Monday, April 19, 2010

"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" (or will it?) Nine Deuce and Company are Playing With a Full Deck in This Post: on Media, Male Supremacy, and What To Do about Each

[image is from here]

With permission, this is a cross post dealt by Nine Deuce over at Rage Against the Man-chine. I LOVE her writing. I love it, love it, love it! It kicks patriarchal ASS. *Here's* the link back to her original post, on her blog.

April 19, 2010...1:01 PM

Fuck politics, women need to be making sitcoms.


  • Brava!
    May I cross post this, with full linkage and stuff, to my blog?

  • this fucking rocks. unfortunately, it’s probably really hard to even get into a position where you have much influence in popular media, especially for women. and I guess my goal of making feminist comic books probably isn’t that ground breaking, but with batgirl being paralyzed, black cat being raped, and jubilee depowered, plus a laundry list of other misogynistic shit going on in popular superhero comics, it’s got to be at least a little important, right?

  • Well Gramsci of course, would have agreed with you. The classic war of position. And normally I agree with Gramsci, but I don’t necessarily think he was envisaging maybe that kind of cultural domination. I like to think he wasn’t.
    For me, the problem is that even if women do get involved in these things, they’re always doing them on male terms, and therefore will always need to man up to get ahead – the phenomenon Ariel Levy described precisely in female chauvinist pigs (yes I know there are problems with both Levy and FCP but bear with me). I don’t think that this is a problem Antonio G foresaw, how much cultural domination would involve a process of embourgeiosification (no idea if that spelling is right, or if it’s even a word) or em-doodism in the case of females in male dominated industries. Em-doodism would be the problem I’d think.
    Cadbury’s creme eggs are evil and when I rule the world (I’m thinking August, if it all goes according to plan) they will be banned.

  • I definitely agree that em-doodism is the problem, but I’m often torn between urging people to spend their energy on radical overhauls that may never occur, or on small things that might be feasible now. I’ve been leaning more and more lately toward the latter, but it’s been bothering me because many times following the latter course creates even more obstacles to the former, and my real sympathies and predilections lie with the former. I know that women have to shit on other women to get ahead in entertainment, but I hope they’d at least do a bit less of it.

  • Oh and there’s a piece on a similar theme in t’grauniad.
    I know nothing of Tina Fey apart from she is famous for impersonating Sarah Palin, but it should probably be noted that a great many of those who come up with the crap about women ARE females. In which BTW I don’t include the great Helen Fielding, author of Bridget Jones, who is a very funny and satirical writer (the bit no one seems to get). But a hell of a lot of “powerful” women got that way by spouting crap. About the most feminist film I’ve seen recently was Mamma Mia and even that went seriously pear shaped at the end when Meryl Streep married Pearce Brosnan. Why would you marry anyone who sang THAT BADLY?
    IMHO, the revolution will not be televised.

What is Erotic, or The Erotic: Someone Dares To Ask

CODE RED: Caribbean conversations on politics, sex, gender and freedom.

People, if you haven't read this essay by Audre Lorde, what, pray tell, HAVE you been reading? Seriously! To read the essay, please click on the page numbers in the next sentence. As the blogger notes and as I also say in my comment below the brief cross post, the profound essay appears in a classic feminist text, Sister Outsider, pages 53 - 59. The whole essay is there.

What's up next is cross posted, from a Caribbean feminist discussion blog Code Red, *here*, and please link back to it to answer THERE, but you can answer here too!!! This is a "both/and", not "either/or" proposition! If you only do one, please answer there. They posed the question, after all.

What follows is from that blog; it is a short-but-sweet post consisting of one morsel of the goodness of Lorde's awesome essay. And my comment is under that. It's less sweet. Bitter even. But you know me!! I'll be sweet as honey after the revolution. I promise!

A little Audre Lorde in the morning…

The principal horror of any system which defines the good in terms of profit rather than in terms of human need, or which defines human need to the exclusion of the psychic and emotional components of that need – the principal horror of such a system is that it robs our work of its erotic value, its erotic power and life appeal and fulfillment. Such a system reduces work to a travesty of necessities, a duty by which we earn bread or oblivion for ourselves and those we love. But this is tantamount to blinding a painter and then telling her to improve her work, and to enjoy the act of painting. It is not only next to impossible, it is also profoundly cruel.
Source: Audre Lorde, Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power.

