Saturday, February 19, 2005
Interview, WBAI, NY, 11-27-03
First Voices, WBAI, interview with Prof. James Craven, Economist at Clark College, 11/27/03, day of mourning (aka “Thanksgiving”). Contact info: email@example.com; 360-992-2383; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Song by John Trudell: “Look at Us”
TIOKASIN– And that is John Trudell on his original CD or original tape way back in the early1980’s That is called “Look at Us”. And, uh, if that didn’t wake you up, and some of you who think that, uh, myself and other people who you’ve heard here on this station, WBAI, haven’t heard enough; and if you think that we are ultra, ultra liberal, ultra left wing, I say to you that, as one native person I am neither left wing nor right wing. That is your business; that is your politics. And that game is a loosing game. I can say that.
So, uh, we will bring to you now Prof. James Craven, a Blackfoot. He is a professor and consultant of Economics and Business. He is the Division Chair of Clark College out in Vancouver, Washington. And I bring to you now Prof. James Craven, a Blackfoot warrior.
Good morning Prof. James or Jim, how are you doing?
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Okay Tiokasin. Can you hear me okay?
TIOKASIN: I can hear you very well. Thank you for coming on this morning and joining us on this, uh, infamous day.
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Thank you for having me.
TIOKASIN: And, uh, you know, we’ve been quite a while since we’ve had you on –I think it was early spring or something, the last time you were here.
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Yes.
TIOKASIN: At that time you were working on– First of all, how –let’s do this for the listeners out there: How do you view today?
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: I—Today is a day of mourning for me and for all native people, and it should be for non-native people as well. There is an unbroken chain from the time that those Pilgrims came, right up to the present, of genocide against our people. And not only genocide against our people, but oppression of other people as well: poor people, poor white people, African American people, gay people, and so on. There’s a long chain of abuse that goes right back to the Pilgrims. And in fact, many of the so-called Pilgrims, with names like Phillips and Whitford and so on, not only went on to become the Plutocrats who formed the Republic –and who designed a constitution that only white propertied males could vote, and held slaves and wrote in their own declaration of Independence that we’re savages, basically to be exterminated–but those same creatures, or their descendants, are still to this very day in the highest echelons of government. They are in Skull & Bones, they are in the highest echelons of government, they’re in Homeland Security. And they’re doing the same things that their ancestors intended a long time ago. You know, the Pilgrims –everybody portrays the pilgrims as these poor persecuted people who came to America looking for freedom. Uh, in fact, the Pilgrims were persecutors. They were chased out of where they were because they were trying to ram their stuff down every body’s throat. And then when they wanted a Theocracy in England and Holland, dominated by them, and even the English couldn’t handle them. So they came here, not refugees from persecution, but seeking a more open field to do more persecution, and to create a kind of anal-retentive society that they wound up building. And so there’s a long, unbroken thread. So it’s a day of mourning. Uh, it should be. For native people to celebrate Thanksgiving is like for Jews and sensible non-Jews celebrating Hitler’s birthday. It’s an abomination.
TIOKASIN: Jim, I’m going to play uh, what I would call their, illusion of the Devil’s advocate here-
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Yes
TIOKASIN: Is uh, you know, what happens when –you know, they call it a day of mourning– what happens when we have these nay-sayers, who are also native people who say, “Well, you know, that’s fine Jim, but let’s move on, let’s get to business.” What would you say to that?
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: It’s like telling a rape victim “Why don’t you just get over it?” You see, the problem is, you can’t move on as long as the past is embodied in the present and constrains the present. You know, for example, you know I’m an Economist, I teach Economics. Wealth begets wealth and poverty begets poverty. You see that for example when the original Pilgrims came, they immediately occupied positions of power from which it was relatively easy for them to gather more power and more wealth. And power begot wealth and wealth begot power. And so, the same inequalities and the abuses, and the same genocide and theft and deceit upon which this republic was founded, continue to this very, very day. And so we can’t get over it, because it ain’t over. It’s still going on. It’s in our face as we speak. You know the average life expectancies for reservation Indian males and females is 47 years old in the United States, it’s lower than Ghana. That’s as opposed to 71 and 73 years old for white males and females respectively. Um, the instances of Meningitis, tuberculosis, influenza—deadly influenza—uh, various, AIDS and other diseases, are 10, 15, 20, 30 times what the national rates are in the United States. And we don’t have a Bureau of Caucasian Affairs, we have a Bureau of Indian Affairs. And we don’t have a Caucasian Act, we have the Indian Act in Canada and the Indian Reorganization Act in the United States.
