Friday, February 06, 2009

renaissance richard

i'm proud to have had richard whitman as a friend for many a day. his resumes accurately describe him as an 'artist, actor, poet, and community activist and commentator'. lately he has added 'active grandpa' to those credentials. he is an undeclared keeper of the names and family relations of indian people all over the united states and canada. lately he has added 'active grandpa' to those credentials. hence the 'renaissance' thing.
today's words are devoted to the most recent multiple richards.
first we go to richard the actor. richard has become one of the actors working with a wonderful young seminole filmmaker sterlin harjo. i loved sterlin's 'four sheets to the wind'. richard began the movie by dying but went on to narrate in creek/seminole. now sterlin has made what might be called a prequel 'barking water. its the story of an earlier time in richard's character's life and richard and casey camp are the primary characters. the flick was at the sundance festival successfully and hopefully will be on our local screens soon. check out the official website and the trailer: barking water

on the flip side richard has been backed in to a recent series of events that give insight into oklahoma's true relation to indian people. when two young girls were killed in a small town in the same county where sterlin harjo was born. the horror at the killing was automatic and universal. however finding the perpetrator has proved impossible so far. along the way law enforcement folks published a drawing of a so-called person of interest. the drawing was of a 30ish indian man with long hair wearing a ball cap. the result was a state of paranoia/interest among law enforcement and the nonindian public whenever any indian man with long hair and a cap appeared near them. richard received some of this backlash more than once even though he was disqualified by age from the profile. he spoke out along with others. but the story took a personal bizarre turn for him when a journalistic faux pas turned him into a former 'prime suspect'. check out the native american times story post correction: Racial profiling follows Weleetka murders

in richard's honor i, for today, amend one of my regular comments on life: none of us gets much 'creative control' over the movie[s] of our life.


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