What does erotic mean to you?


  • Julian  On April 19, 2010 at 7:20 pm
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I can tell you what it doesn’t mean:
    1. Advertising, Cosmetics, and Fashion-industry B.S.
    2. Sadism or masochism, brutality in any form
    3. Anything associated with corporate capitalism
    4. Anything “marketed” or “marketable”, anything “bought and sold”
    5. Sexism-as-sexiness
    6. Racism-as-”racy”
    7. Heterosexism, in any guise or form or expression
    8. Any other form of oppression, like ageism, worship of youth, despising the elderly as asexual-only
    9. Dehumanisation and inhumanity
    10. What pornographers and pimps make and distribute

    I’ve only found this essay by Audre Lorde in print, in her book, Sister Outsider (1984), Crossing Press, or online unedited in one place (even while it appears supposedly in full on some websites–there’s a “Cool Beans” one that is missing the ending, for example!!). That one place is in “Google books” where you’re reading it right off the pages, so to speak. This essay, The Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power” is about as radical and important an essay as I’ve ever read on any subject. One could read it daily all one’s life, and just let its truths marinate into one’s soul and transform one’s being.

Let Ze Who is Without Sinning Bloggers on Their Roll Cast the First Stone!

 [image is from here]

There have been a few occasions now where some of the visitors to this blog, and others, have let me know, in sometimes not terribly subtle ways--and more power to them--fuck subtlety!--that "I appear to be associating with transphobes". 

Yes, well: don't we all?

The argument, to me, is "but these are known transphobes". And my reply has been, well, on your blogroll I notice some misogynists and racists, who have been called out on that stuff, and continue to go on in their merry male and or woefully white supremacist ways. So let he who is without sinning bloggers on their roll cast the first stone.

How it is that "transphobia" is a deeper concern than, say, misogyny, is a bit puzzling to me, perhaps because of the ways the two are intimately related to homophobia and lesbophobia, which also seems not to be so much of a concern. Or maybe I'm just hanging with a non-lesbophobic bunch of bloggers.

You are welcome to be as subtle or unsubtle as you wish in shoving me to see that, why yes, there are some unrepentant transphobes in my blogger list. And, frankly, I don't give a damn. Because they are also militantly pro-woman and pro-feminist, and my blog, after all, is a pro-woman and pro-feminist blog. So there.

Trans issues get discussed here rarely. I have posted a few times on the subject, owning my transignorance and lack of willingness to center this as a social concern. You don't find a whole hell of a lot here about "Animal Rights" either, but that doesn't mean I want animals to die or that I even eat a lot of 'em. That's because THOSE ISSUES, and oh-so-many others, are NOT central concerns in my wicked, wicked life, and as my life is currently organised, it isn't likely to be.

And for anyone who does have it as a central concern, I'd like to ask you: would that be the case if you'd never known, well, someone who is transgendered? I know several transgendered people, but not tremendously well, and it's not due to my "transphobia" that that's the case, as none of the few trans folks I'm met have ever told me directly or anyone we know in common that they experience me as transphobic. Which isn't to say I'm not transphobic, whatever that means. I don't "fear" trans people, at all. To date, I've had no nightmares of "running into a trans person" and shrieking. I HAVE had plenty of nightmares about men, however. And call me a Freudian, but I do tend to think the content of dreams relates, in some ways, to waking life.

In my waking life, men beat the shit out of women. In my waking life, men rape women in so many ways the English language isn't prepared to name them all. Nor is the "criminal" justice system prepared to comprehend many of them as ANY form of rape.

In my waking life, white het male supremacy is everpresent. Transphobia: not so much. There's no triage for social injustice, except, I find, for the life one lives. As social realities emerge, due to one's political locations, one responds either with denial or duty.

My world, from day one, was filled with women, not trans women either, who were harmed by men, not trans men. The prefix "cis" is not something I buy, even while it is sold to me like the LDS Bible, with more vehemence, and more reason for the vehemence too, I might add, somewhat compassionately.

