When Crystal Willcuts says being respectful, truthful, and caring is un-American, she is observing the vast values divide between indigenous peoples and American culture, which she describes as immature, greedy, and deceitful. Of course, our culture is not static, and while Willcuts’ description is generally accurate, we are now two generations into a revaluation that began with the hippie counterculture in the 1960s.
While the rich and powerful maintain their privileges through the corruption of governance in mainstream American institutions, the undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the dominant model, that impoverishes the rest of us, is pulling our society away from the values void promoted by politicians and their parasitic patrons. Navigating that current toward a more generous, sustainable future is perhaps our greatest challenge, but making the vacuum of values a primary topic of discussion is an integral first step in revitalizing a landscape that was once fabulously wealthy in authentic lives.
As America the ugly collapses, perhaps America the beautiful will arise.
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here