PO Box 24009
Phoenix, AZ 85074
From Selma to Phoenix, from Civil Rights to Human Rights,
Indigenous Rights and the Rights of Mother Earth!
Message to Selma
2012 Bridge Crossing Jubilee
C/O Faya Rose Touré
February 13, 2012
C/O Faya Rose Touré
February 13, 2012
It was a great honor to receive Mr. Bruce Carver Boynton and his wife Betty here in Phoenix last month upon the community screening of the PBS documentary film “Freedom Riders”. When we looked upon the scenes of “Bloody Sunday” March 7, 1965 on the Edmund Pettus bridge we also were brought to anguish once again in recollection of the trauma and injuries which we as Indigenous Peoples have suffered at the hands of “officers of the law” that implement with state sanctioned violence the doctrines of “white” supremacy and racial discrimination going back to October 12, 1492.
As Indigenous Peoples, we are not immigrants in our own continent, and we know through our millennial history that what is now known as the state of Alabama was in the not too distant past part of a vast cultural confederacy based on the practice of maize agriculture which has its deepest roots in the central part of Anahuac, Mexico. The anthropologists call them the “Mound Builders”, but to us they are our ancestors and relatives. We are speaking of histories that through the same mechanisms of state sanctioned violence, in this case intellectual violence, have been denied and denigrated in the US Public School system in order to enhance and establish the “Racial Profile” of America as a country of constituencies whose only legal, political, cultural, and economic superstructures could be validated and officialized by the European American narrative of colonization and empire.
Before the 1830 Indian Removal Act, President Andrew Jackson told the Muscogee Creeks of Alabama:
“Beyond the great River Mississippi, where apart of your nation has gone, your Father has provided a country large enough for all of you, and he advises you to remove to it. There your white brothers will not trouble you; they will have no claim to the land, and you can live upon it you and all your children, as long as the grass grows or the water runs, in peace and plenty. It will be yours forever.”
Relatives, we are sending this message of “trouble” to you now from far beyond the Mississippi, beyond the “Red Man’s Land” of Oklahoma. Today we send this message to Selma, Alabama from Phoenix, Arizona knowing that the ancestral ties that at one time linked both of these ancient territories of indigenous cultural identity as Nations of Mother Earth, also tie us to each other through the Spirit of Maize to all our relations of all other continents of the planet. Here in Arizona we are undergoing a the Wakeup Call from the Nightmare of Manifest Destiny as we face the juggernaut of ethnic cleansing that became US Policy in 1830 with the Indian Removal Act, which then set the stage for the US invasion of Mexico and the imposition by force of the border by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (US-Mexico 1848).
With the passage of AZ SB1070 in 2010, and then AZ HB2281, the process of ethnic cleansing by state legislative actions that are openly being described as a “war of attrition” set the stage for what is now AL HB56 and other similar initiatives by state legislatures across the country to insert themselves into the federal realm of immigration policy by enacting legislation that criminalizes migrant workers and their families in blatant violation of Civil Rights, Human Rights, and Indigenous Rights. In the background of these initiatives, in criminal collusion, are the private prison industry and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Koch brothers funded project.
On January 25, 2012 when Mr. Bruce Boynton intervened on our behalf before the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors by testifying and submitting as Evidence of Right the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (adopted by the General Assembly on September 13, 2007) a new chapter in our intercontinental struggle for social justice and self-determination began. Now we turn to you in Selma and call upon your courage and consideration to take our struggle into account as we also honor and celebrate your fight for Civil Rights within the societies of the Americas. To emphasize, for us the African American experience is not limited to the “African-United Statesian” frame for we know and have met with communities and leaders of the African American constituencies in Mexico, in Panama, in Ecuador, in Bolivia and across the entire continent of Abya Yala [the Americas], and in Africa as well.
It is an honor to receive the invitation to participate in the 2012 commemoration celebration of the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma, Alabama. We graciously accept, and will be in communication to plan out the strategy and logistics of our “Freedom Ride” to Selma and back to Phoenix. May we meet soon, and continue on our journey united as children of the Nations and Pueblos of Mother Earth:
From Civil Rights to Human Rights, Indigenous Rights and the
Rights of Mother Earth!
Tupac Enrique Acosta, Yaotachcauh
Embassy of Indigenous Peoples