Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/26/thanksgiving-time-reparations
Right. Because 300 million Americans who all have nowhere else to go are going to agree they have no right to live and go commit suicide, so you can have all the land back.
I certainly do not have the answers for the problems of the First Peoples of this continent, but know that their sufferings must be addressed starting centuries ago. Dignity. Security. Heritage. So much more. If we really are to learn how to cope with climate issues we should appeal to the wisdom of the First Peoples’ knowledge of how to work with the Earth instead of against her. Empower them to help us learn humility and reverence in the presence of whatever Nature we can find. That would go a long way to restore their dignity. Whipsaw against the white power nonsense and bring the First Peoples into our lives in the hopes that they will share their traditions with us. I know they will. Peace.
The author is one of my favorite of all time. An elegant speaker as well, I always learn something of value from her.
“Winona Laduke, Executive Director of Honor the Earth, is an author, activist, former US vice presidential candidate, and mother. She is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg who lives and works on the White Earth Reservations. She has led a series of horseback rides along tar sands pipeline routes that pass through her people’s treaty areas in North Dakota.”
The countries that were colonized by Europe managed to extract promises from the whole world to help integrate THEM into the global economy first. By giving them our decent jobs, if they keep their wages the lowest in the world. And they have that promise in writing.
Biden is expected to help support that effort.
That’s what the WTO claims to be doing. So we’ll pay a high price in our jobs.
Granted that the treatment of Native Americans has been shabby at best; but what’s important now is trying to save our SPECIES from going extinct soon!
Has everyone noticed that coronavirus means people are using a lot less energy. All around the world? Both parties are ribbing the taxpayers so they can steal as much as they can, totally ignoring common common sense under the circumstances. Normal people aren’t that stupid. Who is ? Politician who are owned by corporate special interests, that’s who.
Millions of people are losing their homes and everything they own. One of the reasons is nobody buying stuff which is NATURAL as it’s caused by unwillingness to spend money which might be the last income they see for a long time.
Our politicians are basically out of touch with the needs of the country. The people of this country, all of us all have to tell the corporate owned politicians NO.
Thanks to the Clinton Administration, and others, both before and after the signing of the WTO’s enabling bill the URAA, the US already signed up what is in every possible way a global trickle down reparations scheme that gives services jobs, potentially most of the economy, whenever taxpayer money is involved, to the lowest cost qualified bidders, in both the US and other WTOmember countries, particular the LDC countries
. Lots of jobs, like teaching, nursing, engineering, IT, and dozens of core professional jobs that are literally the core jobs in many parts of the country. Those jobs are basically now in play globally, but the numbers are limited to a tiny percentage of the natural number because we limit the number of visas, pending something calloed the Single Undertaking, a theoretica completion of the WTOservices agreements goals. Its the US’s position that hese jobs wont be available for the foreign firms to do until they have liberalized many of the services which we want them toliberalize. Anyway, look up the Single Undertaking and you can read what the issues are. A that point, or possibly much sooner whomever bids the cheapest will win the jobs, A dispute that isnow unresolved willo likely be resolved next year and at that point, we might lose this dispute, which has been brought against us by India.
So, lets say the chance they win this part of the case, which is about visa quotas and about other numericallimits like wages, whether we can demand they pay a’legal US wage’, despite the fact that they are temporary workers, a term which in this context just means temporary but which is otherwise undefined.
Just judging by the wage costs here, for people with skills, I think its highly likely that US firms are unlikely to be able to win these jobs, which in many cases are now not even known by many to be endangered.
Its a clash of two different worlds, on one is a vast global precariat of high skill, but still very low wage jobs, and here, a much smaller number of jibs that pay much more,.
In particular, our young people think they will be in the second group, but I think the chance is as good as better that they will end up in the first.
Other countries can supply workers to staff jobs which are ciovered by procurement agreements like the AGP, TTIP, TISA and the existing General Agreement on Trade in Services.
These services agreements are supposed to funneljobs to the lowest wage countries firms, even jobs located here, may be done by these subcontractors.
Which workers are available if we pass schemes like “Green New Deal” will likely determine who does the jobs. Our young people desperately want to do these jobs, but the trade agreements like the ones involved may not be able to hire US workers, because doing that is likely framed as trade discrimination.
