Tuesday, August 11, 2015

“You’re not a tribe. You’re fricking fruitcake people.”

This article (h/t Mark Shea) is the best thing to happen to me so far today. The headline alone is pure gold:

Lakota Warriors Vow to Crush Dirty Rainbow Hippies

The story is a great study in People Who Are Convinced They Are THE It-Getters but Actually Don't Get It at All. The assertion that prompted the "fricking fruitcake people" reaction encapsulates it:
[Member of the Sioux nation* and anti-hippie activist** James Swan] said Rainbow Family adherents tried to soften him up by saying, “We’re just like you, [but] the government doesn’t recognize us as a tribe.”
Dear Rainbow Family: you clearly have literally no idea what the words you're using mean.

Daily Beast writer Kate Briquelet nails a snarky-but-still-technically-just-the-facts tone, which is exactly what these particular hippies merit. More great writing (emphasis mine):
“They aren’t listening to anybody,” Swan told The Daily Beast of the phalanx of graying flower children and their next-generation recruits.
On Wednesday night, five of the clan fell prey to South Dakota’s harsh marijuana laws and were arrested on felony charges. After a citizen reported aggressive panhandling, the suspected beggars fled in a car.
One Rainbow, who goes by “Bajer,” [pronounced "Badger", we're told elsewhere] was defiant to the Rapid City Journal —or what Swan’s club has dubbed the ‘Racist City Urinal’ for what they call biased reporting.
For the record, executive editor Bart Pfankuch disagrees with Swan’s moniker. [Ed: Quelle surprise!]
All kidding aside, the Rainbow people are being complete jackasses. Standing in a circle chanting "We love you" to a group of people you are actively disregarding and whose sacred traditions you're hippy-ing all over is utter hypocrisy.
“We’ve gotten some [Rainbow people] saying you need to come out here and experience the hippie love,” the Lakota activist Clark told The Daily Beast. “Peace, love, we want to be your friend and respect your people. No, we don’t trust you any more than the government—possibly less.”
Which, I'll venture, is saying something. Good news for the Lakota people and me: at least some of the Rainbow people say they're headed somewhere in Michigan instead. What do we think is a safe spectating distance for observing occasionally violent hippies?

*I understand that there are complexities around how First Nations bands, tribes, and nations define themselves, but I don't understand them well. Moderate Wikipedia-ing tells me the Lakota are one of three major groups within the Sioux.
** Swan does not identify himself this way. I derived this description from his comments in the article.

No comments: