Like everyone, I have some New Year's resolutions that I probably won't keep but which are worth making anyway.
1. I resolve to be nicer to my husband.
2. I resolve to exercise more and lose another 20 pounds so I will be at a healthy weight for my height. Knowing I'm still in sudden early heart attack range makes me a little nervous.
3. I resolve to try to enjoy every moment with The Precious, because she is growing up faster than I can keep up with. I don't want to miss anything!
4. I resolve to finish reading Les Miserables.
5. I resolve to post more often! I have really let this blog go lately.
6. I resolve to make time to write--I will never be an author if I never finish a single book or story!
Besides resolutions, though, I have some wishes. Obviously, the easiest thing to do would be to wish for peace on Earth, an end to hunger and poverty and disease. But that is pretty idealistic to say the least, and hard to accomplish in a year's time. So I have been thinking and come up with some realistic wishes--changes that actually could be affected in a year's time that would make the world a better place.
I wish for the end of racism towards Native Americans, of misrepresentation of their beliefs and lives.
I would like to see one Native American actor or actress with his/her own television show by next year. You may say there are already Native Americans on television. Sometimes there are, yes. Every time I see one, he or she is introduced for one episode only to talk about the destruction of the environment while flute music plays in the background, possibly with some mysterious mood lighting. There may also be some broad statements regarding spirituality and oneness with the Earth. And then, when this person is cleared of murder (to be suspects in murder mysteries seems to be the main function of the Native American characters beyond the environmental message), you will see him or her no more. I think that is ridiculous. In an age where tv shows and even commercials seem to go out of their way to provide a carefully chosen cast of "ethnic" friends to the point that it can be funny, Native Americans are still not included. Indian-Americans on television? I immediately think of Raj on The Big Bang Theory but I know there are more. American-Indians on television? Nope. Ditto the movies, unless we are talking about racist monstrosities such as The Lone Ranger. So, in 2014, I want to see a television show starring and focusing on a realistic, modern Native American character played by an actual Native American (NOT JOHNNY DEPP!). A movie would be great too...how about making Sherman Alexie's award-winning novel My Life as a Part-Time Indian into a film?
And while we're at it, let's make 2014 the year we remove offensive Native American mascots from sports and replace them with tigers, crocodiles, bandicoots--I really don't care so long as it stops being caricatures of Native Americans!
This could be the year that we choose not to dress in cheap imitation Native American clothing for Halloween. If no one buys the costumes, the companies will stop offering them.
I would like this to be the year that we celebrate the heritage and history of the people who were murdered systematically by our country. Let's have some publicity about Native American History Month in November. I didn't even know there was one until I googled it.
I would be overjoyed to see Andrew Jackson, the only president in our history to disobey the Supreme Court's ruling (in order to murder Native Americans), removed from our currency. Genocidal maniacs, no matter how important their contributions to the economic and political structure, do not belong on our money.
We have choices. We can choose to be a country that continues to make fun of the people it has slaughtered and kept in poverty, or we can start trying to make amends. I think we are totally capable of making the right choice. Instead of repeating stereotypes we were taught as kids, why don't we find out the truth for ourselves?Let's start learning about life on the reservations and find our own ways to make a difference there.
I would love to see 2014 become the year that America extended its famous helping hand to the first Americans of all. We can do this, people! As I find useful information, I will share it on this blog. If you have ideas, please post them in the comments!