Politicians have been holding back these facts, its quite possible, failing to tell them that these jobs quite possibly wont go to our workers because they are supposed to go to firms that do them cheaply, no-matter where the first doing them will be. Lets say that we lose a dispute over how many of these jobs we can control, lets assume that the WTO decides they will manage these jobs. This means that tens of millions perhaps more, its even possible that more than half of our jobs could be done by foreign firms for less than any US firms could afford to do them for.
This is in a very real sense a kid of reparations in that its intended to funnel lots of jobs to the richest firms in the poorest countries globally. Since the wages there are much lower and they have an oversupply of well educated young people who will work for very little, just for the chance to get their start in working in the US or other developed countries. This is what free trade is all about.
Millions of non-First-Nations Americans may fall off the economic map and move to the First Nations because there is no room for us in the rest of the country because we are poor. Because without jobs this will be a very unpleasant place. But the marketplace will determine who gets the jobs, and if people from other parts of the earth are available for much cheaper, (maybe because they view it as part of their education, like an internship might be, not as how they plan to support themselves), there is nothing we can do because those are the economic areas that our government has long ago committed away, already, or in deals like TISA, TTIP, and oither US style FTAS, commit by default, making them committed automatically, and buying those jobs BACK may be too expensive - it might be a seriously huge sum as its based on the expected lost profits. So we should savethatmoney because without buying the jobsback, even if people are dying, unless its an emergency and not in conflict with these deals, we cant change it, Because its natural all around the developing world for millions of people tio die because they cant afford healthcare or a medicine that only coss a tiny bitto make, thats what thew US stands for, as its thye entitlement of big firms ti make a huge profit, On principle.
I don’t know why Bernie Sanders pretended that these jobs and policies, were still on the table like they were in the 1970s and 1980s, when in fact they were committed away more than two decades ago. So this issue required a lot more than just a landslide for a Presidential candidate who legitimately wanted the change, it would have required the agreement of great many other countries that right now we owe these commitments to, to buy our right to regulate BACK.
The acrid smell of the Mayflower
That is indeed what was predicted by the Hopi quite a long time ago. They have a very different perspective on time, being here so very long. (Hopi communities like Sky City/Acoma are the longest continuously occupied habitations in North America. The ancestors of the Puebloan people were actually the people who migrated south from the Four Corners area to the Valley of Mexico during a drought that lasted more than a century. That’s why they call their language group Uto-Aztecan. In any case, now we that we have found huge forests growing hundreds of feet underwater on the floors of High Sierra lakes, (thats howfast the weather changed) we (should) realize that the weather is much more variable than we had originally thought. They knew this already, our archaeologists thought they were the first to ‘discover’ much of this history when it was there for the knowing, if they had just ASKED. )
The Club of Rome in its “The Limits to Growth” a very well known, widely cited work in the economics community predicts a large fall in population due to lack of resources and jobs. We have to convince the powers that be that this is something we should prevent, instead of some natural law which we cannot change. Wages are based on supply and demand so its assumed they will fall rapidly as the number of jobs shrinks and people are more and more desperate to work so accept lower and lower wages. These lower wages and higher profits are an entitlement owned by the owners of businesses.
Winona Laduke is fearless! If only the government would LISTEN to her. The treatment of the protestors in SD under the Obama administration was?Absolutely horrific…they put them in boxes…etc!MOFOs The US gov is the just the weaponized branch of the United States of Big Oil. That “tradition” continued under drumpf. The Secretary of State…PFFT!MOFO Rex Killerson!!!..xCEO for 42 YEARS of the biggest fake news op in all of history. He suppressed science, he lied to the people of America and to the people of the whole world!About the predictable effects of fossil fuels…since when?SINCE THE 1970s! His real job?Secure the Russian oil deal and dismantle the State Department. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Then on to being what?PRAISED by the msm for secretly calling the mob thug in the WH a moron!PFFT. This MOFO demanded that his employees NOT LOOK HIM IN THE EYE. Who the F would want to? Meantime…Winona speaks the TRUTH. We sent letters to Obama begging for what?MERCY for the protestors!A story that is still not told in the msm…recent history folks! But Amurica…the land of what?Instant!Revisionism.They learned the lesson well from the professionals in Russia. Why wait like the Ruskies do for a decade, when you can rewrite history right away or just do as Emperor Xi does…and OMIT stories[ala Tiananmen Square!] from history all together? The Catholic Church still active in US politics gave the orders in the 17th century that allowed the genocide against First Nations that took place in NA and they still havent apologized and apparently?It STILL is news! Reparations?FFS….Land and heaps of money is the least they should expect!Instead?Contempt.
