Author Topic: Just when you thought politics couldn't get any stranger - lesbians "sage" the W  (Read 28868 times)

Offline Defend the Sacred

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I don't see a way to flag a video as "racist"

It's a bit convoluted, but here's how you do it:

* Under the video, click on the far right icon for "Flag"

* In the drop-down menu, "select a reason," mouse over "hateful or abusive content" and click on "promotes hatred or violence"

* A blue box will pop up, with text about hate speech, and the request to "Please indicate the group attacked." In that drop-down menu, you can choose options like "race" or "ethnic origin." There is also a space to add a comment, such as, "promotes racism," or whatever specifics you'd like to add.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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We're trying to come up with someone who is reasonably well-known, who understands the NDN issues here, who might be listened to by the white, liberal supporters of Kate Clinton. Preferably someone in DC, but doesn't have to be.

Or event if the racists won't listen, someone that the media will be prone to listen to.

I can converse reasonably well with both groups, and have a history in both communities, but am not a "name."  Nor can I get to DC for this action. Everyone we've thought of to contact so far is an NDN woman who hasn't been willing to wade into the cultural misappropriation issue, or who has shown in the past that they won't challenge other feminists,  even when they cross the line like this.

To me, someone who is racist doesn't get to call themselves a feminist. But I'm old-school, a dinosaur from the days when people at least tried to understand interconnected oppressions.

If you can think of anyone appropriate to address this, PM me or, better yet, message iktomereturns over on YouTube.: http://www.youtube.com/user/iktomereturns

Offline ska

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Hi Kathryn,

Suzan Shown Harjo of the Morningstar Institute is in DC, and is well-known in the Native community (former president of NCAI).  She's one of the people who has brought a case against the Washington Redskins organization, a case that is ongoing.

Earthw7 recently posted an article of Harjo's on the indianz.com website and her email address is listed at the end of the article as being:

 suzan_harjo@ yahoo.com

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Suzan Shown Harjo of the Morningstar Institute is in DC
...
 suzan_harjo@ yahoo.com

Yeah, I think some of the AZ crew know her, and are writing up something to send her.

Offline ska

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Sorry, after I offered Harjo's name, I checked my email and the activists from iktomereturns told me that Harjo has been unhelpful in past attempts to address the racism of middle class "feminists".

Sure wish I had run into some of those old skool feminists who were down with examining the intersectionality of oppression back in the day, Kathryn.  I've always found the women's movement to be heavily invested in racism.  Amongst women of color who try to address racism, there is still a tendency to downplay our Settler consciousness and existence.  In fact, it's in the women's community that I keep seeing this bs about "saging" ceremonies.

That's one of the problems I see with Kate Clinton's fans - they are so heavily invested in being the victims of heteropatriarchy that they are unwilling to examine the oppressive roots of their own behavior.

best, ska

frederica

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I think you would want her to address the cultural appropiation rather than the racism.  Racism would be hard to deal with in this stitutation.  What I remember one was stereotypical and the other was not even something a good parrot would follow through  with.

Offline ska

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Hi Frederica,

Don't know what definition of racism you ascribe to.  As I see it, cultural appropriation is a very common form of racism, particularly in colonial societies.

best, ska

frederica

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I talking about the abuse of the use of Sage.

Offline ska

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me too :-)

frederica

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It started with the misuse of Sage.     One didn't leave much to the imagination on racism, as I said before.  I would stick with the misuse of Sage.  Not play the Race card. JMO.  Now I'm through with it.

Offline ska

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Frederica,

You're entitled to your opinion.  But don't try to diminish my view with this colonial crap about a "race card" - this kind of tired comment is very commonly used to silence people who want to connect our everyday actions to Settler ideology and the practice of racism. 

I'm not playing a card game.  I'm a Canadian Settler of Punjabi heritage living in Native territories, married to a Lakota man, with a son who is both Punjabi and Lakota growing up in a White-dominated society.  My life has been spent surviving and resisting all kinds of racism at the same time that I have been journeying through my own process of decolonization and unlearning the racism that I have internalized.  Race is not a "card" for me.  It reflects labels and practices that have been used to diminish and destroy many people that I know and love.

Maybe from where you are sitting, racism is a game.  I don't know you and you don't know me.  For me, racism is a deadly and daily part of my reality.  I've survived violence, sexual violence, and the death of family, all caused by racism.  I've spent most of my life learning about all kinds of subtle and overt forms of racism.  The fact that I'm qualified to teach about racialization in a university is also relevant to my view of the world, but not nearly as important as my lived experiences of racism.  I start with the assumption that Canada, USA and other White Settler societies were formed and justified on the basis of racism, and this racism weaves its way throughout our culture, habits, practices, and thought.

Since December, I have been speaking back to the vile racism that's been spewing forth through the comments on Kate Clinton's YouTube video.  This has brought me in touch with many wonderful Native activists and artists who have also been trying to raise some consciousness about the racism and colonial world view that underlies Clinton's proposed activity.  These activists are familiar with the kind of racism that underlies and informs Kate Clinton's actions and the racism of her fans who defend her right to do this. 

Quite frankly, I'm a bit surprised to find you engaging in this king of colonial psychic distancing.  I thought this was a rather kick-ass site where shame-ons are exposed for their racist and fraudulent practices. 

