Commentary: Respect

~ Dave Kitchen


The elder Nathan Phillips tries to stop

violence from occurring while the the

Indigenous march is happening in DC

and gets accused by mostly white folks

of "scaring" teens. But in reality he sees

they and a few black Hebrews, who have been exchanging racist insults and appear to be escalating towards violence, approaching a breaking point that looks dangerous to him (and the chaperones are not helping to de-escalate), and he (a Vietnam Veteran) steps between them singing a prayer song, hoping that Creator/ God will step in so no one will get hurt.


Now people and certain media want to make this a political football. They say it would never have hit the media if they didn't have MAGA hats on. But who can prove if that would be the case. A lot of Indigenous people don't like Trump, not because of left or right politics, but because he has done so much to destroy Indigenous rights and the Earth. But this event here has nothing to do with left or right. 


This elder from what I get from his friends is very spiritual. Many who go to war come back very sick of violence and want to never see it again. I have always been against violence my whole life. Except for a period where I was too sick from a doctor's meds that nearly killed me, I have fought against violence my whole life. So to those who say he should have minded his own business and not tried to stop this event from escalating into someone getting seriously hurt or worse, I'd say you haven't seen what this elder has seen. He knows how bad it can get. But this what happens to Indigenous people. It's okay to use the culture for naming places, sports teams and vehicles or going to powwows or wearing clothing that mocks the culture or fake versions of the traditions. But let someone who's traditional try to act in a manner that is in keeping with his (or her) beliefs, and they catch hell for it. 


Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) who knows him says he is an honorable spiritual man. So all this garbage that these youth and their very poor chaperones and the lying media are spouting is plain manure. This whole thing boils down to one word, respect. You either respect other people and their culture and traditions or you don't. You either respect elders or not. You either are a respectful person or not. And I have noticed the colonized culture in this country has never respected the rights, culture, traditions of Indigenous people or Indigenous people in general at all. And except for some very nice white folks they never have.