Vermont’s Uncomfortable Eugenics History | #ICWA Custody Case | Dawnland | Paradise Papers | #NAAM

Vermont’s Uncomfortable Eugenics History

Read the full article by Stephen Mills in the Rutland Herald.

Dormancy Concept Trailer from Luke Becker-Lowe on Vimeo.

Link to the GoFundMe site for this production.

via Filmmakers Explore Vermont’s Uncomfortable Eugenics History

My earlier post on this

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The Supreme Court refused to hear an Arizona case that pitted a non-Indian mother and Indian father each other in a fight over custody of their children.

READ: Supreme Court won’t hear Arizona case on custody fight over tribal kids | Cronkite News

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“Dawnland,” an upcoming documentary film, follows the stories of several key individuals involved in the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

READ: The Wabanaki people are taking back their narrative | Public Radio International

***Offshore Billionaires (If they don’t pay US taxes and hide their money offshore, then THEY need to move offshore.)

click: America’s Future In One Image — What’s Really in the GOP Tax Plan 

The GOP tax plan would allow generations of the super wealthy to live tax-free. It is a plan so outrageous that one of America’s top experts in helping the wealthy avoid taxes finds it abominable. Read our explanation from David Cay Johnston.

*** November is National Adoption Awareness Month #NAAM

By LT (adoptee, top photo from my memoir book cover)

I have written on this blog about my story, my own search, my reunion, my work to help other adoptees, and the Lost Children Book Series. So MANY times. And I appreciate you have all hung in here with me on the adoptionland coverage, and the human trafficking issues. (If you have not read the coverage, use the search bar on this blog, or the Category tags.)  There are so many stories, after meeting so many adoptees. Not just Native adoptees – adoptees from everywhere.

Where are we now? Not far at all… I wrote this a few years ago:

Now more serious stuff…. It’s National Adoption Awareness Month. I call it Be-Wareness Month. Why? The billion dollar adoption industry tries its best to recruit new people to adopt. Few want to adopt a child(ren) from foster care. Why? They are too old, come with baggage (not just luggage), or already talk.  Foster care kids are the ones who truly are in need of good parents, definitely.

Over at American Indian Adoptees, I’m post lots of adoption news as it relates to American Indian Adoptees. Visit: http://www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com.  

It is a crazy world out there as more people are waking up to the reality of adoption myths (like “babies are blank slates”)(and some of these orphans are not orphans). As an adoptee I am in favor of legal guardianships for children who cannot be raised by their first families, and their kin. Children need their own name, ancestry, medical history and names of both parents, never erased but part of their legal records.

No more fake amended birth certificates that follow us our entire lives. PLEASE!

Here is a revealing 2015 post about the Evolution of Birth Certificates.

Ignorance of biological ancestry has had devastating consequences for some. In the U.K. in 2008, twins that were separated and adopted at birth unknowingly married each other. This year, a Brazilian couple found out after they were married that the same biological mother had abandoned them as infants. Random meetings amongst half siblings are not uncommon, as many have reported in the news, and on the DSR. One mom realized that a distant relative, one whom she and her children had spent time with at family gatherings, had donated sperm and was in fact the biological parent of her children.

From my friend Amanda:

Adoption Statistics That Matter. Right now, private adoption agencies are figuratively peeing their pants about the Adoption Tax Credit because they can charge more when the tax credit is in tact and as high as possible. They claim that the numbers of adopted children will drop drastically as a result (no they won’t, BTW). Blah. Here is some gross stuff that matters more:

-Black and Native children are disproportionately more likely to be taken into foster care than white children.

-Black children, specifically black boys, are less likely to be adopted.

-Adopted children are more likely to become foster children than any other child.

-It costs more to adopt a white female infant, privately, than any other child. The “fees” to adopt a boy of color are at least half of this.

This is an industry. Racism, sexism, adultism, and classism fuel it.

p.s. THANK YOU for reading this long post and watching the videos. YOU ROCK!

[google-site-verification: google237ae8173a935e46.html]

 

BLOG BONUS | How Ghost Tours Often Exploit African-American History | Three Brave Men

Historian Tiya Miles’ new book “Tales from the Haunted South” takes a hard look at Southern ghost tours.

University of Michigan professor and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Tiya Miles joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to talk about “Tales from the Haunted South: Dark Tourism and Memories of Slavery from the Civil War Era.”

MUST READ and listen: How Ghost Tours Often Exploit African-American History | Here & Now

 

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From the Archives: Loudoun, Slavery and Three Brave Men
Lee Lawrence, Oct. 26, 2017, Loudoun Now 

Harry was in a terrible situation: it was 1828 and Harry was an enslaved man in Loudoun County, rented by his owner to Samuel Cox. Because Harry was chattel (personal property), he had no recognized surname, as was common among slaves in Loudoun before 1860. On learning that his owner, a “Miss Allison” of Stafford County, was planning to sell him to slave traders who would take him further south, Harry decided to escape.

He approached a freedman named Alex McPherson and asked to borrow his “freedom paper,” a document carried by all free blacks verifying the person’s freed status. McPherson, at great risk to his own safety and liberty, agreed to lend Harry his paper, but insisted it be returned to him as soon as possible. Harry would carry the paper north. If he was stopped and questioned along the way, he would show the paper and claim to be a freedman.

Before leaving Loudoun, Harry needed to learn the best route north. Once safely in a free state, he would need a job and place to live. For this help, Harry turned to some Loudoun County Quakers, many of whom were abolitionists. It was common knowledge where the Quaker communities were located, including Waterford, Hillsboro, Goose Creek (now called Lincoln) and other villages.  continue…

Some book reviews! here is what i’m reading

Poetry and Book Reviews BY LT

I have a few book reviews to share.  Check with your local bookseller and library for these titles:

AshiAkira’s HAIKU POEMS

Wise words are snapshots. In three-sentence-structures with five-seven-five syllables, in snippets of one man’s movement across the cosmos, Japanese elder AshiAkira shares 496 of these precious moments in his new collection HAIKU POEMS [ISBN: 978-1-4834-6846-4].

As Ashi explains in his introduction, “By catching a glimpse of nature’s work, only a momentary spark, and jotting it down in words as a reflection of our mind, we may get closer to knowing it.”

