Thing About Skins: Crazy White People Are the New Native Americans

Crazy White People Are the New Native Americans: Woody Guthrie, Ammon Bundy & Donald Trump

Gyasi Ross

“We won't leave until these lands have been turned over to the their rightful owners, more than 100 ranchers and farmers used to work this land, which was taken illegally by the federal government.”

- Ammon Bundy, Ironic Philosopher

"Will we let ourselves be destroyed in our turn without a struggle, give up our homes, our country bequeathed to us by the Great Spirit, the graves of our dead and everything that is dear and sacred to us? I know you will cry with me, 'Never! Never!'"

- Tecumseh, Shawnee

“These are people that shouldn’t be in our country. They flow in like water.”

- Donald Trump

"A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers, but when I go up to the river I see camps of soldiers on its banks. These soldiers cut down my timber, they kill my buffalo and when I see that, my heart feels like bursting."

- Satanta, Kiowa Chief

I think it started with that damned Woody Guthrie.

See, before Woody Guthrie’s stupid song, most white folks knew that they were just fortunate visitors of this land of plenty. They came from Europe starving and knowing that they would never own their own house, so they came through.  Cool—I get it.  And yeah, most of you folks set up shop and did the whole “Manifest Destiny” thing.  Not cool. Still, in spite of that you all knew this was our land first. And you respect “firsts”—the Wright Brothers, Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, etc.  That’s why every third one of you say that your great-grandmother was a Cherokee princess—because you respect firsts and…

We were here first. That’s obvious. We get the trophy! Oh sure, many white folks tried to convince themselves that Natives shared everything so that you could pass off that “Doctrine of Discovery” nonsense and take land and that was pretty dirty too. “Communal living,” painting with the colors of the wind, all that jazz.

But still they knew. Somebody was here. It wasn’t them. Somebody fed those starving ivory tummies that first Thanksgiving. Racist white people killed all those tens of millions of buffalo for some reason—because they knew that those buffalo were Native people’s power pellets and eventually those Native Nations were gonna replenish their power and populations and…

Someone was here. That was clear. This land wasn’t white people’s; it was somebody else’s. And those people didn’t look anything like you

“This land is your land…this land is my land….from California, to the New York Island…”

No it’s not, Woody Guthrie.  You’re lying to them.

So now when I hear these crazy white people—Donald Trump, Ammon Bundy, Alex Jones, etc—you’d think you were listening to some Natives talk about their beautiful homelands where their ancestors have resided for thousands of years. When I hear these silly and hairy militia men in Oregon talk about the government taking “their land,” my first thought is “take a number.”  By the way, that number—if they were at the DMV trying to get their license renewed—would be like 327,000,000.  Similarly, when I hear Donald Trump talk about people who “shouldn’t be in our country” and how Mexico is sending criminals to this nation, my first thought is they’re immigrating to Germany? The second thought is why wouldn’t they? That’s the lesson they learned from Europe.

Hence, we inherited such treasures as Donald Trump, Ammon Bundy, Alex Jones and other European-Americans.

Thing is, the data shows that Mexico is not following Europe’s lead; statistically Mexico is sending quality folks simply looking for opportunity and not looking to kill the people who are already here, enslave the people who are already here, steal the people who are already here’s land or change the religion of the people who are already here.

And in that way, Mexico’s immigrants are much different than the European immigrants who came to this Nation in the fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were. 

Yeah, we had to go there. Because these fools keep bringing it up. And if they keep bringing it up, we have to tell the truth. 

So no, Woody Guthrie and Donald Trump and Ammon Bundy and Alex Jones, this land is not your land.  This is Native land. Unquestionably, unequivocally, no doubt. Yes, we can play nice and we can all get along; we are all stuck here together, so we might as well all work together.  But since they brought it up, as a matter of fact most white people are the descendants of VERY recent immigrants to this country. A very small amount of white folks are the descendants of immigrants who have been here slightly longer—still, a teenie, tiny drop in the bucket to how long Native people have been here.  And that’s cool—absolutely, if you’ve ever been over to my auntie Wilma Faye’s house or my mom’s house or pretty much ANY Native auntie’s house, Native people are incredible house guests. Feed you, make you drink some coffee and eat bannock and talk your ear off.  Heck, they might even let you stay there for awhile.

But no amount of visiting, coffee or hanging will ever make it your house. Just to be clear.  