This country was founded upon theft, deceit, genocide, racism, white privilege, and that continues to this very day. We can’t get over what’s not over. And that’s my answer to that.
TIOKASIN: Uh, that- that’s uh… I’d like to add one more thing to that, Jim, the… day of infamy. Millions of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. And they gather to feast, and most are unaware of the true holiday, or the history of that holiday. And America’s schools have taught that the coming of the Pilgrims made everyone happy. In reality, it was the beginning of the longest war in the US –the extermination of the indigenous peoples. Thanksgiving Day was first proclaimed by governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637 to commemorate the massacre of 700 men, women and children who were celebrating their Annual Green Corn Dance in their own house. Gathered at this place, they were attacked by mercenaries –English and Dutch. The Pequots were ordered from the building. And as they came forth they were killed with guns, swards, cannons and torches. The rest were burned alive in the building. The very next day the Governor proclaimed a holiday and feast to –quote-“give thanks,”unquote– for the massacre. For the next 100 years a governor would ordain a day to honor a bloody ‘thanking God the battle had been won.’ And that’s from two books: Where White Men Fear to Tread, by Russell Means, and Facing West: the Metaphysics of Indian Hating and Empire Building, by Harr Drinnan, 1990. And that’s another explanation for why a lot of Native people will just not celebrate, and not even eat tofu turkey. And that’s another reason for why not to celebrate Thanksgiving, because it’s just a day for Capitalism, as I see it.
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Yes. Ya, exactly. And it’s a cover-up day. And, you know, as I said before, if people only understood the thread, going back to 1619, 1620, up to the present day –including the same family names—the thread is unbroken. And if people could really see that, how history way back then is alive and well within the present. It’s shaping the present that we see. And, uh, for example, amongst us Blackfoot, we have a lawsuit right now going in Canada, where we’re basically putting the Canadian government on trial for genocide in their own courts.
TIOKASIN- Let’s talk about that, Jim, let’s talk about how they are treating you in both countries. It seems like to me, from what I’ve been reading, that the United States will not pay attention to this case, but in Canada it seems to be a major, a major uh, thread in changing the history of how native people are treated in that country.
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Yes
TIOKASIN: Could you give us a background on that?
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Well, as you know, we—Blackfoot nation still survives to this very day, although they would try to deny that it exists. We still have our traditional government and our mechanisms for selecting our leadership; which, of course, have been the same ones we’ve used for thousands of years. And we are divided by the US-Canadian border. We have Blackfeet in Montana, in Browning, Montana. They’re called “Amskaapipiikani. And then we have three major Bands of Blackfoot in Canada: the Kanai, or the Blood Blackfoot; Apatohsipiikani, or what some call Northern “Pagan” Blackfoot –an ugly word; and then we have Siksika, which are Blackfoot at Gleichen in Alberta. And we’re a divided people. And, for example, in Canada, our people live on $229 a month Canadian. And yet, we’re mandated, — we’re living on isolated, poor, desperate reserves in the middle of nowhere, with no facilities. Okay. If you get sick, there’s no health service available, there’s, there’s nothing. And you have to go to Lethbridge, for example. Well they mandate, also, insurance. We pay sometimes $1,000 a year to drive off [the reservation] –if we got caught without insurance, our vehicles are impounded, and before we even get to court our vehicles are sold. So before even being charged and convicted our vehicles are impounded and sold. And we argue that this constitutes one form of Genocide. Okay. It’s called deliberately inflicting upon people conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in whole or in part. It’s Article 2C of the UN Convention on Genocide –Article 2. And we’re arguing in court in fact that Canada has violated all five specific, uh, tests of genocide given in Article 2. And the