Out of thousands he’s done, his first collection of haiku-style was randomly chosen by the 79-year-old poet, and each is as joyful as it is sacred. (He’s working on a new book now and  it should be out soon.)

34

Wherever you are,

You are watching this same moon

Together with me.

65

Hear sparrows chirping.

I can tell what’s going on.

They can’t keep secrets.

85

Weather forecasters—

Basically honest people,

So I forgive you.

128

Clouds flowing away

Bring my words with you to her.

Stars twinkle like her eyes.

221

A crow on a branch

Watches other birds away

Like a lonely king.

283

Humming of mother

Long ago, but it still sounds

In my gray-haired head.

333

Dragonflies move fast.

They hover from time to time.

They see the world well.

377

Evening subway train,

Many people busy texting.

A child smiled at me.

414

The middle of August,

Anniversary of war’s end.

Hunger remembered.

466

Crows on a tree branch

In black robes like Buddhist monks

In meditation.

He writes:
Since the haiku poems must be squeezed into such a small number of syllables, we need a special poetic license to write them: the license to kill, to kill the grammar. And, for now:

Whatever language

Say it in five-seven-five rhythm

My heart will follow

My friend AshiAkira’s new book is a beauty, a ravishing art, pleasing and easy on the eyes, and lovely to the heart.  

Visit Ashi and his writing at his blog: https://ashiakira.wordpress.com/

*** THE MISSING GIRL

Some writers make it seem easy to craft a story.  Author Jacqueline Doyle is so friggin’ good she’s literally scared the crap outta me. Well, her eight stories did.  I read the book in one sitting, and writing this good, it should be known about and shared. But not everyone wants to see inside the mind of a predator, or their prey. Or a serial killer. Or a victim. Eight chapters – that is it.  Each story is unique, powerful, not technically graphic (blood and gore) but terrifying, and it is about horror -and the horrible.

The Missing Girl was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2017, and has already won the Black River Chapbook Competition.

One reviewer wrote: “In these dark and edgy stories, Doyle has made a dispassionate study of the degradation of girls and the twisted hearts of those who hunt them… Prepare to be very disturbed.”

This book is not for everyone. But those with the stomach for it, you won’t ever forget these stories.

FMI: Black Lawrence Press

***

I’m now reading Adam Rutherford’s new work! (top photo)

REVIEW: … Rutherford is the author of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes.  (excerpt) …Nor is Rutherford happy with some of those who seek to commercialise modern genomics, and in particular derides ancestry companies that have claimed their DNA tests reveal the identity of Jack the Ripper; that Prince William harbours Indian blood; and that it is possible to trace living descendants of the Queen of Sheba. This is “PR dressed up as research”, we are told. For Rutherford, modern genetics has far less to say about us as individuals than we have been led to believe. On the other hand, he is confident it sheds a great deal of light on us as a species. Demonstrating these divergent concepts is not easy.  Happily, Rutherford is up to the task. He has produced a polished, thoroughly entertaining history of Homo sapiens and its DNA in a manner that displays popular science writing at its best.

What really caught my attention is the DNA bullshit ads luring in people …This DNA marketing is used like ammunition and The Holy Grail. And to my horror, we know they are storing our DNA results but are they using them in some way nefarious? DNA is our signature and belongs to humanity. It is not something a company should own. L/T

(click to read)  A New History of the First Peoples in the Americas 

[A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived is published by W&N (£20). Click here to buy it for £16] I bought my copy on Amazon.com

I will be getting this:

Dead White Men is not only a searing indictment of colonialism but also a painful reminder of the violence that underpins the logic of exploration. Each poem strikes at the heart of the issue: there are often unarticulated, unacknowledged Indigenous presences here that have been flattened over by the lies and mirages of empty landscapes. Dead White Men is a stinging and difficult journey, and one that continues to remind us that stolen land has always been the most pressing concern for Indigenous peoples and settlers. This is an absolutely essential book.’
– Jordan Abel, author of Injun

full review: Dead White Men.  Shane Rhodes.  Coach House Books.  Toronto, Ontario.  2017.

***Just in case:

(click) How to find an academic research paper 

Looking for research on a particular topic? We walk you through the steps we use here at Journalist’s Resource.

*** The power of a name!

Trace. As a noun, a way or path. A course of action. Footprint or track. Vestige of a former presence. An impression. Minute amount. As a verb, to make one’s way. To pace or step. To travel through. To discern. To mark or draw. To follow tracks or footprints. To follow, pursue. –  Lauret Savoy Thoughts

In order to remember, one must also forget. Otherwise each of us would drown in a sea of every detail of every experience of every day of our lives. To make sense of things, to function—to gain retrospect—we must forget, and instead sort what remains in memory. To remember—re-member—is to piece together constituent parts toward some whole. Re-membering is selecting, arranging, interpreting. “The memory is a living thing,” noted Eudora Welty, “it too is in transit.”

*** Alaska U.S. Senators Say No to Trump to Rename Denali:  Trump seemingly bent on reversing everything his predecessor did while in office thought he would throw in the reverting back to Mt. McKinley

Source:  November is American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month – Native News Online

 

Blog Bonus| Red Nation Film Festival 2017 – Native American Films

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14th Red Nation Film Festival The Authentic Voice of American Indian & Indigenous Cinema Los Angeles. Nov. 8-19

GET TICKETS: Red Nation Film Festival – Native American Films

 

Ireland’s ‘house of tears’ | Origins Canada | 60s Scoop | One Small Sacrifice | and my thanks

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(excerpt) Some of the children – the cute ones, says Ms. Corless – were adopted at a price in North America, often without their mothers’ consent. John P. Rodgers, a survivor of St. Mary’s and an author who wrote a memoir about his experience, For the Love of My Mother, now being developed as a Hollywood film script, believes that the available photographs of the home were part of a marketing ploy. “These beautiful photographs of nuns in religious garb taking care of the children with chubby cheeks, white ankle socks and shoes, neat dress, it’s a real film shot. I realized that was a staged photograph,” he says in an interview.

The nuns would send letters to families describing little girls and boys they had available. “One report of an Irish health department in 2012 suggested that perhaps 1,000 children were trafficked from the Tuam institution alone,” Prof. Smith says.

