Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Let The Childish Tantrums Begin Over Nike's Endorsement of Colin Kaepernick

Europeans aren't just mad, they're fuming and throwing outright temper tantrums! It would be humorous to observe these childish theatrics if it wasn't over such a deadly serious subject. And the subject of Colin Kaepernick comes up a LOT in "white" circles, usually accompanied by a great deal of passion. Why are most Europeans so angry over first Kaepernick's silent protest, and now over Nike's apparent endorsement of his protest? Well, if you ask them, they'll say something along the lines of kneeling at a game is inappropriate, unpatriotic, disloyal to the flag and country, or even that they simply don't want to see it. We Europeans don't want to see it, don't want to hear it. We want it to GO AWAY. We want to watch our games "in peace."

Nevermind that the very reason Kaepernick used his position in the public eye, was precisely to draw attention to a huge problem we have in this country regarding police brutality directed toward people of color. Nevermind how many lives are affected or taken by police every year. Nevermind that the problem isn't improving at all. Nevermind how many OTHER protests in OTHER venues by OTHER people have fallen on equally deaf "white" ears. We don't want to hear it BECAUSE IT DOESN'T IMPACT US.

WE don't have to fear the police. WE are assured, in our white privilege, that as long as we follow the law and the directions of the police, WE won't be injured or killed. WE have the luxury of being oblivious to an entirely different reality that belongs to people of color in this country. WE can shut it off. WE can get annoyed that our sports watching is interrupted. WE can boycott a company that makes a stand for justice because we have the unmitigated gall to believe that our money speaks louder than the blood of thousands slain by police.

But what's beneath all that? We simply don't care. It wouldn't matter who or where such a protest occurred, we would react similarly. It's the ONGOING nature of the discussions about race, white supremacy, and police brutality that have us fuming. Because we can't escape it. Because we're being forced to face it, day in and day out, in ways we never had to before. How DARE people of color bring their issues into our comfortable "white" abyss of ignorance? We're tired of hearing about it. "Yeah, yeah, whatever," we say, "they should do it somewhere else." What we mean is somewhere we won't hear it, somewhere we won't face it, somewhere we are not expected to DO something about it!

And that is exactly why we're so pissed off at Nike. Because not only is Colin Kaepernick not going anywhere, but now he has that much more exposure! Now we'll have to see his face on commercials, reminding us yet again that PEOPLE ARE DYING. Forcing us to talk about it. Forcing us to engage, to think. When all we wanted to do was watch our football.


Monday, August 20, 2018

No Line in the Sand

Many think us crazy, or radical, for this end goal of indigenous liberation, and the deportation of all Europeans back to their homelands. Many won’t even read further in this post than that sentence. We’ve lost friends, family, acceptance in mainstream “white” society for this so-called ridiculous idea. “That will never happen,” we’ve been told. Others simply snort derisively, unwilling to hear any part of our message after learning what our end goal is.

But is it really all that crazy? Think about it. Recently, when thousands of indigenous children were being separated from their families, many of you “mainstream” folks stood up in fury and indignation that this country could treat people so miserably. “That’s not who we are,” you said. “We’re better than that,” you said. Some of you even got involved to some degree, with donations of toys or money or time to the charities that were helping. And all that is wonderful! It shows that you do have a moral compass, that you do understand, deep down, what is right and just, and that you won’t be silent when faced with it. Yet you are unwilling to look at the injustices the indigenous people have suffered at our hands for over 500 years, and understand that we continue this indigenous genocide daily?

Starting in 1492, with our uninvited arrival in what we call the Americas, we have employed many forms of enslavement, torture, rape and murder on a grand scale. We have fed children to dogs. We have maimed people, cutting off their hands, for not providing us enough gold. We have killed children before their parents, or stripped them away entirely to serve us as slaves. We have spread disease and contamination unknown to these peoples, intentionally, to wipe their kind from the earth.

We have used religion to serve as our excuse for stealing children. We cut off their hair, their spiritual connection to the earth. We forced them to take Christian names. We dressed them in European clothes and taught them the history we expected them to know. We silenced them in their languages, and in the exercise of their cultures, forcing upon them our own. We saw this as our Christian duty to “save” their souls from what we labeled as savage or primitive lives.

