabs ’em by the pussy’ or ‘just takes what he/I wants’ is okay.

It’s the sexualization of children without teaching them about sex and all that it really is; it’s about hiding our own sexuality and need for intimacy behind porn and paywalls to substitute for connection. It’s about turning a blind eye to those who look, speak or behave differently than us because they are ‘other’.

For many of us, it’s the unwillingness to acknowledge our own privilege, the damage our forefathers wrought and our shared responsibility in fixing their fuck-ups. And, boy howdy, did they ever fuck some things up.

It’s the persistence of cynicism and sarcasm, taking the easy way out. It’s the unwillingness to challenge ourselves to do things differently–to see *others* differently, to move into active loving.

Love isn’t everything. It’s a magnificent foundation but requires effort.

Love also requires the effort (and it does take work) to understand that the phenomena of sexual slavery and that of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is not easily divided into black and white, good and bad, righteous and evil. It requires understanding that even those who cause great harm mow the neighbors yard without asking, feed strangers, love their children, do good works for their communities.  They exist together in the same way we each do; masked and visible selves that need to be heard, seen and healed.