A year ago today, google doodled Richard Oakes.
I love google. Even when they were AI pretending to be IA and then did the old switcheroo and admitted it – well, sort of. I am prone to swim in strong underground rivers.
Richard Oakes was assassinated, according to google.
I wonder if that registered a blip in the o.o.d.l.e.n.e.s.s of our stratosphere.
But, according to NASDAQ, Oakes was shot dead.
Language runs deep in our myths.
I wonder if google forgot to play the game or they’re just being naughty?
The semantics of discovery requires everyone play the game. Naughty naughty little google doodle.
When I first went to public school, I was taught the pilgrims and pioneers were good hapless people who suffered greatly at the hands of the big bad savage Indians. Don’tchaknow, they weren’t trespassing. They were just poor little immigrants seeking a better life and the big bad Indians were in their way.
Columbus is still a swashbuckling adventurer, don’t ya know?
Now, in kindergarten, kids learn it was really the fault of the greedy king and queen. The Pope didn’t know what to do about it. He was powerless after all.
All explorers were having fun in their adventurer clothing before they went off to do fun stuff like look under rocks for gold or go up little rivers to find cinnamon and myrrh. Cool stuff that was helpful. Of course, the little part of the story where they chopped off hands and stuff like that if the big bad Indians didn’t find them more gold is sort of an unneeded little side issue. Pesky little thing.
When I was eleven, Alcatraz was occupied.
Big bad Indians taking over that venerated rock, its only just abandoned prison of shame crumbling in the waves of the bay.
Every morning, I would say a prayer that those big bad Indians would be safe and then I would go to school and pretend that I never did such a thing.
Everyone now knows AIM disintegrated, but they ruffled some stuffy feathers and aired out some old myths.
And they let us know Indians are still here. The termination era was terminated except all the little Indians couldn’t be put back together on their land again.
For people like me, I still like my tribe(s). I’m not Indian anymore, but I still love being part Ho-Chunk, Sac and Fox, and Pamunkey even if those tribes don’t exist on the citizenship test. I often wonder into which mist they disappeared or if it just shouldn’t matter to those just joining the ranks of Americanness.
Of course, I still have to answer the questions even today–what is a Ho-Chunk? What is a Sac and Fox? What is a Pamunkey? I say google it! Google knows all–even Pamunkey. And in case you didn’t want to google any doodles, Pocahontas was Pamunkey. And no! I am not descended from Pocahontas and don’t believe the stories you hear about her either. I am descended from Weroansqua Cockacoeske.
Take it away Google! Like I said, she wasn’t Pocahontas so stories about her are murky and Disney is not interested. She was the daughter of Opchanacanough. Whoops! He got shot in the back while he was a shackled 99-year old man. The theater curtain is getting slightly shaggy about now.
When I was in my 20’s, a plastic surgeon looked at my nose and told me he could fix that shit for me. I told him no thanks, I like my Ho-Chunk nose. He reminded me that our society has certain standards of beauty. Really?! I told him, it’s all the better to smell that which sometimes gets piled pretty high. And higher and higher. Not that I haven’t been wading through that stank for awhile.
In some ways, I’ve been swimming upriver solo for a lifetime.
But back to Richard.
He was Mohawk—
And according to a woman I met in Connecticut after 9/11 who was visiting our inn during a beautiful fall day, “all Indians in the East are dead.” Such a news flash–
“Why is that?” I wondered.
“Because the Pequots are just a bunch of spoiled rich people. I know because I live near them.”
“How does that make them not Indian and just rich people?”
She was skimming along the semantics of cultural Indianness and that of blood quantum – the Pequots having a lower blood quantum equalling a higher number – but I wondered if she knew.
“Because everyone knows they’re not Indian. We killed them all. Those who call themselves Indians East of the Mississippi are lying. And Indians West of the Mississippi will be dead soon, too.”
Her spittle was now flying. About this time, her neck was getting pretty red.
Gotta love the Puritans. And I always appreciate someone who does not beat around the bush. Digging through BS gets so tedious sometimes.
But I often wonder if Richard Oakes knew he wasn’t an Indian.
Isn’t the language of discovery oodles of fun?
Someone needs to tell google they were being naughty.