Stolen Work, Stolen Land

Written By: Charles - Jan• 19•23

Winter and the Wolf Moon

Thursday gratefuls: Kate Strickland and Michael Banker. Seeing them on Sunday. Dushanbe Tea House in Boulder. Diane this morning. Tom tomorrow. Tom Tomorrow! Alan on Saturday. Mussar today. Fresh white Snow. Kep, the sleeper. His sleeping sounds. Sudbury Impact Crater. Ejecta all the way to Gunflint Lake in Minnesota. Subduction. Nickel. Copper. Platinum. Paladium. Zircon. Uranium. Colorado Plateau. Placer deposits of uranium. Manitoulin Island. The Georgian Bay. The Chi-cheemaun.

Thursday gratefuls: Life in all is wonder


Getting a distinct Canada jones. This Origins of North America course has rekindled memories of Stratford, Ontario, taking the Chi-cheemaun ferry to Manitoulin Island. Also my trips circumnavigating Lake Superior. I’ve always loved Canada. Every since our first family trip there and I saw those road signs with the crown on them. And those Fords that looked like Fords but had a different name: Meteor. That moment on Lake Huron in Ipperwash Provincial Park. One with the Lake and the Sunseen.

Now I see this is land stolen from the Chippewa Band of Kettle and Stony Point. This story about the sniper killing of band member Dudley George in 1995. Maybe the spirit of the Anishinabe inhabited me that day.

And so back to Imani (faith) Perry and her South to America. In her chapter on the Soul of the South she talks a lot about the Black Belt, a geological region that runs through Alabama, Mississippi, parts of other Southern states which was especially good for growing cotton. The term also has a broader definition: “Political analysts and historians continue to use the term Black Belt to designate some 200 counties in the South from Virginia to Texas that have a history of majority African American population and cotton production.” wiki

The Black Belt and the Chippewa’s struggle over Ipperwash are of a piece. They are land used by White governmental and economic structures enforcing white supremacy over those deemed lesser. This is why Perry says to understand the U.S. we have to go to the South. Because slavery informed the founding documents of our nation and because the wealth of the early United States had its base in cotton production and trade. These two facts go together. The wealth of the Southern states allowed them to have an outsized voice in the negotiations creating our nation.

That would mean that originalism is ipso facto racist. It says we have to interpret only the words of the constitution and use the plain meaning of those words as laid down by the founders. Well, hey. The three-fifths clause. The electoral college. Senators two from each state. That means the Extremes are not only hard right conservatives but also standard bearers for white supremacy. Wonder how Clarence feels about that.

February is Black history month. Would be a good time to read some DuBois, maybe some Richard Wright, Imani Perry, Frederick Douglas. Margaret Walker. Toni Morrison. Maya Angelou. James Baldwin. Langston Hughes.

Back to that Canada thing though. Think I’m gonna plan a trip. True North Shore of Lake Superior, over to the Georgian Bay, cross the bay going South, Head to Stratford for some good theater. Anybody wanna come?



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