A Tale of Two Protests…

A rally that was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration for patriots to stand up for Trump on January 6th disappointingly turned into a chaotic event. Scores of people occupied the Capitol building and some stepped over the line into fear tactics, and even violence. When the dust finally settled, 4 died, the National Guard had to be called, a curfew enforced in DC, and several arrests. I think we can all agree this violent mob chaos was a disgrace and does not represent the real patriot or mainstream Trump supporter. Indeed, many prominent conservatives, including our President openly decried and denounced the violence and chaos, reminding every fellow American that no matter what the cause, violence and fear is never the answer to create change in a democracy. Despite the widespread condemnation of the rotten apples who only hurt Trump’s cause and the conservative community, the liberal media is swarming over this as proof of “right wing” domestic terrorism and proof we are dangerous insurrectionists who need to be censored and banned. The left even went as far as to give Trump a permanent ban on Twitter, a heavily left leaning platform! In some ways not surprising, as they were looking for any excuse, and this seems to be the perfect one.

Now contrast the widespread (and justified) condemnation for the behavior shown at the Capitol Building with the BLM riots and “autonomous zones” from this past summer. Violent insurrection? Check. Calling the National Guard? Check. Curfews? Check. Destruction of property? Check. Making people fear for their safety? Check. Arrests? Check. We can go on and on… Yes, the cause may be different, the side may be different, even the scale and duration of events is different. But the chaos? The violence and fear? Nope! Those riots caused for more destruction and went on for longer and with more people in several cities across the country. Did their behavior honestly reflect the simple idea that black lives matter as much as any other life? Were their actions reflective of a movement who only wants equality and justice? No matter what your opinion is of BLM, violent riots, chaos and looting harms volumes more than it ever would help actual black lives.

Yet, there was no widespread condemnation from BLM leaders. They encouraged the riots in the name of “reparations”! The left did nothing to condemn and stop the chaos, and called anyone a racist for criticizing them. Despite it being also within a raging pandemic no one even blinked at the thought of thousands packed in the streets like sardines. As businesses shut down, they were broken into and looted while the business owners could only stand by and watch or face arrest. The famous “autonomous zone” CHAD, CHAZ, or CHOP or whatever else, stood for a whole month before being cleared out! Name a prominent left leaning politician or celebrity or any public figure who condemned the behavior shown over the past summer. Name anyone on the left who said the rioter’s behavior dishonored, not honored, the lives lost to alleged police brutality.

Now going back to the recent events on the Capitol: President Trump decried the violence. Several conservative politicians decried the violence. Fellow conservatives on social media all decried the violence. Even though we all dislike, even hate, the policies of many who work in the Capitol, we never said they deserve violence and to fear for their lives. True conservatives know a democracy and the rights we all have as Americans applies to all, not merely those who we agree with. We are deeply embarrassed and disgusted our peaceful event was corrupted into what it was. Thing is, new evidence is coming to light, (despite being suppressed by the leftist mainstream) that many of the actual rioters and violent agitators were Antifa and other far left groups disguised as Trump supporters to sabotage our peaceful event. Yes, every group has its wing-nuts and we’re no different, but the wing-nuts don’t represent the other 99%. At every other Trump inspired event, thousands of fellow patriots gathered together without incident. This is out of character with the other events led by conservatives for Trump and should have raised suspicions from the start.

Before all this, I watched a video by Vox, a heavily left leaning news site geared towards college age millennials and teenagers that argued that the news coverage of the violence in many cities over the past summer mischaracterized a vast majority peaceful movement. They argued that news often focuses on the outliers, the more extreme ends to sell a more interesting story, violence is more eye catching, and also because it can be hard to capture all nuances of the complex subjects protests can cover whereas focusing in on an extreme helps simplify it for outsiders. It wrapped up by saying not to buy into the media’s mischaracterization and oversimplification of their chosen movements by the actions of a few bad apples. Now, compare that attitude towards how the leftist media has covered this event! The left is blatantly turning a blind eye to violence from their own chosen causes, yet is quick to condemn the actions of a tiny minority within the 75 or so million who voted Trump in this past election. In contrast, as stated before, numerous conservatives including President Trump swiftly condemned the violet actions allegedly done in the name of conservatives and Trump. You can see the hypocrisy in black and white.

