Johnny Flynn: Confessions from an Indian militant
"I am an Indian militant. It is a name I wear with some ambivalence—like “Indian”—not my choice, but the alternatives for the sake of political correctness do not have the same power or panache.

This year, while most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, we will celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the occupation of Alcatraz Island by Indian militants—around the time the term was coined. I was too young at the time, but supported those making the ironic statement about the quality of our own lands “given” to our ancestors, and the broken promise that any federal lands not in use will revert back to the Indians.

While you eat turkey, we will fast, or eat hot dogs.

Over the years Indian militants have also been called communists, fascists, socialists, and radicals bent on destroying America. In fact, those names—which cancel each other out in any logical mind—have been applied in recent months to another tribal man, Luo of Kenya, who occupies the Oval Office at the moment.

As an Indian militant I am discouraged, but not surprised, that the mainstream media has so far failed to recognize the stomp-down amazing fact that we not only have the first African American president, but the first tribal president in American history. Millions of Americans spend billions of dollars through genealogists or DNA tests trying to trace their ancestry to Indian tribes in America, or the tribes of Africa, and Barack Obama knows—and so do I."

Get the Story:
Johnny P. Flynn: No Turkey for Me: Confessions of an Indian Militant (Religion Dispatches 11/25)

Related Stories:
Johnny Flynn: A new sweat lodge movement (10/13)
Johnny Flynn: Terror torture and the Indian wars (5/26)