Dear Washington

Dear Washington,

When I initially sat down to write you I was furious.  Everything I wanted to say resulted in the liberal use of the F-word.  Luckily I tapped into my inner self control and decided a more poised approach was best, after all my parents did raise me right.

Since you work in Washington and are passionate about representing this great country we call America, I know that you are well aware of the current National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015.  Perhaps what you haven’t paid attention to is the attempt to land grab once again from American Indians.

FACT– Since inception the United States government has forcibly and without conscience, taken land from tribal communities. Perhaps you recall a little thing called the Trail of Tears, and of course those pesky things called Reservations.

FACT– In 2010, the United States government finally made a formal apology to American Indians. Ironically this was also buried in a defense appropriations bill.  Here are some helpful links and quotes to jog your memory. http://on.wsj.com/1ukD2zs

“…The resolution acknowledges years of official depredations, ill-conceived policies and the breaking of covenants by the United States government towards tribes and apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native Peoples for many instances of violence, maltreatment and neglect inflicted on American Indians by United States citizens.” http://bit.ly/1sczCV4

FACT– White House Tribal Nations Conference began on Wednesday, December 3, 2014. In an Executive Order establishing the White House Council on Native American Affairs in June 2013, President Barack Obama said the following:

“…We cannot ignore a history of mistreatment and destructive policies.”  I’ll repeat, “…We cannot ignore a history of mistreatment and destructive policies.”

“The United States seeks to continue restoring and healing relations with Native Americans… This order establishes a national policy to ensure that the Federal Government engages in a true and lasting government-to-government relationship…”

I’ll repeat this again just in case you missed it, “The United States seeks to continue restoring and healing relations with Native Americans… This order establishes a national policy to ensure that the Federal Government engages in a true and lasting government-to-government relationship…” http://bit.ly/16630Cr

FACT– The night before the White House Tribal Nation Conference begins, tribal leaders are gifted a back-handed land grab within the National Defense Authorization Act. A 2,400 acre land grab that includes Apache burial, medicinal and ceremonial ground found on page 1,105. And just to really rub salt in the wound, the recipient of this land grab is an Australian-English mining company. http://huff.to/1yhd5bb

I realize that I am just a white girl from Lansing, Michigan with no real political power or clout. I will not even go so far as to claim an iota of tribal lineage.  You’re probably thinking, why am I so angry?

The answer is simple. Injustice

I am tired of living in a country where politicians talk about their love for America and the values this great nation stands for, while in the same breath pissing on anyone who is not wealthy, white and male.

I do not feel a great pride for my country. I feel ashamed. I feel ashamed that we have learned nothing from our history, unless you would like to feign ignorance, even though we are all exposed to second rate (at best) history education in primary school.

And I am tired. I am tired of reading stories like this to learn that our country and supposed great democratic values are indeed up for sale. For sale to the highest bidder and apparently open for auction to those outside of the United States. After all have colonial ideals really ever ceased?

My questions to you:

Are we truly a country that says one thing, but in action does another? If so, what kind of future is that?

Do we want to continue to be a country where deals are struck late at night among the chosen few, and slid through the guise of economic development and jobs?

My promise to you:

I will send this to each and every one of you. Because I believe it is that important. I realize that most of you will only glance at it, with a passing thought.  But maybe just maybe, some of you will actually take the time to think about what this decision means for our country.

The American People, not the corporations and the wealthy elite, but the everyday, hardworking, common, American People, are getting tired of the way our politicians are doing business. I know this because I have listened to others communicate their frustration. The problem is we feel like you don’t listen to us. Your decisions do not reflect us. To make matters worse we realize that in this day and age it takes a lot of money to get the attention of our elected officials. Democrats and Republicans are guilty of this. So you see, we cannot help, but ask, does it really matter to contact our representatives? Do we even count?

I for one believe in the words of Edmund Burke.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Or in this case a good woman.

“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

I may not wield political clout or power, but who would I be if I did nothing? Who would I be if I didn’t learn from our history? So I will contact each and every one of you as promised. I will share this with the worldwide web and maybe just maybe others will also contact their representatives. I do not want to be a person who does nothing and learns nothing.

Daring to dream,

Rachael

Find your representative:  http://1.usa.gov/KxiTHC  and http://1.usa.gov/1vOWObI

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