Monday, January 25, 2021
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Letters: Something sinister afoot with CARES Act funds

There is something more sinister at work when our traditional healers, the Dine Hataaliis, who perform health ceremonies, were just abandoned under the CARES Act by the Navajo Nation.
A lot of negative synonyms can be used on their recent fiasco in the 11th-hour deadline for the use of the federal grant (COVID-19).
The facade behind legal entanglements and other administrative hinderance (red tape) are cover-ups as who is actually responsible stays hidden and that makes it easier to blame others. Seemingly, no one cares, like a daily occurrence when trying to get help from the Nation.
Sitting behind a desk is a bureaucrat with duplication and repetition of endless paper stacked so high it takes 10 or more people to work on one project. Bureaucracy is meant to work that way, put there as a form of hidden oppression — a continued dependency — like we don’t know how to do for ourselves.
I personally stay out of Window Rock for that reason. It has been long since recognized medicine men are the main problem for not turning Christians and assimilating young Natives all over Indian nations.
That is the reason to shun them. You know, completely abandon our way of life. Native “Baby Boomers” since their introduction to boarding school and mission school days have experienced a problem among their peer group called “Indian Apples” (red on the outside, white on the inside).
We turned on each other, not knowing we were playing with fire, an identity crisis that would later hit us like a tsunami — not knowing who we are.
I think psychologists call it self-denial of some sort or maybe just envy on our part. Suicide rates are strongly related to cultural discontinuity and in order to achieve a particular end to preserve it, social, psychological and cultural change must stem from the balancing of two cultures within the prevailing mainstream culture, not necessarily complete assimilation, but preserving the traditional values.
From a traditional perspective/wisdom, we want an individual to adopt and adjust to his cultural environment by incorporating his best traditional learning ideals by choosing the best of two cultures to improve upon.
In our tribal political arena, they are giving us the opposite appearance conducted by our Window Rock leaders, playing the same game with fire on its own people with reverse psychology — stay put in your place — a tactical use of coercion to bend their way, not your way.
They seem to demonstrate a lack of understanding just like Europeans judge different languages based on the fact that if they do not understand it, they display a negative response or show intolerance when exposed to unknown religion and symbolism.
States became accomplices with the federal government when they outlawed the Plains Sun Dance and all ceremonial practices to wipe out Native American “Indianness” out of their culture. It took a congressional act to pass the American Indian Religious Act of 1978 in the United States to drop all criminal charges against our oldest known healers in the world. This is for being incarcerated for practicing their religious belief to finally have it taken off the law books.
Such religious practice was considered punishable crime with prison time with no criminal act involved. No other healing profession had to ever experience that kind of treatment before when knowingly influenced by Christian dogma as Indian “devil worshippers.”
Colonial Christians have practiced reverse religious persecution against the Jews since the Gentiles were excused from performing “circumcision,” a Mosaic law of their Hebrew God. Some things to think about: To the Native Americans, religion has always been used as a point of cultural conflict, political motivation, and legal justification since American colonization.
Colonizers historically disapproved or denied indigenous knowledge on the basis that Indians do not know what is best for them. Many modern Christians believe our way of worship is not worth conserving, considered worthless superstition from early missionaries, and too much false impression about Native belief remains generalized and horribly steeped in stereotypes of misconception.
We were never offered the natural law protection that should have morally obligated the United States to preserve our ceremonial practices, but to take it away for their own benefit as not to be bothered with. Despite all of this, we have survived genocide as a resilient people with a strong spiritual base. With all my respect.
Teddy Begay
Kayenta, Ariz.

Time to turn the page, unite, heal

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. On Dec. 14, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden crossed the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the race for the U.S. presidency and officially clinched an Electoral College victory. Now, the United States of America can “turn the page, to unite, to heal.”

The popular vote also reflects the solid victory: Biden, 81,282,903 (51.4%); and Trump, 74,223,030 (46.9%). Unfortunately, there is a segment of American society that actually believes in conspiracy theories (like QAnon, a Christian theocracy in America pushing the idea there was massive election fraud) who are willing to follow the misguided and dangerous rhetoric of the forever-impeached Donald Trump.

Peace is not on earth and neither is good will towards all humans. Although we dream of a “white Christmas,” there is hatred, racism, division, and violence across our great nation, a clear message that resounds from Donald Trump — the self-professed “king of Israel” and “the chosen one” — while in the Oval Office of the American people that has stained American streets red with the blood of its citizens.

Trump has isolated America from the world, embracing our historical enemies and shunning our allies who have stood by us through many difficult national emergencies and pandemic(s) through his QAnon “patriotic education” and propaganda, a possible residual of the failed Trump University.

Trump even sets national policy via his constant barrage of tweets while on one of his golf vacations (302 times since 2016 at a cost to American taxpayers of about $142 million as of Nov. 28, 2020). U.S. democracy has been detained as well — by the cult of the Donald Trump right-wing Republican GOP conservative “Christians” — and it is way past time to free the thousands of innocent immigrant children from the Donald Trump concentration camps across America.

The deplorable and inhumane policy of family separations must end and families must be reunited. All this, while the nation suffers in this COVID-19 season of giving because 1% of the super-rich elite have taken the wealth of Americans and left us with lumps of carbon-emitting coal.

Big Pharma doesn’t help our national pain with their exorbitant price gouging and the Republican GOP (gang of Putin) repeated attempts to overturn “ObamaCare” — along with the 2020 U.S. election results — through frivolous and baseless lawsuits. The acronym of MAGA is very misleading when it comes from a five-time draft dodger and a “business tycoon” who thrives on deficits, lines of credit and a record of six bankruptcies.

The hypocrisy of the evangelical “Christians” who support Trump — an inveterate liar and consummate adulterer — is astounding even as they have openly abandoned the great commission of Jesus Christ in their Faustian pact with the man of lawlessness.

With their literal worship of Donald Trump, “MAGA – Many Abandoned God Almighty,” is more appropriate when this mob of immigrants and descendants of immigrants display their ignorance of American democracy, the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. It is time to “turn the page, to unite, to heal.”

Mervyn Tilden
Church Rock, N.M.

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