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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 4/27/20

A More Efficient Cavalry: Anti-Indianism in America, Revisited

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Four Arrows

Fielding Graduate University

Pena que a cavalaria brasileira nà o tenha sido tà o eficiente quanto a americana, que exterminou os à ndios.

Jair Bolsonaro, quoted in Correio Braziliense newspaper, April 12, 1998

air Bolsonaro, quoted in Correio Braziliense newspaper, April 12, 1998

Translation: It's a shame that the Brazilian cavalry hasn't been as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated the Indians.

At a recent conference call with fellow writers and educators, I discussed how Jeff Gibbs mentions in his new documentary, "The Planet of the Apes," that our not wanting to think of ourselves as animals and our fear of death are major reasons for our destruction of life systems, implying that other cultures have a different story. Of course he was referring to Indigenous cultures. Some one asked me how life is better when one moves from a fear-based way of being in the world to one that moves quickly to courage, with generosity being the highest expression of courage, to fearlessness once committed to action, which is a trust in the universe. I responded that there are two reasons. One is that because fear of ego-death accompanies fear of physical death, all the problems of corruption, deceit, us versus them thinking, is rampant under our dominant worldview. The other is that life becomes more beautiful. I explained,

The best way to tell you how life is better when fearless. Imagine you are going to jump off a cliff into a deep river 40 feet below. Not really dangerous, but scary. You don't have courage, you don't get to experience the thrill of the experience that cause joy in others. You do get the courage and manage to jump, the stress of the event negates the joy. But if at the edge, after you make the commitment to jump, you let go of fear AND courage and merely trust the universe. Now you feel every beautiful moment of the fall, you see a fish swim by, an eagle flying overhead, you feel the air and then the rush of the cold water, etc.

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Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) is a professor at Fielding Graduate University. Former Director of Education at Oglala Lakota College, he is a made-relative of the Oglala and a Sun Dancer. Selected by AERO for their text Turning Points as one of 27 (more...)
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