same with the United States. The United States didn’t even sign the 1948 Genocide Convention until 1988 –forty years after; and is still not in compliance with it. So, we have nowhere to go; we have no weapons except the truth and the courage to tell it. And so what we’re doing is we’re simply –we’re resisting the only way we know how. And that is to continually try to tell the truth to anyone who will listen and refuse to obey their laws. An Indian who obeys the Indian Act in Canada, or the Indian Reorganization Act in the United States is like a Jew who obeys the 1935 Nuremberg Race Laws—they’re aiding and abetting their own extermination and that of their own people. And since Canada became a signatory to the UN Convention of Genocide in 1953, um, and Canada has a supremacy clause as the United States does in the Constitution, therefore, it becomes the supreme law of the land. And we’re arguing that this Canadian government is violating the supreme law of Canada, and that native people have an absolute duty to refuse to sign on to, or participate in, any form of registration or Indian Act or so-called “special treatment” that we natives get. And so, what we’re doing, we’re having a court case. We’ve already been in court several times. We’ve been subjected to all sorts of misconduct –playing games with Discovery, all sorts of other things—and now we’re going back to court on January 23 and 24. And we’re going to make the case that not only will we not obey the Indian Act, we can’t. If we do we’re aiding and abetting our own extermination, and that of our own people. We have an affirmative duty. And that we’re actually paradoxically upholding Canadian law. And of course we’re also asserting the existence of sovereignty of the Blackfoot nation and our own traditional governments. Because we regard the tribal councils that are set up by the Department of Indian Affairs in Canada and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the United States, we regard those councils as, basically, uh, traitors. That doesn’t mean that everybody who sits on them is a traitor. But, they are set up sort of like the Vichy Government was set up by the Nazi’s in occupied France. They’re set up as puppet governments to keep us down and eventually to exterminate us. And that’s what our case is about there. And we’ve got a lot of support from different nations in Canada and the United States. And this is one form of resistance that we’re doing. And we’re not going to stop. We’re just going to keep going until the last one of us is left.
There’s only 35,000 Blackfoot left, probably. And our land base is 2.6 million acres. It’s bigger than Israel and Palestine put together. And they want it cause our land has oil and gas and, um, pristine water and other things. And so this genocide goes back even before the Pilgrims, but especially with the Pilgrims. It’s an ongoing thing. And there are other forms of disrespect to which we’re subject. For example, one of the things that people should understand is the early Pilgrims who came here, who formed the Plutocratic families, who became the leadership and the “founders” of the Republic, then went on to become the richest families in America. Their descendants, for example, many of their descendants went into organizations like Skull& Bones, which is an extremely treacherous, evil kind of society. And to this day they’re, for example, holding the skull and artifacts and remains of Geronimo illegally in that tomb. This is the kind of arrogance and contempt they demonstrate. But one of the things that people don’t know is, one of the reasons that they got into the whole skull business, is these same individuals, the descendants of the Pilgrims, uh, members of Skull & Bones, were instrumental in the Eugenics movement in the United States, which passed sterilization laws in 37 states defining native people as feeble minded –as inherently feeble-minded and thus subject to sterilization. And according to Ward Churchill in his book Fantasies of the Master Race, by 1977 almost 40% of native women had been sterilized. And so they formed these eugenics societies which continue to this very day; the Pioneer Fund, and so on, who would claim that Indians had different types of skulls and different sized skulls. And so they would go around for example in the early 1800’s and later decapitating Indian bodies and sending the skulls back to Washington DC for examination to “prove” their so-called racial theories of what they called “skull science”.
