In Times Like These, We Need Resilience, Not Fragility

I’ve covered the lunacy, double standards and childish reactions to this pandemic over several previous posts. However, another major point comes to mind that’s important: Life has to go on and we can’t stop our lives due to panic over this or any other crisis.

Covid-19 has affected much of what everyone does regardless of your political persuasions. The endless shutdowns destroying livelihoods, jobs and our economy cannot go on forever, or until zero cases! The double standards that allow rioters burn and loot businesses in the thousands, yet forbid others from attending worship services, funerals, visiting loved ones in hospitals, playing in the park, having friends over, etc… are enraging. A lot of our objections of Leftist restrictions are not even about the restrictions, but about the fact that the rules “apply to thee but not to me” so to speak. I’ve had to give up so many things due to these double standards, milestones in my education, missed job opportunities, missed time with friends and family for some. These pain me and make me feel stressed and angry just as much as I’m sure it does you. However, I can’t just stop what I need to do because of Covid related stress! We still must go on with our jobs, raising our families, and doing school work if you’re a student. I’m sick of all the meltdowns from people using the pandemic as an excuse not to do their school work or projects for jobs!

Yes, there is a definite need for more flexibility such as with technology and resource availability. More flexible deadlines and flexibility in getting work done is beneficial in times like these where we have to figure it out as we go. Thing is, that does not mean we should lower our standards of performance, or for example, cut out aspects of curriculum on a syllabus, or simply cancel all exams and projects because we’re stressed out! Admit it: We’re always stressed out, whether it be family matters, feeling swamped in projects, obligations and responsibilities to juggle, jobs etc. Covid is unprecedented, but if it weren’t here, another major life stressor would be. I’m not saying Covid is not worthy of any worry and some level of stress. I will dance for joy once this is over! What I am saying though is we must continue to function and do our best at our jobs, school and family obligations in spite of Covid. We can’t control much of what goes on around us, but we can control what we choose to do: Melt down and panic and demand “our feelings” take precedence over our obligations, or do what we’ve always done to function in our lives.

Covid is a disease and is more dangerous for some than others. Those who are more in danger naturally should be more concerned. However, does this mean you should never interact with another person again? What if you’re elderly or have conditions that in of themselves may not guarantee you ever will see your loved ones in person again? My 90+ year old grandmother is attending family holidays in person this year despite her increased risk because she knows every day is a gift at her age and wants to see her family even if it means she might catch it. She is not on some suicidal death mission: She wants to see her family for what may be her last times regardless of this pandemic. Obviously the choice is yours, I won’t tell you hers is the only right way to do things, but at least consider her perspective if you’re in advanced years or in poor health.

As for the strong and healthy among us, it is up to us to keep the world running so the more vulnerable can stay home and decide to self isolate! We still need teachers to teach in classes to develop young minds. We still need grocers, delivery people, janitors, healthcare workers, business men and women in this world for some examples. If you can work from home on zoom great, but we need people willing to do in person jobs without panicking. Also, for both remote and in person employees, Covid is not an excuse to do poorer work! You are adults, and adults work through adversity and stress, not break down like children who demand less work at the slightest hardship. Life is full of adversity and setbacks. Adults persevere in spite of that even in the midst of emotional turmoil.

For those who don’t want to do your jobs: Why are you so special you get to demand endless accommodations or your own safety is worth pausing the world, yet feel no moral qualms about “endangering” others, such as the grocers who have to work in person to get food on the shelves, the delivery people who bring it to your doorstep, the delivery guy from your favorite takeout place etc…? Even if you feel you’re being cognizant of their needs, you need others to help you maintain this lifestyle of never leaving your house thus the results are the same: Their lives are risked for your safety. Yet why are you more worthy of safety and less risk than them? And yes, I realize many can still work efficiently remotely, but some careers are just not the same without in person interaction.

Lastly, for college/grad students, I know intimately the life and challenges of a student in higher education. I know the stress of several term papers and presentations. The late nights. The studying. The professor who assigns way too much every week. The stress of getting a good GPA, good internships, good opportunities such as practical experiences to move on in academia and careers. I know how bad it stings to get one’s internship cancelled due to Covid, or what would have been my first academic conference to present my research and the realization that there wouldn’t be time for another one in my undergrad career. I have lost several academic and social milestones. Like each of you, I deeply hurt for these lost experiences and opportunities. I too, grieve.

