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[Music] a Mark Charles initia syndicate an initial inter tortellini Buster's gene
syndicated about such a total cheating about sanella and the Navajo culture when you introduce yourself you always name your four clans or a maitre lineal people and our identities come from our mother's mother now my mother's mother
happens to be American of Dutch heritage and so I say syndicated initially which translated means I'm from the wooden shoe people my second clan my father's
mother is tohe Glenny which is the waters that flow together my third clan my mother's father is also syndicated annette and my fourth clan my father's father's total cheat me and that's the bitter water clan it's one of
the original clans were navajo people before i go any further i want to first acknowledge that we are on the land of the Pamunkey the hood nashoni in the pescado way these are the tribes that lived here they raise their families
here they hunted here they fished here they farmed here they buried their ancestors here these were the people who had society and life here long before Columbus got lost at sea these were the
tribes that were ethnically cleansed and removed from these lands so that the state of Virginia the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland could be founded and I like to acknowledge the people whose land I'm standing on
wherever I go around the country first just to honor them and to thank them for the years they've steward hid these lands and second to remind myself to remind us to be more humble as we walk
on these lands acknowledging that there is a story that though that goes beyond the history that we've read and that we were taught in our schools in his final State of the Union President Obama was
talking about the need in our nation for a new politics and he said we the people our Constitution begins with these three simple words words we've come to recognize mean all the people now when I
heard that as a native man I had to stop and ask I've read our founding documents I've studied our history I see the current political environment and I had to question when did we decide as a nation
that we the people actually means all the people let me demonstrate invade search out capture vanquish and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever reduce their persons to
perpetual slavery convert them to his and to their use and profit these are the words that pope nicholas v in a papal bull written in 1452 now this papal bull along with other papal bulls
written between 1450 to and 1493 collectively are known as what we call the doctrine of discovery the doctrine of discovery is essentially the church in Europe saying to the nations of Europe wherever you go whatever lands
you find not ruled by white European Christian rulers those people are subhuman and their lands are yours for the taking this is literally the doctrine that the European nations go into Africa colonized the continent and
slave the people they didn't believe them to be human this is the same doctrine that let Columbus who was lost at sea land in this new world which was already inhabited by millions and claimed to have discovered it if you
think about it you cannot discover lands already inhabited if you don't believe me leave your cell phones your smartphones your car keys your laptop's out I'll come by and discover them for you clearly this is not discovery right
this is stealing this is conquering this is colonizing the fact that to this day we have a national holiday honoring Christopher Columbus as the discoverer of America reveals the implicit racial bias of the
nation which is that indigenous peoples people of color are not fully human so this makes the doctrine of discovery a systemically white supremacist doctrine that assumes the dehumanization of
indigenous peoples now the challenges what our founding fathers have done with this doctrine throughout our nation's history so in 1763 King George drew a line down
the Appalachian Mountains and he said to the colonies that were here that they no longer had the discovery of the empty Indian lands west of Appalachia this upset the colonies they wanted access to those lands so a
few years later they wrote a letter of protest in their letter they accused the king of raising the conditions of new appropriations of land they went on in their letter to state that he has excited domestic insurrections amongst
us and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages they signed their letter on July 4th 1776 literally 30 lines below the statement all men are
created equal the Declaration of Independence refers to natives as merciless Indian savages making it very clear the only reason our founding fathers used this inclusive term all men because they had a very narrow definition of who was actually human
this of course makes our Declaration of Independence a systemically white supremacist document that assumes the dehumanization of indigenous peoples now
a few years later our founding fathers wrote another document they started this one with words we the people of the United States this of course is the preamble to the Constitution however if you read just a few lines later down to
article 1 section 2 article 1 section 2 is the section of the Constitution that defines who is and who is not covered by this Constitution who isn't who is not a part of this Union if you read article 1 section 2 the first thing you will note
is it never mentions women this is important because if you read the entire Constitution from preamble through the 27th amendment you will find that there are 51 gender specific male pronouns in
regards to who can run for office who can hold office even who is protected by this document 51 he him and his and not a single female pronoun for we've so we
first have to know article 1 section 2 never mentions women second it specifically excludes natives and third accounts Africans as three-fifths of a person so who's left well white land owning men is who could
vote now we have to ponder this for a moment the reason our Constitution was written the purpose of our Constitution is to protect the interests of white land owning men so
today we act shocked that women earned 70 cents to the dollar this shouldn't shock us our Constitution is working we act surprised that our prisons are filled with people of color this
shouldn't surprise us our Constitution's working we act outraged that in 2010 the Supreme Court side with Citizens United and rules that corporations now have the same rights to political free speech as
individuals this is what opens the door for super PACs on limited contributions to candidates this shouldn't surprise us the Constitution's doing exactly what it was designed to do is protecting the
interests of white land owning men so this makes our Constitution a systemically white supremacist and sexist document that assumes the white
land owning mail has the authority to decide who is and who is not human now about 50 years later we had a Supreme Court case this is Johnson versus
McIntosh it's two men of European descent they're litigating over a single piece of land one of them got the land from a native tribe the other one got the same piece of land from the government and they wanted to know who
owned it who had the right to sell the land the case goes all the way to the Supreme Court this is the Marshall Court and they had to decide the principle upon which land titles were based so
they ruled that the principle was that discovery gave title to the land and then they go on to reference the doctrine of discovery and rule that natives who were here first but are less
than human we only have what's called the right of occupancy to the land like a fish would occupy water our bird would occupy the air and Europeans have the right of discovery to the land the fee title to the land and therefore they are
the true title holders this of course creates the legal precedent for land titles this in a few other cases between the 1820s and 1830s and this precedent and the doctrine of discovery are
referenced by the Supreme Court in 1954 in 1985 and most recently in 2005 now I want to talk about this 2005 case for a moment
so in 1998 the Oneida Indian Nation purchased some of their traditional lands on the open market they paid full price for them in the state of New York which is where they traditionally resided and they wanted to
exercise their traditional sovereignty over these lands which would mean they were not taxable now the city of Sherrill which is where the land resided they wanted the tax revenue from these lands and so they sued the United Indian
nation in federal district court the United Indian nation won that case and the city of Sherrill appealed to this federal court of appeals the decision was upheld and so they appealed to the
Supreme Court the case was heard in 2005 and in arguing this case the court actually reversed the rulings of the lower courts and in the first footnote of the case
when they're setting precedent they referenced the doctrine of discovery they then go on to argue that given the unites long delay in seeking judicial relief we hold that a tribe cannot
unilaterally revive its ancient sovereignty they then go on to argue that it is impossible to rescind the session and restore the Indians to their former rights because the lands have
been open to settlement which is white settlement and large portions of them are now in the possession of enumerable innocent purchasers now in the original 1823 Supreme Court cases john marshall
is building his case he actually refers to natives as savages and he says but the tribes of Indians inhabiting this country were fierce savages whose occupation was war and whose subsistence
was drawn chiefly from the forest to leave them in possession of their country was to leave the country of wilderness now in 2005 the court makes almost the same argument it says
moreover the properties here involved have greatly increased in value since the unitas sold them 200 years ago notably it was not until lately that the United start to regain ancient sovereignty over land converted from
wilderness to become parts of city like Cheryl this is the same argument john marshall was making it's just not using the word savages so the supreme court then conclude that we now reject the
unification theory of the united indian nation and the united states and hold that the standards of federal indian law which again in footnote one is based on the doctrine of discovery and the
federal equity practice preclude the tribe from rekindling the embers of sovereignty that long ago grew cold this is quite possibly the most white
supremacist Supreme Court decision written in my lifetime and it was written and delivered by Ruth Bader Ginsburg you see white supremacy is a
bipartisan value and we don't know what to do with that in 2016 Donald Trump won the US presidency by campaigning with a promise
to make America great again not to be outdone Hillary Clinton responded and told her supporters that America's great already in October 2016 in the third presidential debate she expanded and
said America is great because America is good and Donald Trump concurred he said I agree with her I agree with everything she just said she they both had a broad
base of agreement they both agreed our past our history which included the enslavement of African people and the genocide of native peoples and our foundations which are based on the
doctrine of discovery and the lie of white supremacy they both agreed those things were great they disagreed if we were great in 2016 Donald said no and Hillary said yes see we were duped many
of us thought that the 2016 election was about racism versus anti racism equality versus inequality what we were actually deciding on as a nation was did we want Donald Trump to make America it splish utley white supremacist racist
and sexist again or did we want Hillary Clinton to work on our behalf to keep our white supremacy and racism implicit and we didn't know what to do with that
it's easier to call out that candidate to demonize that Supreme Court nominee to oppose that particular politician than it is to deal with our foundations
why because our foundations are what prop up our land title's see we would rather believe that the United States of America is racist and sexist and white
supremacist in spite of our foundations but the truth is is we are white supremacist racist and sexist as a nation because of our foundations and we don't know what to do with that
african-americans and women will never be included as equal until we deal with the racism and sexism embedded in our foundations Native Americans my people
will never be included and we the people until as a nation we deal with the doctrine of discovery and our dehumanizing legal precedent for land title's there's an out bridging leader
named George Erasmus and he says where common memory is lacking where people do not share in the same past there can be no real community if you want to build community says you have to start by
creating a common memory I think this quote is brilliant and it gets to the heart of our nation's problem with race which is we don't have a common memory we have a white majority that remembers a history a mythological history of
discovery expansion exceptionalism and opportunities and we have Khomeini's of color that have the lived experience of stolen lands broken treaties slavery Jim
Crow laws boarding schools ethnic cleansing genocide Indian Removal internment camps segregation mass incarceration and families
separated at our borders we have no common memory and I think we all can agree that community on a national level is absolutely in the pit I'm proposing that the United States of America needs
a national dialogue on race gender and class a conversation on par a conversation on par with the Truth and Reconciliation commissions that took
place in South Africa in Rwanda and in Canada I would call arts truth and conciliation because reconciliation implies there was a previous harmony and
I think we need it sooner rather than later my goal is 2021 tonight we are talking about legacy the Iroquois did
not just look seven generations into the future they looked seven generations into their past they understood that they were a part of a vast transgenerational
community and this is my challenge to you tonight if we can learn from the wisdom of our indigenous hosts who have been steward in these lands for hundreds
even thousands of years if we can acknowledge the vile racism sexism colonialism and white supremacy that our founding fathers embedded deep into our
foundations and if we can pivot we might just be able to leave a different legacy for our children's grandchildren's grandchildren's grandchildren a legacy
that for the first time we the people might actually mean all the people thank you very much you
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