Will there be a TRUTH COMMISSION in IRELAND too?

A harrowing discovery in Ireland casts light on the Catholic Church’s history of abusing unwed mothers and their babies – and emboldened survivors to demand accountability…

But the reality was horrific. They were homes of abuse and neglect; places of forced confinement for the mothers and where babies were allowed to die – murdered, in effect. Kevin Higgins, a lawyer familiar with the issue, says the deaths were “at least manslaughter.” One Irish newspaper has called the scandal “our little Holocaust.”

The reason for the homes was simple and rarely questioned at the time. The mothers were unwed; their children often called “devil’s spawn.” Set up by the government and run by Catholic religious orders, the mother and baby homes were part of a system to deal with the perceived shame of “illegitimate” children and the women who bore them.  …The rest, 796 infants and toddlers, she believed, were in a mass grave in an area of low-cost housing, built on the former grounds of St. Mary’s by Galway County Council.

READ: Ireland’s ‘house of tears’: Why Tuam’s survivors want justice for lost and abused children – The Globe and Mail

*** Has this scandal gone Global?

Many Canadians are unaware that in the immediate postwar decades, federal and provincial governments funded “Homes for Unwed Mothers” in every Canadian province. Over 300,000 unmarried mothers were systematically separated from their babies during this period.  Mothers report verbal, physical, psychological, and sexual abuse in these homes, and the Canadian government has so far done nothing to acknowledge these wrongs.  Origins Canada advocates for a Committee to Investigate such as the one held in Australia to uncover the illegal, unethical and human rights abuses in adoption policies and practices in both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous contexts. This type of inquiry may serve to validate the lifelong psychological and intergenerational damage to families by draconian adoption policies and practices, and to provide mental health and healing services to those denied them so many years ago.  – Valerie Andrews, Executive Director Origins Canada: Supporting Those Separated by Adoption

******** DECLINING International Adoptions

Americans adopted around 5,370 children from other countries in fiscal year 2016. For the first time, males outnumbered females among adoptees from abroad.

Source: International adoptions to U.S. declined in 2016 | Pew Research Center

 

 

 

 

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The $800-million proposed agreement with Sixties Scoop survivors that was announced by the Canadian government isn’t the first aiming to compensate Indigenous people for historical wrongs. (Top photo)

READ: Sixties Scoop settlement the latest involving Canadian Indigenous people – Canada – CBC News

 

And I thought I’d share some of my own experience being an adoptee.

(c)2012
2nd Edition on Kindle and Amazon

Stop a moment.  Who are you?

Stop and think about…  Have you ever considered that an adoptee doesn’t know who they are …?

Placed as a baby, decisions were made for me and my life in a Wisconsin courtroom in 1957. At age 22, in 1978, I went back to that courtroom and found a judge who luckily remembered my adoption and I asked for his help.

Many still do not appreciate or know how difficult it is to find out (WHO YOU ARE) after a sealed closed adoption. Those who don’t experience being adopted have little comparison, comprehension or compassion for its complexities, or what life is like in legal limbo.

I’m a Split Feather, a Lost Bird, an adoptee with Native American ancestry. I know this because I opened my adoption. I wanted to know my name, and why my parents gave me up, or had they abandoned me.

I wanted the truth, good, bad, both. I wanted what you what – ancestors, names, places.

Truly it was like being trapped in two worlds… (After my memoir came we did Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects) – now living with two sets of parents and two last names; life gets fuzzy between truth and fiction.  As a young adult adoptee, it was pure nonsense having to accept “this was done in your best interest.”  Clearly that wasn’t enough information to build a life on.  I needed more.  I needed my own medical information, I told the kind judge.

To get to the truth was all uphill. Years of uphill. Laws made it illegal for me to look or know my own name.  (How strange and confusing all this was.)

The tragedy was I felt like a lost-and-found item in a department store. Unclaimed, some strangers came in, spotted me and said “I’ll take that one.” As their child, I became invisible, unidentifiable, and perfectly suited to blend in with all the other Americans.  (But I didn’t ask for this.)

The agency Catholic Charities handled me (the newborn) and sealed my fate.  My identity and my mother’s identity would remain a secret, papal leaders decreed. (It’s still happening –  records are legally changed and locked up!)

It would take years before I could rightfully claim my identity and know what happened that I happened.

Because adoption records were locked by Wisconsin law, my decision to know who I am involved risk.  Not only would this test my courage, it could get me locked up.

It also meant I’d face the fear of my birthmother rejecting me a second time.

My memoir One Small Sacrifice tells the entire story of how I went from one of the Stolen Generations to now, today… (I was using my adoptee name when I wrote it in 2004. I legally changed my name in 2015 to Trace Lara Hentz. More INFO)

As for any settlement, the USA has not issued an apology or any settlement for the Indian Adoption Projects or ARENA (a program that moved children from Canada to the US and vice versa.) I helped to write and publish a book series so one day, some day, we will have this history to use in the courts.

************************************** AND ONE MORE THING

a little cyber ghost treat that looks good!

I really want you to know that your blogs are so good, my words are insufficient.  I often read HOURS because of you all on wordpress. We are our own community of souls putting good thoughts and ideas out there into the blogosphere. Your photography, your poetry, your reviews, your art, your writing, your books, your experiences fill me up (usually on Mondays!) I cannot thank you enough — all of you. XOX Lara/Trace

History’s Losers Write the Story | Mormon’s Complicated History | Plant Walks | Divest | Culture Camp | Luna

 

Like other religious groups, Mormons have a complicated history around race. Until a few decades ago, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught that they “shall be a white and a delightsome people,” a phrase taken from the Book of Mormon. Until the 1970s, the LDS Church also restricted black members’ participation in important rituals, and prohibited black men from becoming priests.

BIG READ: The History of Racism and White Supremacy in the Mormon Church – The Atlantic

***

To prevent their collective cultural knowledge about medicinal plants from disappearing, some Vermont tribal nations are sharing their expertise with those outside the native communities.