We herded them across the lands we stole, forcing them to exist in areas previously unknown to them, and slaughtered to extinction the game they hunted for survival. We killed them at the slightest offense shown, or for none at all but sport. We fought years and years against the remaining free indigenous peoples, placing bounties on their heads. We made treaties with those we could control, though we had no intention of honoring these treaties. We took their land, their resources, their cultures, their languages, their cosmologies. We destroyed the great cities they had created, the proofs of their genius in architecture, science, math, astronomy.

Little by little over time, we chipped away at the land we had “given” to them in treaties until it was almost all under our control, and then we just took the rest, without even the guise of anything but theft. And when we had thusly taken everything and claimed it as ours, we set about to erase these peoples from history as well. We wrote our own version of events, and taught our children only those things we wished them to know: to see us as the victors, and them as the conquered. To see them as the losers, the vanquished, the less than.

How are any of our actions the actions of the honorable? How can we place merit on winning anything that was never fairly fought for? How can our possession of this land – no matter how many years we have occupied it – possibly be considered right or just, when we stole it through such dishonorable, despicable means? How much blood is on our hands?
How can you possibly make amends for such horrific acts? How can you possibly atone for the millions slaughtered in the name of our avarice, greed and religion? How can you possibly heal such a deep and vicious wound to the very fabric of a people?

No, returning what we stole is the very LEAST we can do. It’s a START. It’s a TOKEN of our intent to make moral amends in all fashions to those we have so grievously injured. It’s not radical at all. Will it happen overnight? No. It will take time. It will take a great many of us to learn our true history and become convicted of the need for this change, and to educate others.

One cannot draw a line in the sand and say “I am a moral, compassionate, decent human being” and stand against one particular episode of our continuing assault on indigenous peoples, such as the separation of children from their parents at the border. If you have a conscience and a good heart, and wish to act with morality, compassion, decency, then there is no line where you stop and say “Nope, that’s too much. Nope, that’s too radical.” You stop only when justice is achieved.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Two Things I Know About You

What if I said to you, "Yes, we absolutely need to deport ourselves back to Europe, and return all land and resources to the indigenous peoples."

Would you argue? Could you find a valid argument that somehow alleviates us of the responsibility for the genocide we have unleashed on indigenous peoples around the world? No, you couldn't find a valid argument. But you'd fight me on it, anyhow.

But what if I also said, "It probably won't happen in our lifetimes."

Does that change how you feel? Do you feel relieved when I say that? Are you ready to consider the idea, with this in mind?

If you said yes, then I know two things about you. One, you fundamentally agree that what we have done, both we and our ancestors, is absolutely inhumane and requires redress. And two, you don't mind entertaining the thought as long as it doesn't affect YOU.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Your Choice

Most "white" people look at European-descent people like us and snort derisively, thinking us crazy or radical for the ideas we communicate, and certainly for the end goal we hope to one day achieve: Nican Tlaca liberation from Europeans, and the return of their lands and resources. They wonder why? They can't imagine being part of something like this.

Why do they think that? Because doing NOTHING doesn't affect them in the slightest. And there's nothing to be gained, nothing in it for them. Too much work, too much sacrifice, for What they perceive as nothing worthwhile.

That's privilege speaking. That's the ability to go through days, weeks, months, years, of never being profiled for the color of their skin. That's never having to worry about being offered fair opportunities, in education, work, pay, health care, housing. That's never having to think about dying because of a broken tail light or because someone felt threatened enough by your existence to call police.

They don't experience these things so it's easy for them to say none of it exists. They know it does, but it doesn't affect them, so who cares? They're free to go on about their lives, doing whatever the hell they CHOOSE to do, because they always, always have CHOICE.

So they look at us and wonder why CHOOSE to spend time on something that doesn't impact us? Because it's the RIGHT thing to do. The moral thing to do. The choice to promote true justice and equality because we are compassionate, empathic, humane.

Those of you who mock us? We are not bothered by your ridicule. We see you for what you are. Too lazy, too privileged, too racist, and so lacking in empathy, you cannot possibly understand the pain of your fellow human beings.

Don't want to be that person? Then it's way past time to get involved.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

One For the Patriots

This post is, without apology, intended for the “patriots” who support building a stronger wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Today, millions of Americans celebrate the birth of this nation, born as it was, in the bloodshed and enslavement of people of color. They celebrate the founding fathers. They celebrate their freedom from tyranny. They celebrate the bravery, commitment, vision, and most of all, the imagination, of our ancestors in deciding to create a nation rather than remaining subject to England.