So this thread continues from the Pilgrims, from the founding of the Republic on slavery, theft and deceit, all the way through the 1800’s, the formation of the Skull & Bones and other such societies, the Pilgrim Society, later the council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Ford Foundation. All of these are different fronts that they are using to this very day for eugenics, for population control of non-white people, and for all of their racist theories. And so there’s an on-going thread. If I could, Tiokasin, I just wanted to read –this is not a new story I’m giving. For example, from the Louisville Courier Journal, okay, magazine section Sunday, October 8, 1989: “Bonesman’s Bond” and the subtitle reads: “President’s, Poets, Pundants and Pinkos, have sworn allegiance to Skull & Bones, Yale’s rich and powerful secret society and the most exclusive college club of all. So what’s all this Nazi stuff doing in the club house?” And they know that inside “there they have a Nazi shrine in one room on the second floor with a bunch of swastikas and a kind of, uh, SS Macho iconography.” And here, from the New Haven Advocate, October 19, 1989: “Bone of Contention: Skull Duggery at Yale”:
It’s an extraordinary story. Skull & Bones temple at Yale is illegally holding the skull of Apache Chief Geronimo, stolen from the grave by Senator Prescott Bush, father of President Bush, and other Bonesmen. The Apaches want the skull back. Under Connecticut law, section 53-334, Offenses Against Public Policy, and title 45-253 of the State Probate Law, the holding of human remains is illegal. New Haven lawyers, according to Altman, are reluctant to sue or press for criminal or civil complaint because of the power of Skull & Bones. To which we say, wait a minute, this isn’t Russia. The local prosecutor has a duty to prosecute if the evidence is credible. After all, we live under the rule of law and that includes presidents. Mr. Bush is accessory to criminal offense, apparently compounded by Satanism. He has to be brought to the bar of justice. “
And it goes on. It says: “other news sources please copy.” This goes back to 1989. Holding native remains and using them for satanic rituals that they routinely engage in goes on in Skull and Bones. This is the kind of arrogance of these creatures. That… —they would never do this to some other groups of people. And so there’s an unbroken thread of arrogance, of genocide, of racism, of attempts to exterminate native people. And it continues to this very day. Mr. Bush just appointed five Bonesman to the US government including Mr. Donaldson, the head of the SEC. Members of this secret, satanic, very sick and twisted society. By the way I might add that these people, Bonesmen, for example, including Prescott Bush and George Herbert Walker were principle financers of Hitler from 1924 onward. They were also involved in a 1934 plot to overthrow FDR and set up a fascist dictatorship in the United States. That plot was, was uncovered by Major General Butler, Smedley Darlington Butler, twice won the Medal of Honor. They were trying to recruit him to be, uh, the general to lead veterans, to create a veterans army that would help to take over the US government. Then they went on. Prescott Bush was found guilty of selling Nazi securities after Pearl Harbor. Investing Order 248, issued in November 17, 1942, the Union Banking Corporation run by Bush and Walker was –the assets were seized for trading with the enemy during war time. Then they went on from there, uh, the Bush family had a plant, along with Fritz Tyson, at Auschwitz, that used slave labor in Auschwitz to build a plant that profited directly from slave labor in Auschwitz that formed the core of the Bush money that helped to get that present preppy moron, uh, help him steal the white House. So when we look, we find the thread going back from the Pilgrims, to the founding of the Republic, to the founding of the secret societies like the Skull & Bones and others, through the eugenics movements of the 1920’s, and through the same people financing Hitler. And I might add, by the way, that Hitler himself, from his own mouth, said that the American eugenics movement, along with what was done to native people –he used to read “Wild West” novels of Karl May, —Hitler said that was his inspiration for the possibility of genocide, for the possible methods of genocide, and how to cover up genocide. From Hitler’s own mouth, he said that the American and Canadian experience was his inspiration for what to do with Jews and non-Jews, what they called “untermenschen”, and, uh, in German they called “lebensuwertes leben or “life worthy of life”. This is the same thing; we’re the Canary in the mine. What’s been done to native people has also been done to other people, but done more intensely to us. But the same creatures and their descendants –going back to the Pilgrims, to this very, very day, with the Preppy occupying the White House that he managed to steal–um, this is the same thread. And so we can’t get over what ain’t over. It ain’t over. It’s still going on.
TIOKASIN: When you said it ain’t over, it’s still going on , is uh, part of the mind set of Americans –every day average Americans who all say: “Well Jim, that kind of like, you know, prove it… Let’s –let’s get on with life, let’s –look, we’re the greatest country, the greatest democracy we, you know, that was then, and uh, if we keep voting, if we keep doing this thing called Democracy, then it’s going to get better.…” What do you say to people like that who are looking for a way out?
