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Gyasi Ross Talks Junipero Serra, American Myth-Making on 'Democracy Now!'

ICTMN Editor-At-Large Gyasi Ross talked about the Million Man March and police brutality in Indian country with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!

Thousands on Saturday celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, originally held October 16, 1995, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The event, centered on the theme of “Justice or Else,” focused on police brutality and was more inclusive of women and other communities of color, Democracy Now reports.

Amy Goodman, reporter for Democracy Now!, spoke with Gyasi Ross, of the Blackfeet Nation and ICTMN Editor-at-Large, and Larry Hamm, organizer of the People’s Organization for Progress and 1995 Million Man March attendee, about Saturday’s march and the focus on how communities of color share many similar experiences.

“The presence – just my presence being there and all the Native people that Minister Louis Farrakhan invited,” said Ross, “was that we have inter-tangling and intrinsically and inextricably linked narratives.“

“Native people, as a matter of empirical data, are killed by law enforcement at a higher percentage than any other ethnic group,” said Ross. “And that runs collateral, obviously, with the carnage that the black community is dealing with every single day at the hands of law enforcement. We’re all dealing with state-sponsored violence that not only attacks our physical bodies, but our self-esteem, and tells us that we have no value.”

Ross also spoke about Columbus Day, the canonization of Junípero Serra and revoking the Doctrine of Discovery.

“This isn’t about a particular European – I’m not even one to say his name,” Ross said in response to a question from Goodman regarding progress in efforts to abolish Columbus Day. “This is instead about us. It’s a day of love, and it’s a day of honoring our communities and our people.”