It did take great imagination on their parts to believe in this so-called “democratic experiment.” It took imagination to envision building a framework of government unlike anything in their previous experience. It took imagination to determine the steps needed to free themselves from England, and to understand the repercussions of these steps. It took great imagination to envision a nation, once free of England, self-sufficient and thriving.

The founding fathers, our ancestors, were fearless in their pursuit of a just and moral society, even when their own morality at that time still considered slavery just. Surely, as they signed the Declaration of Independence, more than a few had twinges to their consciences about what they believed, versus what their actions demonstrated. Yet, they IMAGINED a better world.

In the spirit of the spirit of that imagination, I want to ask you to take some time out of your 4th of July celebrations for a little exercise. It won’t take long. You can get back to the hot dogs and hamburgers, the sparklers and fireworks, the beer and flag waving, in just a moment.

First, imagine our ancestors on that eve of independence, envisioning the laws that would shape this nation. Can you imagine how herculean a task that was, determining the key elements of the society they hoped to create? Can you feel how they must have felt, convicted in their hearts that nothing but their very best effort could be used now, in this single task? To know that the future of this nation, the future of their descendants, would depend so heavily on their actions at that point in time?

Now, imagine if it was YOU.

What would your contribution be to the shaping of a nation? What would you consider a moral and just society? Especially, knowing what you know now, the history of this nation since then, what would you change? Surely the same liberties for all citizens would remain the same. Perhaps you’d expand on that a little? Perhaps, having seen the history of slavery and the continued oppression of people of color, you’d be more specific in your protections for all people. Perhaps, being an immigrant yourself, you’d ensure future generations of people seeking a better life in your country would have an easier time of it?

Can you imagine that? It’s not so absurd, is it?

Lastly, and this one will take some effort. Imagine, for just a moment, that this future you and your brethren envisioned, included no border walls? What if the people of Mexico and America, had grown up as one? What if there was no division between us at all? Not political, not physical, not in any way. Of course, you would still identify as American, or perhaps by the nation you immigrated from – Ireland, or England, or maybe Scotland. And they might identify likewise, as Spanish, or Portuguese, or primarily as what they are: Nican Tlaca, the original inhabitants of ALL this land we call America, Mexico, Canada. But in this new vision you and your fellow Americans created, there is no wall.

What would that change? What would be different in your experience? What would matter more, or less, to you, than it does now? How would you perceive your fellow land inhabitants? As “others,” or simply as they are: different from you, unique in their own experiences, but every bit as much human. Every bit as much capable of great accomplishments and of personal failures, of great joy and of great sorrow, of great love and of the most blinding hatred.

Are you aggravated now? Annoyed you took the time to read this? Or did you truly make an effort to understand? Do you question now your resistance to accepting Mexicans? Because let’s face it, you don’t have any qualms with the northern border. It’s the southern border that gets your undergarments in a bunch. WHY is that? Don’t tell me – just tell yourself your truth.

If the only reason you have, deep down, is that you don’t LIKE Mexicans? That you are a racist? Then you have a choice to make. You own that truth and stop denying it behind the guise of being a patriot, which I’m fairly sure our founding fathers would be deeply ashamed by. OR you change. You start looking at the issues with immigration and with the southern border, from the perspective of a just and moral human being. The choice is always yours. You can change any time you want.

That’s a freedom our ancestors most wanted to pass on to us:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

ALL men. Not just those of us within the boundaries of this nation you call the United States. Not just those with “white” skin. ALL.


Monday, June 18, 2018

One Question

If you support children being taken from their parents at the border, you need to ask yourself one thing. I don't need you to tell me the answer, you just need to know *yourself*.

If these were WHITE children, would you still feel the same? BE HONEST. If the answer is no, then you're a racist, plain and simple. Don't want to be a racist? You need to start with some empathy.

These children have done absolutely nothing, and some are so young, they don't even understand what a border or a law is. All they understand is they're being ripped away from the security of their parents and being thrown in CAGES. Explain to me how you can justify traumatizing THEM for the alleged illegality of their parents? Do you not see how your principles are harming CHILDREN?

And don't say "Well it's their parents' fault." Fault doesn't matter. This is a human tragedy! An unspeakable trauma is being visited on these children for Trump's agenda. They are literally being held hostage. Republicans have created bills that would provide an immediate stoppage to this separation of families *IF* Trump's $25 billion to build a border wall was passed.

