Hillary Clinton as Walking Eagle

Hillary Clinton as Walking Eagle


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



If Hillary receives the Democratic nomination, the gloves will be off.  The Republicans will not

be as gentlemanly as Obama has been.   They will throw the kitchen sink at her,

including Whitewater,  the Chicago Commodities speculations, the Bosnia lies, Vincent Foster.  



Hillary Clinton as Walking Eagle

A “Native American” Tale


True story . . . Senator Hillary Clinton was invited to address a major gathering of The American Indian Nation two weeks ago in upper New York State.  She spoke for almost an hour on her future plans for increasing every Native American’s present standard of living, should she one day become the first female President.

She referred to her career as a New York Senator, how she had signed ‘YES,’ for every Indian issue that came to her desk for approval. Although the Senator was vague on the details of  her plan, she seemed most enthusiastic about her future ideas for helping her ‘red sisters and brothers’. At the conclusion of her speech, the Tribes presented the Senator with a plaque inscribed with her new Indian name—Walking Eagle. The proud Senator then departed in her motorcade, waving to the crowds. A news reporter later inquired of the group of chiefs of how they had come to select the new name given to the Senator. They explained that Walking Eagle is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly.—Renee Gaines

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The urban legend that President Bush (or Hillary Clinton) was given the name “Walking Eagle” is an urban legend.  Follow the link: Urban Legends. Whenever a story seems “too good to be true,” it probably is—Wilson

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Other Websites on Walking Eagle

It All Started with John Kerry as the Butt of the Republicans’ Joke Snopes From Truth or Fiction? Truth or Fiction Yahoo News [A Year Old Indian Joke re Hillary] Answers.yahooHillary Clinton Jokes No Hillary for President But Go Ahead—You Decide! http://www.Soda Head But Believe It—It’s a Bloody Joke! Forums All the Urban Legends We’ve already Passed Off as truth or Rumor Urban Legends

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Native Americans and the Trickster Tradition

The so-called red people, of which I am one by 1/16th, never trust pale faces. The trickster figure of many original nations, Coyote, like African tricksters Fox and “Bre’er Rabbit,” always play tricks like the “Walking Eagle” trick the Seneca played on Clinton.

The Kiowa Comanche of southwestern Oklahoma are legendary for verbally responding to pale faced politicians’ remarks with shouts of “wakalatonga!” One such visiting politician, after such an enthusiastically greeted speech, gingerly avoided the numerous cow piles in the pasture where he held the rally. He remarked to his guide about the cattle dung, and his guide replied, “Yes. Be sure not to step in the wakalatonga!”—Ralph

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Universality of Tricksters

Dear Rudy, 

The first trickster legend I ever learned was, naturally, Brer Rabbit.   But by the time I was in fifth grade, I had become aware of Heracles, Pericles, and Ulysses.  In high school, I learned about Wagner, so naturally the Germanic God Loki became another favorite.    Everyone knows Chaucer’s retelling of the European folktale of Chanticleer and Reynard.  Signifying Monkey is a mixture of West African and the same European legend that Chaucer adapted in the Nun’s Priest’s tale.  My mother introduced me to le Roman de Reynard, whose foxy hero appears in Ellison’s Invisible Man, where Rinehart reincarnates Reynard.  

One reason the Walking Eagle joke is so successful is that Hillary, with her escapades on the Chicago commodity exchange and at Whitewater is already known as a trickster, and we particularly enjoy a joke based on the idea that the trickster gets tricked.   In the case of Brer Rabbit, the trickster is fooled by Brer Fox’s clever hoax of the Tar Baby, but Reynard the Fox is fooled by the wily fox, with his story about the briar patch.  Bugs Bunny is a reincarnation of Brer Rabbit.

If Hillary receives the Democratic nomination, the gloves will be off.  The Republicans will not be as gentlemanly as Obama has been.   They will throw the kitchen sink at her, including Whitewater, the Chicago Commodities speculations, the Bosnia lies, Vincent Foster.   Her White House “experience” will be as much a liability as an asset at that point, and the world will appreciate for the first time how Obama pulled his punches.—Wilson

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That sounds wonderful, so much so that I’m inclined to ask Obama to step aside. But I pull back from the more devilish side of my personality. All of Hillary’s elitist and hypocritical behavior will be over in a few months. This episode of primary politics will be reduced to a paragraph in high school text books and will be seen with little significance of how racism of a presidential family became exposed.—Rudy

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Airing Dirty Laundry

In ethnic subterfuge from whatever side, one can always find an individual of a particular race to say things nonsensical, idiotic, and hurtful, as is now being shown by the Clintons in the 2008 primaries. Finding someone to belittle and exploit has been going on since the beginning of time, as we know from the Cain and Abel story. But the commercial media and its millionaires love and thrive on such “racial” conflict.

Here’s a concluding statement by Ishmael Reed in his book Airing Dirty Laundry (1993):

“The complex racial background of those who are referred to as black Americans has seldom been submitted to serious scrutiny. One could understand why the Identity Crisis nonfiction is a popular genre among assimilated intellectuals, but the fact that I could obtain as much information as I did for only $100 indicates that Identity Crisis intellectuals aren’t seriously interested in discovering their roots, or are afraid of what they might find.”

[Look at Jeremiah Wright, he looks more Italian than a Nigerian black or a Sudanese black. . . .  Reed hired a genealogical expert and found he had Irish men on both sides of his family. One Irish friend who invited him to an Irish gathering dubbed him an Irish poet. That same writer said if one drop of black blood makes you black, why wouldn’t one drop make you Irish. That’s how idiotic the whole racial matter is in America and how easily race is used to generate racial conflict here in America.

We know that Skip Gates, author of The Signifying Monkey, has now made a business out of race by chasing down individual DNA African connections with his (The Root), while de-emphasizing the white and Indian DNA his customers possess. He has established  this Afrocentric enterprise through a relationship with the Washington Post. Afrocentrics and other “black” intellectuals and “black” celebrities allow him to escape unscathed. Why? Because he’s at Harvard and a “successful” Negro. Being a millionaire, one can do no wrong, especially when you are doing it to blacks who have been programmed for such exploitation.

On the other hand, if there were millions of dollars in being black (as in reparations), according to Charles Siler (in one of his political cartoons), America would be a black man’s country.]

Reed continues:

“Besides, millions of dollars are involved in continuing the black-white polarization. Think of all of the journalists and op-ed writers, along with the profit-feeding media, that would be out of business were there a fresh and revised look at race in America. If one allows the Native American ancestry of blacks, then W.E.B. DuBois’s theory of double consciousness, which has thrilled black intellectuals for decades, would fold.

“I still haven’t pieced together all of the strains of my identity, but I’m much closer than I was before that day when I decided to ask my grandmother about her father, and his father. I know now why it took me so long to ask her the question. I also know that there’s no such thing as Black America or White America, two nations, with two separate bloodlines. America is a land of distant cousins” (“Distant Cousins,” p. 273).

We on all sides should cut out the racist and provocative rhetoric. There’s really nothing that we can discern by the color of the skin that is worthwhile. There’s just too much generalization on who’s who beneath the skin.

The Indian folktale “Walking Eagle” that includes Hillary and others is a shorthand of how too many of us are involved in the racial business, while the rich gets richer. For instance, how many know Hillary is on the board of Wal-Mart, the union buster, while she’s behaving in Ohio and Pennsylvania as if she is a staunch supporter of the working man and woman. We are led to the question: “Who is tricking whom?” More ink and air time have been spent on her gender than on her corporate connections. These facts seem to be much more important than she is a “white woman” trying to be the first female president of the United States.—Rudy

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Corporate vs Grassroots, Global Feminism—The sense of progress unraveling is profound. “What happened to the perspective that the failures of feminism lay in pandering to racism, to everyone nodding that these were fatal mistakes—how is it that all that could be jettisoned?” asks Crenshaw, who co-wrote a piece with Eve Ensler on the Huffington Post called “Feminist Ultimatums: Not in Our Name.” Crenshaw says that, appalled as she is by the sexism toward Clinton, she found herself stunned by some of the arguments pro-Hillary feminists were making. “There is a myopic focus on the aspiration of having a woman in the White House—perhaps not any woman, but it seems to be pretty much enough that she be a Democratic woman.” This stance, says Crenshaw, “is really a betrayal.”

Frances Kissling, the former president of Catholics for a Free Choice, attributes this go-for-broke attitude to the mindset of corporate feminism. “There’s a way in which feminists who have been seriously engaged in electoral politics for a long time, the institutional DC feminist leadership, they are just with Hillary Clinton come hell or high water. I think they have accepted, as she has accepted, a similar career trajectory. They are not uncomfortable with what has gone on in the campaign, because they see electoral campaigns as mere instruments for getting elected. This is just the way it is. We have to get elected.”

The implications of all this for the future of feminism depend significantly on the outcome of the primary, says Kissling. “If Clinton wins, the older-line women’s movement will continue; it will be a continuation of power for them. If she doesn’t win, it will be a death knell for those people. And that may be a good thing–that a younger generation will start to take over.”

Many younger women, indeed, have responded to the admonishments of their pro-Hillary second-wave elders by articulating a sophisticated political orientation that includes feminism but is not confined to it. They may support Obama, but they still abhor the sexism Clinton has faced. And they detect—and reject—a tinge of sexism among male peers who have developed man-crushes on the dashing senator from Illinois. “Even while they voice dismay over the retro tone of the pro-Clinton feminist whine, a growing number of young women are struggling to describe a gut conviction that there is something dark and funky, and probably not so female-friendly, running below the frantic fanaticism of their Obama-loving compatriots,” wrote Rebecca Traister in Salon.

It’s not just young feminists who have taken such a nuanced view. Calling themselves Feminists for Peace and Obama, 1,500 prominent progressive feminists—including Kissling, Barbara Ehrenreich and this magazine’s Katha Pollitt—signed on to a statement endorsing him and disavowing Clinton’s militaristic politics. “Issues of war and peace are also part of a feminist agenda,” they declared.

In some sense, this is a clarifying moment as well as a wrenching one. For so many years, feminists have been engaged in a pushback against the right that has obscured some of the real and important differences among them. “Today you see things you might not have seen. It’s clearer now about where the lines are between corporate feminism and more grassroots, global feminism,” says Crenshaw. Women who identify with the latter movement are saying, as she puts it, “‘Wait a minute, that’s not the banner we are marching under!'”  Feminist Obama supporters of all ages and hues, meanwhile, are hoping that he comes out of this bruising primary with his style of politics intact.—The Nation

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The Shadows of Youth

The Remarkable Journey of the Civil Rights Generation

By Andrew B. Lewis

With deep admiration and rigorous scholarship, historian Lewis (Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table) revisits the ragtag band of young men and women who formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Impatient with what they considered the overly cautious and accommodating pace of the NAACP and Martin Luther King Jr., the black college students and their white allies, inspired by Gandhi’s principles of nonviolence and moral integrity, risked their lives to challenge a deeply entrenched system. Fanning out over the Jim Crow South, SNCC organized sit-ins, voter registration drives, Freedom Schools and protest marches. Despite early successes, the movement disintegrated in the late 1960s, succeeded by the militant Black Power movement. The highly readable history follows the later careers of the principal leaders. Some, like Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown, became bitter and disillusioned. Others, including Marion Barry, Julian Bond and John Lewis, tempered their idealism and moved from protest to politics, assuming positions of leadership within the very institutions they had challenged. According to the author, No organization contributed more to the civil rights movement than SNCC, and with his eloquent book, he offers a deserved tribute.—

Publishers Weekly

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W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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posted 27 April 2008




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