There is nothing worse in the world than preciousness in transient self-congratulatory public notices that claim to do one good while punishing another. I’ll give you an example in the guise of: The White Man Indian Giver.
Imagine, if you will a White Man — a White Man in every Racial sense — and not a kind White Man, or a handsome White Man, but a White Man who wears overalls, collects tractors and claims to be the hokey, down-home, folksy voice of a a long-lost agrarian generation.
To solidify his claim on his shallow roots, this White Man purchased land long ago, originally Indian land, in a town that got rid of Native Americans over a hundred years ago — and now that he’s aging, emptying and waddling down the hill instead of climbing up the mountain, this old White Man has decided, in all his false, human, equanimity, to “give his White Man Land” back to the original Indians — who are no longer a part of the community. They all moved out of state!
Oh, but there’s a catch to this preternatural gift — the Indians only get the land back after he and his wife are dead!
Gracious, you think?
Honorable, you wonder?
“Hogwash,” say I!
The White Man is a double-faced and double-standard phony.
If, as he now claims, he feels such a cultural tug with the Indians to “do the right thing” and give them back their land that he purchased — he’d do it right now.
Set history right against a wrongful injustice right now — but, nope — that ain’t happening. The White Man will keep his land for as long as he can and only give it back upon the terms of his death.
What sort of gift is that — deeded by the dead — and not celebrated by the living?
Can one claim, as the White Man tries to do in the newspaper interview, that he has won a moral victory in the gutlessness of a hollow totem?
What this “death gift” really does is cheat the suffering children of the White Man who should rightfully inherit his land: Screw the kids and celebrate the Indians as he becomes “The White Man Indian Giver” against his offspring.
Is it better to give back land you should have never owned in the first place, or is it better to turn over the deeds of your life to those who are vested — both genetically and politically — who are, thus forced to follow in your footfalls?
If the White Man wants a real legacy — and not a false one sought to seek immediate publicity and to enhance his afterlife reputation — the White Man should give up his land right now to the Indians, or he should turn it over to his children and let them give back the land in his name if they so choose to do so. To do otherwise is to create a tainted gift with a mouldering intention.
I imagine the first question the White man would ask is : Well that’s very nice of us, but then where are we going to live?
Well, Gordon, I’d answer the White Man with two questions: “If you feel a wrong has been done — and you seek publicity for your role in the righting — how can you wait one moment extra to right the wrong? How does waiting for your death and your wife’s death make right what you know know is wrong right now?”
I would then add, “Where you live can be of no issue — righting the wrong requires you to move into another house, or a grave — if you want the credit for being such a sacrificial guy in your lifetime.”