Pope says indigenous people must have final say about their land | Environment | The Guardian

Francis echoes growing body of international law and standards on the right to ‘prior and informed consent’

Source: Pope says indigenous people must have final say about their land | Environment | The Guardian

“Last week… Francis, the first Pope from Latin America, struck a rather different note – for indigenous peoples around the world, for land rights, for better environmental stewardship. He said publicly that indigenous peoples have the right to ‘prior and informed consent.’ In other words, nothing should happen on – or impact – their land, territories and resources unless they agree to it.”

I agree completely – but I wonder if it has occurred to him that such rights also extend to indigenous Europeans…?

 

Covington bishop apologizes to pro-life students: ‘we… allowed ourselves to be bullied’ | Lifesitenews

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Source: BREAKING: Covington bishop apologizes to pro-life students: ‘we…allowed ourselves to be bullied’ | News | Lifesitenews

Bishop Roger Joseph Foys, of the (Roman Catholic) Diocese of Covington, writes,

“We are sorry that this situation has caused such disruption in the lives of so many. We apologize to anyone who has been offended in any way by either of our statements which were made with good will based on the information we had,” Foys writes in the letter. “We should not have allowed ourselves to be bullied and pressured into making a statement prematurely, and we take full responsibility for it.”

“I especially apologize to Nicholas Sandmann and his family as well as to all CovCath families who have felt abandoned during this ordeal,” he continues. “Nicholas unfortunately has become the face of these allegations based on video clips. This is not fair. It is not just.”

No, it is not. This semi-apology is both overdue, and rather weak-kneed. But late is better than never, I suppose…

 

Polish Politician Invites Covington MAGA Students to Speak Before Parliament | Dr. Steve Turley – YouTube

Source: POLISH POLITICIAN Invites Covington MAGA Students to Speak Before PARLIAMENT!!!

Dr. Steve Turley (who I wish would use slightly fewer exclamation points and all-caps in his titles… *grin*) comments on the Covington Catholic High School students who were accosted by both “Black Hebrew Israelites” and by Native American activists, and the fact that they have been invited to speak before the Polish Parliament.

He notes, in the process, that some folks abroad have shown them more respect than their own Diocese, which was quick to throw them under the bus when the first false reports started to come out – even speaking of possible expulsion – but which has been notably silent since it became all too clear that this was a textbook example of “fake news.”

He calls upon the Diocese of Covington to publicly exonerate the students, and apologize for its quickness to believe the worst, before all the facts were in. I agree with him! They should – but I’m not going to hold my breath until it happens. A shame that the Diocese seems to have so little moral courage.

What kind of example does that set, for its students?

Sen. Rand Paul defends Covington kids: “These kids are taking all sorts of abuse they do not deserve”

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“Unfortunately there is too often a rush to judgement from our media and social media these days,” the former presidential candidate tweeted. “We should stop and look at the facts first.”

Source: Sen. Rand Paul defends Covington kids: They’re ‘taking all sorts of abuse they do not deserve’ | News | Lifesitenews

Senator Rand Paul and Representative Thomas Massie, both from Kentucky (Rep. Massie represents the district containing Covington Catholic High School) have both weighed in, in defense of the “Covington kids”: Catholic high-schoolers, unfairly and inaccurately smeared by the media (social and otherwise) for an incident which occurred following the March for Life last Friday (18 January). As the linked post notes,

“The media, the Diocese of Covington and other Catholic leaders, left-wing activists, and even the March for Life itself condemned the students for allegedly harassing a Native American man. In its initial statement, the Diocese of Covington suggested the students may be expelled.

“But a full video of the encounter showed a very different situation, with the older man confronting the students and other protestors calling them offensive slurs – and the students remaining calm and not returning the mistreatment in kind.”

Rep. Massie was even more emphatic than Sen. Paul, tweeting,

“The honorable and tolerant students of Covington Catholic School came to DC to advocate for the unborn and to learn about our nation’s [capital]. What they got was a brutal lesson in the unjust court of public opinion and social media mobs…

“In the face of racist and homosexual slurs, the young boys refused to receiprocate or disrespect anyone. Even when taunted by homophobic bigots, which was obviously bewildering to them, they insulted no one.”

I don’t expect Leftists or the “liberal” media to feel any shame for their reprehensible defamation of the Covington High School students. But I do hope the conservatives and Catholics who jumped on the bandwagon are feeling some remorse, by this point! An apology is called for, it seems to me.

Public Enemy Number One | Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture

covington-drum

The teens from Covington Catholic represent everything too many on the left love to hate.

Source: Public Enemy Number One | Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture

As this essay notes,

“Every year, on or near the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, hundreds of thousands of Americans go to Washington, D. C., to join the March for Life and protest that infamous decision.  The March for Life is peaceful and orderly, and every year the major media outlets contrive to pretend it doesn’t exist. 

“Until this year.”

Whether because the sheer size of this year’s March for Life – an estimated 300,000 participants – rattled the guardians of the Left, or whether because Trump Derangement Syndrome led them to zero in on a group of Catholic schoolboys who were wearing MAGA hats (distinctive hats have become a common feature of the March, as a way for groups to hold together and identify their members), what should have been a minor, inconsequential footnote to the March has been blowing up social media ever since.

According to the dominant narrative, this group of students from all-male Covington Catholic High School, supposedly “surrounded and intimidated” a Native American “elder,” one of them reportedly committing the unpardonable sin of “smirking” as the American Indian in question chanted and drummed well inside his personal space: in fact literally inches from his face, as the picture above indicates.