LISTEN: To Keep Native Medicinal Knowledge Alive, Leaders Organize Plant Walks | Vermont Public Radio

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Corporations and banks will not move on from the fossil fuel era because of our compelling moral and ecological arguments about why they should. So we are learning to speak their language. Money talks…

Source: Kill the Funding, Kill the Pipeline, Divest the Globe by Matt Remle | LRInspire

 

Performance artist James Luna, a member of California’s Luiseño tribe, likes to blur the boundaries of his Native American culture. On Columbus Day in 2011, he stood in front of Washington, D.C.’s Union Station and invited passersby to take his picture. He spoke with the magazine’s Jess Righthand.

So how did it work?
Standing at a podium wearing an outfit, I announce: “Take a picture with a real Indian. Take a picture here, in Washington, D.C. on this beautiful Monday morning, on this holiday called Columbus Day. America loves to say ‘her Indians.’ America loves to see us dance for them. America likes our arts and crafts. America likes to name cars and trucks after our tribes. Take a picture with a real Indian. Take a picture here today, on this sunny day here in Washington, D.C.” And then I just stand there. Eventually, one person will pose with me. After that they just start lining up. I’ll do that for a while until I get mad enough or humiliated enough.

It’s dual humiliation.

READ: Q and A: James Luna | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian

A Retrospective of Edgar Heap of Birds Rises High

With public art pieces, biting political, text-based work, and more intimate abstract paintings, this small exhibition illuminates Heap of Birds’s expansive career.

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According to Bill Anthes’s book, Edgar Heap of Birds, the artist began his “Native Hosts” series back in 1988. Like the new commission displayed outside Bockley Gallery, the “Native Hosts” contain the “settler” name of a place written backwards, with the Native Host spelled forward, welcoming the viewer. Like many place names around the country, Minnesota is a derivation of a Native American word (“Mní sóta” means clear blue water in Dakota), but its appropriation by a state responsible for many atrocities against Native people warrants Heap of Birds’s critical treatment.  Cloud Man Village, meanwhile, was a short-lived community led by Dakota chief Cloud Man, on the banks of the Bde Maka Ska lakeThe Bockley Gallery currently has on view a mini-retrospective of the work of Edgar Heap of Birds (whose Cheyenne name is Hock E Aye VI), which contains examples of different bodies of work the Cheyenne/Arapaho artist has created over his extensive career.

Heap of Birds’s showing at Bockley offers a small taste of the immense body of work this artist has created over a number of decades, and the only improvement I can suggest is that he deserves much more recognition. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from the “Scaffold” and Jimmie Durham controversies, it’s that there’s a need for more attention to be paid to Native artists working in contemporary practices.

Edgar Heap of Birds runs through October 21 at Bockley Gallery (2123 West 21st Street, Minneapolis).

READ MORE: A Retrospective of Edgar Heap of Birds Rises High

Best Contemporary Native Art | Standing Rock Chairman loses election #NoDAPL | 60s Scoop

A new traveling exhibition of some of the best contemporary Native American artworks of the past 25 years, Native Art Now!, opens Nov. 11-12 at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. The field of contemporary Native art takes center stage in Indianapolis as the exhibit opening coincides with a convening of leading Native artists, scholars and others for roundtable discussions, accompanied by a Native Art Now! television documentary and book.

As both a retrospective celebration and a summit meeting for influencers in contemporary art, Native Art Now! will promote appreciation for today’s Native art and artists, and generate dialogue about the current state of the field and its future challenges. The exhibition features 39 iconic works of Native art that the museum acquired primarily through its Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, including installations, paintings, prints, sculptures and glass and fabric art. Visually compelling works from artists Truman Lowe, Allan Houser, Kay WalkingStick, Meryl McMaster and Nicholas Galanin among others will be on view in the special exhibition gallery that opens to visitors Saturday, Nov. 11.

READ: Enlightening Exhibition of Nation’s Best Contemporary Native Art Opens Nov. 11 – 12 – Native News Online

Todd Coon and his sister Patsy were “scooped” by child welfare authorities when they were just toddlers in the wake of a 1966 Winnipeg house fire.

READ: ‘I thought I was alone’: Sixties scoop survivors gather in Ottawa | Ottawa Citizen

BREAKING NEWS: Zinke: One-third of Interior employees not loyal to Trump

Is Zinke Going to Start a Ideological Purge at Interior?

…Zinke’s comments echo complaints by some White House allies that a permanent, “deep state” in Washington has sabotaged Trump’s efforts to remake the government.

Zinke did not go that far, but he lamented a government culture that prizes analysis over action, saying: “There’s too many ways in the present process for someone who doesn’t want to get (a regulatory action) done to put it a holding pattern.”

To remedy that, Zinke said he is pursuing a major reorganization that would push much of the agency’s decision-making outside Washington and move several agencies, including the Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management, to undetermined Western states.

The moves follow military strategy, Zinke said: “Push your generals where the fight is.”

While details remain largely under wraps, Zinke said he was excited. “It’s going to be huge,” he said in a speech to the National Petroleum Council, an advisory committee that includes leaders of the oil and gas industry. “I really can’t change the culture without changing the structure.”

Besides moving employees, Zinke said he wants to speed up permits for oil drilling, logging and other energy development that now can take years.

“The president wants it yesterday,” Zinke said, referring to permits for energy development. “We have to do it by the law.”

On other topics, Zinke said the Endangered Species Act has been “abused” by bureaucrats and environmental groups and needs to be reformed to be less “arbitrary.”

“There is no off-ramp” for species to be removed from protected status, he said.

Zinke also offered a quirky defense of hydraulic fracturing, a drilling technique also known as fracking that has led to a years-long energy boom in the U.S., with sharply increased production of oil and natural gas.

“Fracking is proof that God’s got a good sense of humor and he loves us,” Zinke said without explanation.

READ: Zinke: One-third of Interior employees not loyal to Trump

a little more background on Fracking?  HALLIBURTON LOOPHOLE!

 

(top photo) NEW STORY: LA TIMES

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke walked into a big gathering of the National Petroleum Council on Monday already facing at least two government probes for his management of the department’s workforce of 70,000 — but that didn’t stop him from bashing his employees.

‘The devil’s rope’| Bullsh*t | Got Class? | UBI | Baby Daddies | Bear’s Ears ++

I’m reading:

How the spread of barbed wire helped redraw the map of the USA.