These CHILDREN are hostages. Not to their parents' actions but to an immoral government that seeks to justify its racist agenda behind the guise of national security.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Recommended Reading: American Holocaust by David E. Stannard

For anyone hoping to have an understanding of the European genocide of the indigenous peoples, this book is essential reading. This book is meticulously researched from many primary sources, and provides a broad understanding of our true history. It is NOT an easy read and should be approached as a scholarly endeavor. Expect to work hard to wrap your head around the truth, after we have been indoctrinated with so much falsity to cover up our crimes. Expect to be stunned by the depth and scope of both our true history, and by how much of it we have been shielded from (aka lied to about). Expect to be convicted in your heart of our guilt. But we cannot hope to tear down white supremacy, or to even BEGIN to answer for our crimes, without absorbing the unvarnished truth with an disciplined mind and an open heart.

I have not yet met a single indigenous person who has read this book and not come away from it without feeling absolutely shattered by its truth. Even those who have a good grasp of history discover they had no idea of the scale of the atrocities Europeans have committed against the indigenous peoples, and still do to this day. For European readers, this book will be very hard to stomach, and that makes it all the more critical that you read it. I would recommend reading it at least twice: once, for rapid absorption, and a second time, for serious study, with pen and paper in hand.



Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Presumption of Christianity


As Europeans, part of the ingrained behavior we need to work on changing is the assumption that what applies to us, applies to all. It clearly does not. Our white privilege affords us many more opportunities than those afforded people of color, from the tiniest things to life-changing events. Even knowing consciously that our day to day experience is wholly different than that of a person of color doesn’t guarantee we won’t make these automatic assumptions without thought. The more we learn about our own privilege, the easier it becomes to spot it, re-route it, or use it in our work to dismantle white supremacy, but the tendency to assume we are the default is something that requires constant vigilance.

One area that always strikes me as a particular blind spot for us is the tendency to assume everyone around us is Christian. We were brought up to believe this land we call America is a Christian nation, and today’s political climate is making certain Christian elements much more vocal, but the fact of the matter is that the number of people identifying themselves as Christian is dropping. A recent Pew study indicates only 70.6% of our population identifies as Christian, while 5.9% identify as practicing another religion, and 22.8% identify as non-religious. Even without looking at the racial breakdown of these categories, the presumption of Christianity discounts 3 out of every 10 people you know.


When you look at the breakdown of professed Christians by race, the divide is clear: 66% of those identifying as Christian are of European descent, with the remaining 34% comprised of Black, Nican Tlaca, Asian, and others, combined. This means, on average, every 7 out of 10 people of color are NOT Christian.


If you are a Christian, you’ve become accustomed to your holidays being commonplace, safe conversation topics for any setting, events everyone comes together for. And you’re wrong. How many people have you alienated with your “Merry Christmas!” and “Happy Easter”? How many people have you placed in an awkward position by giving them gifts for a holiday they do not celebrate? If you are an employer, has it crossed your mind yet that by sharing such tidings, you are effectively telling your non-Christian employees that you do not see them, that they matter less?

The immediate defensive mechanism Christians like to take with this is “I have a right to celebrate!” Well, yes, of course you do. No one is trying to take anything AWAY from you. However, non-Christians have a right to not be pulled into the holiday spectacle of a holiday they don’t celebrate, as well.

It doesn’t have to be hard to be respectful of one another. As a non-Christian, when someone wishes me cheer for Easter, for example, I’ll simply reply with “Happy Sunday.” I hope it sends a subtle message that yes, I understand you’re recognizing your holiday, but it isn’t mine. I hope it sends a thought to the person to perhaps consider their words in the larger picture, to maybe realize they are effectively shunning 3 out of 10 of their acquaintances, possibly even offending them.

And as a European Christian? You need to work harder. You need to do better. People of color have a long and brutal history with Christianity. It has been used as a tool to slaughter, enslave, oppress, torture, assimilate. Many people of color are not Christians for that very reason. Many are not Christians because they’ve done their studies and reclaimed their cultural and historical beliefs, as one very important part of fighting for liberation. For you – a European AND a Christian – to subtly, even unintentionally, enforce the idea that Christianity is the default, with your actions or words to people of color, displays your ignorance quickly. If you are genuinely trying to work toward dismantling white supremacy, it starts with guarding your own words and actions. It starts with putting yourself, as much as possible, in the shoes of others whose experience is different from yours. It starts with empathizing, and understanding that different-from-me does not translate as WRONG. It starts with seeing everyone. Really SEEING them.

