Real Life

 In Navajo land outside Thoreau, NM in 2015

In Navajo land outside Thoreau, NM in 2015

Water supplies for Native American men, women and children living today on tribal lands are not stable and certainly not guaranteed. Progress is coming but slowly. Yet sports teams, fans and big business profit from appropriation of tribal imagery and culture. What can be done? Blend the two IF understanding can be reached would seem a reasonable approach to me. But who would control the law? Which court system would determine outcomes of disputes? Again, all research shows that the overall best decisions are reached when the decision making body is diverse. 

 We ALL need water. 

We ALL need water. 

 

I believe we are coming to a new understanding of resolving longstanding, highly emotional conflicts that draw on moral issues not physical facts but we are not there yet. A cup has water in it to drink that is clean and healthy or it does not. That is a physical fact. It is measureable, visible, reproducable and verifiable. Does everyone have a right to clean drinking  water? That is a moral question. Recent neuroscience is slowly identifying the different parts of the brain that are involved in making these decisions and choices. They are in fact anatomically separate. But we still have more questions than answers. That is no reason not to move into finding new and creative ways to meet basic human needs among America's indigenous peoples. 

Today's NYT column by Alex Rosenberg outlines the philosophical evolution and sometimes devolution in human societies across history. He only briefly references the neuro anatomical research but as it is new, active and ongoing that is understandable. Even this early work is worth understanding. At MIT Emilie Bruneau is actively working on the roots of longstanding prejudices, exploring neural anatomy and probling for data to support possible solutions. This work is highly relevant in all forms of racism up to and including the systemic racism involved in spirts teams' identities in America. 

America's passtime can be so much better.