Good Bye, Older Brother

Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, March 14, 2014

David Yeagley, great-great-grandson of the Comanche leader Bad Eagle (1839-1909), died on March 11 after a valiant struggle with cancer. He was one of the most clear-eyed observers of the terrible damage the United States is doing to itself, and before his truth-telling became too painful, he was a popular lecturer and radio/TV guest. He appeared at two American Renaissance conferences, where he gave moving talks on the Comanche view of America, the white man, and the future of our country. He was never afraid of a fight. As he liked to explain, “My father was a Kraut and my mother was a Comanche, so I was destined for battle one way or another.”

David Yeagley and his great- great-grandfaht, Bad Eagle

David Yeagley and his great-great-grandfather, Bad Eagle.

David Yeagley was born in 1951 and grew up in Oklahoma City. Even as a young child, he was vividly aware of threats to the Comanche people and their culture. When his grade school teacher asked the otherwise all-white class to draw pictures to encourage fire prevention, he drew teepees engulfed in flames, with the words, “Stop this.”

Yeagley showed great promise as a student and went on to earn so many degrees it is hard to keep track of them. He had a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory, a Master of Arts from Emory University, an Artist Diploma from the University of Hartford (Hartt School of Music), and a Doctorate from the University of Arizona. He was the first American Indian ever admitted to Yale Divinity School, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree. He did graduate work at Harvard but did not earn a degree. He was a Ford Fellow and a Kellogg Fellow.

Yeagley taught at Oklahoma State University, the University of Central Oklahoma, and the University of Oklahoma. His off-the-reservation views caused a stir, and led to collaboration in 2000 with Governor Frank Keating to establish a curriculum on American patriotism for Oklahoma’s public schools. However, it was his columns for FrontPageMagazine.com in the early 2000s that brought him to national attention.

He appeared on programs such as Hannity & Colmes and Bill O’Reilly, and made a number of C-Span appearances. He also made a History Channel episode on “Comanche Warriors,” did a history documentary for Danish Public Television, and was a popular speaker at universities. He was often sponsored by Young America’s Foundation, and electrified audiences with talks on gun rights, Comanche pride, the mind of the warrior, and the importance of protecting the United States from Third-World invasion.

However, Yeagley’s fair-weather friends could not stomach his increasingly outspoken criticism of mass immigration. FrontPageMagazine dropped him, and speaking engagements dried up. But Yeagley never trimmed his sails. Like his great-great-grandfather, he stuck to his guns and never lost his vision.

It was under Bad Eagle’s leadership that the Comanche finally put down arms after years of war with the United States and reconciled to becoming Americans—proud Comanches, still, but Americans. Yeagley, too, had a vision of Comanche accommodation with an America he had grown to love, but it must never be a Third-World America of white-guilt and multi-culturalism.

I first met Yeagley in 2011, when he spoke at a conference I organized. He described the dispossession of the Indian by the white man, but said he could not hate whites. As a warrior, he was compelled to admire the bravery and fighting spirit of the conqueror. He spoke of the crisis the now-denatured white man has created for himself, as he lets others push him off his own land. The great tragedy, he said, is that although the Indian fought to defend his land, the white man has lost his warrior virtues and is giving up without a struggle. The American white man, said Yeagley, has voluntarily become the “Indian of the 21st Century,” adding, “Let me be the first to welcome you onto the reservation.”

His talk was met with a standing ovation, and Yeagley later said he had never had a more fulfilling speaking engagement. One of the other conference speakers was the prominent Vlaams Belang politician, Filip DeWinter. Mr. DeWinter was so fascinated by the talk that he questioned Yeagley at length and published the interview as the main feature in the Vlaams Belang magazine.

David Yeagley

David Yeagley at the 2011 AmRen conference.

Yeagley and I were immediately drawn to each other. We discovered we were born in the same year, and that his birthday was just a few days before mine. He started calling me “Younger Brother” and I called him “Older Brother.”