"Cis" is a term from science, chemistry. And now Gender Studies. From the most reliable source of information known to white het non-trans men, I bring you this, from Wikipedia:

Cis may have the following meanings:
  • "Cis-" as a prefix of Latin origin, meaning "on the same side [as]" or "on this side [of]", with several derived usages:
  • In chemistry, cis- refers to cis-trans isomerism
  • In molecular biology, cis- refers to cis-acting
  • In gender studies, cis- refers to cisgender
  • In music, cis is another name for C-sharp
  • cis (mathematics), the function cis(θ) = cos θ + i·sin θ
    I oppose a lot of things. I'm sort of "An Opposer". And I don't let "social norms" however subcultural, marginalised, or anti-establishment they are, determine my own feelings and views about things. Or, well, I try to maintain "a view" that is mine, whatever that means, while being mindful of just how entrenched my privileges and entitlements are.

    A perfectly fine example of this "willful refusal to engage with terminologies I find politically problematic" is the phrase "Woman-born woman". It makes no sense to me AT ALL, and, to me, the whiteboy with this blog, it is counter-productive to the political aims this blog exists to support, such as the "debiologization of gender". I don't believe anyone is born a gender--and I surely don't believe ANYONE is born an adult, so I sure as hell don't think anyone is born a woman! I do not accept that anything at all about "Gender" is biological. That's my bias. Sorry white het non-trans men: you get no pass from me for your despicable behavior which you claim emanates from your gonads or dick.

    And "cisman", "ciswoman", and "cisgendered" won't be appearing in my glossary any time soon. Why? Because it goes against the very core of my beliefs. That's why. And you won't hear me tossing around terms like "discursive" either. Even though I know what it means. Academia-speak makes me want to barf. A lot.

    What you will see are terms, when the subject is transgender stuff, like "trans" and "non-trans" to refer to people who are and are not, respectively, transgendered. I hope that's clear. Because it sure as hell better suffice.

    I accept that there are other worldviews, and other experiences, and other quite valid ways of describing social and intimately personal realities. I accept that for many people, primarily non-trans folks, "gender" is biological to a large degree. And I get that some trans folks do too--again, to varying degrees. And that doesn't place those two groups (non-trans folks and trans folks) in the same political camp for me, and that's something I see a very few but some radical feminists do that I simply disagree with: I don't think trans folks are trying, with all their might, to Trojan Horse their way into lesbian spaces. For one thing, heterosexist patriarchy doesn't even ALLOW that many lesbian spaces to exist, so MOST trans folks, who are not all from the greater Michigan area, and are not all affluent and able to travel, don't encounter "lesbian spaces" in their lifetimes to begin with. Yet there they are, being all transgendered!

    Having said that, I think there has been gross insensitivity on the part of some trans people with regard to respecting womyn-only space. Now, when I use the term "woman" or "women" or "womyn" what I mean is this: girl-raised women who never thought they were boys or men, even if they secretly wished to be, in order to get some of that juicy status and dignity, and grab onto some of those privileges and entitlements (and LACK of stigmas and enforced forms of subordination), such as the one where you don't have a target on your back and front saying "please rape me; it's why I exist, master man; to be your 'sexual service station' with no will to do anything but be that". As noted, I militantly--whatever that means--let's say "ardently" support woman-only spaces existing and not being "accommodating" to anyone those women deem "not women". Yup, it makes for some problems, don't it? And fuck it: women who are raised as girls are, with few exceptions, socialised to be "accommodating" in just about every way, to anyone else: family members, children, neighbhors, folks in need, strangers who want information, etc. I'm not about to support an ethic of "girl-raised women ought to be accommodating". HELL TO THE NO. Especially, if not only, when it comes to women of color, particularly Black women in the U.S.

    And, obviously, there are trans women in Black communities inside and outside the U.S., and non-trans women of color, and men too, make various choices about how humanely to engage with trans people of color. I'm also not going to support a politic that states that Black folks must be accommodating to "others". HELL NO.