Prof.. JAMES CRAVEN: Well, first of all, a Democracy –well of course we’re not even a Democracy. In Constitutional terms we’re set up as a Federal Republic. But, you see, the problem is, even if you had –Democracy—it means not only voting from a given menu, it means having some real say in who’s on the menu in the first place. Look what we got in the last election. Both Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore were literally declared front runners before they’d even run in one primary. The menu had already been rigged by the backroom boys with the big money. And we choose between Tweedledee and Tweedledumb and dumber. We have no input whatsoever on what’s on the menu in the first place, that’s number one. Number two: even if we were to get someone of our choosing that would actually be respectful of, you know, some basic principles of Democracy that we lecture the rest of the world about, then there’s the whole system. The problem is getting in in the first place, and then, once you’re in, what do you do once you’re in? Because now you’ve got a Congress, again selected by the big money boys, in some cases they are the big money boys themselves. Um, then you’ve got a whole bureaucracy, where you’ve got all the –again- the big money boys are planting their minions in them, as Bush did with the Bonesmen, so on. And then there’s the problem of information. To have a democracy you need a free and open flow of information, and the right for all different ideas to contend. We have no such thing now. You know, our media here, are largely whores–on-their-knees-whores. They know what questions not to ask. It’s not a conspiracy that way. They all know the limits. Imagine any journalist who asks Mr. Bush certain questions, like, for example: “Could you pass –you know–could you pass the same security check that other people under you have had to pass? You know, would they [those under Bush] be allowed to say–on the dope question—‘Well, I‘m not gonna say yes and I’m not gonna say no. Let’s just say I had a wayward youth.”; that journalist who posed that type of question would be finished. See, so, we’ve got another problem that way. And then there’s the system itself and how and for whom the system works. Capitalism. Although it does sometimes a great job in terms of developing material forces of production and so on, Capitalism favors the few over the many. Because wealth of the few can very easily turn into more wealth. Even if you’re stupid, and you don’t know much, you can always get somebody else to turn your wealth into more wealth. Whereas if you’re poor, you’re trapped in poverty and getting out of poverty is almost impossible, especially under this system. It happens, but they’re rare occasions. So we also have a system where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And the rich can use their wealth to buy political power and then use political power to get laws in their favor that give them more wealth. And that’s the Medici family that used to run Italy, they had a slogan which was “Money to acquire power, power to protect money.” That was the slogan, and that should be the slogan of the Bush family, and the Rockefellers and the rest of them. So, there’s the illusion of freedom, but if you really start asking some tough questions, then, watch what happens. So when you watch the talking heads on the news shows, nobody has to tell them what questions not to ask. They know what questions not to ask. Because they know if they dare ask them, that a) they won’t be called on again. And that means b) they don’t get the scoop. Without the scoop they don’t get c) exposure; and without exposure they don’t become a d)name; and without becoming a name they don’t get more access. That’s what journalists do. Access brings the scoop, scoop brings exposure, exposure makes them a name like Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw. And having a name gives them more access. But they only continue to get the access as long as they do a Faustian deal and agree not to ask certain nasty questions. They let Bush get away with stuff all the time. And they’ve done that in the past with Clinton and the rest of them. So we can’t rely on the mainstream media. What we have to do is educate ourselves, check our sources very carefully, have an open mind. If we make mistakes, be honest, don’t do what they do and cover it up. We make a mistake, be honest about it, say “ya, we goofed up, we thought this was true, but, but it turns out it wasn’t.” And then try to reach as many people as we can. But the whole voting scam, I mean the one thing about this last election is –this wasn’t the first one that was stolen. This was –there’ve been– many elections in the American history were stolen, literally stolen. Where, where the people that were selected were not the ones elected. It’s nothing –John Kennedy;’s case may have been another case; it was very close. But we know other cases where, uh, the Tilden case, and so on. And so, the game is rigged. You’ve got to understand that right now. And, choosing –you know, we don’t even have the lesser of evils anymore, we’ve got the evil of lessers. And so the answer is not in the people playing the electoral game. I mean I’m all for getting Bush out, because I believe that we’re on our way to full-blown fascism in this country. I believe that 9-11 is for Bush what the Reichstag Fire was for Hitler. It is a pretext. Okay. Now that’s no disrespect to the tragedy or to the victims. But the fact is, 9-11 was foreseen and foreseeable. Uh, and the fact is also that all over the world, many more people who died in the world trade center are dying every day from conditions this country -and regimes- this country has helped to set up and helped to survive—have helped to perpetuate.
