Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Bright, Hot Fire

Russell Means was no sugar-coated symbol.

He was fiery and unapologetic, critical of  American culture for its exploitation of Native lands, peoples, and resources.  He not only denounced crooks, haters, and charlatans, but also the paternalistic do-gooders who didn’t have a clue about what was actually going on in Indian country.

He was a bully, he was manipulative, he was selfish, He was at times hypocritical. He did good, and he did bad.

Most of all, Russell Means was an advocate and spokesman for Indian people struggling to maintain their cultural identity. Some people loved him and some hated him, but no one could ignore him and the essence of his message.

"Don’t be ashamed of your Indianess," he said. "Be proud."
"Indian isn’t backwards," he insisted. "It’s better."

1 comment:

Joanne Cage said...

Yeah, I guess he wasn't quite perfect.