A slightly different take, combining Carol of the Bells with God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. And again, find and listen to everything by these guys that you can.
And then for something very different.
Today I, along with a group of non-Middlebury students, helped remove around 3,000 American flags from the grass by Mead Chapel. While I was not the only one engaged in this action and the decision was not solely mine, I am the one who will see you in the dining halls and in the classroom, and I want to take accountability for the hurt you may be feeling while clarifying the motivations for this action.So she wants to take accountability, while spending the next page proving why what she did was right why she is better than those she upset.
My intention was not to cause pain but to visibilize the necessity of honoring all human life and to help a friend heal from the violence of genocide that she carries with her on a daily basis as an indigenous person. While the American flags on the Middlebury hillside symbolize to some the loss of innocent lives in New York, to others they represent centuries of bloody conquest and mass murder. As a settler on stolen land, I do not have the luxury of grieving without an eye to power.
Three thousand flags is a lot, but the campus is not big enough to hold a marker for every life sacrificed in the history of American conquest and colonialism.I guess that in her view, you can only mourn your own dead, if you also mourn every one who every died, anywhere, any when, all at the same time. But you can show respect for the dead of others, because that somehow proves how enlightened you are. Or something.
The emails filling my inbox indicate that this was not a productive way to start a dialogue about American imperialism. Nor did I imagine that it would be. Please understand that I am grappling with my complicity in the overwhelming legacy of settler colonialism. Part of this process for me is honoring the feelings and wishes of people who find themselves on the other side of this history.She's complaining that the result she expected, people sending her unhappy emails, is happening. And that we're supposed to forgive her insulting every member of her college community, the local Indian tribe, and anyone who was affected by 9-11, because she can only feel special if she feels personal guilt for white folks moving to the US. Right. And desecrating a memorial is a way to honor the wishes of those "on the other side of history". The folks who think she's a flaming moron.
I wish to further clarify that members of the local Abenaki community should in no way be implicated in today’s events. Nor can I pretend to speak to their feelings about flags, burial sites, or 9/11.At least she admits she can't speak for them. They speak for themselves very well, and as mentioned above, they think, much more politely than I am, that she is a flaming moron.
Today I chose to act in solidarity with my friend, an Indigenous woman and a citizen of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy who was appalled to see the burial grounds of another Indigenous nation desecrated by piercing the ground that their remains lay beneath. I understand that this action is confusing and painful for many in my community. I don’t pretend to know if every action I take is right or justified—this process is multi-layered and nuanced. I do know that colonialism has been—and continues to be—a real and destructive force in the world that we live in. And for me, to honor life is to support those who struggle against it.As many others have pointed out, the only things "piercing" the ground that she seems to be upset about are the American flags. Nothing about the buildings, or the fence posts, or the trees. And how multi-layered and nuanced has anything to do with justification.
Please do not hesitate to email me or approach me if you wish to discuss this in person.I suspect that by now she rather wishes she hadn't put this bit in.
i am a young onkwehon:we, a woman, a member of the turtle clan and the onondowa’ga nation of the haudenosaunee confederacy. i have been doing my best to be true to the responsibilities i have inherited through the gift of life, and the relationships i must honour to my ancestors and all our relatives.She must not consider acting like a mature adult as part of those responsibilities.
for over 500 years our people have been under attack. the theft of our territories, the devastation of our waters; the poisoning of our people through the poisoning of our lands; the theft of our people from our families; the rape of our children; the murder of our women; the sterilization of our communities; the abuse of our generations; the uprooting of our ancestors and the occupation of our sacred sites; the silencing of our songs; the erasure of our languages and memories of our traditionsI'm just going to ignore the execrable English grammar and punctuation (or lack of it). Apparently white folk have been oppressing her people for 500 years. Right. Certainly for the first 150 or so of that time, motst of the oppression, rape, and murder, was being done by other "indigenous" peoples. Though it seems odd that they'd rape the children and murder the women, isn't it usually the other way around?
i have had enough.
yesterday i went to occupied abenaki territory. i was invited to middlebury college to facilitate a workshop on settler responsibility and decolonization. i walked across this campus whose stone wall structures weigh heavy on the landscape. the history of eugenics, genocide and colonial violence permeate that space so fully like a ghost everywhere descending. it was my understanding that this site is occupying an abenaki burial ground; a sacred site.
walking through the campus i saw thousands of small american flags. tho my natural disdain for the occupying colonial state came to surface, in the quickest moment of decision making, in my heart, i understood that lands where our dead lay must not be desecrated.It's not her tribe, she's admitted that. And she apparently has no idea what true desecration is.
in my community, we do not pierce the earth. it disturbs the spirits there, it is important for me to respect their presence, their want for rest.So she respects their presence by committing a felony and desecrating the memory of other dead. Great move, Little Snowflake!
my heart swelled and i knew in my core that thousands of american flags should not penetrate the earth where my abenaki brothers and sisters sleep. we have all survived so much – and as a visitor on their territories i took action to respect them and began pulling up all of the flags.Of course, according to the Abenaki, none of her brothers or sisters sleep there, but hey, it's the thought that counts, right?
i was with 4 non-natives who supported me in this action. there were so many flags staking the earth and their hands helped make this work faster. this act of support by my friends, as settlers, tho small was healing and inspiring. we put them away in black garbage bags and i was confronted by a nationalistic-settler, a young white boy who attends the college demanding i relinquish the flags to him. i held my ground and confiscated them. i did not want to cave to his support of the occupying, settler-colonial, imperalist state, and the endorsing of the genocide of indigenous peoples across the world.So she's admitting to felony theft, as well as assault. And how in the hell does she think that remembering the dead from a terrorist attack is endorsing genocide? As I've said before, self-centered little bitch. She should be glad I wasn't the one whose flags she was trying to steal.
it is the duty of the college of middlebury to consult with abenaki peoples and repatriate their grounds.yesterday i said no to settler occupation. i took those flags. it is a small reclamation and modest act of resistance.in the spirit of resilience, in the spirit of survivalamanda lickersSo, the Abenaki have no problems with Middlebury College, but because some self-righteous little twit wants to feel special, everyone has to do as she says.