Challenging Racism

Lummi Nation planning commissioner Sharlaine LaClair, Democrat, will take on incumbent Luanne Van Werven in the general election for the 42nd district house of representatives in the Washington State legislature. In 2013, in her role as vice-chair of the Washington Republican Party, Van Werven facilitated money-laundering from the Cherry Point coal export consortium to the Tea Party-led PACs established by KGMI radio host Kris Halterman, who in 2012 and 2013 hosted Elaine Willman from CERA–the “Ku Klux Klan of Indian Country”–on her program Saturday Morning Live three times. Willman was part of the headline at the anti-Indian conference held in Bellingham WA on April 6, 2013, and stated “Tribalism is socialism, and has no place in our country!”

Note: For more on organized racism in Whatcom County, see Netwar at Cherry Point: White Power on the Salish Sea.

Social Arena

The escalating insecurity and instability caused by state-imposed austerity, war economies, lethal disease and religious fundamentalism affects all humankind. Our ability to mentally cope with these formidable threats and challenges requires collaboration and cooperation between all peoples, nations and states. That tenuous collaboration would benefit foremost from an appreciation of the ideas and relationships examined in Tribes Institutions Markets Networks: A Framework About Societal Evolution by David Ronfeldt, retired senior sociologist at RAND.

Self-determination, of both indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, is the essence of democracy. Democracy, which is essentially a discursive process, only works when we prioritize intelligence over emotion. Exposing fantasies about political power and civil society agendas–based on the emotional manipulations exercised by financial elites that control consciousness through the creation of discursive monoculture–allows us to increase political literacy and logic founded on information, knowledge, intelligence and understanding.

Awash in false hope that leads to cynicism and despair, social media–marketed by agents of the financial elite–is an arena we must enter in order to expose these intellectual threats and challenges. Exposing them in a coherent and comprehensive manner requires research and analysis, combined with communication skills that can overcome the constraints on the public imagination imposed by financial dependence that limits social strategies. Preparing leadership depends on a commitment to investment in mentoring by tribes and networks that have the capacity to design, develop and transmit a common sense of identity, based on knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

Learning from the Right

In 1989, UC Berkeley published Jerome Himmelstein’s study To the Right about the transformation of American conservatism in the Reagan years (1980s), that led to the present influence of Christian white nationalism in the GOP. In a nutshell, they began building a grassroots movement by taking over local school boards, then local governments, and eventually state governments. Now, they are influential in both Congress and the RNC. It didn’t happen overnight.

All or Nothing

Sanders supporters in 2016, like Nader supporters in 2000, conflate integrity with intelligence. If they help defeat Hillary, as Nader supporters did Gore, then white nationalism wins the White House.

Sanders supporters should continue to fight for a social welfare state, but helping put Trump in office won’t accomplish that. Learning from the past, they should vote Hillary, then fight her administration, and continue taking over the Democratic Party, building on the foundation of the Sanders campaign.

Sanders supporters accomplished a lot, and they would be remiss to throw it all away. If they set their sights on securing their Democratic Party position at the local and state level, they will acquire greater influence at the national level. Real commitment to implementing social values requires thinking long term.

Public Good Services Update

Closed services at Public Good are intervening and mentoring. Corresponding and introducing remain open. Advising and consulting are available on a limited basis.

Inherently Human

In 1975, the Tse-shaht tribe (part of the Nuu-chah-nulth first nation and the Wakashan language group on Vancouver Island) hosted the inaugural meeting of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples. That conference led to the establishment of the Center for World Indigenous Studies in Olympia, Washington in 1979, and to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. As the ‘catalyst for the contemporary global indigenous rights movement’, the 1975 gathering–led by Chief George Manuel (founder of the Center for World Indigenous Studies)–was a historic event in the reemergence of indigenous governance, and in the development of the international regime first established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN in 1948.