One of Winona’s famous quotes **“Someone needs to explain to me why wanting clean drinking water makes you an activist, and why proposing to destroy water with chemical warfare doesnt make a corporation a terrorist”**Yeah, why the F is that?..Spoken long ago when she and I were both young. Not a damn thing has changed.
I agree, Winona has all those qualities of being a spirit that understands the nature of things and places.
Thank you for that quote too. It speaks to how far we are from ourselves. Here is another one:
“One of our people in the Native community said the difference between white people and Indians is that Indian people know they are oppressed but don’t feel powerless"
Enjoyed your post.
Winona, you would have made a fine and resourceful vice-president to Ralph!
… and the first woman at the time.
It’s the same issue.
You have another choice than running away and overruning indigenous land. You can fight the evil in your own culture, even if you are poor.
And besides, we take ourselves with us wherever we go, and we always just end up using other people’s lives and “resources” to recreate the very thing we’re always running away from.
Fight the evil of your own culture. Even if it means you are poor. It’s your problem to fix. No one should be invading First Nations for any reason whatsoever.
People should help one another. Profits aren’t everything.
I am just saying that because TPTB are determined to get their investments worth out of the US land mass and communities, since they often feel they paid for the rights to it and us.
I know that poor people are not wanted in Europe, Canada, etc. Nor are the First Nations responsible.
Western Europeans have overrun the entire world over the past 500 years. Speaking as someone who is a lot European colonial heritage, we have stolen all the western hemisphere, all of Australia, New Zealand, all Polynesian islands, Caribbean islands, and what we have not stolen we have invaded, including all of Africa, India (150 years occupied), SE Asia, Korea, Hong Kong (150 years occupied), the Philippines, virtually every where on the entire planet except for China, but not because we didn’t try.
We always have plenty of poor people, and we have had for over 1000 years. My favorite historical quotation:
The Care and Labour of providing for Artificial and Fashionable Wants, the sight of so many rich wallowing in Superfluous plenty, whereby so many are kept poor and distressed for Want . . . all contrive to disgust [the Indians] with what we call civil Society. — Benjamin Franklin, 1770
Nothing different here 250 years later. If anything, the wealth disparity is even greater than it was then. This culture ALWAYS creates poverty, and we ALWAYS run like cowards from ourselves because of it, wanting “resources” to do it all again with better results that are never better, but always turn out the same.
Think for a single moment if you know European history. It’s an unending saga of 1200 years of the rich abusing the poor. Let them eat cake wasn’t about food.
We need to solve the problem of our violent, invasive, predatory, wealth-seeking culture. Please spare me the “poor people” mantra. The poor people in this country are people of color more than anyone else, and they have been for 400 years everywhere that white people have gone. Euro-colonial societies and cultures are a problem to the entire world, including ourselves, and especially environmentally, consuming more and producing more waste per capita than most places, because we worship wealth and we always need more.
You’re right, no one wants us because of it all. We overbearing. We’re entitled. We’re empty, needy people, who always have to have more and more and more, and we don’t know how to do it differently. You right now are saying a version of, we’ll need to go live off someone else because we need more than we have now.
Excuse me! Step back, please.
There isn’t more. There’s no more planet. There’s no more running away from ourselves. We have exhausted the whole planet with all our wanting and hubris. We cry about our poverty and it’s a justification to invade people even poorer than we are. That isn’t the right answer. It’s not a moral answer. It may be what “we” do, but it’s the wrong thing to do.
The right thing to do would be to get rid of wealth. We won’t do that. And it’s why we’re so icky.
It may get rid of itself by our getting rid of ourselves.
I would give us 50% odds of surviving to the end of this century.
This is the human race’s adolescence, because its the era we transition to a different kind of world, one where technology does almost everything for free. Will we be able to handle that is the question. Or will we cling to our self defeating greed.
p.s. Western European cultures had laid waste to their own environments by the middle ages. They cut down all their great forests, exterminated their large predators, and they had made their rivers and waterways toxic with human and animal waste, all by 1300.
They did exactly the same thing here the minute they arrived. They started chopping down all the forests, and killing everything that moved, exterminating species after species, as well as millions of Native Americans.
It’s time to live differently. There are no other options anymore.