The Frog Slowly Boiling: There’s Something Not Matching Up in Reality, and Standing Rock is Revealing It.
Images coming from the front-lines of the Standing Rock occupation in South Dakota today are disturbing at best, except for that bit when the herd of Buffalo (the work of species rehabilitation in recent years) showed up seemingly in solidarity with the protesters. The Internet is on fire about this, has been for weeks, and only now are mainstream media outlets that were ignoring it for weeks, confident that the blase cover story and re-routing issued by Obama weeks before would hold up and that the Internet phenomenon would die down.
Now major networks and newspapers are touching it finally, but of course choosing to focus on the violent struggles, burning tires, “illegal” road blockades and other noise around the fiasco. Typical. But even though everybody and their sister seem to be talking about this on the Online circles we are already in touch with, there is a deeper systemic issue we’re not talking about. The elephant in the room here is the silence of the masses, and of the candidates, and – until the last 24-72 hours – of the media.
The shock and surprise of the ones who are suddenly becoming aware of these happenings needs to be addressed, because it’s pointing to a deeper issue in the cultural subconscious mind.
The fact is, at least some of this is nothing new. That’s not to dismiss or diminish the disgusting reality, but the shock factor points to the general ignorance at play – there are a few things here that have been ignored by too many for too long and are only just now coming into public focus because more people are finally paying attention to things that matter.
Ecological blockades and protests are not especially new – they have been happening since the era around the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, in the time of the first Robber Barons and the writing of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, when abuses by industry prompted the regulatory agencies we know today as the FDA and EPA to arise. These agencies now appear, more often than not, victims of Regulatory Capture and wealthy lobbyists, not genuine organs for protection of the people and our planet. Either way, environmental protests and environmentalists are nothing new, we have just entered a new era when these concerns are getting proper attention because the problems they’ve always been protesting have never been more pressing and obvious.
The US Government has been abusing the Sioux nations and American Indians in general for as long as it has been around. Before that, these people were abused by colonists left and right, pushed off of the land of their forefathers as White Anglo-Saxon Protestants and every other self-entitled (usually white and Christian) enfranchised group of the period. To these people, treaty violation by the government which publicly espouses “freedom” but deals out tyranny, violence, oppression and death, and publicly signs deals with the devil, is nothing new. It’s actually become a way of life, something they’re quite used to, to resist the two-faced underhanded politics of a tyrannical alien government.
What’s more alarming is that the level of ignorance of these issues has persisted for so long that this seems like a shock to the system when it is occurring now. I think it’s a terrible reminder of how slowly they have been boiling the frog, how many protests (echoes of Occupy, Wounded Knee) have had such a violent reaction from Police and Guardsmen seemingly hired, trained, equipped and directed by American industry under the guise of “economic progress”, and we are somehow shocked and dismayed. The proverbial frog-being-boiled-alive suddenly awakens to realize he is in a pot of boiling water. The people are awakening to the fact that not only is their government corrupt and ecocidal but that they actually live in a violent, aggressive, hateful and callous culture that is fully capable of committing these kind of atrocities and justifying it when they’re forced to admit there is even something going on. It’s like the world has been held hostage at the point of a giant gun that only just now became visible, now that it’s too late. If it sounds bleak, that’s just because it is – but not hopeless!
NOW, to the NUT of the issue – what is causing this sudden flare of attention on issues that were once side-lined? Sure, it’s never been this bad, this overt before. But also, importantly, the reason this story is even catching fire is that awareness is increasing. This is a classic example of History catching up with the Movement. Because people have been “turning on” to the realities of Climate Change and Water Pollution, because people have been turning on to racial issues and social injustice, because people have been turning on to independent sources of media as it becomes increasingly obvious to millions that the TV and mainstream news is in the pocket of greedy and underhanded corporations and the government that now seems to do their dirty work, this incredibly potent event has received such wide attention – attracting more people to the site and creating an emotionally charged moment for our culture and for History itself. For the same reason, the moment meeting the movement, Bernie Sanders met with such acclaim earlier in this year’s political season – and let’s hope that the same agencies which undid and discredited that movement and person don’t find some similar double-think way to smear the people involved here. It seems a toxic two-faced smear campaign is actually under-way now that the mainstream media is paying attention, subversively trying to undermine the central message by ignoring all the peaceful activity that’s happened already and only interviewing cops and locals already upset at the protesters, hardly ever the protesters themselves about why they are risking freedom, life and limb going to such lengths.
As these events evolve, as we watch tensions escalate and more protesters arrested, please pay close attention as a discerning critically-thinking free-minded Human Being at what is happening. Don’t listen to propaganda, which will almost always try to convince you that there is nothing worthwhile here to look at. Don’t listen to people who will try to dehumanize the protesters or their prayers based on their extreme reaction to systemic toxicity as they defend their homes, burial grounds, and the Earth itself from a repeat abuser. Indians and Environmentalists alike have experienced marginalization and neglect and worse from a toxic culture which has repeatedly denied them their rights, culture and very humanity, and straight up TAKEN their land so many times. I think burning a few tires to slow or stop the onslaught of a small army of militarized cops is admissable even if it’s not great for the air – they are trying to stop something worse from happening to all of us.
Take heed, frog, you are awakening to the boiling water around you. Don’t thrash too much. Our reactions are being observed closely, and the moves we make at this point should be considered carefully.