Gyasi Ross, Editor at Large
Blackfeet Nation/Suquamish Territories
Twitter: @BigIndianGyasi

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onedman's picture
Submitted by onedman on
Hi, I'm one of those slightly longer people. My number is probably 327,000,001. I mean this not as a joke or in jest. It's with respect, I know my place. We all are here at this time, together so please, can we all just get along for a moment? I have an idea. Earth has no borders, no fences and no countries. What if we eliminate these fake things and recognize North America? What if we all become North Americans? No border with Mexico, no border with Canada, just North America. It is all one land mass. From the southern tip of Mexico to the great white north it is one. Can we be just One? We need each other to face to the future. Global warming and climate change are going to make big changes happen and some of it is happening now. If we were One we could help each other adapt to these changes. The divisions between us hinder our adapting to these changes and we suffer for it. I think of myself as a North American, most times now I don't like being called an American. It has become an ugly word in many ways. But being a North American I can enjoy being in many places at the same time. I can relate with those in any direction. Just an idea, a dream I have, a dream I like to talk about and share with other because everyone's shadow is the same color. Thank you for your time.

dinagw's picture
Submitted by dinagw on
Onedman, it's a nice dream, except it's not new and never worked out too well for Indians. The problem is that the whole "can't we all just get along" thing and "we are all one" has always meant for Indians that "we'll all just get along as long as you'll give us your land and live like we tell you to live." It's the same today as it was 200 years ago, only it's just a slightly kinder, gentler colonialism we live under now. That's why we're always screaming about the doctrine of discovery, plenary power, violence against women, the ICWA, and the zillion other things you read about on these pages. When Indian people say "we are all related" they mean something completely different than when white people say "we are all one." Indians have never believed "we are all one;" they knew better because they lived along side people very different from them. Think of the difference, for example, between the Apaches and their neighbors, the Pueblo peoples. Indians respected difference at least enough to not go around slaughtering each other because of it like Europeans did, despite all the ignorant stereotypes to the contrary. So no, we can't all just be one. We have to respect each others' differences and figure out how to live together in the face of them without one group dominating all the others.

onedman's picture
Submitted by onedman on
Reply to dinagw: Maybe I wasn't clear enough?, Not under or part of americanism. It would require a new center for governance, in the center of the land mass. Soon enough we white's will be in the minority and learn what what we sow we reap. I do not like americanism; sorry, I'm jealous of what you have. It does require stepping out of the box to see what I see. Hard to explain in one post. We are One, All our shadows are the same color. I don't care where you are on the planet. I'm just like you and want the same things; peace, love, shelter, food, clothing, a good education for my children. I have a funny personality type known through testing, an ultra idealist, INFP/INTP: so I only see that we are One.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
To onedman: What a beautiful picture you paint, but in spite of the fact that many White people stood up for Native rights it's the actions of your government and the racists within that speak your heart. It's difficult NOT to paint you with a broad brush as this was nearly always the case in your dealings with us. The simple fact that asshole Trump has so much xenophobic support among his followers should say SOMETHING to the moderate White person. White people have taken our land since they first arrived here. Even now, John McCain is wresting sacred land from the San Carlos Apache in the name of profit. Conservatives are dicks and it seems as though everyone in the GOP clown car is desperate to prove that he's more of a dick than the other dicks. Conservatives (and the Tea Party in particular) claim they want their country back, but ALL minorities in America know exactly what that means. It means they want to return to the times when you could buy a Black man and freely hunt Indians and Mexicans (and keep the Asians working in laundries and on the railroads).

tmsyr11's picture
Submitted by tmsyr11 on
John Lennon (famous Beatle) has a song called - "Imagine"…imagine all the people……. Fortunately for Johnny, he "grew up" and realized and understood later in life. Later, he became of a fan of Ronald Reagan (famous Conservative).

onedman's picture
Submitted by onedman on
This dream I have, that I like to share, is my way of getting rid of my guilt. I am a 4th cousin of FDR and 16 other presidents. I am guilty because my family has caused so much pain to others. This is my reality, my truth.

hammertime's picture
Submitted by hammertime on
yes, it makes me wonder what the great spirit had in mind..over the past 500 years?? Why it has brought everyone together on its land .. what is the grand ultimate plan ...??? I know one thing for sure... those white people running for president are totally

swrussel's picture
Submitted by swrussel on
Onedman, I don't have any beef with you, but this guy Donald Trump claims to represent you and all other white folks. I know he does not, but I also know he's not claiming to represent me so I'm being honest when I call him an adversary as well as an idiot. If guys who think like you could work on convincing the tens if not hundreds of thousands of mostly uneducated white people that we are all in this together, wouldn't that make a lot more sense that trying to convince Indians...or Hispanics...or African-Americans that WE are all in it with guys like Trump. Notice I don't expect you to convince Trump of anything. Meaning no offense, I doubt that your bank balance is large enough for The Donald to give you the time of day any more than he would me. But I'll be happy to use my soapbox to try and convince Indian folks to continue being nice if you will take care of convincing white folks of the same. They are more likely to listen to you than to me anyway, don't you think?

Loudestenemy's picture
Submitted by Loudestenemy on
Those guys are a bunch of historically illiterate, hypocritical, white, right-wing Christian, domestic terrorists with a Brokeback Mountain power complex and a penchant for conspiracy theory driven delusions of grandeur. There is a whitehouse petition entitled "Arrest Ammon Bundy and the Armed Occupiers of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge" and it has over a thousand signatures right now. Please consider searching, signing and sharing so we can get this nonsense ended ASAP.

Steve Gagne's picture
Steve Gagne
Submitted by Steve Gagne on
Oh, I don't know. My mongrel mixed-blood canadian great-grandparents were woodsmen, hunters and trappers, who followed the game, followed the animals which recognized no man-made borders. My parents generation and mine was born here in the US; the only recognition of our heritage was to be labeled "dumb canucks", who, like the "swamp yankees", were considered the "niggers of New England". I grew up learning to find water, to find edible plants and berries, to ride, to fish, to hunt, to shoot, to make my own walking stick, to make my own bow, to make my own parfleche, to make shelter, to make fires. Due to living "assimilated", I have sadly not passed this knowledge on to my children. So, for me, there is no actual "homeland" for me to hearken back to, no one heritage that is mine to claim, but that of being one of the "bastard reject children of Manifest Destiny", as Ryan Red Corn put it. I mean, would I cut off my left leg & send it to France? Cut off my right foot & send it to Ireland? Cut off my ... uh oh ... nevermind. So I look and find that I am (D) NONE OF THE ABOVE. And I have to look at things with my own eyes, not with lenses forced on me. And I see things. I see that cultural appropriation is not a one-way street. I see that the horse, the gun, the alcohol, were all appropriated from the Europeans by the First Nation peoples. The lust for money and power have also been taken from the whites and become NDN, with casino tribes seeking to disenroll status NDNs, and tribal membership rules are taken, not from ancestral clan ties and interfamily adoptions, but according to the white man's blood quantum definitions and documentation rules. So it doesn't matter if you are one of the 5 million full-blood or status NDNs, or if you are one of the 150 million Euro-Americans, or like me, one of the 135 million unrecognized BREEDS (not NDN enough to be called a half-breed): All of America, all of us, live off of cultural appropriation, and it is part of the spirit of this land. We should stop fighting it, embrace it, and use it for a New Manifest Destiny that embraces and lifts up ALL of us. Even the crazy white men.

Aki's picture
Submitted by Aki on
my friend, it feels like you didn't finish the idea. you wrote "And in that way, Mexico’s immigrants are much different than the European immigrants who came to this Nation in the fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were." please remember that Mexico and the rest of Central and South America is full of Indigenous peoples who have suffered the European conquest just like the US/Canada. a huge majority of the folks immigrating from Mexico are Indigenous to this continent, with long long histories of migration. They may or may not have a few Spanish ancestors in their extended genealogies, but this land holds their ancestors too.

onedman's picture
Submitted by onedman on
For Mr. Russel...Oh how I wish that they'd listen to me but they do not. You are correct, I don't have the money of Trump, I'm disabled w/ less than 100.00 to my name. All I have is me and me wants nothing more than to live elsewhere. Somewhere where there is heart. I wrote above that I am jealous of what you have and I am, out-here there is no connectedness, no community, no identity. I don't have family, I have relatives. I like to teach oneness, the all of things and us, you are one, you are all, we are one, we are all but will they listen, no. Only those that see and they already know. It's odd to have this dream and to know it's true and truth. I shut-down my web-site, no one listened. I come here and to 2 other sites where truth is a part of the reality. Mr. Trumps world is not a reality I can live in. I feel crushed there. I like what you write, I like what Mr. Newcomb writes, Truth. May we all live within Truth. Thank you for your comment, it means more than you may realize. Gilbert

Wynn Ponder
Wynn Ponder
Submitted by Wynn Ponder on
Here’s what’s really happening in the Oregon rancher militia standoff: and

SuperBK's picture
Submitted by SuperBK on
So, you don't really get Woody Guthrie do you? The second you compare Woody fuckin' Guthrie to Donald Trump, you lose some credibility. Woody's song was about how the land belongs to ALL of us. It's pretty straight forward and to compare his message with these bigots shows how confused you are.