I’m not telling you to go out and learn everything there is to know about other religions and take a survey of everyone you know, in order to give the appropriate and courteous greetings. I’m telling you to consider belief outside your own, and how you can accommodate it in your own perception, without insulting or diminishing those around you.

For more information on the Pew study referenced in this post: http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/

Thursday, February 22, 2018

White Guilt


When we Europeans first “wake up,” and realize the depth and breadth of our historical crimes against people of color, as well as our ongoing complicity and maintenance of white supremacy, there are a lot of emotions that come up. Maybe you’re not an overly emotional person, but you should be prepared for the onslaught that will happen. We can talk about other emotions another day, but for now, let’s focus on the one known as “white guilt.”

Of COURSE you feel guilty. How can you NOT feel guilty? Deep down, agonizing shame that makes you wish you could rip your skin right off. You may even find yourself feeling hateful of other Europeans. This is your mind trying to absorb a whole new set of “rules” that are completely alien to you. Your mind doesn’t know how to handle this new reality quite yet, so it tells you to respond to the most familiar element – guilt of the crimes you now acknowledge committing, and usually, the desire to apologize and make amends.

This is a perfectly natural response. Go ahead and feel it, let it wash over you. Imagine yourself bathed in the blood of all the victims of white supremacy. Imagine their faces, one after another after another. Imagine their voices muted by all our denials. Imagine their exhaustion from fighting just to be heard, just to be seen, just to be valued the same, as we are accustomed to since birth. Imagine it as viscerally, as brutally, as shamefully as your possibly can. This is your moment of self-indictment, and it’s an important step. From here, your instincts to deflect, deny, distract, or defend against bitter truths should be mostly removed, clearing the way for you to learn more readily. From here, the call to action should be very loud, unmistakable.

It’s critical that you don’t STAY in that white guilt for a number of reasons. First, it’s not healthy for you mentally or emotionally. Secondly, if you wallow in the guilt, you are incapable of action. Third, you cannot be listening and learning if you are absorbed in your own guilt.

You will see people use the term “white guilt” as an insult, or as a dismissal of sincerity, and this can be very hurtful to you if you don’t realize the outward projection your guilt causes. It takes up space. It takes up attention. It makes any situation about YOU, rather than anything or anyone else in the room. When that happens in a group of people of color, it can be annoying to deeply offensive, depending on the situation. Can you imagine living a life of oppression from Europeans and then being further insulted by a European who is so guilt-ridden, they seek – intentionally or not – the role of the victim? We have NEVER been the victims in any of this!

Convict yourself and get through it. Talk to a trusted European friend who understands, if you need to. Work through your guilt. It will never go away, and it shouldn’t, but you need to keep it in proper perspective. Channel it to fuel your actions against white supremacy. Make a concerted effort to demonstrate through ACTION that you are accountable.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Popping The Bubble

As people of European descent, we are indoctrinated from birth to accept all the accommodations and privileges white supremacy affords us, without question. Our experience is absolute; we see no other reality than what we personally experience. The thought of there being an entirely different experience for people of color doesn’t cross our minds, ordinarily. We definitely wouldn’t believe the experience to be so different as to utterly change our perception of the world and how it turns. When we see people protesting police killings, or deportation, or any other aspect of white supremacy, we don’t SEE white supremacy at all. We see “thugs,” or troublemakers, shit-stirrers, people looking for a fight. We totally miss any underlying issues because we simply don’t believe they exist.

This state of dangerously limited perception has been called by some “the bubble” of white ignorance.

If your bubble has popped, believe me, you already know it. For the rest of you out there, the ones that don’t think this bubble actually exists, and that your perception of the world is completely grounded in a reality that encompasses all, regardless of race, let me ask you something: What IF you’re wrong? What IF you found out tomorrow that everything you’ve been brought up to think or believe was based on lies, half truths or carefully established boundaries to keep you in ignorance? What IF you found out even the people you trust the most in this world are some of those perpetuating those lies and half truths? Wouldn’t you be angry? Wouldn’t you find it incredibly unfair that your very existence was a glass only half full, that the full range of human experience had been denied you?