96827134_hi019703274-2There was a reason they were so hungry for it.  A few years earlier, President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Homestead Act of 1862.

Uncharted territory

The act specified that any honest citizen – including women, and freed slaves – could lay claim to up to 160 acres (0.6 sq km) of land in America’s western territories. All they had to do was build a home there and work the land for five years.  The homesteading farmers were trying to stake out their property – property that had once been the territory of various Native American tribes. No wonder those tribes called barbed wire “the devil’s rope”.  READ UP: ‘The devil’s rope’: How barbed wire changed America – BBC News

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Scream it into the cake?

With a few notable exceptions, we should assume that any celebrity talking about “resistance” is actually pointing to limited change, and proceed with caution accordingly.  READ: A Resistance Led By Celebrities Will Always Be Bullshit | L.A. Weekly

*****

CLASS?

“What makes Currid-Halkett’s argument powerful is that she mines the data to prove that the members of this group are passing on their privilege to their children in just as pernicious a way as the old aristocrats passed on their estates and titles.”–Harry Wallop, The Times

“There is a lot to learn here about the contemporary face of income inequality.”–Publishers Weekly

“Social class is not produced through consumption but rather it is attained through the adoption of values and aesthetics and the ability to decipher symbols and signs beyond materialism,” writes Elizabeth Currid-Halkett in The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class, published in May of this year by Princeton University Press. That’s true, and not news; mannerisms count. In the United States, new money has long been shunned by old, in part because new money sometimes found its way into the hands of non-whites and non-Protestants, and in part because people heady with fresh fortune tend to flaunt tacky taste. (They insist every room be gold, choose Orlando as the site for the country’s largest home, and flip tables when they’re angry.) But there’s class and then there’s class.

“The aspirational class is a big and powerful cultural formation,” she writes, and it’s a group that may be “even more pernicious than the superrich who are vilified in the media.” In alleged contrast to the superrich, the aspirational class is a threat because they “shore up their and their children’s distinct sociocultural (and often economic) position of privilege, leaving everyone else out.”

Rich people are notorious for being out of touch, but they’re not always completely stupid; flaunting wealth during a time of expanding economic inequality doesn’t just make you reviled, it may make you a target

READ: So You Think You’ve Got Class? – The New Inquiry

***** Universal Basic Income

Around the world, there is a lot of buzz around the idea of universal basic income (also known as “unconditional basic income” or UBI). It can take different forms or vary in the details, but in essence: UBI is the idea a government would pay all citizens, employed or not, a flat monthly sum to cover basic needs. This funding would come with no strings attached or special conditions, which would remove any potential stigma associated with receiving it. In short: it would be free money.

READ MORE on the FINNISH EXPERIMENT

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Baby Daddies and Dandy Scandals

Excerpt:

The case of dynastic gazillion-heirs Kate Rothschild and Ben Goldsmith’s recent public implosion made for startlingly expensive dirty linen. Repudiating their illustrious predecessors’ unwavering dedication to keeping up appearances, yet unwilling to settle for the unspeakably bourgeois condition of unhappy monogamy, 29-year-old Kate and 31-year-old Ben duked it out on Twitter this summer over Kate’s trysts with a hip-hop star. Her naughtiness was preceded, it emerged, by Ben cheating “several times” (including with Pippa Middleton, if tittle-tattle is to be believed). The fascination with which the English-speaking world greeted Kate and Ben’s deranged tweeting was all the greater, given their ilk’s usual ethos of “not in front of the servants.” Indeed, Rothschild family members have otherwise invariably shunned the limelight: in a rare 2010 newspaper interview, Kate’s uncle Jacob beseeched the journalist: “If you decide to write anything, I’d rather it wasn’t about me.” And Ben’s late father, litigious billionaire financier James Goldsmith, was once so outraged by a reporter’s personal question that he performed a citizen’s arrest.

Zac, Ben’s older brother, has inherited both his father’s privacy concerns, and his predilection for behavior that might call for privacy. Last year, Conservative MP Zac, 37, called for parliament to “design proper privacy laws” so that the media can’t “invade people’s privacy unless there’s good reason.” Whether snapping photos of Zac visiting Kate’s younger sister, Alice Rothschild, for an “afternoon of passion” constitutes good reason is a conundrum for sharper minds to ponder; suffice it to say that without the media glare directed on Zac’s extramarital activities, he may well not have divorced his wife, Sheherazade, but rather continued to exercise his genetic entitlement to sexual carte blanche.   MORE HERE

The Rothschild Family Are (still) the Wealthiest Family in Human History (really) – read this (top photo, family crest)

Despite the dilution of the Rothschild Family’s wealth, there are still a number of extraordinarily wealthy individuals bearing the Rothschild surname. The largest of these fortunes belongs to the British financier Jacob Rothschild, who is worth around $5 billion USD, whilst another British financier, Sir Evelyn De Rothschild, has a fortune of $20 billion USD.

****

READ: Secretary Zinke Advises Trump to Leave a Legacy of Broken Promises with Tribes – Native News Online

Federal Protection For Utah National Monument Threatened

New Hampshire Public Radio

There are five Native American tribes whose homelands border the Bears Ears National Monument in Southeast Utah.

NOYES: Bears Ears National Monument is protected now, and it’s actually been 80 years in the making to realize its protection. And its ancestral lands of not only these five tribes but many other tribes who have built cliff dwellings here, who have recorded their histories, who visit the area to gather medicinal herbs, to hunt, to conduct ceremonies.

SIEGEL: Now, that was the case before it was declared a monument. What are the specific protections that came with monument status and that are at risk if they’re withdrawn?

NOYES: It’s had a lot of looting and grave robbing that’s been happening at the site – there’s approximately a hundred thousand archaeological sites in the region. And so people have been taking these sacred objects out of the area. And it’s also at increasing risk to uranium development, potash, oil and gas. And so there are a lot of threats to the area.

***White Nonsense Roundup on Facebook.

Breaking News: Sacred Native American sites in the Valley Destroyed with a Mighty Shrug

“Once they dismantle them, that is a desecration. All their reconstruction is a replica work of art, not a spiritual stone feature.” Doug Harris, Narragansett Tribe

Excerpt:  Make way for the gas pipeline

One issue central to the native community in New England are sacred ceremonial stones along the path of the Tennessee Gas pipeline that are hundreds, if not thousands of years old. In Sandisfield, most of the stones that were identified have been destroyed, though some were preserved by Kinder Morgan.

