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John Trudell (born February 15, 1946) is an American author, a poet, musician and a former political activist.
 What it Means to be a Human Being Speech
San Francisco, CA, March 2001
- Sometimes when it rains, it's not that simple, when the sky has reasons to cry.
- The past is more than a memory.
- Every human being is a raindrop. And when enough of the raindrops become clear and coherent they then become the power of the storm.
 From various sources
- [George Bush] is the Peter Jennings --the anchorman for the real problem. And this has been going on for awhile.
- From Georgia Indymedia interview
- "When I go around in America and I see the bulk of the white people, they do not feel oppressed; they feel powerless... We see the physical genocide that they are attempting to inflict upon our lives, and we understand the psychological genocide that they have already inflicted upon their own people...
- From "We Are Power" speech, 1980; excerpted from _The Indigenous Voice_, Vol.2, Roger Moody, ed, UK.
- Theoretically, if everyone that disagrees with the lie that has been imposed upon us--tomorrow...if everyone got up and said...'I'm not going to enable the lie anymore'--you would have nonviolent change--and you would have quick change--because the system goes upon our self-rationalizations and self-justifications and insecurity. ...That's how it works and it has turned all of us against each other through distortion...The one thing [these people] fear...is that we would use our minds [to] attempt to see clearly...[and our] apathy makes us the enemy of our descendents. ...They want us to be in a position where all we think about is ourselves...We need to use our minds *to think things through*...[E]verybody is trying to find a way out from the mess they're in and they're using these dark age intellectualizations and remaining confined in these concepts of Freud and all the rest of these people.
- We can't out-fight them, but we can out-think them. Every provocation throughout history has been to get us to out-fight them. And if you look at some of the little things about it, right, we're *surrounded [with] a reality where you have to have permission to think. That's called 'Chain of Command'. See, so if you really really think about it...in their legions they don't have *permission* to think. See, this starts to equalize out the numbers!
- When I look at western civilization, it's so messed up. They want to overcomplicate everything, and I think they do it through intellectualizations or apathies, or whatever, but they want to overcomplicate everything and sometimes I think they've been conditioned to want to overcomplicate everything so that, therefore, they don't have to act....And perception...what does it take? It takes for us to tell ourselves the truth. It takes for us to tell ourselves the truth. That's what it takes. Not to lie to ourselves.
- The strength of the poetry as we enter into whatever it is we are entering into, will be determined by the clarity of the thinking we put into it.
- The poison and pollution in our environment affects how clearly we see things. We need to use our intelligence and organize our consciousness and our perceptions of reality. This is hard work, but it must be done. We are in an evolutionary reality. We are never given something we can't handle. It's about activating the thinking process, about the real value of our ability to think. I say don't believe anything the corporations hand us, whether it is TV, ads or the news as they tell us it is. I am a human, a member of a tribe, not a subject for corporate mining and exploitation. I don't trust their corporate "democracy". We humans must think for ourselves. That's what we need to give to the next generation.
- ...The only thing that has always bothered me about revolution, every time I have seen revolutionaries, they have reacted out of hatred for the oppressor. We must do this for the Love of our People...We must never react out of hatred against those who have no sense.
- We must be willing in our lifetime to deal with reality. It's not revolution; it's liberation. We want to be free of a value system that's being imposed on us... Liberation --we want to be free. But in order for us to be free we have to assume...our responsibility. We are going to have to struggle for it. We are going to have to work [and be] committed to it. We must never underestimate our enemy. Our enemy is committed against us 24 hours a day. They use 100% of their efforts to maintain their ...status quo. 100% of their effort goes into deceiving us and manipulating us against each other...
- "...We must not become confused and deceived by their illusions. There is no such thing as military power; there is only military terrorism...That is all that it is. They try to program our minds and fool us with these illusions so that we will believe that they hold the power in their hands...All they know how to do is act in a repressive, brutal way...They want us to believe in them and depend on them, and we have to assume these consumer identities, and these political identities, these religious identities and these racial identities [not to mention sexual ones]. They want to separate us from our Power...from who we are...
- "...We must consider the Spiritual genocide that they commit against us. The spiritual genocide that the white people have been victimized by for thousands of years...
- "We must move to the time when we truly understand our connection to real power because these people who deal with illusions and imitations...they want to keep us confused with [the confining concepts of?] sexism and ageism, racism, class. They want to keep us in a confusion so that [we] will continue to believe in one lie after another as they programmed them into our minds and into our society...The ruling class...are going to lie to us and they are going to create the illusions of change...
- "We have to understand our role as a Natural Power. We have to understand that when our oppressor treats us this way and does these things to us, that we allow him to do it as long as we accept his lies...We have been allowing it for too long...
- "...We are going to have to start working more realistically with a resistance consciousness, a resistance, something we can pass on as strength to the coming generations--a resistance where organizational ...[and] individual egos don't get in the way, a resistance where the infiltrators and the provacateurs and the liars and the betrayers...do not get in the way. We will not get our liberation if we do not seriously analyze the experiences of our own lifetimes.
- "The other side ...has studied. They understand what we were up to in the 1960's. They understand what we wanted in the early 1970's...They create certain events, and they manipulate the economics, and they manipulate circumstances because they want us to react the same way that we did in the 1960's so that they can come in and they can smash our movements. We must become of a resistance consciousness. We must say that we will not allow you to smash us. Even if it means that we have to deal with the part of you that you have planted in me..."