The veneration of a jurist who used the racist legal fiction of the Discovery Doctrine to describe *all* American Indians is appalling. Her thinking was that we’re still too incompetent to manage our own lands, and we need the US to do it for us, like wildlife...
No religion should determine law, whether it’s abortion or Indigenous rights. Yet, RBG upheld a fifteenth century papal bull that said Indians barely possess faculties that distinguish them from animals.
Colonialism is authoritarian by nature. In the US, the highest jurists are appointed, not elected, by a president who is also not directly elected by the people, in system premises on Indigenous elimination. We should be challenging these systems not normalizing them.
As recently as 2005, RBG cited the 1823 Johnson v. M’Intosh decision, which cited the Discovery Doctrine, in the Oneida decision. She felt that SCOTUS had to stop “the Tribe from rekindling the embers of sovereignty that long ago grew cold.”…

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More from @nickwestes

23 Nov
This is a peculiar time of year for Native people. Colonial holidays & massacres go hand-in-hand with consumerism. Two old white imperialists colonized the first two weeks of #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth. Here are Indigenous political projects you should check & support (thread):
@The_Red_Nation Podcast is nearly finished with our first run of #NativeReads, centering Oceti Sakowin (D/N/Lakota) authors. Check out the study guides, buy the books, & support Oak Lake Writers Society:…
@The_Red_Nation @The_Red_Nation Podcast has grown to include Red Power Hour, @DecolonizedP, & Wosdée (w/ @majerle_lister & @wahgraphy). Support our podcast endeavors, as we plan to launch #NativeReads (Native writers interviewing Native writers) as an stand-alone podcast:
Read 13 tweets
16 Nov
The CIA has more Indigenous blood on its hands than Custer... Honduras, Guatemala, Bolivia...
Panama, Nicaragua, Chile, as well...
The first Secretary of State to overthrow a foreign gov’t was John Watson Foster (who overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii). He told his grandson of his exploits: Allen Dulles, the first civilian director of the CIA, the man who orchestrated the bloody Guatemalan coup in 1954.
Read 4 tweets
18 Oct
I’ve seen sooo many US Indigenous “get out the vote” campaigns — “Indigenize the vote” “voting is sacred” — but zero solidarity from those same campaigns and politicians with Indigenous Bolivians voting today. Is a vote only “sacred” when it’s for empire?
The US backed the right wing military coup to depose of Evo Morales, the Indigenous president, and MAS, a movement with many Indigenous people. None of the elected US Indigenous politicians opposed the coup. Not a single one.
Bolivian Indigenous movements brought us some of the more revolutionary environmental politics such as the rights of nature movement, first codified in the Bolivian plurinational constitution, and the 2010 People’s Agreement that center the Andean cosmovision of Vivir Bien.
Read 6 tweets
10 Sep
I was a research assistant at an oral history center, when my boss showed us the 2007 video, "Collateral Murder." Apache helicopter pilots radio a second chopper, "Crazy Horse One-Eight," before gunning down six Iraqis. "Look at those dead bastards," one says.
I had long opposed the Iraq war. The idea that Indigenous names, Crazy Horse and the Apache people, those who had died fighting US imperialism, however, had become military codewords in the bloody massacre of Iraqi civilians made me throw up. It is the never-ending Indian war.
Later, I read the WikiLeaks US embassy cables, showcasing the zeal with which the US imperialism destroys nations and movements it sees as threats, literally holding back the rest of the world from advancing any social alternative to the world-destroying machine of capitalism.
Read 4 tweets
10 Sep
“The tribal relations should be broken up, socialism destroyed, & the family & the autonomy of the individual substituted. The allotment of land in severalty, the establishment of local courts & police... & the universal adoption of the English language are means to an end.”
— Thomas Morgan, Commissioner of Indian Affairs (1889)
Indian policy wasn’t an accident. It unfolded by design and specifically targeted the communal aspect of Indigenous social relations, which were broken by breaking up the land.
Read 4 tweets
4 Sep
I can’t speak on whites pretending to be Black in the academy. But I see similarities with how whites have adopted a Native identity in the academy. Yes, there’s a question of resources. What’s not often spoke about is the politics of injury tied to these make-believe identities.
The cunning of trauma politics is that it turns actual people and struggles, whether racial or Indigenous citizenship and belonging, into matters of injury. It defines an entire people mostly on their trauma and not by their aspirations or sheer humanity.
Who’s the audience for the politics of injury? It certainly isn’t for those who are marginalized. Mostly it’s for white audiences or institutions of power. It’s non-threatening to be a traumatized person, especially when those dishing out the trauma become those who solve it.
Read 10 tweets

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