“The eastern tribes utilized the ceremonial stone features a part of their ceremonies calling to the spirit of our mother, the Earth, to bring balance and harmony,” Narragansett Indian Tribe Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Doug Harris said. “From that, we interpret that it’s a place where someone may have been killed either by an animal or another human. That area, although a person’s remains may have been taken elsewhere for burial or cremation, would have been greatly traumatized in spirit. In order to bring balance and harmony back to that traumatized area one of the forms was to make prayer in the form of stones calling on the spirit energy of our mother, the Earth.”

Sara Hughes, a spokesperson for Kinder Morgan, confirmed that 13 of 73 ceremonial stone features were relocated. The remaining 60 ceremonial stones were destroyed.

“We were required to relocate 13 after adapting our construction approach to accommodate and avoid the majority of the structures,” she said. “The stone features that remained in place have been protected with signage and fencing during construction activities, and are being closely monitored on a daily basis … The features have been securely stored and will be moved back to their original location and orientation when project restoration occurs. We expect to complete the restoration process and place the project into service by Nov. 1.”

Harris said he was given the opportunity to monitor the process, but refused because he considered it sacrilege.

“They would document them, store them, and then reconstruct them,” he said. “They seemed to feel that this was acceptable and I explained to them that once they dismantle them, that is desecration. All their reconstruction is a replica work of art, not a spiritual stone feature.”

Anne Marie Garti, an attorney representing the Narragansett Indian Tribe,  said FERC did not allow the Tribe’s Historic Office to examine the sites under the National Historic Preservation. FERC gave the go ahead for the project to Tennessee Gas, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, before that took place.

“The Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office requested rehearing of an order when the staff person at FERC gave the pipeline company an order to proceed,” she said. “And that order, we believe, was not legally issued because the steps that were supposed to have taken under the National Historic Preservation Act had not taken place. FERC had said they would make sure that all the stuff had taken place before the project could proceed when they issued their original order in March 16, 2016. There were all these conditions, one of the conditions was compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.”

The tribe isn’t seeking damages, but wants a re-hearing to make sure that a mistake such as this never happens again, Harris said.

“What we want to draw attention to in the future must happen, otherwise tribal rights are abrogated and the law means nothing, if in fact it is not practiced,” he said. “We are essentially drawing FERC’s attention and the public’s attention to the fact that the National Historic Preservation Act has not been followed and therefore the rights of the tribe has not been allowed. That should not be the standard operating procedure going forward.”

Garti said FERC typically waits until a pipeline is completed before a re-hearing takes place.

“And then they go in and try to say that it’s moot; that it no longer matters, but the courts don’t buy that because it’s very hard to get an injury just thrown out of court like that … It’s been taking about a year.”

The ancient culture of the Americas is something that everyone in the country should be willing to preserve, not just people with Native American ancestry, he said.

“There is a responsibility of not only tribes to step forward and to point to these issues, but the public in general — our partners in sustaining and protecting that of which is antiquity,” Harris said.

READ: Sacred Native American sites in the Valley Destroyed with a Mighty Shrug

NOTE: Destroyed? How would this area react if a colonial church and cemetery were destroyed? Once I compose myself and stop crying, I will draft a letter to Kinder Morgan. LT who lives here in Pocumtuck Territory.

BREAKING NEWS: Interior Action on Arctic Refuge is a Human Rights Violation

Statement by Bernadette Dementieff, Executive Director, Gwich’in Steering Committee:

“For us, protecting this place is a matter of physical, spiritual and cultural survival. It is our basic human right to continue to feed our families and practice our traditional way of life. Oil exploration in the Arctic Refuge’s coastal plain would be a human rights violation. Our identity is not negotiable.

For decades, the Gwich’in Nation has defeated harmful proposals in Congress that would threaten the Coastal Plain; the birthplace to the Porcupine caribou herd and 190 other species, including migratory birds. This area is known to us as ‘Iizhik Gwats’an Gwandaii Goodlit’ – the sacred place where life begins.

The very existence and identity of the Gwich’in is under threat. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a sacred place. We want to continue to live our cultural and traditional life with the Porcupine Caribou Herd.”

BREAKING NEWS: Interior Action on Arctic Refuge is a Human Rights Violation – Native News Online

NOTE: Many years ago when I worked at the Pequot Times, the Pequot’s DC offices contacted me about this and said they would educate the Senators and Congress on the devastation to tribes and the environment if drilling occurred in the Arctic.  I sent them everything I had on the potential disaster this would cause. Apparently all bets are off with this breaking news. LT

Zinke National Monuments Memo to President (Finally)

ZINKE report

‘Woman Walks Ahead’ Review | ‘Hostiles’ Review | Variety

Jessica Chastain commands respect in this true story of a modern woman who fought white prejudice to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull.

Woman Walks Ahead” offers dimension to its leading lady, but holds its Native characters to the same old surface stereotypes.

 

READ: ‘Woman Walks Ahead’ Review: Jessica Chastain as Catherine Weldon | Variety

A ruthless killer of Native Americans learns that some ‘savages’ are worth saving in a Western that isn’t nearly as progressive as it thinks…

But just how progressive is a movie that draws a false equivalency between individual Indian attacks and large-scale, government-sanctioned genocide?

READ: ‘Hostiles’ Review: Christian Bale Reunites With ‘New World’ Co-Star | Variety

“Would You Be Interested in Getting (Atty Gen) William Wirt’s Head Back?” | News In The News | Fantasyland and more

Rebecca Roberts describes the theft of Attorney General William Wirt’s skull from his crypt in the Congressional Cemetery.

But no one ever accused Robert White of being a thief. It’s safer to bet that White bought Wirt’s skull for his collection. Perhaps surprisingly, it is entirely legal to sell and possess human bones in the United States. There are some exceptions; the bones of Native Americans are federally regulated, for instance, and certain municipalities (like New Orleans) and states (New York, Georgia, and Tennessee) have local restrictions. But by and large, when human skulls are for sale, it’s legal to buy them. Most buyers seek skulls for educational purposes, so price is driven more by quality than the identity of the skull. When Robert White was buying, a skull could be had for $100-$600. Since then, prices have tripled, because the two biggest sources of human bones, India and China, have both banned exports. If White discovered the existence of Wirt’s skull through his connections in the ‘head hunting’ world, he could have simply purchased it legally, and without breaking the bank.

