ONE LITTLE, TWO LITTLE, THREE LITTLE INDIANS

Harry Reid Feels Your Pain

Bonnie’s mother is Navaho (or Navajo, if you prefer). When she had to choose a tribe, Bonnie also chose to be Navaho, so when she had her second little Indian, a lovely girl with masses of black hair, she gave her the wonderful name Nizoni, pronounced ni-ZHON-ee, the Navaho word meaning Beautiful, and beautiful she is. Nizoni was born exactly one year and nine minutes after her older brother, Gavin, so they are real “Irish twins.” Or is that considered a racist term now? Their shared birthday parties are a juggling act, although as long as everything (including the chili) has chocolate in it, Nizoni is happy.

Bonnie’s father is one-half Hopi and a member of that tribe. At Gavin’s Hopi Hair Washing Ceremony, all his direct Hopi relatives (parents, aunts, uncles, etc.) washed his hair and gave him the Hopi name meaning Tadpole. Other members of the tribe are witnesses to the ceremony. At Nizoni’s Hair Washing, being a girl, she was named after the Kachina for cumulus clouds.

Bonnie’s father is also one-half Tewa. His father was the last full-blooded Tewa Indian in Bonnie’s family, and he was the first Indian Platoon leader in the US military. During the closing weeks of WWII, he and the members of his platoon parachuted behind enemy lines in the Phillipines and helped rescue a group of American POW’s who they knew were scheduled for execution by the Japanese within 24 hours. Bonnie’s grandfather was a great man and a great warrior.

When her third little Indian, Soren, was born, she gave him the middle name of Tewa, a lifetime remembrance of his heritage. He was named Little Corn at his Hopi Hair Washing. His mother thinks he’s pretty corny for sure when he’s hungry and yelling for food. He’s nine months old now and seriously considering walking. Since his eyes shine with mischief, Bonnie wonders how she’ll corral him when the time comes and if there’s any sleep in her future.

If you question Bonnie about her heritage she says she prefers to be called an Indian, with no hyphenated anything. That she is a patriotic American is a given. She wishes some Americans would just get over being so phony about their supposed sensitivities and if someone wants to call her a “Redskin”‘ hey, that’s fine with her. She’s proud to be an Indian and hopes the Redskins keep both their pride and their name.

Bonnie’s children belong to a mixed world, for you see she chose a (gasp!)
white guy for a husband. Alex’s roots in America go back only to the Mayflower, so he’s a newcomer to the land. Together Bonnie and her Alex are more concerned about the character, good behavior and toughness of their Three Little Indians than they are about any manufactured hurt feelings. They are, however, not above using Indian culture to make a point.

When Gavin started school this past autumn, he quietly folded his arms and bowed his head over his food at lunch. His teacher told him he was not allowed to do that. He was confused and upset when he told Bonnie and Alex about it because he had been taught at home to always bless his food. His parents very carefully considered their options and what they hoped to accomplish for their son. The next morning Bonnie went to the school and explained that in Hopi culture and tradition it is important to give thanks for the bounty of the earth. Caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place, the school, to be politically correct, bowed to Hopi, not Christian, tradition.

Harry Reid’s evil remarks are both demeaning and insulting to both sides of Bonnie and Alex’s family. Please Harry, everyone’s heard enough from you, just go away.

We are the blessed ones as the Three Little Indians invade our home every day. They giggle as they pull their Papa’s suspenders and kiss the bald spot on his head. He saves himself by bribing them with anything chocolate and calls them his “War Whoops.” The dog loves them with slavish devotion and makes certain they are safe in the yard. They love the dog and tolerate me as they kiss me and call me gramma.

Harry, not a single one of us needs anything from you.

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