Red Lake school shooting is colonial insanity.

27.03.2005 21:49:00
MNN #123: Red Lake school shooting is colonial insanity.

MNN. March 27, 2005. A 15-year old Chippewa shot his grandfather and step
mother. He then went to his school and shot five classmates, one security guard,
one teacher and then himself. Why? Internal colonization!

Red Lake is an isolated community in Northern Minnesota. All the purse strings
and laws to run the community come from far away. Administrators fly in and out
constantly. But the residents don?t have the funds to do this. They?re one of
the poorest Indigenous communities in the United States. There are 5,100
residents in Red Lake. All access to their natural resources has been restricted
or taken away. Right in their midst has been placed a prosperous casino. Their
unemployment rate remains one of the highest in the United States. There are few
Indigenous people working in the casino. Why?

What kind of message does this situation send to the kids? Traditionally when an
Indian wins or returns from a hunting trip, according to his culture, he must
share everything he brought home with everyone in his community. Today he sees
the colonial approach which contradicts his own culture. People come to the
casino to win money from other people and then keep it for themselves.

This was a young boy with no social support. His father committed suicide 4 years
ago. His mother was permanently hospitalized, a victim of an alcohol induced car
accident. He was vulnerable. He had no sense of what he could do with his life,
how he could be useful, how he could take part in society. So he decided to
follow the American way, to destroy it. He turned his anger and confusion on his
own people and himself.

They say he was intelligent but ?out of touch?. How can our Indigenous young
people be in touch with the colonial culture that surrounds them but excludes

Like other American children, native kids play video games and watch movies. They
are socialized to shoot people without thinking of the moral consequences. How
many millions of children watch TV or play video games where people, fuzzy
creatures or scary monsters are chased and exploded to oblivion? They are
conditioned to carry out executions of people every day without attaching any
meaning to the act. The instinct to press buttons and pull triggers becomes a
conditioned response, performed automatically, without thinking. They see on
their TV daily pictures of killings of innocent civilians in Iraq. Most American
soldiers are only 2 or 3 years older than this boy. They?re children!

Perhaps the kind of society that is being paraded in front of our youth is
conditioning them to become thoughtless killers. Isn?t that what George W. Bush
and other megalomaniacs need in order to control the new worldwide
corporate-military-industrial complex that they?re setting up? Are they sad that
they lost a chance to hire him to be one of their killers?

Young people do not want to join the U.S. military services. They are not signing
up in the numbers that Bush would like to see. Recently, the United States
government sent army recruiters to Kahnawake Mohawk Territory in Canada. They
came here to entice our young people to join them in their worldwide domination
and killing spree.

Red Lake has become a prison, with nowhere to go, and with control of the society
from outside. In such circumstances of helplessness, there is an increase of
social violence in Indigenous communities. So the authorities are putting more
and more police in such communities to look over everybody?s shoulders. This is
not the answer. Criminologists have proven that increases in state violence
?precede? increases in social violence. Increased policing disturbs the peace.
It is like putting napalm on the fire.

Think about it this way. Isn?t school where you go to practice what you are going
to do later in life? The United States recruits kids to become killers overseas.
Should it surprise us that high school students emulate their older brothers and
sisters? Isn?t this why gratuitous killing breaks out at some high school almost
every year in the United States?

The United States is a sick society. It?s governed by killers. It oppresses its
own people. It prays on that oppression to recruit adolescent soldiers who are
willing to kill innocent civilians overseas. This is all in the name of ?liberty?
and ?justice?. Can this be called anything but insanity? We know who?s doing it?
They?re pushing our young people to feel that death is the only escape.

They classed this boy as sick. Was he? Was it him, or the society that made the
conditions he lived in? How do we cure this colonial insanity?

Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News

poster: Thahoketoteh