No one has the right to use violence and terror to get their way in this country or in any democratic society. This applies to any political party, religion, race, ethnic group, special interest groups etc… I and fellow conservatives have always upheld the rule of law for everyone, including ourselves. We aren’t justifying the violence that happened at the Capitol when we call out the utter hypocrisy of how it’s been covered compared to left leaning insurrectionists and their violence. I don’t care about your opinion on whether the election was stolen, or if BLM is a worthy movement reflective of the inherent value of black lives when you cross that line. Violence is violence no matter who it comes from, so why is one group’s violence covered up en masse, while another’s is characterized as representative of 75 million people of whom 99% are peaceful law abiding citizens? Why are our leaders condemning the bad apples in our barrel while theirs cover up, deny and then attack you for calling out their silence about theirs? Saying we condemn violence done in our name, yet we also condemn the double standards being applied to how it’s perceived compared to the left’s own share of violence and chaos is not mutually exclusive!

Patriots, we must show the country that those who took part in this disgrace were not us. This was never us. And most likely were literally not us!

“Learned Victimhood”: A Consequence of The Left’s Indoctrination

The Left’s emphasis on constant, often ad nauseam discussions on race relations, racial bias and “systematic racism” have been only increasing in recent years, and especially in the wake of the recent turmoil this past summer. Their argument is that these frank, and often heated discussions while cringe worthy at times, are essential and long overdue for highlighting and hopefully addressing the issue of racial bias and prejudice in society. White people are often accused of being the ones who wish to silence such discussions, but I argue that is not the case. Rather, many don’t wish to be lectured and talked down to and labeled a racist and “speaking from privilege” if their views and lived experiences happen to differ and they bring a differing perspective. I wholeheartedly agree we need an open honest discussion on race relations, but one with cool heads and logical thoughts. Not a monologue on how whites are the supreme oppressors and that all views of people of color are to be declared infallible.

Never the less, the left pushes the narrative of the victim vs. oppressor instead of a cool headed rational debate. In doing so, they have set out to indoctrinate the next generation with messages that they are oppressed from birth onward and will never achieve what white people can without working extra-hard, or never even be able to attempt to reach their goals due to a myriad of systematic oppressive forces. Teachers, parents, authority figures, peers, news media, TV shows, movies, books etc… all send collective messages to youth of color that society was designed against them, to oppress and exploit them and that they are viewed as worthless in the eyes of white people who are “privileged”.

This is all under the guise of awareness and “education” and is supposed to affirm what they already know: They’re victims of systematic oppression. Studies the left cites argue they do know from a young age simply by being in society without overt messages, such as a famous doll study exploring children’s preferences for lighter or darker skinned dolls in the 1940’s. The obvious limitation now is race relations have changed drastically since the 1940’s! Even more recent replications of the study are prone to confirmation bias of the researchers and political pressures. Sadly even science is not immune from political correctness these days 😦 Other arguments the left gives for these trendy race education indoctrination sessions is to prepare children for future instances of encountering prejudice, like a birds and bees sort of talk.

At first glance, these reasons seem like reasonable ideas, but looking closer, they have a negative unintended consequence: Children can learn they are “oppressed” and victims of society not by lived experiences, but by external instruction. Basically, for some children, their encounter with a conscious sense of being marginalized is simply adults telling them they are or will be. It’s one thing to address an instance of prejudice or bias when it comes up in direct experience, it’s another thing to prime a child to actively look for signs of oppression, such as trying to figure out if the slightest thing might be a bias incident or not!

