It was Saturday night when I knew I’d smudge myself and my house with sage the next day. There had been a build up. With the media exposure of police shootings and the new energy for social justice as a response, I was caught up in the energy. But not without personal justification. Under Trump’s toxic atmosphere, my beloved Cherokee community quickly became as divisive as the rest of America.

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Someone tells you, “There’s nobody on that piece of land,” and you’re invited to stake a claim to it, build a home, move your family, and grow crops.  Start a new life for yourself.  That was the narrative fed to early European settlers and is commonly referred to as “The Pristine Myth,” meaning the wilderness is untouched and open for the taking.  Then you arrive and find that not only are there people, but they’ve been there for thousands of years.  I’m going to ask you one question:  Has modern day academia created the same siphon?

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No one believes themselves to be like Azrael.  If we had to choose between the cat and Gargamel, we’d all choose Gargamel–if push came to shove.  We’d rather be neither, or think of ourselves as neither.  But we’re one or the other in someone’s eyes.  This article is an examination of how the “underling” can allow himself to be abused.  And maybe we can resolve:  Why we allow people in power to control us.

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Have you ever felt like you were being watched?  It’s a creepy feeling.  And then you look up to find someone staring.  Your instincts picked up on the energy and you knew before looking that someone was watching you.  When I encounter implicit bias, it has the same effect.  I know when I’m being targeted with excess negative attention.  I wonder why someone is so concerned about me in my life, when I have zero interest in theirs.  The person comes off as creepy, and likely harbors underlying racist and sexist ideologies about dark skinned males.

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Natives watched as a liberal stronghold quickly collapsed with a simple bait and switch.  How did the conservatives do it?  They just repeated everything Nathan Phillips said by placing his words into their context.  So why did liberals collapse so quickly?  There has been an ongoing issue within the liberal community, and conservatives make the criticism often:  liberals are snowflakes.

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You’ve done the work.  Wrote the story, painted the painting, soldered the jewelry, sculpted the clay, or weaved the basket.  You’ve put in the hours at the workstation, lost yourself in the art, creating work unique and powerful and meant to contribute to a collective of voices echoing from generations past.  Then you take the work into the world.  Now it’s time to dance with the “crabs in the barrel” and the “fake In’dins.”

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One of my favorite lines in The Crow is when Eric (Brandon Lee) has T-Bird (David Patrick Kelly) duct taped to the drivers seat of his car, as its filled with explosives and aimed at a pier leading toward a harbor.  T-Bird can’t believe Eric has come back to life as The Crow and as he struggles through whimpers he says, “Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is.”

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So I’m walking through a bookstore in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico and I’m reading blurbs.  I’m not going to blast any artists.  That’s not what I’m about.  We all come from a different set of experiences.  But why are mainstream book publisher publishing the same narrative over and over and over and over?  These blurbs seeming lay out different storylines, but when you look at the macro’s macro you start to see a pattern.

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Sometimes I wonder about the critical thinking skills of our era.  We are taught in school rote behavior.  Regurgitate, bell rings, regurgitate, bell rings, regurgitate, bell rings.  In that form of habitualization, we stop thinking for ourselves.  You become even more aware of this tactic after you read “Social Class and School Knowledge” by Jean Anyon.   Having had dropped out of school after the sixth grade I wonder how that impacted my ability to think critically about the world around me and its role in my nonconformity.  I’m comfortable on the periphery.  From this vantage point I find it odd how quickly our society went from hipster beards to tiki torches.

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If you’ve ever watched a documentary on sharks then you’re familiar with the feeding frenzy.  This is when a school of sharks start to feed on prey.  It can be an attack on a single victim or a school of other fish, but once the feeding begins the energy multiplies over and over as the sharks feed.  Soon the sharks are feeding in such a panic it’s as though they can’t stop themselves.   Now I’m about to compare this activity to the way negative types make friends.

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