I invited Older Brother to speak at another conference the next year. “How can you give this land you took from us by force to Muslims?” he asked. “I won’t let you do that.” He had a consistent warning for whites: “Be as strong as you can be, because whatever it is you have, someone will take it from you. That is the law of the jungle and the law of the prairie. If you value what you have, and you value what you are, you must be prepared to fight.”

Older Brother despaired of white men who have turned their backs on their warrior past. He said white capitulation reminded him of the Indian ghost dancers who live in the past. “Don’t become ghost dancers,” he said. “If you find yourself herded onto some kind of psychic reservation, you will become an Indian, a white Indian.” His talk was the highlight of the conference.

Some of the great triumphs of Yeagley’s life were not political or rhetorical but musical. When the speaking engagements thinned out, he had more time for one of his other great loves: composition. He wrote symphonies, chamber music, and choral works, and was gratified to attend premier performances.

In 2007, he was commissioned by the Oklahoma State Historical Society to write the score for a 1920 silent movie the society had just rediscovered and planned to restore. Daughter of Dawn was the first full-length Indian drama ever made, and had an all-Indian cast. It was filmed in the Wichita Mountains of southwest Oklahoma. To write the entire score of an 80-minute silent film—there are no pauses for dialogue—was a massive undertaking, but the restored film and its lush, melodic score premiered in Oklahoma City on June 10, 2012. Yeagely was the first Indian ever commissioned to write a movie score. Clips from the movie can be viewed here.

David

David Yeagley at the premier of the newly restored Daughter of Dawn.

In 2012, the Washington Times paid Yeagley the great honor of publishing an eight-part interview. Below, I have excerpted my favorite passages. I believe they offer a glimpse of the man and warrior so many of us admired.

There was to be a memorial service for David Yeagley today in Oklahoma City. I wish I could be there to say, one last time, “Good bye, my beloved Older Brother.”

David Yeagely speaks to the Washington Times.

Immigration:

American is not a haven for losers, criminals, and populations of failed Third World countries; but, open immigration has made it such.  The Third World is overrun by mindless reproduction, low standards, destructive religion, filth and disease.  To invite such defective masses is suicidal for any nation.

Political strategy:

I see States Rights therefore as the first viable position to counter the federal monster.  More freedom, more independence, can only begin at a smaller, localized level.

Citizenship:

Few people should be allowed citizenship.  It should be made precious.  Very few people should have the right to vote, and that right must be earned with terrible trial and knowledge.

Sports teams with Indian mascots:

Personally, I want to see the Indian warrior head on every high school and college in the country! The Indian warrior represents all that is glorious in manhood—any manhood, of any nation or people. The warrior is the protector, the provider, and the strong man of the people. Indians earned this image, with blood, in the mind of the conquering race. The Indian image found its way into nearly every state seal, and Indian names to this day remain as the names of states, rivers, cities, mountain ranges, and even businesses. The white man even put the Indian image on his money! Never before in history was a conquered people treated with such honor by those who conquered. To seek to remove the Indian image from the public view is simply an ethnic cleansing. It is a virtual genocide. It is erasing history.

What Indians want:

At heart, every Indian is a Ghost Dancer. We want things to be like they were.  The Paiute spiritual leader Wovoka said in the 1860s that if only the Indians would gather together and dance, and never stop dancing, all the Indians who were killed would come back, the white man would go away, and all things would be like they were.

It is a compulsive dream, but, only a dream. The Sioux were once murdered in mass for such a dance. It’s called Wounded Knee. What Indians have today is some meager imitation of white life. We use electricity (when we have it), fry food, drive cars (when they work), and wear Wal-Mart clothes. We celebrate Christmas, and even ask the Lord to bless our food—as well as our tribal meetings! It is a mix of things.  We obviously maintain many of our traditions, customs, and social values.

Indians simply cannot have what we really want. We must compromise. I can say only that we should compromise in the wisest ways possible, ways that will ensure the continuity of our people and our identity. . . . I suggest that America take a good hard look at Indians. Is that what you want? If you want to be yourself, be it now, with all your might, before the oedipal white liberals in charge use the Third World non-whites to bury you in your own egalitarian idealism.

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