However, that is NOT an excuse to let my GPA slide, or demand my professors not give me a normal workload, or omit curricula from their syllabi. I am an adult, who must learn that in the real world, my job won’t stop because my life is in turmoil. Deadlines will still exist even when I hurt inside. When my worries seem overwhelming. When I will have personal obligations other than my career. Does this mean there is no room for flexibility and understanding for others? NO! Self care including taking a breather is important, but part of self care is reaching out to others, even professionals in some cases to get you back on your feet, not hide in the darkness of your mind unable to function for weeks or months on end. A reasonable accommodation is modifying an assignment to adapt to a remote format, or in light of a roadblock one cannot control such as access to databases off campus. Maybe even a more flexible deadline/late work policy. It is not cancelling every single term paper and test and omitting key aspects of your chosen field in the syllabus! We can’t control much of how this pandemic plays out, but we can choose to push forward and excel in the pursuit of our aspirations in spite of that.

For EVERYONE: We need flexibility, understanding and creativity to get through these darker times. That includes accommodating reasonable changes in everyone’s lives. However, that does not mean we get to put the world on pause indefinitely and hide in our basements. We still must do our best every day, work just as hard as you would have, and choose resilience over fear and breakdowns. Imagine our lifetimes were shifted 100 years back: Think 2020’s bad? Try 1914-1918, 1918-1919, 1929-1939 and 1939-1945! (I guess public school didn’t teach you much history if you can’t figure out the significance of these dates 😉 ) Basically decades of war and instability, as well as a global pandemic! They got through their ordeal, we must get through ours. If this pandemic is like a war, the healthcare workers and scientists are like the soldiers at the front, and the rest of us are like the civilians maintaining the home-front to keep our country going!

(P.S. To the person who compared Covid with living through WWII, I dare you to say that to any elder who did live through it!)

The Fear Parade – Grrr Graphics

Biden said there will be a “dark winter” ahead, but through resilience and perseverance in the face of this adversity, rather than panic and fragility, we can still shine light this time of turmoil.

A PSA from A Lady of Reason: The Conservative Movement Goes Beyond One President…

Obviously the election has gotten everyone on both sides riled up over whose side wins. For months now, we have been standing by Trump, supporting him and showing our country that despite the Left’s influence, there are still thousands of us who stand up for traditional virtues and pride in our great nation and want a president who reflects those values. Accordingly, we have fought long and hard for him to get in in 2016 and have been for 2020. However, it is also important to realize that Trump won’t last forever as our leader. Doesn’t matter if he’s out in January or is in for the next four years. Another president will eventually take his place. So the question becomes: Where will we go from that point on?

The first thing in my mind at least is to find candidates like Trump who will share his courage and vision for our future. Someone who isn’t afraid to stand up to the Left, isn’t afraid of coming off as more blunt when needed, tells it like it is and doesn’t bow down to the ever changing standards of political correctness. Someone who takes true pride in the country and wants to see it shine as a light in the world, not someone who sees our country as a great evil full of flaws. We need someone who cares more about their talent and capability to be the president over any identity they can check off for virtue signaling points. Someone who is fair but stands firm in dealing with other nations. Someone who can follow their conscience and principles even when it may not be politically favorable. Someone who is a president, not just “presidential”. Most importantly, someone who will put America first and keep America great! I hope one day one of Trump’s children may run for office. Maybe Baron in a few decades 😉 However, more realistically for the near future we most likely will have to find another equally inspired and capable person. This is where you come in: You can shine the spotlight on promising young conservatives ready to enter politics and run for office. Maybe you might be inspired to be that person. Bring to light conservative candidates for 2024 and beyond. Either way, we must pass the torch to the next great leader once Trump has done his work. They will stand on the shoulders of a giant…

Another important point is perhaps even more crucial in the coming days: What are YOU doing to better your community? As many have said before, ultimately, it is We The People are the ones who make our country what it is on the front lines. Not those in Washington. Yes, they make policy, but we make attitudes. And attitudes are harder to change. Trump ultimately represents our hopes and dreams for what our country should be like. That’s why he won in 2016. The “silent” majority no longer remained silent. So how can you “do your bit” to make this country better? Here are some ways big and small, and by no means an exhaustive list!