I remember when my bubble got popped. I remember the moment clearly, and all the emotions that went with it. I remember the days that followed, this feeling that I’d been wearing blinders on my brain my entire life and they’d suddenly been ripped away. As though the sun itself would burn me with its true heat, or blind me with the ferocity of its full light. My skin felt raw and oversensitive to touch, as though the discovery of the REST of this world had seared the top layer away, leaving me exposed, freshly wounded, head to foot. Sound and smell were amplified almost unbearably. I walked in a daze for days like this, at once barely aware of my surroundings and yet also mentally bleeding from the intimate and brutal contact of each second. It was a pivotal time in my life, and one I will never forget.

I’ve heard others speak of similar experiences. Almost every one of us can pinpoint the moment it happened, or the experience that caused it. Most of us call it “waking up,” because it truly is reminiscent of seeing waking reality for the first time, after dreaming a particularly realistic dream all our lives before that moment. Many people reference the movie “They Live,” as a fair approximation of the difference. If you haven’t seen this old sci fi movie, it’s about a man who finds a pair of sunglasses that allow him to see the aliens all around him. With the glasses on, he sees reality. With them off, life returns to what he has always known.

For us, once the bubble pops, there is no return to not knowing. We can’t take the sunglasses off. But why would we? Why return to half life? Why return to being a sheep, at the whim of white supremacy’s mandates? Sure, white privilege is great, when you’re completely unaware of it, or of how you have been trained to be an instrument of its perpetuation. But seeing life as it TRULY is? Truth is more beautiful, more powerful, more addictive, more satiating, than any world of deception, regardless how seductively conceived. And after seeing, unvarnished, the reality of destruction, death, and devastation that white supremacy causes people of color, anyone with even a tiny shred of humanity within his or her being MUST fight against it. There simply isn’t any other option.

Do you think I lie to you about this “other” reality? Do you think others likewise lie, with a coincidental similarity in what we experience? Do you think maybe, just maybe, there might be something to this? Wouldn’t you like to know, for sure?

YOU CAN!

All you need to do – and granted, it will take some effort on your part, and patience – is to start educating yourself on white supremacy. On true European history, prior to 1492. On systemic racism. Those are all hefty subjects, and probably to your eyes, daunting and lacking in appeal. But education is the doorway. It is what will lead to your “bubble popping” moment. Make no mistake, that one moment WILL happen, if you conscientiously apply yourself to learning. And I promise you! Once it happens, you will KNOW. You will SEE.

Where to start? I would recommend first and foremost, start talking to people of color. Don’t walk up to them and start demanding answers. Just talk to them, get to know them, find out what makes them happy and sad, ask about their kids or their hobbies. It’s really no different than talking to your “white” friends. It isn’t hard or scary. Just start. Say hello. And LISTEN to what they say.

Secondly, hit the books! I would recommend one of two to start. If you’re a regular reader, especially of non-fiction, start with “American Holocaust” by David Stannard. This book is difficult to read, both in content and in the writing style. It’s scholarly writing and if you’re not used to that, it might not be the best book to start off. The other book is “Lies My Teach Told Me” by James W. Loewen. Both these books will help to reveal some of the secrets hidden from us during our indoctrination as Europeans. They hold some nasty surprises, but you’re up for that, right? You can handle it.

Lastly, as you learn from your interactions with people of color and from your reading, follow up with your own research on the internet. Look up key things that interest you about what you’ve learned, and delve into them deeper. Let your passion for the truth be your guide!



Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Why Do We Call Ourselves Europeans?


Perhaps you’re just starting to educate yourself and it took you a minute to figure out that we use the word Europeans in place of “white people.” Are we really white? No. Our skin is more a pink or beige tint. More importantly, our usage of the word “white” is woven into the culture of white supremacy we maintain.

White is associated with all things good, clean and pure in our society. Calling ourselves white is therefore a means of distancing ourselves from darkness, filth and “sin,” and from the reality of the great and numerous evils we have perpetrated on other races, other peoples, other countries. Even the most innocent and moral among us is still not PURE because, as human beings, we all carry the capacity for evil, and consciously choose whether or not to exercise it. The existence of that CHOICE is the very nature of “sin” in most religious or moral constructs.

White, technically, is the absence of color, so the subtext is “We are not black, we are not brown.” We distance ourselves from any likeness to color. We reinforce ourselves as the default, the desired, while perpetuating the “othering” of people of color. We are not like them and we’re white (good, clean, pure) so “they” are the bad, the dirty, the impure.

