Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Montoliu: Kelseyville won't allow meaningful change

Looking at the action Native people took to get the name of the Kelseyville high school mascot changed, a normal human being sees pain, a pain that also bears the fancy name of intergenerational post traumatic disorder, and from which many genocide survivors, such as Jewish people, suffer.


This pain began around 1848 in Lake County, just about the time despicable individuals like Kelsey and Stones came to get rich at the expense of local Native people, who through murder, forced starvation, enslavement, disease and massacres had lost at least 50,000 of their own by 1870 ... not to mention dispossession or the loss of land and cultural resources, as well as decades of forced assimilation or acculturation.


In the face of this very real pain, how does the majority of Kelseyville residents react 150 years later?


The Kelseyville residents, as a people and culture, have no pain of their own that can compare to what the Pomo people were made to endure. All they prove to have is a pettiness which reveals an underlying persistent current of ignorance and mean-spiritedness, doing all in their power to revert to the old mascot name.


Kelseyville beats South Dakota in racism. South Dakota, long one of the most racist states in the nation in its dealing with Native people, found the courage to replace Columbus Day with Native American Day.


Kelseyville has neither the courage nor the generosity of heart to allow a change that is meaningful to the Pomos of Lake County, and shames California and this nation.


Raphael Montoliu lives in Lakeport.


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