    I support oppressed peoples defining the terms of their collective resistance, including their individual levels of resistance. Girl-raised women, most of 'em not being white or class-privileged, are entitled, in my mind and on my blog, to determine who they wish to associate with ABSOLUTELY. Now, that they never really get to do that absolutely is a matter of great consternation for me. It pisses me off how much girl-raised women's lives are forced to be organised around "other people's needs and wishes and wants and could you do this one more thing for me..." CRAP. I fully support any woman who wishes to be and can be, being a lesbian separatist, or just a separatist when it comes to dealing with "da boyz". And there's no one who's gonna tell me that I gotta change that policy, which, after all, is not one I do much with by way of enforcement. I'm not a gate-keeper at the colonies of lesbian separatists, checking underwear for shapes of genitalia. I've never been near the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival and have no plans to start now. And why the hell trans folks can't organise their own festivals is beyond me. I feel exactly the same way about lesbian space not wanting gay men in it. We gay men, well, especially class-privileged ones, can find our own spaces. Lorde knows we have the capital to create and maintain them, in some urban settings anyway. I feel exactly the same way about Jewish folks and Muslim folks wanting Jewish-only and Muslim-only spaces. And fuck any Christians or Non-Jewish Atheists who say "I want in!"

    Yes, some non-trans women are virulently anti-trans. Yup, they are. And I know about three women in that category, and no, I'm not naming names. Now, on the other hand, I know TONS of people who are anti-woman (girl-raised woman, that is). They are woman-haters, woman-bashers, woman-disrespecters, woman-harassers, woman-procurers, pimps, rapists, and plain ol' jerk guys and women with lots of internalised misogyny. TONS. Why, most folks I've ever met in my life are in THAT category. And most white folks I know are racist as hell. As HELL.  O...    M...     G...!!! And some of 'em are white conservative/bigoted about it, and some are white liberal/colorblind about it and both variations of white-folks' racism disgust me no end. But as for folks who are "transphobic"? Do you know that ALL the members of my family of origin would have no idea what that term even MEANS? See, my family of origin, with a couple of exceptions, didn't go to college, and never knew there was such a thing as "Women's Studies" let alone "Gender Studies".

    And I'm not saying that's a good thing. But it's also not a terrible thing necessarily. The Academy does a lot of good for a lot of people, but it is an organ of WHM supremacist and corporate capitalist propaganda. Let's not forget that. The state schools need state funding, so there goes the radicalism, and the private schools tend to be run by white wealthy conservatives and liberals, none of whom want "Radical Views", let alone PRACTICES, being promulgated about campus.

    But it's true that my family or origin doesn't know what "trans" means, because "transgender people" are NOT part of their white poor and working class worlds. Not in any way that is noticeable to them, anyway. Similarly, lesbian women and gay men are NOT part of their white heterosexual world. Not in any "out" way, well, with the exception of little ol' moi! I'm the only Jew also, so let's just say I don't spend a lot of time with them and leave it at that. There's the whole matter of incest in my family as thick as brick, so that's a factor too.

    So, unless or until trans issues begin to impact those I love, or me, in a very visceral way, I'm not likely to take it up as a cause to rail about. (And I can rail, so it's not that I'm opposing to getting incensed about issues.) But sorry. I'm  not.

    In case the name of this blog hasn't clued y'all in, I ain't no librul and so I'm not pretending to give a shit, like oh-so-many white middle class non-trans folks do. Oh, they care so damned much about transphobia! Why, they'll be so upset with me for even writing this. How fucking impolite of me! Their non-trans selves will be far more upset, in all probability, than most trans people will be. Because like any other marginalised group, people feigning to give a shit is really annoying and obnoxious. And white middle class college kids, in my experience, are super good at feigning concern about all manner of stuff. Which brings me back to "Gender Studies".

    I'm not a fan of the academic discipline, precisely because it tends to prioritise looking at gender as "difference" not "dominance", as "types" not "tyranny", as a "psychological or biological continuum" not a "means of social control". Most trans folks I know--no, wait--ALL trans folks I know DO view gender as tyranny, as an oppressively hierarchical political system that is fucking up their lives big time, even if trans issues aren't what they deal with politically very much. All the trans folks I know are feminist too. And anti-racist. To some degrees, anyway.

