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  • srsly?

    From Damon A. Getsman@VERT/TINFOIL to Lee Lofaso on Sat Jan 24 21:27:38 2015
    Re: Gowdy
    By: Lee Lofaso to Bill McGarrity on Sat Jan 24 2015 23:15:26

    Sad to say, but there are some places in the USA which can be
    compared to 3rd
    world conditions, although I wouldn't go as far as Darfur
    conditions.

    I'll admit off the bat that I don't know much about Darfur conditions... The rest of the place where this thread went... Well, Lee, I don't normally engage with you (I realize, yes, that the above is not quoted from Lee), but I've got quite a bit of experience here.

    You've never seen a drunk Native American teenager jump off a
    four-story bridge in the middle of the night in order to impress
    a white woman. And then watch a drunk Native American swim into
    the canal to save his drunk Native American brother who had jumped
    off the bridge. The white woman then fled the scene, leaving the
    two boys behind. And then have to drive both nitwit drunk Native
    American teenagers home where their Native American parents were
    waiting to scold them ...

    Growing up in North Dakota was a great way to learn a lot about the realities that Native Americans face, both after getting off of the rez, and (as I got older) finding out what they deal with when they are actually on the rez.
    The discrimination that they face, at least in the upper midwest, is horrible. I had a position working as an 'intake specialist' for a 501(c)3 that disbursed grant money to people in desperate financial need in Bismarck, ND, for awhile. I actually started writing some software for them so that they could consolidate databases with the rest of the 501(c)3s in the area because there was quite a legitimate problem of people double dipping to get money from different agencies with the same story, or different stories that didn't add up, and the like. So a lot of my time was spent on investigating those requesting cash funds in order to verify that they weren't abusing them and had legitimate need. A lot of times it was easy, sometimes they would come in with different forms of ID, different names, or hit all of the agencies, etc...
    Anyway, I digress... I've always had friends of many colors, though yes, some people oppressed it is harder to find kinship with. After their cultures have been decimated, and especially after generations stuck on sub-standard living conditions within our own USA, where the news does not spread beyond the tribal nation of the rape, the violence, the murder, or the jailers putting bets on which prisoner is going to win a fight in a cell, they find solace where they can. When your kindred are decimated, when your family is in shreds, where can you find it? Booze and drugs are a great solace, for awhile, but they quickly change a person. I know this all too well.
    The interim director there quickly realized that I was handing out a good portion of the funding to Native Americans. After I verified that the needs were legitimate, I was colorblind. I handed out the funds, as they were available, to the people that needed them; first come, first serve, sometimes rationed when grant funds were limited. I did everything I could at that job and despite its pathetic pay, it made me feel good. It wasn't good for her, though. She soon came to me and told me that I had to stop handing out so much funding to Native Americans, because all that they would do is drink it away and spend it on drugs. How is there any way to assist the situation that these people have ended up in, when they are truly in need, and our own leaders demand that we hold back funds disproportionately to them? It is not hard, in these areas, to see the culture that we have built upon our educational lies has its true roots in genocide and prejudice, and even slavery. I fear for my mulatto son's future; he has already told me (today, even) about how he notices that black adults are much friendlier to him than the whites who ignore him usually. To think that this is one of the most progressive towns in the country...
    I had a good friend that I went to 6 years of school with who was Native American, and I saw alcohol take him, even as I was struggling with it. He didn't succeed against it, as I did (one day at a time?). One night he went to sleep on some train tracks. The pieces of him left didn't wake up. On the oilfields now in the Bakken Shale of North Dakota's north and west, it is the native girls, primarily, who are kidnapped from the reservations, where they will not be investigated as fully, and put into the sex trade on the fields due to the massive influx of male workers making the population horribly disproportionately male.

    Being scolded by parents after such an experience is far worse
    than Darfur conditions (from what I understand). Of course, you
    do realize the two boys did have a valid defense -

    Parents: "Son, why did you jump off the bridge?"

    Son #1: "The white woman made me do it!"

    I'm not so sure that defense worked so well for Son #2,
    even though he was just as wet as Son #1.

    I don't know... But I've seen the abuse handed down generation to generation. I've had native american girlfriends and I've been tight with native american friends. The mother of my 2nd son is a Kenyan citizen. Her childhood stories were of civil war, daily rapes at school, murdered siblings, and a horribly broken home. Her PTSD ended up ripping us apart, as the US government failed to give her a fiancee visa due to my inability to make financial requirements to support her and my son. The financial requirements were based on the national poverty average, not the regional wages within a state, the possible income, or the cost of living.
    It's a hard world, and we need to pull the fuck together, not push the fuck apart. The horrors that happen under our noses, under our bombers, and under the feet of our infantry, as well as those of other countries, are unacceptable to any species that considers itself civilized. Not to mention what we're doing to the rest of the life on this planet, all in the name of profit over progress.
    Not sure exactly where I meant to go with this, but I hope it can help open some eyes somewhere. I fear for my progeny, and for the fate of our species. Before I had children I often thought that perhaps this world would be much better off without us on it. I will not give up on those that I love, though; I will try to love all, instead.

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