Hopi Hope

by The Ox

“We must call a shovel a shovel, especially when it’s being used to bury us with.” — 2006 comment by a home schooled youngster in California quite familiar with Hopi history

I know relatively little about present day Hopi-Navajo symbiosis, but I do know something about the history of the Hopi Indians, and I share some of that with you here in the hope that citizens concerned about our collective crises will consider embracing a new paradigm for dealing with our common challenges.

When the Spanish were eliminated from the Southwest at the conclusion of the U.S.-Mexican War in 1854, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed. Among the notable elements of that treaty (not taught in U.S. Schools) was that all the Pueblo peoples, including the Hopi, were officially recognized as sovereign independent nations. But as soon as the treaty-makers went home, white settlers, most of them Mormons, began encroaching onto sovereign Hopi lands.

The federal government did nothing to honor the treaty they had created with the Hopi; did nothing to protect them. In fact, the passive resistance of the Hopi and the violent protest of the Navajos — truly righteous resistance, its thrust — was met with a horrible scorched-earth response led by Kit Carson (many a school boy’s icon today). Carson eventually trapped some 8,500 Navajo in a canyon and starved them to death. Not quite on the level of the atrocities made possible by Andrew Jackson (of the twenty dollar bill), but bad enough by any standards, yes?


Seriously, the serious sins of omission in our educational system need to be dealt with post haste. For we are wasting the heartbeats of youngsters as we encourage them to acclimate to a country which is rotten to the core, corrupting their hearts and minds with the notion that all they need be concerned with are the utilitarian goals which have been set up for them by the powers that be. I am saying this, in part, because it is a fact of life that one cannot treat other human beings abominably, lie about doing so, and expect to thrive (or even survive) in the process.

A shortcut to all the documentation the reader will need to get on board with the fact that Native Americans (and other oppressed minorities) have been given — and continue to be given — the shaft is Professor James W. Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Taught Me. Other books of his will do the same. Give you a proper perspective on the improper approach used for history in education today.

In an article I came across today Labor activists — well-meaning, highly educated and deeply experienced — cry out for racial justice and fairness in the workplace. They are righteously advocating union solidarity to fight the powers that be. But — like so many other counterparts fighting the good fight in other quarters on other issues — they are destined to fail by virtue of being victims of our educational system. Specifically, it’s enough to note that one cannot achieve racial justice for select groups without honoring justice in the singular realm occupied by Native Americans, who have very different concepts of what constitutes “justice” for them. And, furthermore, it’s worth underscoring here that those union advocates are working for Lawrence Livermore Labs in some capacity, a horrid operation which contributes to the potential annihilation of everyone and everything worth living for on the planet.

Fact is, there is no authentic honoring of the Hopi people, a people who populated the Southwest for upwards of 10,000 years! They were here and thriving beautifully long before the Egyptian pyramids — so extensively covered in schools — were built. Quite a bit prior to the circulation of American textbooks which have proceeded to compound ignorance with ignorance on so many scores.

As always, though, I like to end my articles on a hopeful note, with a proposal for action that stands to make a difference. And on that count, I submit that just like there is a way for those union activists to get up off of bent knee expecting their “demands” to get through to career politicians in California, there is a way for Indians and their allies to terminate their dependency on counterparts in Arizona and New Mexico.

The “game plan” I recommend, though, is not something that should be shouted out on megaphones on this alternative media outlet. Rather, it is something that should be discussed in confidence among a core group focused on bringing about hope for the Hopi and others. Promise for the Hopi is truly contingent upon the welfare of others and vice versa. And successful dialogue centered on that is contingent upon not blurting out all the nuts and bolts of a strategy via social networking and the like.

Hopi hope must be discussed on a need to know basis. Honoring the value of the element of surprise in warfare. For, for sure, Native Americans and their allies are at war with the powers that be, forces which are hellbent on completing the genocidal game plan of the U.S. government. And it would be the height of foolishness to spell out all the nooks and crannies available to activists here, all of the nuts and bolts which could be employed by concerned citizens to address our horrid momentum.

The good news is that there is reason to be hopeful for us all.


Richard Martin Oxman has been an educator and activist for over half-a-century. He would be honored to speak gratis at any educational institution which makes a request at invisibleparadecall@gmail.com. He lives about one hour south of San Francisco, and — upon request — can host any initial core group meeting which might be appropriate.

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