Antitrust's picture
Submitted by Antitrust on
Well your right Amon Bundy and the Militia in Oregon have striking similarities to Native warriors of the past. The reason for this is they are warriors of the Present fighting the same enemy. Natives should be putting their support behind the small farmer/rancher/logger etc. Instead they throw their support behind the govt. that has caused them so much pain? These people are suffering from the same group that has broken their promises to the Natives time and again and are people who burn for freedom as much as any Native warrior past or present. Much could be accomplished with some understanding and a realization that we have more in common than we think.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
To Super BK: Oh we GET what Woody Guthrie meant, but the difference is that this land didn't originally belong to "ALL OF US." It was our land until you stole it. It's like me hacking your bank account and singing, "this money belongs to us all," while I'm handing it out. _______________________________________ TO AntiTrust: Why would you expect us to support a bunch of White-Entitlement rednecks when they're pissed at the government? The government was put into place to protect YOUR people and when they feel they're getting screwed you want US to be your friends? Fuck that! Idiot militiamen like the Bundys can occupy whatever they want and die for it too - that's one less shit kicker with a gun we have to worry about!

Ojibway Turtle Mountains's picture
Ojibway Turtle ...
Submitted by Ojibway Turtle ... on
Amen brother...but what yea gonna do. The Hawaiians' are trying to through them out, don't think it's gonna work, but just saying...

Ojibway Turtle Mountains's picture
Ojibway Turtle ...
Submitted by Ojibway Turtle ... on
Go Michael Madrid, my Mom was forced to go to Marty Indian School in SD, she always claim not to speak metis even though she made some of the grand-kids call her kokum.

rbwinn's picture
Submitted by rbwinn on
I am one of the crazy white people, and I can prove it. When I came back from the Vietnam War, I was almost immediately put in a V.A. hospital and told that I was a schizophrenic. I tried to be positive about it and told the other patients, If you are required to be crazy, be schizophrenic. It is better than being paranoid. But then they started calling me a paranoid schizophrenic. I did not mind so much until they started giving me a drug called thorazine. Then I got serious. I still remember the day I escaped. Another patient named Danny and I walked to the front gate of American Lake Hospital, Tacoma, Washington. This is a great day, Danny, I told him. I am going to escape. Please don't do it, said Danny. Thanks for coming with me to the gate, I told him. Then I escaped. I waved a final goodbye to Danny and walked off into freedom. I was not really worried about it. I had not been committed in the first place. My parents had talked me into being a voluntary patient at that hospital. But once an escapee, always an escapee. Every time I ran into a cop, I would end up back in a V.A. hospital. I decided to go off the grid. I started sending back the full disability checks I was getting from Social Security. It took about a year, but eventually they stopped sending them. In 1980 I was working in a sawmill owned by my neighbor near Troy, Montana. But we were down to logs from private land. He could no longer get trees from the Forest Service. We closed down the sawmill, and I went to Arizona and started picking oranges. After a while I started welding because it was an easier job, and a guy named Ammon Bundy started hiring me to do welding jobs on diesel equipment and semi-trailers. Ammon was maintaining about five fleets of semi-trucks with just himself, one other diesel mechanic, and a bookkeeper. I last saw Ammon in 2008 when the economy failed. I decided to go to work for a steel fabrication company because I believed it would be stable employment in a bad economy. The steel fabrication company went from 200 employees to 40 while I was working for them. Ammon's company went from 2 employees to 25 during the same time. Don't underestimate Ammon. He can talk. He is also good at fixing diesel trucks. Anyway I am looking forward to this trial. I think it is going to be a good one. I wrote a book back in 2008 with my crazy white person political views called Independence (and I approved this message). You can buy it on Amazon books. I predicted what is going to happen to the two-party system in this country. Trump v. Hillary. Now that really sounds like an election. I registered independent the first time I ever voted. I believed I had political parties figured out, and I turned out to be right. They are like the American Lake V.A. hospital. You can walk right out the front gate. Register independent. You will be glad you did. Independent voters are the only voters that federal courts say are not protected by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. They cannot vote in closed primaries, and they cannot run for public office unless they are eccentric billionaires. Only eccentric billionaires can get enough signatures to get on the ballot as an independent candidate. I would run for office, but I am not an eccentric billionaire. I am a crazy white person. But watching Trump and Hillary, I am starting to feel good about that.