According to Hindus, we are currently living in Kali Yuga, the Dark Ages, where people turn away from the sacred and turn towards the material. Its the age before destruction and rebirth. Its also supposed to be a great age to live in because its the easiest age in which to receive the gift of enlightenment. That's why we have to continue working on ourselves, each other, and the planet. |
I'm not sure exactly what that has to do with race matters but its something that popped into my mind today as I thought about last night's conversation with "the man". Its unfortunate but I totally understand and respect the problems that many Native Americans have with working with outsiders on NA problems. Definitely, I have a job in continuing to educate myself and others on what it means to live on stolen land. I also am responsible to my people and to work within my community - definitely that is a reciprocal act that reverberates with other communities. And to be sure, the white community needs to work on itself as well - to make their community connected with the earth and with all peoples (that refers also to animals).
I just want to touch on a couple of personal beefs I've had since I've moved to Portland. First off, at least a couple of people have referred to me as being white. I am not white. Second, I really hate this mistaken notion of asians as being the "model minority". Please, try and think what that means and why such a notion is popular in mass media (it has to do with control). You'll have to figure these things out cus now its time to talk about the walk.
So its been at least one full day since I've broken my fast and I'm starting to feel well grounded again. I'm no longer an unbounded ball of energy. The last two days have definitely been some sort of mind cleansing. I feel now that I have a much clearer picture of what my job is on this walk and you're looking at a big part of it... uh, back to the walk.
Waking up at tribal center was hard after only 3 or 4 hours of sleep. I definitely felt the pain that has walked through the center. I ended up working on photos instead of breakfast. Big mistake.
The usual scheduling mixups had us at San Leandro Bart an hour ahead of schedule. So I went and had my first cup of coffee in what seems like years. Wow, what a great feeling but then my stomach grumbles in protest. The wind picks up and the skies are grey. A quick hawk call and we see Fred, one of our wonderful support drivers walk by. We look through the morning papers for articles on the walk. I'm pretty cynical about the articles and especially after the Oregonian article. I still wonder why their photo just happened to focus on a white man. And no, I'm not harping on white people just trying to figure out why the story's written the way it is.
The walk today was one long straight walk. Though I've been at this for over a week now, I still feel aches and pains. I went straight to the front to hang out with Daniel who's been carrying Smitty's "One People, One Earth" flag while he's been off the walk hanging with his family. Daniel's cool. We talk about race issues. He tells me the history of how white people have tried to help natives with religion and government.
After our first break, I end up interviewing Duncan Murphy. He has a rich history in the peace movement that started from his helping to liberate concentration camps during WWII through his hunger strikes and work in Central America, to standing in solidarity with Brian Wilson who had his legs run over by a train carrying military arms. It was an intense talk and I am thankful that I was able to record it.
Yesterday's lively streets gave way to today's boring suburban tight lipped speedways. Smattered cheers lost among strip malls, exhaust fumes, and tightly clipped lawns. Impatient drivers trying to ignore walkers. User car salesmen staring at us wondering if we were really walking all the way to NYC. And then Korean dessert shops! Mmmmm!
We were joined by a mother and her three young kids! Great energy. Marie took peaceful custody of the children as we continued down our path.
After lunch, I hooked up with my sister, Toni - another beautiful child of mixed ethnic heritage: Flip, Blackfoot, Spanish, Nicaraguan, and Mosquito. She's another activist out there working on race and indigenous matters.
Contiuing on down the walk and getting hopelessly snarled in traffic and confusing streets with huge white and yellow lines of demarcation. False lines. False roads. False ideas. Its just life.