“I do not vote. As a Hopi, we go to bed Hopi and wake up Hopi. Our forefathers fought for the right Not To Participate. They were imprisoned at Alcatraz because of their Hopi religious beliefs”. Carl and J-Man Save The World podcast, anchor.fm/cjpodcast85
The Hopi word “qa-hopi” means, ”adj. badly behaved person, misbehaving, nonconforming or naughty one”. Hopi Dictionary, University of Arizona Press, 1998
On June 2, 1924, Congress enacted the Indian Citizenship Act, which granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the U.S. The right to vote, however, was governed by state law; until 1957, some states barred Native Americans from voting.
In 1928, Peter Porter and Rudolf Johnson, members of the Gila River Indian Community sued for the right to vote in Arizona. The Arizona Supreme Court DENIED their petition because “Indians, as wards of the State, are not entitled to vote”. In 1948, the Arizona Supreme Court overturned its’ ruling and awarded all voting rights to “qualified American Indians”.
What does this ‘right to vote’ mean to the Hopi today? The Hopi perspectives may surprise you. There are parallels in Hopi perspectives just as emotional as hearing the words ‘Republican’ vs. ‘Democrat’, liberal vs. conservative, and oppressor vs. savior.
The Hopi have a somewhat political ideology that is characterized as ‘traditional’ and ‘progressive’ based on the Hopi belief systems. It is rooted in the Hopi religion.
Hopi custom and practice does not determine a winner or loser. Decision making is by consensus. There are no extremes that pass through the collective sieve in the contemplation of important community issues. If there is no consensus, we do nothing, say nothing, and no action indicates the status quo remains. Voting is not a traditional Hopi custom or practice.
For the ‘progressives’ as represented by the central Hopi Tribal government, they are accepting of the “good things of life” that the U.S. government can bring. The ‘progressives’ are viewed as compromising, accepting and acquiescing of the non-Hopi material world, including the right to vote. “They align with the ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican’ without understanding what this means”, said Carl and J-man.
For the so-called ‘Traditional’ or sometimes derogatory ‘Hostiles’, there is no such concept of separation between religion and a secular entity. The Hopi belief system is so fundamental in that “our destiny has been determined. Nothing can change it, regardless of who is in charge. We are not in control. Nature is in control”, said Carl and J-Man. The traditional Hopi exercises a decision not to participate by not voting. A Hopi non-vote becomes a NO vote.
Carl and J-Man state they are of the younger generation (30-50 + generation) who did not vote. They felt like they were cyber-bullied by all the pressure to vote from friends, media and junk mail. “I didn’t vote, so I am wrong” and “You are the enemy”. Trump voters un-friend-ed them.
Another important perspective is that of the American Indian Veteran who has served in military conflicts throughout the world. They fought for our freedoms including the right to vote. They don’t ask for much in return for their sacrifices. “Remember me. Say My Name. One Time A Year”.
Young Hopi men who had a strong belief in the Hopi religious tenets passively resisted military service and were imprisoned for their beliefs. The U.S. Government, a foreign government, is not recognized or trusted by traditional Hopi sovereign villages.
So what does the Hopi vote for ‘Joe’ represent? What does ‘turning blue’ mean to the Hopi voter? Will ‘Joe the Democrat’ bring wood and coal to heat our homes during the cold winter months? Will ‘Joe the Democrat’ deliver fresh water to drink or provide electricity in our homes for the school children to hook up and charge their I-pads for online school? Carl and J-Man think NOT. “Every President forgets about American Indians as soon as they are elected. We live in different worlds”.
It is unbelievable how political parties spend millions of dollars on this crazy American system of voting. As an example, for months I went to the Hotevilla U.S. Post Office to get my mail. There is a 12’ x 8’ lobby and off to one side was a large, overflowing box to discard the political mailers (junk mail) reminding everyone to vote. Just on the other side of the mailboxes was the poor, tired Post mistress who is required by law to put all those mailers in all the mailboxes. Then the box holder turns around and discards the mailers in the trash box. I thought, now if all the money being spent by Democrats/Republicans on printing, card stock and postage was to be donated to Hotevilla village instead, more could be done to help the Hopis improve their quality of life than throwing this money in the trash! It just did not make sense to me.
Joe, if you happen to read this, do not take the Hopi vote for granted. As the Hopi believe, it might be raining on Election Day 2024. Mother Nature is in control.
Democrats! GIVE to American Indian Tribal non-profit organizations. Your dollars are better spent directly in the Hopi community as we see fit. In Arizona, it was the American Indian vote that helped turn AZ State BLUE! Better yet, listen to Voting is ka-Hopi, Carl and j-Man Save The World podcast to ‘get real’ if you want the Hopi Vote in the future.
I Voted in 2020.
GIVE to a Hopi Non-Profit Organization:
Hopi Foundation, P.O. Box 301, Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039, http://www.hopifoundation.org
Hopi School, Inc. (Hopitutuqaiki), P.O. Box 56, Hotevilla, AZ 86030, http://www.hopischool.net
Paaqavi Incorporated, P.O. Box 1048, Hotevilla, AZ 86030, www.paaqaviinc.org
Hopi Education Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 605, Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039, www.hopieducationfund.org
ASK: How can you empower others not normally in your direct line of sight