    But having some non-trans person come on over to my gay ol' blog and tell me "You know you link to some transphobes" as a sort of what? Warning? Reprimand? Slap on my hand? doesn't make me blink. Because, guess what? I KNOW THAT. And I don't approve of their virulent transphobia! And were I not structurally positioned to oppress them, I might actually engage with them on the subject. In fact, if the blog was a gay blog, or a het male blog, I'd be all over their sorry asses for promoting ridiculously anti-trans ideologies or ideas. But it's not my place, and women of color who are actively pro-trans, have told me that directly. And to those women, the radical women of color in my life, and to the radical white feminist women in my life, I am directly accountable. To some class-privileged non-trans, non-queer, non- (or anti-) radical feminist white woman who I don't know from Eve, not so much. And to the doods: you know how much I'll put up with your CRAP. Not a whole fucking lot.

    And that, as they say, is that. So bring your non-trans white self over here and try to tell me what to be concerned about. Unless it's sexism and racism and heterosexism, and anti-Indigenism, and genocide, and gynocide, and ecocide (you know, the issues stated at the top of EVERY blog post, in the banner of this very blog), I'm not going to concern myself too much with your reprimands and cautions and warnings and alerts. Just so you know, to save you the expenditure of energy and time.

    Oh, and that may be the last time you see the term "Ze" here as well!

    The Bossman Tea Party: WEALTHY WHITE CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN OLDER MEN WITH GUNS--hardly "disenfranchised"!!!

    john mccain genocide Pictures, Images and Photos

    I used this image once before in a post about John McCain's genocidal policies, and it is needed again, to help make visually clear something that is now statistically super clear: THE TEA PARTY MEMBERS, disproportionately and demographically, are THE MOST ENFRANCHISED CITIZENS OF THE U.S.A. They are the least marginalised and the most wealthy. They comprise the least oppressed and the most in charge of the police power, conglomerate corporations, media instituions, and all policies that support and maintain genocidal practices against Indigenous Americans.

    The Tea Party's Ohio Leader has spoken about wanting to kill the "Sp*cks" and he wasn't kidding. There was no "LOL" after his Tweet.

    Supporting The Tea Party means supporting genocide, homophobia and discrimination against lesbians and gay men, domination of women by men, and virulent and violent racism.

    It is a classic shell game move in the history of the U.S.A. to make , the most privileged people, misusing media, are appearing to be the most disenfranchised and marginalised.

    They're Mad As Hell and They're Not Going to Stand for Losing Any Ruling Power!!!

    Straight white wealthy men are in charge of this country and always have been, regardless of the race of our current president. Sure, the Republicans want their Houses and Presidency back. And they are some pissed they lost what they did in the last presidential election due to their obvious incompetence and obstructionism by THEM. It is WEALTHY WHITE MEN WHO WERE AND REMAIN IN CHARGE OF ALL THE CORRUPTION ON WALL STREET. It is WEALTHY WHITE MEN who have demonstrated inglorious dastardly callousness to the majority of U.S. citizens.

    DON'T BE FOOLED AGAIN. Another G.W. Bush or Senator McCain or Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney won't be doing anything for the majority of U.S. citizens, because they only care about wealthy whites, and that's the ONLY demographic they've EVER taken care of.

    When even one of their posititons gets filled by a woman of any color, usually a white woman, and a man of color, in this case African American, you'll find protests come in many forms, from mobilisation of neo-Nazi and KKK groups to quasi-strange phenomena that the media portray as "disorganised", when there's nothing really disorganised going on. The folks on top want to be sure they remain on top. They can fight to keep their rights and entitlements in orderly ways, with single leaders, or in more populist ways, seemingly without leadership. The Tea Party is an example of the latter. But has all the support of the former. Those who are in leadership, those who are the most wealthy demographic in this nation: white older het men, are the face of this Tea Party, and before you sip a cup of it, if you're Black, Indigenous, Brown, Arab, Asian, a feminist, lesbian, gay, or poor, you may want to make sure there's nothing funny about the flavor. Please be clear: these folks mean for you to stay beneath them, with less power, with less access to resources like health care, with less money, with less ability to rise up because you're going to have to work until you are eighty years old, if you live that long without universal, preventative, community-based, federally funded health care.

    See below for more on who these not so disenfranchised members of society REALLY are. What you can determine is that when people in power even THINK they are losing some control of the rest of us, they will get mad as hell and they're not going to take it any more. They've never been not in control, so we can't really say "any more". They're not going to allow it to happen AT ALL.