READ: “Would You Be Interested in Getting (Attorney General) William Wirt’s Head Back?” Rebecca Roberts Brings Us a Tale From the Congressional Cemetery | In Custodia Legis: Law Librarians of Congress … By the way: William Wirt represented the Cherokee Nation in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, and Samuel Worcester in Worcester v. Georgia.

***NEW BOOK  Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America MORE

***White supremacy is in the DNA of this nation and has left its traces large and small across the commemorative landscape, shaping US history and identity.  READ

***As a society and a polity, the US has never been cured, never been treated, and it has never resolved its murderous racist history.  READ: The Invention of the White People | USA | Al Jazeera

5 ***** Must-read –> The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates has an eloquent essay on Donald Trump’s core ideology: “White supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power.” (audio too)

*****

By LT

History repeats like a cycle, a chugging churning wheel. And we can’t seem to grasp or adequately process this. Why? Maybe we are too busy surviving, working our butts off at minimum wages, maybe too tired to notice how this “repeat cycle” is centuries in the making.  (Picking up a history book? I don’t think many people would know where to start, what century or what account or story to trust.) If we know the truth, all of it, then we can see the cycle…

I woke up with this thought: When did we become elephants with chains around our feet? When did we get tricked into not knowing our own past, and America’s earliest days, the plant-the-flag mentality, and our own ancestors in its making? See the book description for Fantasyland below. (DNA is still news and Ancestry(dot) com is making millions for the Mormons – with slick TV ads and blood quantum charts. WOW! People are apparently driven by concern over blood and ancestry? Really?)

Photo (left):  Seated L-R Dr. Thomas Augustus Bland (1830-1908) and Oglala Chief Red Cloud (1822-1909) Standing:  Dr. Mary Cornelia Davis “Cora Bland” (1834-1919), interpreter Randall.  Courtesy of Daniel G.

My cousin Charlie and I started writing a research paper on the editors of Council Fire, a radical publication read by Native people [and our cousin and its editor Dr. Thomas Augustus Bland] – well this paper has grown to almost 200 pages (with footnotes). History is like that. It grows and grows once you start digging and chasing ghosts. (And you send emails to helpful historians who knew more than we did.) I will let you know when we get this novella-book done and how to read it. I never expected to feel so desperately sick in this process, doing research. It’s been a few years of work (but not every day.) I admit it was and is hard to sleep when some chapters are so brutal, violent, graphic and ultimately tragic (all researched and true accounts). I told Charles we might want to put a warning label in the introduction.

Re-reading DIPLOMATS IN BUCKSKINS (author Herman J. Viola) and OUR HEARTS FELL TO THE GROUND: Plains Indians views of How The West was Lost (primary documents collected by Colin G. Calloway), I found the best word to describe many tribal leaders of the last century: resilient.  (My own heart falls to the ground knowing what happened in North America.) That one word “resilient” defines the First Nations in North America in both mentioned books and in our research. Not all history is bad, of course but there are many heroes we’ve never heard of, as they are rarely mentioned in any history textbook or classroom… So if the material in these remarkable books and in our own research makes a tiny dent in the wide world of history, I’d celebrate and invite you all to a big party.

Here is a brief look at our research:

As previously mentioned… this was made possible in the dismal final years of 1888-1890, by the liaison between Thomas and Cora Bland with Catherine Weldon who acted as an intermediary with Sitting Bull. Through Weldon, Bland had flyers in the Sioux language distributed urging total resistance and Thomas Bland asked Red Cloud to not even meet with the (BIA) commissioners. Weldon provided maps and documents that explained the implications of these acts for the Sioux and is probably the reason Sitting Bull held out until he was killed in December 1890. These documents undoubtedly made their way to Red Cloud as well, though by then his health was failing, he was losing his hold on the Oglala and was more inclined to conciliation with the U.S. authorities.

(Michael Greyeyes and Jessica Chastain will play Sitting Bull and Catherine Weldon in Woman Walks Ahead, a movie forthcoming in 2017.) (I did read Eileen Pollack’s fantastic book Woman Walking Ahead: In Search of Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull (2002) which gave us a very good look at Thomas Bland’s activism on behalf of Native people.

*****

The Media Is the Villain – for Creating a World Dumb Enough for Trump

Matt Taibbi writes: “We learned long ago in this (media) business that dumber and more alarmist always beats complex and nuanced. Big headlines, cartoonish morality, scary criminals at home and foreign menaces abroad, they all sell. We decimated attention spans, rewarded hot-takers over thinkers, and created in audiences powerful addictions to conflict, vitriol, fear, self-righteousness, and race and gender resentment….  There isn’t a news executive alive low enough to deny that we use xenophobia and racism to sell ads.” Read: The greatest reality TV show on Earth

Fantasyland book description:…What’s happening in America today is not uncharted territory, but the flowering of the DNA that has defined our country from its inception. From an acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author and razor-sharp cultural critic, comes a new paradigm for understanding our post-truth world. There’s a tendency at this moment – this alternative-facts moment – to see our situation as an aberrant new American phenomena. In fact, it is the logical progression of our national character. America was created by wishful thinkers and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is in our bones. From Manifest Destiny to witch hunts to P.T. Barnum to Joseph Smith and the Scopes Monkey Trial, from Walt Disney to Billy Graham, from the birther movement to, yes, Donald Trump, we have proven, again and again, to be uniquely susceptible to magical thinking, delusion, illusion, conspiracy, and bullshit. In other words: what do you get when you mix epic individualism with extreme religion, show business, and everything else; run it through the Great Awakening and the Great Delirium, the anything-goes Sixties and the internet age; and let it ferment for a few centuries? You get Fantasyland, a place where reality and fantasy are dangerously blurred and mingled.

