Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Generation of Broken Hearts

There are somethings in this world I don't think I will ever understand. And then there are things that scare the hell out of me. Such a thing occurred again, this week, but this time it was nearby.

I don't know anyone from the Red Lake reservation. I have never been there, and I really have no reason to ever go there. I have no first hand knowledge of the place, but I know its reputation among local white people.

Deserved or not, Red Lake's reputation is that of a tough place, unfriendly and off limits to white people. A place where the state's police have no jurisdiction. There are stories I've heard over the years, true or not I do not know, about white people who have been imprisoned at Red Lake for driving through the reservation and having car problems, the state of Minnesota powerless to help because Red Lake is sovereign. There's a story of a man who flew his plane onto Red Lake to ice fish, and had it "stolen" by the tribe because white people are not allowed access to tribal waters. There are several stories I've heard from people who work at a local hospital who say that they've cared for Red Lake tribespeople who where brutally beaten by gangs on the reservation.

Maybe these stories are false. I can't say with certainty.

I'm sure there are wonderful people at Red Lake, just as I have met wonderful people all over the world. Surely none of them deserved the pain of what happened there this week.

"It (Red Lake) just resurfaces feelings that we had with Columbine," said Beth Nimmo, whose daughter, Rachel Scott, was among the 13 victims at the school in suburban Denver. "The truth is we've got a generation of broken hearts."

Now we know that brokens hearts occur across all races. Sick youth can be White. Black. Red. Yellow. Green. Something is sickening our childlren, creating a "generation of broken hearts," and its not a white thing, a red thing, a yellow thing, or a black thing. Its something that all of us together, as a nation and a world, need to take responsbility for. Even if it did happen at Red Lake.

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