Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020).  Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution.  More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1List and general description of entries to date.

Note: most entries are formatted as conversations.  Characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters (see link at top of page).  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office, Washington, DC.  Conversation starts Entry #265.

Gelly:  “I’m not sure I really understood what Wolf Man was talking about.”

CrabGreenie:  “You mean about the crab barrel?”

Gelly:  “Yes.  Why would anyone have that kind of attitude?  Why wouldn’t you want someone else from your tribe to succeed?  I mean, if one of the tribal members succeeds, doesn’t that eventually help everyone…or at least give everyone hope?”

Greenie:  “I don’t understand that kind of attitude either.  The crab-barrel attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy…for failure.”

Jordan:  “Agreed.  So what went wrong along the way with the attitudes of the tribes?  Think about it, the tribes never could have survived for all these centuries with a crab-barrel attitude?  What caused the crab-barrel to happen?”

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “Your question might be the answer?”

Jordan:  “Whadda mean?”

Gelly:  “Let me try.  Before losing the wars to the white man, the tribes were…well, tribes.  A collection of people working together.”

Greenie:  “After the white man, the tribes became a collection of individuals.  Really, no longer tribes.”

Jordan:  “So, you guys are saying the culture of the tribes…in effect, the essence of the tribes…melted away when the tribes were moved to the reservations?”

IndianGelly:  “The tribes experienced more than just moving.  If I understood Wolf Man correctly, he said the tribes on the reservations…apparently for many years…were prohibited from practicing many of the customs and ceremonies central to the respective tribes.”

Jordan:  “But couldn’t they just start building a new culture?  Why not?”

Greenie:  “Jordan, Jordan, Jordan.  Build a new culture?  How?”

Jordan:  “Why not?”

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGelly:  “If they built a new culture, would they still have a tribe?”

Greenie:  “Let me ask you something, Jordan?  Are you a member of a tribe?”

Jordan:  “Not an Indian tribe but you know I am.  Where are you headed with this?”

Greenie:  “Where I’m headed is that tribes remain tribes when key parts of the culture remain intact.”

TurtleneckJordan:  “And you have an example?”

Greenie:  “The old axiom, ‘More than Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.’”

Jordan:  “I’ll buy that.”

Gelly:  “What that says to me is even when Jews left the old country, by keeping Shabbat and all the traditions, or at least many of the traditions of Shabbat, they kept the essence of their culture.  Keeping Shabbat became the glue that held the Jews together as a tribe.”

GlueJordan:  “But why didn’t Indians keep their traditions…the glue…that held them together.”

Gelly:  “Wolf Man said they couldn’t keep the traditions.  His understanding is his ancestors and other Native Americans on the reservations were prohibited, sometimes forcibly, from keeping the traditions.”

Jordan:  “C’mon, that was what 140-150 years ago?  I think Native Americans need to ask, ‘What’s stopping our different tribes from re-initiating at least part of their traditional culture?  Why can’t the tribes regroup, as it were?”

Gelly:  “Maybe some of them are.  But now is their base-point really a new culture?  Is the new culture more of dependency rather than independency?  By the way, is ‘independency’ a real word?”

ScreamGreenie:  “Yes, independency is a real word.   And your point is well taken.  Have we…the victors in the Indian Wars…so restricted the tribes that the original culture has been lost?  By our own actions, have we destroyed one culture and replaced it with a culture of dependency?  That’s a depressing thought.”

Jordan:  “Even if the white man tried to destroy the culture, don’t you think it’s up to the various tribes to decide if they want to recapture the culture?”

Gelly:  “How are they going to recapture their culture when the world around them has changed so much?”

Greenie:  “Good question.  If I may, let me try to phrase it a bit differently.  ‘What about the old Indian culture can be recaptured for, or will work in today’s environment?’  The question is phrased a bit awkwardly but you get what I mean.”

Jordan:  “It’s a great question to ask Wolf Man about Native Americans…and a great question to ask Rock Man about blacks.”

ScaleGreenie: “Not finding the right balance between what part of a culture should melt in the US melting pot and what part of a culture should not melt might have larger impact on the cause of the Revenge Revolution than I first thought.”

Jordan: “Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to how much of a culture should melt.  We know it’s not the same for every culture.  And we also know a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work.”   (Continued)

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