TIOKASIN: And that’s our experience as indigenous people here in this country. And uh, I- I, my ears are ringing, and, uh, there’s a lot of people out there who, simply will not, I would say, uh, bend their ear a little bit to what we as indigenous people are saying, because ‘that can’t be true with America, that’s can’t be true with us, why don’t you Indians just get with it, why don’t you just pull yourselves up by your boot straps and get with the program’. Uh, but before we do that, Jim, I want to say that you are listening to WBAI –I totally forgot about this ID that we’re supposed to do. WBAI, New York, 99.5. And we are talking with Prof. James Craven out of Clark College, Vancouver Washington, and his is a professor of Economics, consultant of Business and a Division Chair at that College. And so what we have here is a case of um, not listening to the experience we have had as native people. Because after 9-11 no one came to native people to ask: “What is your experience with this type?” Because we’ve had terrorism on this country for, you know, for many centuries. From the beginning–it was the onset of the Eurocentric mind. And, uh, we in our own quarters, so to speak, is that we have also the same type of mindset of the sellouts. We have the spiritual sell-outs. We have the ones who just basically don’t want to be native. There’s the ones who have become ‘American Indians’ –America’s Indian, so-to speak, you know what I mean?
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Yes.
TIOKASIN: And uh, right now there are native people out there listening. They consider themselves “Native Americans.” And I know this is a word of contention here when I say “America” –and I say “Ame” which is the root word or etymology of “Amour,” which is a Spanish word meaning “the love of,” and Rica, which means riches. So we’ve got “Amer-Rica.” And, and when you become an “American,” you become “one who loves riches.” And that’s just the opposite end of a native person. “Native America” is an oxymoron and it should not even be said in the same breath.
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: I don’t, I refuse to use it.
TIOKASIN: Hmm. Why is that?
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: First of all, it implies that the more further back in the American history, or occupation on Turtle Island that your anscestors go, the more real American you are. It’s a form of nativism. Most Indian people that I know don’t believe that. Okay. The second reason is that we weren’t even American citizens until 1924. And nobody asked us if we wanted to be. The United States declared American Indians American citizens in 1924, –uh, Canadians in ’63—and the central purpose of that was to make them national minorities so that they wouldn’t be covered under international law dealing with genocide and so on. Cause see the United States was planning to put the Germans and Turks on trial for war crimes during World War One, and somebody said, well just a minute, what you guys have done to Indians and African Americans is every bit as bad as what the Germans and Turks did, you’re gonna get put on trial yourself. And so the answer was, in 1924, was to summarily declare Indians American citizens without their consent so that they would be removed –they thought anyway—from the protections of international law. That’s the second reason. The third reason is, which America? Where is there a place, you know, for Indian people in America? You see. What, I mean, America has never been a place for Indians. Even the founding documents of the United States refer to Indians as savages. Uh, Thomas Jefferson, that rapist and that hypocrite, in letters, in a letter to, uh, William Henry Harrison, February 24th, 1803, said that his, his policy would be to forcibly … extirpate –either assimilate or extirpate—these savages. The, the small pox infections were celebrated by the Pilgrims as God’s wrath against the savages –as a good thing that would prevent their births in the future … So, from the founding of the Republic to the very present day, there is no place in America for Indian people. And they still to this day do to Indian people what they wouldn’t dare do to any other group of people. Uh, we don’t have a Bureau of Caucasian Affairs; we don’t have a Caucasian Act. We, you know, we don’t have a football team called the Washington White Trash or the New York Niggers. Because they wouldn’t dare do something like that. But the Washington Redskins? No problem. So we get to see, you know, an ugly, disgusting word. If people only knew the origins of that word. You know, sometime play Reverend Goat Carsons’ song the “Red Skins” for the audience, so they can see where that name really came from. It’s like calling an alligator a purse. Like having a team called the Auschwitz lampshades. Because that’s where it came from, when Indians were skinned for trophies, which European tourists called Redskins. Breasts were turned into tobacco pouches. Testicles were turned into tobacco pouches. Women’s vaginas were turned into hat bands. That’s where the term came from. So, what, what America is there exactly? You know, what –so that’s another reason why I absolutely refuse that term. And I even, the term Indian I sometimes have a hard time with, but I use it generically. But when people ask me for example oh are you Indian, I say “I’m Blackfoot. I’m from a separate nation of people with our own laws and our own traditions and our own ways.” You see. And that’s another thing,we still have, to this day, by any test of international law, these are native nations, Indian nations. By any test. And what we need to do is we need to take it back. We need to assert our nationhood.