“This is an important book – the indispensable book – for understanding America in the age of Trump. It’s an eye-opening history filled with brilliant insights, a saga of how we were always susceptible to fantasy, from the Puritan fanatics to the talk-radio and Internet wackos who mix show business, hucksterism, and conspiracy theories.” – Walter Isaacson

***…afterlives of Soviet monuments

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Photographing the hidden afterlives of Soviet monuments.  Of course, it wasn’t the first time Soviet monuments had been brought low, as statues had been destroyed as early as 1990.  READ: The Hunt for Ukraine’s Toppled Lenin Statues – Atlas Obscura

*** I’m all for anything that helps us get along, and this seems like an exercise that might actually make a real difference and it’s HAUNTING me (so click) Believe by The Oatmeal

 ***

(click)Memo to the Publisher: We Need a “Vehicle of Indian Intelligence”

Excerpt:

One more thing: About that why.

This is a moment in history where the free flow of information is critical. Indian Country needs a vehicle of Indian intelligence. As Elias Boudinot wrote in 1832 (as he was losing his editorship of The Cherokee Phoenix) “I do conscientiously believe it to be the duty of every citizen to reflect upon the dangers with which we are surrounded; to view the darkness which seems to lie before our people— our prospects, and the evils with which we are threatened; to talk over all these matters, and, if possible, come to some definite and satisfactory conclusion.”

That is why.

[Mark Trahant (Shoshone-Bannock) is an independent journalist and a friend.]

Chills, Race, Chin Tattoos, The Powerful’s Brain Damage, Really Old Fossils, Racial Imposters

WONDERFUL CHILLS! A 400-year-old gourd that Grand Chief Membertou gave to his French godfather has returned to Nova Scotia.  GOOD READ: Mi’kmaq curator gets ‘chills’ from rediscovered Membertou artifact – Nova Scotia – CBC News

 

When New Zealand was colonized in the 1800s, the ancient Māori practice of moko kauae—or sacred female facial tattooing—began to fade away. Now the art form is having a resurgence. Here’s what it means to stamp your identity on your face.  READ: ‘It’s Transformative’: Māori Women Talk About Their Sacred Chin Tattoos – Broadly

Over time, leaders lose mental capacities—most notably for reading other people—that were essential to their rise. [So the further you get away from personal poverty to wealth – your brain stops caring about the welfare of others…] READ UP: Power Causes Brain Damage – The Atlantic

The 300,000-year-old bones and stone tools were discovered in a surprising place—and could revise the history of our species.

Source: Scientists Have Found the Oldest Known Human Fossils – The Atlantic

 

 

By Lara Trace (Me-Searcher and Researcher)

Howdy Everyone! So glad you are here reading my refreshed blog.  (I hope the new template is easy to navigate too.) Every Friday or as news breaks, I’ll be posting. This is a long post so please forgive me for sharing so much.

Lots of important news happened (some posted above and below).  You might remember I wrote months ago about historical events (click>) We’re not supposed to Know.  Of course I was writing about local issues but they morphed into national issues.

There is a whole lot we are not supposed to know.  Like The Civil War! Most people hated history in school or opted out or obviously skipped class. American History is not exactly a quick easy study. I believe it was historian Eric Foner who wrote something like, “America’s history starts in 1865.”  Well, that is a BIGLY problem, even for the current President. As George Orwell said, the best way to destroy a people is to destroy their history.

On Facebook in August I posted that I am the descendant of Slave Owners. Monsters. I am still wrapping my mind around this (as a Me-Searcher) — in light of current events in Virginia and a bloody (un)Civil War we are re-experiencing now.  When I was writing One Small Sacrifice and digging through ancestry files, I found that a Kentucky great-great-grandmother Lettice Bland left a will leaving her slaves to her heirs.  Human beings sold to benefit the slave holder and family, my own ancestors did that.  Since no one ever told me this story, I wasn’t supposed to know. (But thankfully we have the internet to help us dig.) Yes, I am multi-racial, and accept my ancestral complexity with open arms and with horrified indignation. I noticed in the Bland genealogy, they were careful to leave slave-holders slave’s names absent (though many still carry the Bland name)…. hmmm.

Here’s a link to Natives talking Race (Many are mixed and proud)

“Slavery and Its Legacies” podcast launched here

Have you dug up the ghosts in your family tree? I am still learning LOTS listening to the Yale podcasts.

Many who read this blog will remember I covered the Osage Murders and then this happened: The Rare Archival Photos Behind ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ – Atlas Obscura (TOP PHOTO)

Slavery (and Native history) as our history is not taught well.  Remember the lack of truth-filled history in textbooks had a purpose. Thus we have a 2017 problem.  And we have a president (for now) who thinks out loud on Twitter.  His grasp of history is so very poor. He’d fail a basic history test like many Americans.

A human person cannot grow spiritually until they see injustice all around and stop it in its tracks. It starts now, here, with me, and with you.

Would we have all these racism problems if we had a good grasp of our own American history and what really happened here? and What is happening now?

How many people know their ENTIRE ancestral make-up?   Check out:  With the rise of spit-in-a-cup genetic testing, there’s a trend of white nationalists using these services to prove their racial identity. Read: White nationalists flock to genetic ancestry tests. Some don’t like the result…

 

What is a Me-Searcher Code Switch on NPR One | 29:33

Listen: A Prescription For “Racial Imposter Syndrome” : NPR One

Alison Fornes, an education consultant based in Salem, Massachusetts, wrote to us wanting to speak with her mother, Julia, as part our “Uncomfortable Truths” series.  Talking to your mom about identity may not seem like a conversation most people would classify as “uncomfortable,” but Julia largely kept the story of her upbringing from her daughter. In 1956, at just six years old, Julia was sent from Puerto Rico to an orphanage in Connecticut. Because of racial tensions in the area in 1956, Julia was discouraged from carrying on her traditions from back home in order to be viewed as a more desirable adoptee for a family. She spent much of her life trying to pass as anything but Puerto Rican. As Alison got older, she started to wonder why she didn’t know more about her mother’s childhood traditions back in the Caribbean. So she sat down to ask Julia about why she felt compelled to hide her Puerto Rican identity, and how she eventually came to embrace it.  LISTEN: A Family Comes Out of the (Racial) Closet – The Takeaway – WNYC

One last thing to consider about knowing your history:

Come back next Friday for more! Thanks for reading this blog! XOX