  • Stand up for your constitutional rights, whether it be 1st amendment, 2nd amendment or any other amendment that’s important to you!
  • Have the courage to find your voice as a conservative and express your opinion.
  • Organize community watches to protect your neighborhood, set up town meetings to address issues on the local level. Make sure conservatives, as well as liberals are represented and heard.
  • Advocate for academic freedom and intellectual diversity in schools and on campus. Teach your children about bias in education and how to think critically. Challenge bias in your child’s schools. Challenge it in your classes.
  • Run for a local office, or help someone’s campaign that holds conservative platforms. Even if you or your candidate doesn’t win, the representation it gives for conservatives speaks volumes, and may inspire even more the next time around!
  • Let other conservatives know they’re not alone. Whether it be supporting them anonymously, online, or in person, we all must support each other, especially those who feel isolated in heavily Left leaning environments where they may be suppressed.
  • Advocate for more representation of conservative voices in the media, at work, in academia, and in mainstream society at large.
  • Join or even create conservative clubs and groups to make change in your communities.
  • Don’t stand for intrusions on your freedoms. Attacks on your values. Discord and chaos in your communities. Don’t just turn a blind eye when your neighbor’s business is looted, or if it becomes unsafe for your children to play outside. Don’t wait until your town is a hotbed for crime. Do something before it gets out of hand! Raise awareness. Lobby for your rights. Rally. And yes, in some circumstances: Resist. Resist when your safety is at stake.

Lastly, put it all in perspective. We will not always get our way. We will have some losses. We certainly did for 8 years of Obama! And yet, we still remained. We persisted. We voted. We elected who we wanted as our leader. We are not snowflakes who crumble and turn into a mess when we lose in a fit or rage or panic. We are balanced people who realize that we’re in it for the long haul, and no one term in office, election or set back defines the conservative movement. We will persist as long as we have passionate people willing to stand up for traditional values, pride in our country and fair and equitable societies. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Conservatism transcends any one individual, any one leader or movement. We cannot sink into the fallacy of believing that conservative ideas and values die or cease to remain important when one person leaves an office or a movement loses some steam. Persistence and perseverance is what will ensure our values are taught and our voices continue to he heard. If we have “lost” this November, it’s actually a win in that it should make us all the more motivated to step up and do the heavy lifting of upholding our great nation and our communities. Note too how close the race was: About half of the country voted Trump! The number is not just an abstract statistic. These people are your friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers etc… They too are with you, and together, we all can make America what we want!

Trump made America great again, but what we do as conservatives in our own communities and for our country is what keeps America great!

Not just this election, but every election 🙂

The Life of Major Israel McCreight: A Case Study in The Cultural Appropriation Debate

I’ve written many times before on the controversy surrounding what the Left calls “cultural appropriation”. As a recap, cultural appropriation is this idea of “stealing” another culture’s material culture as well as customs and traditions as an outsider who has no claim or right to use any part of a certain culture. People accused of such are often alleged to be insulting and exploiting often deep and meaningful cultural customs and traditions and making them superficial and misrepresented. Accusations of colonialism also come up as this charge is mainly exclusive to white people, claiming white people who do this are also exerting their “white supremacy” and subjugating minorities.

These arguments seem okay on the surface, but looking deeper it’s not always so black and white. I’ve written about how many simply want to dress up for Halloween and have no intentions of insulting anyone. Or about how experiencing ways different from one’s own can foster empathy, not mockery or contempt for another’s way of life. Or those who truly do want to honor a culture on a deeper and meaningful level, and have true appreciation for the richness that culture brings to the world. To illustrate this point, I want to introduce you to this man:

Yes, this is a white man in Native American regalia. Complete with that sacred war bonnet (gasp!). He even is holding a peace pipe! Look at his picture carefully and without knowing anymore about who he is or what he did what comes to your mind? Do you think he has any right to wear these things? How do you think the Native Americans felt about him doing this? What do you think his motives are for wearing Native American clothing, and ceremonial regalia? What do you think the implications are of a white person like him doing this?