I propose we call this phenomenon learned victimhood. This is not the conventional experienced victimhood one might encounter through specific events, but learning to have a sense of victimhood even when nothing has actually happened yet to marginalize or oppress you, but others have told you you are in fact, on the outskirts of society so you must be a victim by default. You can be socially conditioned to believe what others tell you about yourself, even if you don’t experience or feel what they say is true. If everyone I trust and respect tells me something, I’m more likely than not to believe it!

A prime yet very sad example I recently saw was from a TV show: A mom explicitly telling her 5 to 6-ish year old daughter that because she is black, she will be seen as less than by white people, and will have to work 3 times as hard to only get half as far in life. Even if there is a grain of truth to it, to make such a negative blanket statement only primes the child to see her life prospects in a negative and pessimistic light. Rather than a message of empowerment and resilience in the face of adversities she may face, it was one teaching disempowerment and pessimism. Even more sad and disturbing to me was the child seemed to show no previous awareness of a sense of inferiority and oppression, and even didn’t really understand what mom was saying. She thought when mom said the word “disenfranchised” it meant she was a franchise like a business! In real life, this attitude breeds the resentment and divide in this country over race young… Obviously, this is fiction so of course it doesn’t have the same weight as a real life example, but it reflects what I’m sure many “woke” parents are teaching their kids, and the naivete of young children. Also, what about kids and parents who watched that TV show? They too absorb the message that that scenario is a normal and beneficial thing to reenact in real life! We often model what we observe…

This has tangible consequences: Those who believe themselves to be marginalized and an outsider often under perform on tasks such as academics or work. This is called stereotype threat, due to the feelings arising from perceived negative stereotypes and many studies show this is a real phenomenon going on. Now, the left cites systematic oppression from society as the main cause of this, and argues that stereotype threat is so insidious as it is often subconscious. However, could an explicitly taught sense of victimhood and marginalization also cause stereotype threat? I think the answer is an easy yes. Of course you’ll feel less confident and able to do well in school or on the job if you are constantly told people like you chronically underachieve due to forces (ex. white privilege) outside their control! A study by Walter and Cohen (2007, 2011) observed that:

“For instance, consider a Black freshman who had a bad day. Say his teacher criticized him in class or he was not invited to dinner by dorm mates. Already worried about his belonging, he is more likely than a White student to see it as proof that he does not belong.”

Why is he so worried about whether or not others see him as belonging? Yes, it could have been due to incidents where he was excluded. But could it also be because he is constantly reminded of his supposed victimhood and the idea that it is constantly ongoing and systemic by everyone all the time? What would have been isolated incidents of exclusion in his past then would be viewed as being generalized to every instance, not just a few negative experiences. Fortunately with Walter and Cohen’s interventions, in this case diary entries and other activities to counter these perceptions, these feelings decreased.

“Daily diary surveys completed in the week following the intervention showed that, in the control condition, Black students’ daily sense of belonging in school rose and fell with the level of adversity they experienced each day. To these students, negative social events seemed to convey that they did not belong in the school in general. The treatment cut off this relationship—here, Black students experienced similar levels of adversity, but adversity no longer led them to question their belonging.”

Sometimes, people just have an off day and might be short with you. A professor is simply a tough grader and it’s not about you personally at all. You may not always mesh in a particular friend group and be relegated to the outskirts as more of an acquaintance. A negative experience does not necessarily have to have anything to do with you personally, but if you are told to be on high alert for any bias incident or microaggression, or seek out evidence of this victimization others have insisted is true, then you will see it in everything you encounter! Confirmation bias is a thing, people…

I do not deny that there are some actual experiences of bias and prejudice, and even implicit bias, but I do strongly believe that actual prevalence of these incidents are fewer than what the left reports… Not every negative experience happened because of your race or any other identity! We need frank and candid discussions on race, including talking about negative experiences that people think have to do with race. However, telling our youth they are victims from the moment they’re born, unable to achieve in life due to a society stacked against them and a whole race that resents them only breeds a sense of learned victimhood, rather than affirming real victimhood.

At the very least, can we wait until someone experiences an actual incident of prejudice or bias before declaring them a victim for life?

Confirmation bias anyone???

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