LAIR OF HUNTERBEAR [Updating Report]
hunterbadbear at earthlink.net
Fri Feb 8 12:06:13 MST 2002
This is the first up-dating news on our very large Lair of Hunterbear social
justice website that we've issued for a number of months. We have added a
great deal indeed to it. At this point, it contains about 150 pages with
many more component items. We've recently extended our legal claim to the
name -- www.hunterbear.org -- for five more years. Attacked frequently by
hackers, we are very well protected by top state-of-the-art-technology.
Now two years old, we're getting about 1500 hits a week from all over the
United States and Canada -- and the world.
It's like a vast expanding mine -- and we are constantly working in various
shafts and drifts. But instead of taking ore out, we are always adding and
finessing, updating, tightening and clarifying.
There are many additions -- covering a very wide range: the urgent,
contemporary fight for full civil rights and full civil liberties and for
peace/with/justice and justice/with/peace. There is much new material on
Native Americans, radical labor history [e.g., IWW and Mine-Mill], my
involvement in the Southern Movements [especially Mississippi and the
Northeastern North Carolina Black-Belt], organizing [ e.g., Chicago and
up-state New York, Navajo Nation and North Dakota], our current Idaho
situation -- and vastly more. And there are some additional pages from my
FBI file [recovered years ago via FOIA/PA] and from the old Mississippi
State Sovereignty Commission.
Here is a very small sampling:
A] We've just yesterday added a special page -- Native American Commission
I'm the enthusiastic Chair of that brand-new, developing component of the
Socialist Party -- and this page will contain material directly relevant to
that. It's certainly likely that it'll expand very rapidly.
I continue, of course, to work congenially with DSA Anti-Racism and the
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism -- each of which is
linked into our Site as we are to those.
B] The personal background narrative relating to me and my family and our
Native American [and Western frontier] background -- and my activism and
publications -- has been significantly expanded.
C] We have a very new, full page [with a couple of illustrations of
defense materials] relating to one of the most infamous and hideous Red
Scare efforts to union-bust and strike-break:
D] Some of the more dramatic strains in my own Native American genealogy --
and several events relating to the turbulent Rocky Mountain fur trade of the
early into middle 19th century -- are covered by material focusing on my
great/great/great grandparents, John Gray [Mohawk] and Marienne Neketichon
Related to this dimension is our new page dealing with the Mohawk origins
of our name, Gray.
E] Our Website cover, the very first page -- www.hunterbear.org -- has
The Index [Directory] provides a full listing of everything in the Site --
plus a number of announcements and special postings.
F] Our current -- often hostile, frequently weird -- Idaho situation is
G] Many of my discussion list postings have been expanded, refined, and
published in our Site. A few examples:
Personal Reminiscence: North Carolina and Jesse Helms
Reflections on Finns and Finnish-Americans
Handling the Klan on Easter Sunday -- 1965
Owls and Indians -- and Some Radicals Who Are Neither
In addition, and these have been publicized separately not long ago, I have
done two new Native American articles and they're in the section: NATIVE
AMERICANS AND THE NEW CENTURY: TWO NEW ARTICLES FOR STRUGGLE, ORGANIZING,
FIGHTING, AND VICTORY
Finally, about a year ago, Professor Roy Wortman, History, Kenyon College,
Gambier, Ohio, published his brace of very long essays: one on me [who he's
known for decades] and one on Dave Warren of Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico.
These appeared in the excellent Journal of Indigenous Thought -- sponsored
by one of Canada's largest Native colleges: Saskatchewan Indian Federated
College. Here's introductory and lead-in material -- plus links:
by Neal McLeod & Rob Nestor
Saskatchewan Indian Federated College [Winter 2001]
The Journal of Indigenous Thought continues in this issue to document the
intellectual, philosophical, religious and narrative traditions of
Indigenous people throughout the world. The current issue draws upon the
insights of the work of several people, including Dr. Roy Wortman (Kenyon
College), Christine Watson (Saskatchewan Indian Federated College), Solomon
Ratt (Saskatchewan Indian Federated College), and Neal McLeod (Saskatchewan
Indian Federated College). All of the pieces contained within this journal
point to the dynamic nature of Indigenous intellectual/ narrative
traditions, with a play between traditions and contemporary realities being
Dr. Wortman's pieces, "Telling Their Own Stories, Building Their Own
Strength: Dr. Dave Warren on Framing and Imparting American Indian History"
and " 'I Consider Myself a Real Red' : The Social Thought of American Civil
Rights Organizer John (Salter) Hunter Gray" explore the work and lives of
two prominent Native Americans. Wortman in the two pieces engages in a
thoughtful dialogue with both Warren and Gray with neither being an
"informant" or an "object of research." Rather, the words and thoughts of
both are conveyed through the interviews which have been skillfully edited
by Wortman. Furthermore, the interviews are placed within a larger
interpretative framework with references to other contexts and situations
which amplify the words and contributions of both Warren and Gray.
In the essay, " ' I Consider Myself a Real Red'," important points of
contrast are drawn between the experience of Black Americans and the civil
rights movement and the attempt of Native Americans to hold on to their
identity in the wake of the pressures of assimilation: "Where Black
Americans sought to become part of the broader United States society,
American Indians sought to remain as much as possible apart from that sphere
because of their historical and legal traditions based on treaties" (p. 7).
The achievements of Gray demonstrate the challenges of trying to balance the
need to maintain identity within the rubric of collective minority as well
as the need to participate within the larger society. Perhaps, it is through
ambiguity that emerges in this attempt to navigate various cultural and
political frameworks, that Gray denounces essentialism. Instead, Gray holds
that cultures are essentially an organic, fluid activity, but at the same
need a real material/ physical grounding such as that found in Treaty rights
(e.g. access to land base) and of the economic contexts that people find
Roy Wortman and David Warren explore important issues of historiography
within the context of Native American history in the paper "Telling Their
Own Story, Building Their Own Strengths: Dr. David Warren on Framing and
Imparting American Indian History." Given the rise of more writings about
Native American history by Native American writers, the discussion of these
issues is certainly timely. David Warren's contribution to the Native
American history perhaps rests in seeing "oral traditions of a tribal group
as a living source as a much as a document" (p. 6). Thus, instead of Native
American culture and history existing only in the past as collections of
relics waiting to be catalogued and preserved, Native American culture and
history is rather a living process in a constant state of development. Like
Gray, Warren is also suspicious of essentialistic cultural discourses, and
urges historians to engage in multi-layered studies of collective historical
"I Consider Myself a Real Red:"
The Social Thought of American Civil Rights Organizer John R. (Salter)
by Roy T. Wortman, Department of History, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio
"Thanks to you and a few others we now have a much better state. We owe to
you a debt that obviously won't ever get paid, except in the devalued
currency of kind thoughts and appreciative words from those of us who have
some understanding of what you stood for and were motivated by."
---William F. Winter, Jackson, Mississippi, letter to John R. Salter, Nov.
21, 1990. Winter was governor of Mississippi, 1980 - 84. During the
desegregation battles in the 1960s, while a state official, Winter
courageously remained in a minority by refusing to join the White Citizens
Council which endorsed segregation. Copies of letter in the Salter Papers,
Social Action Archives, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin;
and in Salter Papers, Mississippi Department of Archives and History,
"I consider myself a Real Red. In addition to being a half - breed Indian, I
belonged, in the 1950s, to the last of the really old-time Industrial
Workers of the World and I was also an International Union of Mine, Mill &
Smelter Workers man."
"I've been a social justice agitator all my life and I always will be one: a
radical.... I very strongly believe, from my basic roots, that, if you're
going to really believe in something, make it something that serves humanity
in a deep and enduring sense and not simply something that serves only
---John R. (Salter) Hunter Gray, Manuscript letter to the author, February
See the essay on Salter/Gray
Or see the entire Winter 2001 issue of the Journal of Indigenous Thought
In Solidarity -
Hunter Gray [Hunterbear]
www.hunterbear.org (social justice)
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