Now what if I told you in his house, he has a massive collection of sacred Native American objects? War bonnets, arrows, coup sticks, sacred clothing, pipes, etc… How do you think he obtained all these things? Does he have any right to own them? What if I told you he took on a Native American name in his later life and even signed documents with it? It seems like this man is really into Indians! But do you think all of this is okay for someone who is not a Native American?

After you answer these for yourself, and think what the Left would say about this man what comes to your mind? I’ll share what comes to mine: I believe that many who cry cultural appropriation would condemn that man for wearing Native American attire. Say he was exploiting their culture, and defiling their sacred objects. They would wonder why he has all those Native American objects in his house, and probably assume they were war trophies, or stolen even indirectly from Indians. He should give them all back! They’d say he was just another white man who played a role in subjugating Native Americans and then gloating over his victory using those cultural objects as war trophies in a sense. That by using that native name, he’s just “playing Indian”, while becoming a white man with all the privileges it endows whenever it suits him again.

Indeed, his page on Wikipedia was taken down not too long ago. There’s no solid proof to confirm it for sure, but considering the circumstances, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone took it down for those reasons. However, the page taken down and censored had the relevant information that answers all of our questions about this man and his motives.

The man’s name was Major Israel McCreight. He was born in 1865 and died in 1958. He grew up in Pennsylvania raised by pioneer parents and several other siblings. As a young man, at only 20 years old, he wanted to branch out and traveled all the way to Devil’s Lake in the Dakota Territory. This is where his lifelong adventure with Indians began. In fact, it was when he first arrived and stepped off the train platform he was greeted by a band of Sioux.

“They were a fine healthy lot; and as the travel-worn youth with his carpet-bag and lunch basket looked about for someone from whom he might ask directions, the Chief stepped up and with extended hand, said: “How cola!” Half in fright and with a puzzled hand-shake, the boy made his way toward what seemed to be the white man’s town… That kindly greeting by the old Sioux Chief quickly dispelled much of the prejudice that had filled his heart through childhood, and soon the youth began to think that Indians were not such terrible folks as Eastern people believed they were.” (McCreight, 1939)

During McCreight’s years there, he worked supplying food to the Indians, and also in an army garrison. He got along so well with various Indians that others called him “the Indian man”, and he fully earned this title when amazingly, he prevented a potential conflict between the settlers there and some Ojibwe Indians who has a grievance over white settlers not adhering to a treaty they made and hunting on their lands and stealing their timber. A band of them came early one morning to settle the score and McCreight managed to talk them down and persuade them to go back to their reservation and avoid bloodshed.

“It was all over before the town folks stirred about after their late Sunday morning breakfast; and over their own late breakfast, the doctor and the writer decided it best to say nothing, to avoid publicity, for it might interfere with business, and perhaps bring the wrath of General George Armstrong Custer‘s troops at the fort, against the suffering natives, and so the incident was closed and soon forgotten — forgotten except for the life-long humiliation at failure of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to intercede for and protect the rights of these abused natives.” (McCreight, 1943)

He also developed deep personal friendships with many Indians, including Chief Wa Ta Na who gave him his prized peace pipe, as a token of their deep friendship. This was the first object given to him in his vast collection. As McCreight went through life, he went back to DuBois in Pennsylvania and took up banking, and married his childhood sweetheart and raised 7 children and they had over 70 years of marriage. However, he retained his connections in the Dakotas, and became friends with the far more well known Buffalo Bill Cody and other famous Indians in the Wild West shows like Flying Hawk and Chief Iron Tail. When the Wild West shows would travel around the country, they would often stop at the McCreights to relax and catch up with friends. A special place McCreight had in his later life was a big house and estate called “The Wigwam”.