TIOKASIN: That’s right.
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Cause the same criteria, the same international law that allows the United states to say “we’re a nation,” or Canada to say “this is a nation,” the same ones say there is a Lakota Nation, there’s a Blackfoot Nation, there’s a Makaw Nation. Some of them are almost on the verge of, of total extermination. But, that’s one of the reasons –I, I’m a traditionalist. And some people say to me: “Well, you wanna go back 200 years.” No, no. If we go to our traditional ways we’re 200 years ahead of where the white man is now. Because, in our traditional ways we didn’t throw away our elders. We, our children didn’t disrespect elders. We didn’t have AIDS and all sorts of stuff. We didn’t’ have alcoholism and drug addiction. We didn’t have any of these things in our traditional ways. So when people say “you wanna go back 200 years,” I say, “No, no, our traditional ways are 200 years ahead of where America is today.”
TIOKASIN: Jim Craven, we are, we are –time has flown here this morning. 10:55 here on WBAI. And, uh, I’m must gonna throw in a word there, uh. Lately we’ve been seeing a lot about the word “Indian –NDN” the letters N-D-N. And I, my acronym for that is “natives defending nature” or you could say “natives defending natives.” So I am in that sense, if you call me an Indian, I’m going to understand it as NDN.
Prof.. JAMES CRAVEN: Right.
TIOKASIN: And, and that’s the new way of going through Native America’s NDN –N-D-N. And, um, is there any last words here –we have to leave here soon and any last words, any thoughts that you would like to loan to the people or lend to the people out there?
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Well, just please remember what this day really means. And please remember that we are all linked together in bonds of common humanity. And where there’s oppression, there’s going to be resistance, and where there’s oppression, oppression is everyone’s business –not just native, you know, NDN people’s, but it’s everybody’s business. And also, I would urge people, that coming up there will be demonstrations. I will be coming out for them. We are going to organize demonstrations against Skull & Bones, right outside there, their sick twisted tomb at Yale, and I would urge people to keep their eyes open on the internet and so on, and to join us at New Haven to demonstrate against the Skull & Bones and to demand the return of, of Geronimo’s remains and all other native artifacts that are being held illegally by the Skull & Bones. And, and it’s not just a matter of artifacts, because this shows, you know, these guys are at the highest levels of power in the American government, this shows their racism and their arrogance. It should be of concern to everybody that, at the highest level of the American government we have members of a secret, sick, twisted satanic cult helping to run this country. And, so I hope that people will keep their eyes open and will join us in New Haven to demonstrate, and to make the connection between the Pilgrims, 1619, and America 2003. Because the genocide continues and the descendants of the original genocidal maniacs are still doing genocide, still doing eugenics and racism, still occupying positions of power, and they need to be removed. And they need to be exposed.
TIOKASIN: Ya, James do you have –well first of all I want to say Kudos to that because there will be, I am predicting, if not thousands of people showing up in New Haven for that. Because that’s the root of everything that’s happening here. It’s not Wall Street. It could be the secondary thing is Wall Street, but it starts there, in uh, New Haven. And that is, uh, a spiritual front that hasn’t been contended with and we as native people are very qualified to take that on.
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Exactly right.
TIOKASIN: Is there any contact like maybe a website or an email that you would like to give out?
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Well people could write me at email@example.com, and just write me on the internet if you have it, If you don’t you can call area code: 360-992-2283. And again, it’s not only for Indian people. But we ask non-Indian people to please join us, because we’re the Canary in the mine. Today it’s us, tomorrow it’s you. It’s everyone’s business. And it’s not just as simple…. And I believe we’re on our way to full blown fascism in this country and I think we have out last chance to stand up and expose it. This is one of many contributions along these lines. But we also consider the remains of that great warrior Geronimo being held like this an absolute desecration and insult to all Indian people, and this is everybody’s business.
TIOKASIN gives numbers again, and notes that listeners can also email firstvoices@WBAI.org.
Prof. JAMES CRAVEN urges all to get book: Fleshing out Skull and Bones: Investigations into America’s Most Powerful Secret Society, edited by Chris Millegan.
TIOKASIN thanks guest…