So thanks for your opinion.  For me, "mis-using sage" means adding a bit too much to the turkey dressing.  On the other hand, I interpret Kate Clinton's intentions to "sage the White House" by "invoking the optimistic spirit" of Native ceremony designed to get rid of "bad spirits" as a blatant example of White colonial thought and racism.

You may choose to soft-peddle on this issue.  So be it.  On the other hand, I am going to name the force behind Kate Clinton's actions for what it is: RACISM.

ska
« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 06:13:31 am by ska »

Offline Defend the Sacred

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The fact that Kate Clinton is proceeding with this over the objections of Native Americans, and is continuing to present it as comedy, has reduced the event to the level of a minstrel show.

Would she don blackface and have a watermelon eating contest on the White House lawn to welcome Obama? Maybe complete with some blackface dancing and "Mammy"-singing?

Would she have her girlfriend Urvashi perform a fake puja by waving around Lysol and McDonald's hamburgers while an entourage of white women make up "spontaneous chants and dances" that seem Hindu to them? Or maybe while the white women do Buddhist chants? (Because, you know, it's all "Asian." Hell, maybe they could toss in some Shinto things, too. And wear kimonos.)

When she first proposed this, I assumed that she did so out of ignorance. I figured she only knew of white "woo woo" lesbians using sage, and had no idea of the broader context. But now that she's been told otherwise, and has chosen to censor and ignore the voices of Native Americans and their supporters, it has moved from the realm of ignorance to that of intentional acts of racism.

I think racist acts done out of well-meaning ignorance are still racist, but without the intent to be racist there is sometimes room to reach the person and educate them. Well-meaning people who do something unintentionally racist are often mortified when it is explained to them that what they did or said was offensive, and often those people will seek to educate themselves further and make amends. But if once someone knows better they decide to proceed anyway, that is a whole different - and racist - situation.

Offline Superdog

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Got forwarded this bit of info from a friend on Kate Clinton's e-mail list...the Shaman apparently has a name. 

--------------------------------------------------
A Message From Kate Clinton REGARDING SAGE THE DATE

Join Kate Clinton, Shaman Mama Donna and thousands in DC and around the world for this simultaneous SAGING event. Just as the priests and shamans were called in to sage Machu Pichu after George Bush's ten minute So You Think You Can Dance visit to the ruins, you are being called to sage the White House after George's eight years of ruinous residency. Let's banish those evil spirits the night before the Inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama.

When: January 19, 2009

Meet Time: 6:00 pm est

Ceremony: 6:15 pm est

Where To Meet: Fountain in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC - Look for the rainbow umbrella.

Check out the NEW UPDATED SAGE THE WHITE HOUSE vlog for more info:
www.kateclinton.com
----------------------------------------------------

Offline Superdog

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So here's our mysterious "shaman" that kate has been keeping a secret.
A google search on Shaman Mama Donna gave me this site:

http://www.donnahenes.net/

She's also got a youtube channel where there is film of a few of her rituals.

http://www.youtube.com/user/MamaDonnaHenes

She calls herself an "Urban Shaman" and is a bit more of an eccentricity rather than a fraud.  She's honest about her "Urban Shaman" title being self-proclaimed and also honest about how her rituals are made up by herself.  She just kind of does what she thinks feels good.  The vid of the blessing of the New York Stork Exchange was pretty amusing.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 03:25:17 pm by Superdog »

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Oh dear.

I've heard of her (she runs ads in some women's and nuage zines) but my impression was that she was mostly a performance artist.

ETA: http://donnahenes.net/pages/feature.shtml
Quote
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

JANUARY 19
MONDAY, 6:00 PM
END OF BUSH ERA PURIFICATION RITE

Mama Donna and Kate Clinton will lead a participatory ritual to
cleanse our government after eight years of dirty politics, dirty deals, and dirty wars.
Bring a smudge stick and a drum or bell. DRUM OUT THE OLD, RING IN THE NEW!

Dupont Circle at the fountain
Washington, DC
FREE

And here's where you can buy your "Native American harvested white
desert sage. For purification and spiritual cleansing. USA. $18"
http://www.donnahenes.net/shop/herbs.shtml

On this page she sells a variety of other culture vulture objects,
including soap claiming to be for an Irish goddess, chock full of herbs that do not
grow in Ireland, and have never been used in traditional Gaelic
healing: http://www.donnahenes.net/shop/cleanse.shtml

Here, she demonstrates some of her rituals, and explains how you should use ceremonies from any culture that "feels right" to you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFQI-S7Cyvc
At 2:37 she hacks up some sweetgrass.

http://donnahenes.net/pages/ser-ceremonies.shtml
"Fees vary depending upon the complexity of the ritual,
supplies required, location, and number of attendees."

Though she does have some set fees for weddings:

http://donnahenes.net/pages/ser-ceremonies.shtml#vows
Quote
WEDDING PACKAGES
     

$850. includes 2 hours of consultation*, ceremonial supplies, research and preparation, local travel (25 mile radius), rehearsal, and ceremony.

$1200. includes unlimited consultations, ceremonial supplies, research and preparation, local travel (25 mile radius), private counseling and blessing ceremony for the couple, rehearsal, and ceremony.

*Initial consultation is complimentary. Additional consultation time is $100/hour.

Special amulets for guests can be arranged. Prices vary.

And more fees for ceremonies listed here: http://donnahenes.net/pages/events.shtml
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 11:09:19 pm by Kathryn NicDh? na »