by B.H. Bates

“Look to the horizon! Can you see them coming?” These strange crafts are huge, they’re the biggest things you’ve ever seen in your whole life and they just keep coming and coming! “Can you see those strange creatures, Chief, they’re so pale with silver hats and they have sticks that make thunder, too! Chief … I think I just pooped in my pants!”

I’d like you to imagine: the Earth is being invaded by aliens, the World as you knew it is changing right before your very eyes and people all around you are dying like flies. There’s mass panic spreading amongst the population, they turn to their leaders for answers, but even they’re frightened and have no idea what to do next. Some run and hide, others chose to fight, but they’re quickly obliterated. Now your family is in danger, your children are crying and your wife is bitching in your ear: “Well, heap big brave, what are you going to do now?”

The famous writer, actor and director, Orson Wells, pulled a stunt, back in the glory days of radio, long before televisions invaded our living rooms. He created the infamous and fictitious broadcast: War of the Worlds. Unbeknownst to the radio listeners, of the time, Mr. Wells, broke into a program in progress with an ‘important news flash,’ whereupon he announced: “There have been reports of alien space ships landing! … Now, back to your program.” Well, all hell broke lose; panic set in, people were arming themselves, running into the woods and yet others decided to throw themselves off buildings, rather than be molested by little green men from Mars!

“How gullible were these people,” you may be saying to yourself. But can you imagine if something like that happened today? Let’s say you were watching America’s funniest videos … when all of a sudden, the local news anchorman appears on the TV screen with a worried look on his face and tells you: “Bend over and kiss it goodbye – the Earth is being overwhelmed by creatures from another planet!” Then, at that exact moment someone bangs on your door, your wife screams, your dog barks and the lights mysteriously flicker off! … Now, don’t tell me you too, wouldn’t be producing Hershey bars in you boxers!

The reason I’ve picked this particular scenario is because I was scolded by an irate reader, I met. He began to rant: “You (Natives) have it made, no taxes, free land and government handouts, yet you’re still bitching – “More, more, more!” And as you may know – it’s next to impossible to explain something to a person who has their mouth open and their mind closed. I tried to tell this malcontent, some facts, concerning Native issues, but he just said something that I thought was both ironic and idiotic at the same time: “I wish I were an Indian!”

If he would’ve listened, I could’ve explained to him some factual misnomers: First: if a Native works or shops off of their reservation, they’re subject to all taxation, like everyone else. As for the ‘free’ housing – sorry, but it’s not true. Natives, too, must pay a mortgage for their warm Wigwams. It is true that Natives do receive some government assistance, but come on, now … I think it’s a small price to pay for the entire continent of North America … don’t you?

Speaking of North America – let’s turn back the hands of time, many moons ago, when the Earth was green, serene and peaceful. Imagine you were standing on the shores of the Atlantic ocean, and you were witnessing the Mother of all canoes, heading straight in your direction, how do you think you’d feel? Let’s say the invaders had weapons that made your weapons obsolete and useless? The aliens also brought with them chemical weapons, capable of mass destruction, in the form of diseases, like; syphilis and small pox!

Like the Chinese symbol: Ying and Yang, so too, every situation, scenario and story has an opposite point of view to be considered. A wise lady, Jane Goodall, once told me: “Before you enter into a debate, learn all of the answers before they are asked!” Understanding of one another, be it, between Natives and non-Natives or between various religions – understanding through education and factual statistics will make conflict as obsolete as a bigot and as useless as Viagra at a Grad-party.


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