How is it exactly that we walk around as non-Native Americans and have made ourselves feel okay about conditions for Native Americans? The Native Americans I meet on a daily basis are on the streets. Many of them are disabled or alcoholic or both.

In the wars of old, you wipe a native population off the face of the Earth, or you move them to another country and you never see them again. But that didn't happen. Something equally weird and incredibly, unbelievably, inconceivably cruel and horrible happened instead, and we don't even know how to talk about it. We were opposed to Apartheid in the eighties without ever looking inward. Amazing.

This came to first attention because the mother of my Christian Children's fund kid wrote to me about an Indian Day they have in Brazil. I wouldn't even know how to have an Indian Day here. How would you even start? What would I do? Pack up and go back to Ireland? Stupid. Send flowers? Insulting. Both extremes seem ridiculous. This is something to meditate on and research, I can see that.

Someone told me we do have a Native American Day here, as a way of appropriating Columbus Day. I'll have to find out what celebrations take place and what I can do.