Bee in the Bonnet: Honest Injun

By B.H. Bates

“Trust me! The cheque is in the mail. I promise, I’ll never lie to you
…. again. Honest Injun!”

As sure as the grass grows and the bear craps in the woods – it’s once
again time to cast your vote into the political wishing well. Yes, my brothers and sisters, the politicians are beating the drums on the old campaign trail in the hopes of sweet talking you out of your precious vote, with shiny promises and trinket cheques.

They make the inevitable promises we all know they’ll never keep. I have more faith in the words of a horny teenager in the back seat of a Chevy,when he tells a girl: “Of course I love you and I’ll respect you tomorrow and I’d never tell my buddies how much of a stud I am!”

And what do we get for our vote? Politicians do studies, take polls, have endless meetings and spend millions of your wampum on problems that could easily be fixed with some two gauge wire and a little bit of old fashioned common sense. But I guess I can see why they’re ‘in a meeting,’ and not out there working on viable solutions – in only a short period of time, they’d be out of a job! I think I may have a viable solution: ‘Put every politician on commission!’

As natives, we sometimes sit back and shake our heads at those silly white folks, as they attempt to find a honest politician. We laugh at those foolish folks when they award ultimate power to a single individual, in a society where ‘ultimate power, ultimately corrupts!’ “HA, HA, HA …. Hey, wait a minute! That sounds a lot like some of the Chiefs I’ve heard about!”

Are natives sliding down the same slimy political totem pole, speaking in forked tongues and scalping a little wampum off the top? What’s next, kissing papooses for the paparazzi?

Do you have a crook in the big tepee? Is he or she going on more (all expenses paid) fact finding trips than the local bear goes in the woods? Are they promoting business or monkey business? Is his business just that, his business and none of your business? What kind of car did the Chief drive before he was elected and what does he drive now? If it was a rusted Rez wagon and now it’s a fancy new hot rod …. you may have voted for “Runs To The Bank!”

It’s no wonder that very few natives vote. I think it has a lot to do with being discouraged. It’s like throwing coins into a wishing well and the only thing that happens is that your money gets wet and disappears into a black abyss.

Politicians, going back many, many moons, have been promising natives the World, yet to this very day many are still living in poverty on small Reservations. The only way I see our votes having any effect on government, is: that every single native votes the same way! Only then, will the old boys club take native issues seriously.

Or …. maybe we should elect a Native! Hey, why not me? I could run for office under the slogan: “HONEST INJUN!” Or should I say dishonest, because, the only promises I’d make would be to; Lie and cheat. Tax and steal. Kiss and tell! At least that way you’ll know what to expect. You’d be better able to budget for the inevitable – when shit meets the fan.

I’d play no favorites, I’d screw everyone over equally, without prejudices, white, yellow, black or brown, I’d take your candy and never call you back. I’d sell my soul to the highest bidder, grow fat off the backs of the poor, pad my off-shore bank accounts, then I’d pretend to shed a tear and feel guilty in front of the TV cameras.

After waiting a month or so, voters would forget about me, then I’d hop into my purple Cadillac, drive to my summer home, kiss one of my mistress’ and call my third wife to tell her that I’m leaving her for some place warm and sunny!

I’m only joking of course, I’d never run for office for the simple reason, if you give any one person too much power, it’s not long before they start thinking – “I’m Chief of the World!” Another reason is, I’m a big believer in Karma – “What goes around, comes around.” And in a just World, any politician who screwed us over, would go home, only to find a naked native man in his wife’s closet.

Dear reader,
Iif you have a bee in your bonnet about Bee in the Bonnet column, or suggestions for future articles please feel free to contact B. H. Bates at: