The Society to Preserve Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Traditions, aka SPIRIT, has created a petition to end the traditional Land Run Activities in Oklahoma's public schools.
Their reason? "[R]e-enacting the Land Run in public schools and in communities in Oklahoma is demeaning and humiliating to Oklahoma Indians."
Really. You can see it at the petition's blog: http://www.progressivehistorians.com/2009/02/petition-stop-land-run-re-enactments.html
Okay, I was homeschooled in elementary, so I didn't do the 2nd grade Land Run day like everyone else. But when I got into high school I helped one year when my school had Land Run day.
The little kids, some wearing cowboy hats and boots, brought basket lunches and wagons, got in teams of two or three, and raced onto the little field by our building and sat down in some arbitrary spot. Then they ate lunch.
What was missing from this little 2-minute excuse to eat lunch outside of the industrial-themed school building? Any overt or implicit acts of hatred, bigotry or racism.
Seriously, what do these people think, that teachers tell the kids to scream "Kill the redskins!" when they run? That they force some poor randomly-selected children to "play Indian" and try to scalp the "Boomers" as they find the most level ground to lay out their Lunchables?
Incidentally, for those of you not from here, this is where the term Boomer Sooner comes from. But that's another blog.
Have these SPIRIT people considered that the majority of these schoolkids, unless they are first-generation Oklahomans, are most likely part-Indian, like me?
I would copy and paste some of their group and rally pictures here to give you an idea of the way they are demeaning and humiliating Oklahoma tribes with their antagonism to those of us not living on government benefits, but these are probably the kind of people who would sue me in spite of Fair Use.
If you want to see them, you can look at their myspace page.
I guess this is what happens when you have so much time on your hands you've got nothing to do but sit and think about all the ways you can play victim.