Desperation on the Reservation...


It's EASY for me to talk about suffering and injustice. Truly. I'm a hypocrite - comfortable, employed, empowered... and I'm scared to death of giving it all up. I am. I whine (like Kierkegaard) that Christians twist the Gospel into their own comfortable making - downplaying the story of the Rich Young Ruler, among others. Well so do I. And so did Kierkegaard, for that matter. He was independently wealthy before he ever began writing. Being a self-aware sinner probably isn't any better than being an ignorant one. In fact, it's probably worse.

I could blog day after day about things I have no personal connection to. Instead, here's a testimony. In it, you'll find convicting things about American imperialism. You'll also find a bit or two about Christian families who have tried to help through adoption. Both of these are realities. Both of these are our realities. I've chopped bits and pieces - I don't want to steal from this website's (or this writer's) much deserved credit. I hope you'll click through to read the whole thing.

By Melanie McBee
NewsWithViews.com

I am a 27 yr. old Oglala Lakota woman, originally from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. I was fortunate enough to have been adopted by a stable, Christian family who had my best interests at heart. Most children from Pine Ridge are not so blessed... The unemployment rate is 85% and 97% of the population are living below the federal poverty level. The infant mortality rate is five times the United States national average, and has among the shortest life expectancies of any group in the western hemisphere. Alcoholism, addiction, violence, and suicide predominate in this once tranquil place. Although my family educated me on the statistics, I was hardly prepared when in 1997-98, I went to live there. I was mortified by the alcoholism. These people...MY PEOPLE were committing a slow suicide by the huge amounts of alcohol they were consuming...

I know of children 5years old, molesting 3 month old babies--fathers molesting children, mothers molesting children--every form of incest there is, has, and will continue to take place there-- I have watched family members die of alcohol poisoning, or cirrhosis--I've watched them have to have limbs removed because of their irresponsibility in taking care of their diabetic needs--because they would rather concentrate on where their next beer is coming from, or who can get meth, or a gun...

You see this month is black history month, and other times, you see that there is some “awareness day” for something but, Native American Day goes widely ignored, and there is no awareness day, or month, or even a second for the plight of the Native Americans. This is my mission, to educate people about the reservation, and to let my voice be heard, to be the voice for the suffering children on the reservation, for my noble ancestors, and to start doing something about the desolation which is Pine Ridge Indian Reservation...


So when we read something like this, there are a couple of ways we can react. Self defense - self validation - is always the easiest reaction. But there has to be a constructive, humble, repentant response. Just not sure what that is, or needs to be. Keep in mind, we are living on a continent that First Nations peoples still call their own. It belongs to them. Any ideas?



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