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Racism in the Bordertown of Farmington, New Mexico: What No One Wants to Remember

by Brenda Norrell
The Racism in Farmington. It is what no one wants to remember, no one wants to think about. Navajos were tortured and murdered here. Genevieve Jackson, Navajo councilwoman, called it a rite of passage for white teens in Farmington, New Mexico. The disrespect of a graduating Lakota teen by Farmington High School resulted in the most recent of 50 years of protests in this bordertown.
The Racism in Farmington. It is what no one wants to remember, no one wants to think about. Navajos were tortured and murdered here. Gene...
The Racism in Farmington: What No One Wants to Remember

By Brenda Norrell, Censored News, May 28, 2024

The Racism in Farmington. It is what no one wants to remember, no one wants to think about. Navajos were tortured and murdered here. Genevieve Jackson, Navajo councilwoman, called it a rite of passage for white teens in Farmington, New Mexico.

"White teenagers consider it a rite of passage. They learn it at home."

The year was 1992, and the marches for justice in the '70s were followed by more hate crimes. Rodney Barker's book, "The Broken Circle," had detailed the tortures and murders of Navajos in this bordertown in 1974, some of the murders, the ones that could be documented.

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission held hearings in Shiprock.

Unfortunately, I was working as a staff reporter for the Farmington Daily Times. Still, I was able to report on the hearings, and lived in the newspaper's home office next to the Shiprock Chapter House.

It was during this time, after the hearings, that Navajo youths in the back of a pickup truck at a convenience store were brutally beaten by white teenagers who attacked them wielding metal baseball bats. Some Navajo youths had broken bones.

When my article was published, the editor had changed the details of the attack. It was rewritten and the editor made it sound like the Navajo youths deserved to be beaten. I demanded a retraction of the article, and I was fired.

In the years that followed the hate crimes continued. John Redhouse, Dine', pointed out, "In light of the latest incident of police brutality committed against Navajos in Farmington, we can see that nothing has really changed since the 1945 police beating death of former Navajo tribal chairman Deshna Clah Cheschillige."

Farmington High School's Disrespect of Graduating Lakota Teen

The international newspaper The Guardian published an article, "U.S. School Apologizes for Cutting Feather from top of Lakota's Graduation Cap."

The Guardian begins this way:

"A high school in New Mexico has apologized after a video went viral of staff confiscating the feathered graduation cap of a student before its commencement ceremony.

"Farmington high school senior Genesis White Bull, a Hunkpapa Lakota of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, had decorated her graduation cap with traditional Lakota decorations including beadwork and an aópazan, a white feather plume," The Guardian wrote.

“That’s part of our culture, when we reach a milestone in our life, we as Lakotas decorate, do our beadwork and place our plume on them,” White Bull’s mother, Brenda White Bull, told the Tri-City Record in an interview. “I don’t appreciate them taking her plume, taking her beaded hat. That’s all cultural.”

The Daily Times in Farmington website showed no coverage of the protest in the days that followed.

Whether the school's "apology" is actually an apology is now debated by Navajos.

Diné John Redhouse 'Fifty Years Ago: Uprising and Resistance'

John Redhouse told Censored News, "On this Memorial Day weekend, we must also remember and honor the many native human rights warriors such as Larry Casuse and other brave indigenous men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in fighting for the lives and future of red people and nations on Turtle Island and throughout the Western Hemisphere—the red quarter of Mother Earth."

"In the course of our long, hard, and bloody struggle for survival, since 1492, we are here only because our ancestors fought for our right to live and exist as first people and nations in the Americas."

"As an aging but still surviving veteran of the intense bordertown wars in Gallup and Farmington in the 1970s, I will remember always great warriors such as Herb Blatchford, Robert Nakaidinae, Fred Johnson, Lucy Keeswood, and many, many more courageous fighters of that era including the late great Lorenzo LeValdo and Taft Scott who were also very much a part of the 1974 Totah Navajo civil rights campaign," Redhouse said.

Read John Redhouse's description of his arrest during the protests in Farmington in 1974:

https://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2024/05/dine-john-redhouse-fifty-years-ago.html

Read more:

'The Racism in Farmington: What No One Wants to Remember'
Censored News

https://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2024/05/the-racism-in-farmington-what-no-one.html

New today at Censored News

'The Raytheon Dine' Facility and the Cuba Food Deal'

Today, the Navajo government is silent about the Raytheon Missile factory on the Navajo Nation, located south of Farmington, even after the horrific massacre at the Rafah refugee camp. Indian Country Today, after it was sold to new owners, forbid even the research of the missile factory on the Navajo's commercial farm. Raytheon is among the top war profiteers selling weapons to Israel.

Read more at Censored News:
https://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2024/05/censored-raytheon-dine-facility-and.html

Copyright Censored News
§
by Brenda Norrell
screenshot_2024-05-28_8.56.01_am.png
Marching in solidarity with a Lakota teen whose beaded graduation cap was removed by Farmington High School. Photo by Ryan Vizzions.
§
by Brenda Norrell
screenshot_2024-05-28_9.08.38_am.png
Protesting the Calvary in the parade in Farmington, New Mexico, Navajos were arrested in 1974. The protests followed the torture murder of Navajos by white teens in the bordertown.
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