An African was born on Turtle Island upon land called Lenapehoking to parents who bestowed upon him a Scottish surname that most assuredly came to them through the ruthless system of the slavery trade.  Twelve of his formative years were spent in roamin catholic school that touted a prophet-shaman with hair of wool and feet of brass that supposedly came from a land called Nazareth though his story seemed to be controlled by people from a place that should have been called western Asia. 
He lives in a society that professes to embolden reductive science, individualism and an economic system that gives great power and influence to an "elite" class over and above the direct and abiding needs of most of the people, the land, nature and all cultures outside of its direct purview.  The people that hold the most power and influence in this society are male members of this culture from western Asia, popularly called Europe.  These western Asians have successfully created a society based upon a system of settler-colonialism that disenfranchised miliions of Native Americans from their land and cultures and brutally used Africans enslaved to provide labor over hundreds of years to create wealth for this settler-colony and most of the western Asian countries that are now in a place called Europe.

Into this context an African was born in New Jersey at a time when he could be called colored, Negro, Black, nigger or coon, amongst other confusing monikers.  He would be "educated" in a school system that was considered exemplary, but was not able to give him the grounding and validating knowledge of who he was or what his history and cultural legacy was.  It didn't even come close.   Actually, that "education" was so far from being able to inform him of his human identity that he had to separate himself fully from roamin catholicism after entering college before he could even make any substantive headway in that regard.  It would take him years before he would understand fully what the nature of his presence in and on Turtle Island meant and how he should conduct himself so that he could be considered sane and well-adjusted in a society that could not find healthy ways of validating his life and purpose nor respect the land from which his Ancestors had been stolen in acts of war. 

It was many long and difficult years before he would even know that the land he lived on and because of was called Turtle Island or that it's popular name, America, came from an indigenous name for the land, Amerrique, a name that meant "land of the wind", not from a man known as "Amerigo" Vespucci, whose name was actually Alberigo - he changed his name in an arrogant, but simple act of opportunism.  It was a long time before this man would gain the knowledge and confidence to walk upon the earth, no matter where he was, like the man his Ancestors had meant him to be.  This man had paid a high price to get to where he finally got to , but he knew his Ancestors had paid a higher price, that their tears, sweat and blood had paved the way for his growing awareness, an awareness that those Ancestors depended on.  There was no question about that.  He had learned to open up his spirit, his emotions, to these truths.  There was no question about what had become clear to him, clear down to his very bones, deep, deep down in his gut, wrapped up in the very core of his DNA.

He would take a trip to the land of the Ohlone people, a place the western Asians would call California.  He spent days riding in cars to different places with his friends.  He gazed out over a myriad of highways, as cars whizzed incessantly by, wondering of the struggle of the Ohlone, about the struggle of the land and water, of the resources, of nature that the Ohlone held and hold sacred, that provided knowledge and balance and food and sustenance and abundance.  He wondered about how many cars there were and how they affected the land and water and animals and they affected the people that drove them.  He wondered about pavement and how it affected Tenbalu, the spirit of Earth, underneath its thousands upon thousands of miles of heavy, heavy weight, of suffocating weight.  He wondered about how many trees had been cut down for those roads and why so many of the roads and cities and towns had Spanish names.  He watched birds fly overhead and wondered how many used to be there and what happened to the condors, how they , the largest bird on the continent had been pushed so dangerously close to extinction.  He wondered why the people that lived there now, in that place called California, didn't seem to practicing, why so many of them would participate in the destructive lifeways or, better, deathways of the peoples that would give the places and roads Spanish names, so many of them with the names that started with "san", a descriptor that indicated some kind of special or holy quality.  He wondered why these people did not recognize the sacred nature of the lifeways of the Ohlone and the other peoples that called and call this place now called California home.

He knew that the people who renamed these Ohlone lands and places  by these new names had brought with them a religions that didn't work for or with the Ohlone, nor with the land, the animals or the plants.  This same religion sought to rename the capitol of the settler-colony that had done so much damage to the lands and water and the original peoples of Turtle Island.  It sought to reestablish a new form of hegemony and influence over the land the peoples even though that same religion and the people and political structures that supported it had long since run roughshod over the land  and its peoples.

This African wondered how this could happen again, in a land already marked so deeply by bloodshed and pain, with all the tools of learning and research and knowledge that the society claimed to have, with all the clarity and perspective that history and experience could provide, when they all knew so much or could know so much about what had happened and what the history of the place was. He knew of the DC40 initiative and he wondered how this new insult to old injury could happen in this time and in this place.  He knew that this inult could come to no good.  He knew that the earth needed to be able to  speak to the people again and that an intimate relationship with the earth and with nature and with Spirit needed to be reopened and regrounded in the hearts and minds of the people.  He knew that the indigenous soul of the Ohlone, the native peoples of Turtle Island and all those others who now populated the land needed to speak up for the identity of the Ancestors and the traditions they gave so beautifully to their children, to all peoples...and to this African.

He knew it was time for all peoples living on Turtle Island to put their feet on the ground, the sacred land of Amerrique and tell the truth about how they got there and own up to the indigenous legacy that would be their redemption.

9/25/2012 06:27:08 pm

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