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"Native Nazi? "

rec 3-25-05 

1) 3:16 Short essay Mp3

2) 3:54 Long essay Mp3


[Col. Writ. 3/24/05] Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

   The recent high school shooting rampage in the Indian reservation at Red Lake, Minnesota is as ironic as it is amazing.
   A 16-year old Chippewa boy, sprays his school with deadly shotgun fire, is a reputed admirer of Adolph Hitler, and doodled in his books by scribbling swastikas.
   According to some published sources, Jeff Weise visited neo-Nazi websites, listened to
Marilyn Manson music, and went by the online handle of todesengel: German for 'death angel.'
   There is something deeply disturbing about an Indian kid who deeply admired Adolph Hitler.
   The irony, of course, was that Hitler viewed Native Americans (and all other nonwhite
people) as untermenschen, (German for 'subhumans.')  If young Jeff's vision were to prevail, he would be spelling doom for the Chippewa, the fourth largest Indian tribe in the U.S. (after the Cherokee, the Navajo, and the Sioux).  Indeed, it would spell the end for all people of color!
   And therein lies the rub.
   How does a 16-year old Chippewa boy, in modern-day America, come to loathe his own people so profoundly, not only that he slays 9 people, but before the deeds, that they were dead to him in his heart?
   We all pass through the perilous desert of youth, when the words of parents, teachers and elders are but buzzing in the ears, annoyances to be ignored, and, if angry enough, if alienated enough, rebelled against.
   Young Jeff Weise, orphaned at an early age by the suicide of his father, and the death by a car accident of his mother, grew into a world which he met with hatred. What happened recently was but a manifestation of that inner hate against others.

   We have often discussed and written about Black self-hatred, the projection of hate against the self that splashes against those who are closest to us; who look most like us.
   That hatred is a reflection of the very real hatred against Black life that has animated American history for 5 centuries.
   We are not alone in this psychological tragedy.
   Imagine what wells in the heart of a boy, whose people were once masters of this land;
but are now relegated to small, isolated communities -- called 'reservations' no less!
-- while these relative newcomers, these 'palefaces', run the country of your ancient
ancestors, and try to run the whole world.
   Then, there is the cultural imperialism that comes through radio sets, TVs, iPods,
and on the computer.  These machines project the rightness of whiteness, and rarely, the great and historic achievements of Red people.  What would he learn? What *could* he learn, but hatred?
   His fellow students said he was a "smart" boy; but a little "weird."
   Did he know that the first great city in North America, named Cohokia, (near present-day St. Louis!) had about 40,000 red residents around the year 1000?
   Did he know of the history of his own clan, the Chippewa?
   We don't know, but it seems he did not.
He could not.
   For if he did, how could he act in a way that made Floyd Jourdain, chairman of the Red Lake Chippewa Tribe, say the day he slew family, fellow students and last, himself, was the "darkest day in the history of this tribe" (*USA Today*, 3/23/05, p. 4A).
   He was alienated, isolated, alone, and perhaps, lost.
   A Native Nazi!  He probably knew more about Adolph Hitler than Leonard Peltier!
   A lost soul.
Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa