Sunday, June 22, 2014

Settler aggression is now: a letter from Linda Hogan

Linda Hogan, a Chickasaw, a wonderful and celebrated poet whose vision of nature is alive, a faculty member at Boulder who went back to work with her people in Oklahoma, and author most recently, of Dark, Sweet: new and collected poems (July, 2014) here, sent me this powerful letter about settler aggression right to this moment (study Pine Ridge as the poorest community in the nation and you will also understand many implications of this...):

"Let me tell you a brief story about our removal from Mississippi. The settlers moved in before we were even out of our homes. Then my own grandparents lost everything to squatters and thieves.

Now I am in the same position. A home for sale in Oklahoma. Me paying house payments. Realtor dishonest and fraudulent. Her son the attorney and closer. I discover the people who signed to buy it in Feb. are living there and not paying rent. I am stuck paying house payments while I own the property stolen by realtor.

It continues. Same history. I have been trying to fight it and can't. Realtor knows I know what she is and won't respond to calls or emails. Going there, what would I accomplish? Tentative closings set over and over. No hope. It is the same thing my ancestors experienced and it continues. I am the child of all this loss and experiencing it first hand with no one to help. No attorneys will go that far away, to southeastern rural Oklahoma, and the attorney and asst DA in town is her son! Even the FBI doesn't want to handle it. So let's talk about settler aggression. It is not the Sand Creek Massacre with vigilante volunteers off the streets of Denver. For that I have to be grateful.


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