Sunday, July 13, 2014

See "Buffalo Nation," and then work for social justice

GUEST: Leslye Abbey, activist and filmmaker, will talk about her latest documentary, "Buffalo Nation: The Children Are Crying” that will be screening on Friday, July 11 at 2:30 PM at the Long Island International Film Expo.

It is amazing how some people devote their lives to a cause that few others even think about. The genocide of the native tribes over the last several hundred years is so obvious, and yet few people spend very long thinking about it. As Leslye puts it, "If you have visited a reservation, then you know."

Leslye has spent several years of her life helping Americans do the next best thing, visiting a reservation through the lens of her film camera. Like the graphic novel "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt" by Chris Hedges and Je Sacco, the portrayal of the Pine Ridge Reservation is unsparing. But should art be sparing of a country that locked its original inhabitants up in cages to wither away and die?

I asked Leslye whether the plight of the Palestinians was similar to the plight of Native American peoples. Without a moment's hesitation, she answered, "Exactly." Genocide looks the same wherever it occurs, be it in the Middle East or in our back yard. The saddest part is that the United States is intimately involved with both genocides. Our government is funding and supporting the elimination of the Palestinians in much the same way as it did the Trail of Tears.  

Self awareness comes first. See "Buffalo Nation," and then work for social justice.

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