Nearly 30 years ago I wrote an opinion piece that ended with, "We are human beings and not mascots for America's fun and games." That year Vernon Bellecourt and Michael Haney (both are now deceased) appeared at the opening game in Cleveland of the Cleveland Indians baseball team carrying a huge placard that read, "We are human beings and not mascots for America's fun and games." Vernon and Michael became friends of mine after that, and during the years we protested the use of Indians as mascots around the country.
My granddaughter will be 7 years old in October. Like many children that age, she is bright and she is inquisitive. Her name is Juneau. Case in point: She posed this question to her grandmother, "Is the world coming to an end?" Her grandmother was a bit taken Aback by this inquiry and responded, "I don't know the answer to that; only God knows." As quick as a whip Juneau quipped, "What about Google?" "Out of the mouths of babes," might be applicable here. Or as Art Linkletter posed it, "Kids say the darndest things!" But it has to make the average person stop and think.
As a long-time journalist, author and dreamer, I dream -- dreams that will never be fulfilled, but they are dreams I know are not impossible, tiny dreams on the big scale that is America. For example, if I had the billions of dollars of a Warren Buffett or a Bill Gates, there are so many things I would do. First of all, I would try to improve the lives of the poorest people in America, the Oglala Lakota Oyate (People) on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where I was born, raised and educated.