Wild Westers needed a place to relax, and The Wigwam was a warm and welcome home where Indians could be Indians, sleep in buffalo skins and tipis, walk in the woods, have a hearty breakfast, smoke their pipes and tell of their stories and deeds. On one occasion 150 Indians with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West camped in the forests of The Wigwam. (Wikipedia)

He also made “The Wigwam” a cultural heritage center for Native American culture and educated tourists and schoolchildren. His Indian friends gave him many gifts of prized objects as tokens of their friendship which McCreight treasured until he died. McCreight’s constant and enduring connections with many Native American communities and those from the old days of the Wild West eventually earned him what he considered his highest honor: His native name, Cante Tanke which means “great heart”.

McCreight was forever moved by the solemnity of the occasion, and carried the honor proudly and with distinction the rest of his life. McCreight later remarked that the title, honorary Chief of the Oglala Lakota, was a far greater tribute than could have been conferred by any president or military organization. McCreight celebrated and honored Oglala Lakota culture, signing correspondence Tchanta Tanka or Tchanti Tanka, the phonetic equivalence of “Chann-Tey-Tonk-A”, the Lakota pronouncement of his adopted name Cante Tanke.

And that’s certainly not all! He was supported by the Sioux people and others to be nominated for the position of U.S. Indian Commissioner in 1929. He unfortunately was not chosen by President Hoover, however the significance of support from Indians, when many bureaucrats were corrupt and did not have the Indian’s best interests at heart, was that they trusted McCreight. In his elder years he wrote many books highlighting not his voice, but those of his Indian friends to honor their stories and kept The Wigwam up as a cultural center until 1958, the year of his death. Perhaps the most touching expression of his devotion to the Indians, and their love for him was in this letter sent near the end of his life by a friend:

“Brother your message tells us that soon you will take the Sunset Trail where our ancient Fathers will welcome and greet you as one of themselves. It will make our hearts unhappy when you leave us. You will be remembered by the truths you have written in your many books and articles about the Indians and though your body may pass on your thoughts will continue to live, will speak for us. During your life on this Earth, you have done many good things and our hearts are with you. You are an Indian born again in a white body, sent here by our creator to tell the world today the true story of our people. When you leave Mother Mother Earth and the Ancient Ones will welcome you with outstretched arms. The prairies and forests will look golden and green to you and your moccasins will walk on smooth grasses. The sky will be blue and from the bark lodges you will see smoke rising into the sky. Your ears will hear the good music of singing and the tom toms and those you see will be smiling at you as you walk to greet them. Remember this, Brother, this is how it will be for you. Your brother, Aren Akweks.”

Now go back to that photo and answer for yourself those questions I posed to you again knowing what you know now of the man. In light of all he contributed to the betterment and advocacy for Native Americans, would you still think he has no right to what he did? Is this still “appropriation”?

The reason I dove so deeply into one man’s biography was to present Major Israel McCreight as a case study in dismantling this notion that white people can’t possibly have a deep and lasting connection, one of advocacy for another race or culture and any absorption of another’s culture is an insult and oppressive. Maybe many SJW’s would dismiss him as a “white savior” and disregard all he did despite using his “privilege” to help those who didn’t have it. Obviously whoever deleted his wonderful page up on Wikipedia didn’t read his legacy. They didn’t read how he was embraced as one of their own by Indians, how his collection was not stolen but given to him by lifelong friends, how his native name was bestowed to him as his highest honor, how his war bonnet could symbolize how he was a warrior for the betterment of those people. And much much more. Nor did whoever took his page down appreciate the devotion and care the writer took to honor his life.

The implications of this censorship goes beyond this one man though, and the biggest one: There are more McCreights out there today, but they will never get the chances he did at truly embracing and advocating for a people with the Left’s restrictive “hands off and stay away” approach to connecting to others outside how they dictate whites must act. He saw the Native Americans he bonded with as his equals. But one can’t do that with another if you’re told to stay away and merely cave to every demand blindly due to some past history without having mutual understanding and respect. This isn’t merely about the censorship of the story of one great man, but the social censorship of the development of more great men and women who will go on to honor countless cultures to come…

Please take the time to read the censored article in its entirety as it covers so much more than I can in one post! I found the trick was to type the url into the WayBack site which can let you see deleted pages 😉 Major Israel McCreight