    What follows is from *here*.

    Tea Party Demographics: White, Republican, Older Male with Money

    By Carol Forsloff.

    Several polls are now out, assessing the demographics of the Tea Party Movement that largely agree the majority of its members are Republican, largely white, above the mean in age and income and voted for John McCain.

    So do Tea Party people reflect the average American as they represent themselves? Not usually if you are a middle-aged woman of Hispanic background, an African-American male or a union member in New England just scraping by, according to the polls. A conservative blogger examined analysis of Tea Party members, citing CNN statistics declaring they are predominantly male, more college educated and higher earners than the general population at large, but not necessarily older or just from the South. A progressive blogger on ThinkProgress looked at the CNN statistics and relayed the same information as the conservative fellow, stating the following:
    Turns out that the “tea party” movement sweeping the nation is disproportionately composed of individuals who have higher-than-average incomes. It’s also disproportionately composed of men. And disproportionately composed of white people. And disproportionately composed of self-identified conservatives. And disproportionately composed of self-identified Republicans. In other words, well-to-do conservative white men don’t much care for Barack Obama’s policies. Which, of course, is something we already knew from the exit polls back in November 2008."
    Bloomberg gives a bit more detail in its more current analysis and observes more than 90 percent of Tea Party backers say the U.S. is moving more toward socialism than capitalism, while 70% want more government involvement in job creation. In other words, they don't want the government interfering except in certain designated areas, as they also were found by majorities to want Social Security to remain under government control and didn't see the Veterans Administration as socialism. A poll is cited by Bloomberg to obtain the results noted, and is the most current with the article by Bloomberg just four days ago. The poll not only presents the results but cites its margin of error and the details of that poll. The poll of 1,002 U.S. adults was conducted March 19-22 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, Iowa. The results had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. What Bloomberg observes from the poll is this: "Tea Party supporters are likely to be older, white and male. Forty percent are age 55 and over, compared with 32 percent of all poll respondents; just 22 percent are under the age of 35, 79 percent are white, and 61 percent are men. Many are also Christian fundamentalists, with 44 percent identifying themselves as “born-again,” compared with 33 percent of all respondents." So if you're not an older, white male, Republican, with money and voted for Obama, you're likely not helping bag the tea or preparing to cast it overboard.

    Chickasaw Struggles For Cultural Survival: One Oklahoma Family Aims to Keep Their Native Language

    [this is a Cherokee, not a Chickasaw, syllabary, and was found here.] 

    What follows next is from *here*.

    Chickasaw Location

    At some time around 1300, the Chickasaw crossed the Mississippi River from an earlier location to the west (presumed to have been the Red River Valley). According to tradition, their first permanent settlement east of the river, was Chickasaw Old Fields on the Tennessee River just west of Huntsville, Alabama. Although they maintained a presence in northwest Alabama in later years, by 1700 Chickasaw Old Fields had moved southwest to the headwaters of the Tombigbee River in northeast Mississippi, their homeland during the historic period. The Chickasaw also controlled western Tennessee and Kentucky west of the divide between the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers including the Chickasaw Bluffs which overlook the Mississippi River at Memphis. One group moved east during 1723 at the invitation of South Carolina and settled on the Savannah River near Augusta, Georgia. They remained until 1783 when their lands were confiscated for their support of the British during the American Revolution. The eastern band spent a few years among the Creeks in eastern Alabama before rejoining the main body in northern Mississippi. After the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830, the Chickasaw ceded their land east of the Mississippi in 1832 and agreed to remove to the Indian Territory. The failure to find suitable land delayed their move until 1837, after which the Chickasaw settled in southeast Oklahoma on land leased from the Choctaw. Their union with the Choctaw was not happy, and in 1854 the Chickasaw separated and relocated to their own territory in south-central Oklahoma. The Chickasaw Nation remained in existence until dissolved in 1906 to allow for Oklahoma statehood. Although many Chickasaw left or merged with the general population after allotment took their lands, 12,000 still live in the vicinity of their tribal headquarters at Ada.