I thought when I first heard this story that there had to be more to it than that, and indeed, there is! Continue reading “Public Enemy Number One | Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture”

Elizabeth Warren Is a Fraud | National Review

The saga of Elizabeth Warren demonstrates once again that the ugly new identity politics dominating the Left drives its own acolytes to radical dishonesty

Source: Elizabeth Warren Is a Fraud | National Review

Senator Elizabeth Warren – a woman I used to admire for her stance against corporate greed, before I realized just how radical she actually was, and who is currently attempting to position herself for a 2020 presidential campaign run – has long been pilloried in the conservative media (such of it as exists) and blogosphere as “Fauxahontas,” for her repeated portrayal of herself has having Cherokee blood: based, reportedly, on family oral history.

Now, I am an admirer of family oral histories as much as anyone, and more than some! But I am also aware of their limitations. Such accounts can be misremembered, misreported, change over time (remember the children’s game, “Telephone”…?), be “embellished” for a variety of reasons, or simply be in error. Now she has released a DNA test that may have done her more harm than good. As reported in the linked National Review article above,

“Irked at President Trump’s irreverence regarding her purported bloodline, Warren released the results of a DNA study done by Professor Carlos Bustamante of Stanford University. Those results showed that a Native American ancestor may have [emphasis added] existed in Warren’s family tree ‘in the range of 6–10 generations ago.’ This would make Warren somewhere between 1/64th Native American and 1/1024th Native American.”

Backlash has been predictable, and much of it has come from Native American sources. If the National Review is a conservative publication, the New York Times is not; a Times article published yesterday notes that “her announcement of the results angered many Native Americans, including the Cherokee Nation, the largest of the country’s three federally recognized Cherokee tribes,” and continues,

“DNA testing cannot show that Ms. Warren is Cherokee or any other tribe, the secretary of state of the Cherokee Nation, Chuck Hoskin Jr., said in a statement. Tribes set their own citizenship requirements, not to mention that DNA tests don’t distinguish among the numerous indigenous groups of North and South America. The test Ms. Warren took did not identify Cherokee ancestry specifically; it found that she most likely had at least one Native American ancestor six to 10 generations ago.”

The statement referred to above follows:

“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.” [emphasis added]

There are dissenting voices, of course; but that sentiment seems to be pretty general. Continue reading “Elizabeth Warren Is a Fraud | National Review”

Seven Generations

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Some of the indigenous peoples of what are now the United States (and more broadly, North America) – generally known as “Native Americans,” or, in Canada, by what I believe to be the more accurately descriptive term, “First Nations” – have a concept that what we do, should be done in light of the “Seven Generations.”

Exactly what this means is open to some interpretation (*), but the version I like is that we should consider our actions in light of our own generation, the three that preceded us, and the three that will follow us: that is to say, how would it reflect on our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents? What is its effect on us? And how will it affect our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren?

This makes a huge amount of sense to me. We have a responsibility, and we ought to have a sense of loyalty, to both those who came before us, and those who will come after us. We inherit the world we inhabit as a gift from our forebears, our ancestors, and while we will ultimately hand it down to our descendants, in another sense, we borrow it from them for a while. We have a responsibility to pass on that legacy unimpaired; if anything, enhanced.

Our actions, the decisions we make, and the worldview we adopt to guide our actions and decision-making, demonstrate the degree to which we love, respect, and revere both those who came before us, and those who will follow us… or the degree to which we do not.


* This essay explains the view of contemporary Native elder Vine Deloria, Jr. (1933-2005), which is the one that makes the most sense to me:

“it is clear that much can be learned from nations that respect their ancestors, themselves, and those to come. Such nations exemplify the true meaning of the Seven Generations by maintaining their integrity as peoples.

“Vine Deloria, Jr. spoke of the Seven Generations in very practical terms. In his cantankerous way, he would express extreme annoyance at the romanticism of the concept as it was popularly used. Because, as explained to him, the generations we are sworn to protect and revere are the seven we are most immediately connected to.

“Think about it for a moment. It is possible that many of us have known or will know our great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Even if we aren’t fortunate enough to have been in the physical presence of those who came before us, we usually have stories, songs, and photos that have been shared so that we feel a connection. We also want to make sure our kids and grandkids are healthy, safe and aware of where they come from. So, counting our own generation—ourselves, siblings, and cousins—we are accountable to those seven generations, not some imagined futuristic peoples two hundred years down the road.

“Deloria’s articulation of the Seven Generations makes so much more sense on a human scale and does away with the destructive myth of mystical, all seeing Natives. In truth, our peoples were visionary but not in a passive, new-age way. We actively tended our families and our clan-ties by holding the lives, memories, and hopes of all Seven Generations close. Each generation was responsible to teach, learn, and protect the three generations that had come before it, its own, and the next three. In this way, we maintained our communities for millennia.

Consider what happens when we think of the Seven Generations as only flowing from each of us as individuals, as seems to be the dominant interpretation today. Then we live in a world where we owe nothing to our predecessors, where we have only a tangential connection to our present-day relations, and where we have but a vague notion of the ‘future generations.’”

That, unfortunately, is where most of us are, these days! The vision he articulates makes a great deal more sense to me, and I commend it to your attention.


Nota Bene:  This idea of the Seven Generations was originally articulated by the Iroquois Confederacy, but it has since been adopted more broadly.

And while it may not be expressed in just this way, it seems rather silly to pretend that other indigenous peoples throughout the world did not and do not have a very similar concept: concern for both one’s ancestors and one’s descendants is actually a core feature of every traditional culture, including European traditional cultures.

And of course, Europeans are the indigenous peoples of Europe, now existing also in a diaspora that extends from the Americas, to South Africa, to Australia and New Zealand. Our Celtic, Germanic, and other European ancestors may not have used the precise term “Seven Generations,” but they certainly would have recognized and respected the concept!