Food and Freedom Rides: Day 2 By Aaron Cardona - L I V E   R E A L
Day 2.

The Robert J. Dole Institute for Politics

            I’m not sure what I think about this.  I think that it is very cool that we are able to come to such a mainstream building at a big university, but I’m not exactly sure what our aim was coming here.  The crowd who has come appears to be a very liberal one that is already at the same place we are.  The one man tells us that “you are preaching to the choir,” and wants to know what adversity we are facing and what real change we are doing.  I want to ask him the same question because it appears that the choir that is attending mass with us is of an upper echelon as it is.  Where are the real people?  I want to hear the stories of the real local people there and what they are doing.

            I talk with a guy who is farming with his wife.  It is very inspiring to see a young couple working the land.  He tells me a story of when they were working for a farmer elsewhere.  He said that they were growing tons of food to sell, but eating Ramen noodles for dinner because they had no time.  They thought it was a terrible contradiction, but now that they are farming their own land, they are in the same boat.  I’ve heard same stories of people who are new to farming saying they can’t do it alone.  Maybe they can’t.  How is it that my family and thousands of others across the nation did it all their lives and never complained?

            The medicine lady brings up a great point that medicinal plants and herbs are directly connected to growing food and living off the land.  The integration of the both into our lives would take our health to a great place.

Haskell Indian Nations University

I have heard of this place before.  It makes me angry and sad that the U.S. government could force people away from their homes to destroy their language, culture and values, to make them American.  The stories of those who tried to runaway and died are haunting.  As we walk around the marshes, I think about all the spirits present with us and what they’re trying to tell us.  In the cross in the middle of the marsh, I see the representation of the Southwest Native Americans.  I think of my own people.  It is said that the Mexica, the Aztec people, left the Seven Caves of Creation, which is said to be somewhere in the American Southwest, for their new homeland of Tenochtitlan, where the Eagle would be perched on the cactus with a snake grasped in its talons.  Why is it as Mexican people, we overlook our own indigenism.  It is seen as backwards and not respected.

            I think of my own indigenism.  I know that I have Aztec blood on my mom’s side.  I wish I knew more about my dad’s side.  Although they do not know or claim not to, their appearance maintains the story of their indigenous roots.  I however, bear the light skin of the one who raped my ancestors.  I was once told by one of my “liberal virus classmates,” one especially privileged ones who thinks themselves more enlightened than everyone else, that it would be offensive to people of indigenous blood to say that I too was indigenous.  Meeting with another indigenous person, who is proud of her roots, despite her light skin, gives me courage.  I will never again be swayed by the oppressor of who I am.

9/19/2012 10:12:43 am

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