    Although generally the least known of the "Five Civilized Tribes" (Chickasaw, Cherokee , Choctaw, Creek, Seminole), no other tribe played a more significant role in Britain's victory over France for control of North America. Variously described as the "Unconquered and Unconquerable" or the "Spartans of the lower Mississippi Valley," the Chickasaw were the most formidable warriors of the American Southeast, and anyone who messed with them came to regret it, if they survived! British traders from the Carolinas were quick to recognize their prowess in this regard and armed the Chickasaw to the teeth, after which, no combination of the French and their native allies was able to dislodge the Chickasaw from the stranglehold they imposed upon French commerce on the lower Mississippi. The Chickasaw could cut New France in two, which seriously crippled the French in any war with the British. From the high ground overlooking the Mississippi River at Memphis, the Chickasaw took on all comers, including tribes four to five times their size and never lost until they picked the wrong side in the American Civil War. Even then, the Chickasaw Nation was the last Confederate government to surrender to Union forces.

    *          *          *          *

    What follows next is a cross post from *here*.

    By NANETTE LIGHT The Norman Transcript

    NORMAN, Okla. — The Shackleford crew of Lexington is trying to revive the dimmed life expectancy of their native Chickasaw language. They're not alone. The fate of fluency in the Wichita tribe of Oklahoma wavers on the timetable of an 86-year-old woman. "The language of our family was lost in a generation gap," said Keith Shackleford after his four children who are about one-quarter Native American won for their skit performed in their native Chickasaw language in the grade 6 to 12 spoken language category. "We're trying to reclaim that and introduce it to the kids." 

    Recently, 635 children across the state participated in the eighth annual Oklahoma Native American Language Fair — the largest in the country, showcasing 30 different Native languages at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

    Students from public and private language programs competed in a variety of categories such as spoken word, language performance with dance or music, book, poster, Power Point language presentations and language advocacy essays.

    The fair is an opportunity for students to demonstrate progress in their language learning and network with other Native American children, said Mary Linn, associate curator of Native American languages at the museum.

    "If it's cool to speak your native language, then that's one of the most important retention factors," Linn said, adding that while many of the languages have lost fluent speakers, they're being taught by young people lacking textbooks and teaching supplies who are dedicated to restoring the languages' vitality.

    "You get these kids coming in here speaking these languages you've never heard on the face of the Earth," she said.

    Like Juanita Antone of the Wichita tribe's 3- and 4-year-old girls.

    Antone doesn't speak the native language. Regretting her ignorance, she enrolled her children in Kitikiti'sh Little Sisters, an organization that teaches young girls about the Wichita tribe's culture.

    "It helps them know who they are and where they truly come from," she said of her girls' participation in Kitikiti'sh Little Sister, which won third place for its rendition of "Amazing Grace" at the fair in the category of grade 6 to 8 group language with music or dance.

    Antone's confidence in the tribe's prospects, however, wavers. As the tribe struggles to sustain its dying language, Antone said it has lowered its blood quantum so more people can formally claim lineage to the Wichita tribe.

    "I don't think we'll ever have another fluent speaker," she said shaking her head.

    Shackleford, who began studying the Chickasaw language intensely in his adult years and now teaches it to other adults of the tribe, began introducing his smattering of native vocabulary to his five children when they were young.

    "These kids are where it's at," Shackleford said. "If we can get them taught, that'll add on another generation."

    At home, sentences are spoken in a mix of English and Chickasaw, said Shackleford's wife, Mary, adding that it's mainly because they don't know all the words, yet.

    Since the children are homeschooled, Keith Shackleford said he integrates language learning into their academic studying, along with the family's discourse while seated around the dinner table, where the idea was birthed for their winning script — a comedy where the two younger children mocked the 16-year-old twins' driving abilities.

    "They're learning how the language fits into everyday lives. It's not just a list of words," Mary Shackleford said.

    Keith Shackleford said he expects his children, who range in ages from 10 to 19, to surpass his abilities, laughing off notions of his prospects for fluency.

    "It's who we are," 16-year-old Skye Shackleford said matter-of-factly, shrugging her shoulders.

    By NANETTE LIGHT The Norman Transcript

    Read more from this Tulsa World article at

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    What follows next is a video and unfortunately the audio track isn't in sync with the video, but the discussion is about preservation of Chickasaw songs: