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California Indians Encounter Racism

The disastrous experience of the California Indians with white racism found expression in 1902 in the testimony by Cecilio Blaektooth, the “Captain of the Indians” living in Warner Ranch in Southern California to an Indian Commission. His testimony is reproduced in Douglas Monroy, Thrown Among Strangers: The Making of Mexican Culture in Frontier California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), p. 270:

“You see that graveyard over there? There are our fathers and grandfathers. You see that Eagle Nest Mountain and that Rabbit-Hole Mountain? When God made them he gave us this place. We have always been here. We would rather die here. Our fathers did. We cannot leave them. . . .If Harvey Downey says he owns this place, that is wrong. The Indians were [always] here.”

“If you [the Commission] do not buy this place [to make it a pro­tected reservation], we will go into the mountains like quail and die there, the old people and the women and children. Let the government be glad and proud. It can kill us. We do not fight. We do what it says. If we cannot live here, we want to go into those mountains and die.”

One Response to “California Indians Encounter Racism”

  • For those who may be interested, check out this animated PSA to promote ant-racism: It features NBA basketball star Chris Bosh’s voice as well a recording artists Nelly Furtado & LIGHTS among others.
    Help to #EndRacism


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