The Anarchy Gauntlet is a column attempting to move away from my more traditional Marxist-themed articles to a framework centered around anarchism, which better reflects my beliefs. Anarchism advocates for the end to unjustified hierarchies, from boss-worker relations to even parent-child dynamics as we know them. Anarchists believe in the same post-capitalism, communist society as other far-left groups but differs in the practice and means of achieving that society. These ideas of anarchism will be inherent throughout these articles.
I swear this article has something to do with anarchism. As I wrote last week, in “Anarchism vs. White Supremacy Part I,” anarchism shares many values with the Indigenous Movement. Therefore, as an anarchist, I try to fight alongside my Indigenous comrades whenever possible and necessary.
All that being said, Monday, Oct. 12, is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a day of celebrating Indigeneity and the resilience, diversity and beauty of our Indigenous communities. There will even be an article written by Lawrence University Native American Organization LUNA (LUNa) published in this very edition of the Lawrentian promoting the event hosted at LU. So, what is the problem?
As of this writing, a confidential source of mine has notified me that the article in question will not receive front-page coverage as is the norm with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
This is a mistake. Indigenous voices have been and continue to be marginalized, even in the presence of so-called “Diversity Initiatives™” which look good to boards of directors and alumni associations but have thus far failed to create meaningful change for actual students. This problem is endemic to Lawrence more generally, so it is no surprise that this happens with The Lawrentian as well.
Whether it is misrepresenting events like Cultural Expressions or Indigenous Peoples’ Day or giving a greater platform to LU administrators than students of diverse backgrounds, there is much to change.
Now you might be thinking, “Does this really matter? It’s just an article. You’re just a sensitive snowflake.” Well, it really is important. As I mentioned, Indigenous voices are continuously and historically marginalized. On top of that, Indigenous Peoples’ Day is the one day of the year LUNA gets to really shine at Lawrence.
Though I think we should be continuously celebrating Indigeneity, that is really what it is: a time for LUNA to celebrate its own members and all sorts of Indigenous communities around turtle island. There is a lot of energy, time and planning that goes into this celebration, and it is unfair for it to be sidelined into a subsection of the newspaper.
Front-page articles hardly go unnoticed. There is an aura of urgency and importance to them that the newspaper’s innards simply lack. Publishing Indigenous People’s Day on the front page shows a real sense of priority and commitment to supporting LUNA.
What does it mean for The Lawrentian to step down from taking the initiative just a week after the student protests calling Lawrence University out for its failure to meaningfully support its most marginalized students? You tell me.
For me, Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a day of reflection, learning, and celebration — reflection on all the atrocities committed against Indigenous communities by the U.S. and its institutions and how that history leaks into our student body, faculty, staff and administration; learning about the cultural practices and beliefs of various Indigenous groups; and a celebration of the resilience and solidarity of the Indigenous Movement and its people.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is not a one-time event but, rather, a reaffirmation of Indigenous rights and sovereignty. Whether that involves educating oneself about the coup of Indigenous leaders — i.e. Evo Morales of Bolivia — and disappeared/murdered Indigenous women or fighting alongside Native students for their voices to be heard, the struggle is ongoing. Power to the people.