Calling ourselves Europeans is a statement of accountability. We know from where we came, we know we are on stolen land, we admit our inherent natures and history as a people. It doesn’t mean we are bad people! It DOES mean we understand and accept our responsibility for the existence of white supremacy and all that it means, and for our actions going forward to dismantle it, as well as to make appropriate amends and reparations wherever possible.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Secret of White Supremacy


Who doesn’t enjoy a big, juicy secret? Well, you’re in luck, because our indoctrination as "Americans" of European descent has kept us in a bubble, oblivious to quite a few secrets, and I’m going to share one with you tonight. Don’t worry, you don’t have to keep this secret! Tell anyone you want.

Ready? Here it is:

White supremacy doesn’t mean just KKK, neo-Nazis or other hate groups. It’s not just the so-called radical fringe, the extremists. This definition, by the Challenging White Supremacy Workshop in San Francisco (Catalyst Project), sums it up very well: “White supremacy is an historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations, and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent, for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power, and privilege.”

In other words, if you are of European descent, guess what? You’re a benefactor of, and contributor to, white supremacy.  Whether or not you want to be. Whether or not you’re conscious of it. EVEN whether or not you choose to fight it, and try to dismantle it. White supremacy has so permeated our lives as human beings, that trying to root it out of ourselves, our practice, our environment, our world, is a life-long effort.

The difference between KKK and neo-Nazis, the white supremacists we grew up believing were THE white supremacists, and other equally racist Europeans, is visibility. They were the models of racism we were given, held up to us as the example of what to avoid. So long as we weren’t donning white sheets or marching in unison with our hands out in the Nazi salute, WE couldn’t be racists. As long as more vocal, more visible racists existed, we could rationalize our own racism as being limited and harmless, if we even owned it at all.

If anything at all can be positively said of those members of hate groups that regularly parade, protest, or carry out violent acts against people of color, it is that they are, perhaps, the most honest among us all. They do not hide their hate. They do not hide their agenda. The rest of us claim we “don’t see color.” And white supremacy is geared to keep us blindly ignorant. Even a Google search of “What is white supremacy?” will offer you no suggestions until you type the entire sentence out.

In the current political climate, white supremacy is gaining more acceptance, emboldening previously covert racists to come out and loudly, even violently, claim their white pride. The moral compass the American government has loosely held in place for years now serves as a platform for hate speech, for normalizing racism, for permitting even the most heinous acts against people of color. Those of us with a TRUE moral compass, independent of this influence, MUST find our understanding quickly and ACT on it. Like it or not, it is up to US to hold in check those elements that would gladly throw all pretense of morality aside and act on our most derelict and despicable traits as a people. We Europeans created white supremacy, we nourished it, and we benefit from it. We must tear it down, by whatever means possible!

I recommend this article by Elizabeth ‘Betita’ Martinez for better understanding of white supremacy: 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Morality

All the great religions of the world have, at their core, a code of conduct that seeks to instill a sense of what is acceptable behavior and what is not, what is viewed as moral and what is not. The problem with organized religion is in following blindly the tenets of the religion, without questioning either the applicability of its teachings to the modern world, or its greater impact as an organization, upon the world. The more money an organized religion takes in, the more power it gains as an entity in its own right, the more corruptible it becomes. Catholicism is a great example of this, having historically used its power to shape and destroy millions of lives with edicts given from a largely unassailable source, supposedly the most holy and therefore most moral of all, the Pope and the Vatican.

We do not need organized religion, however, to live by a moral code. All of us have convictions that are held deeply in our hearts, boundaries we will not cross, values we are willing to fight for. Some of these are shared by the majority of humanity: Do not murder, steal, envy. Do unto others as you would do unto yourself. Simple common sense, really. All we want as human beings is to be treated fairly, respectfully, HUMANELY. And, at least in theory, we wish to treat other human beings with the same fairness and respect.

If we genuinely wish to live in accordance with our most deeply held values, and make efforts to do so, even when it costs us something in effort, time, money, or even pain, then we are living by our own moral compass. If that moral compass is inclusive of the basics shared by most moral codes, then it should be a simple, logical concept to accept that if we break that code, there are, and should be, consequences.

If we murder someone, shouldn’t we be held accountable? If we steal, should we not be made to return the item or recompense its owner? Why then, is it hard to understand that by our genocide of the indigenous population, we are guilty of murder? Why then, is it unreasonable to assume that our theft of the indigenous lands and resources must be amended by our return of those lands, and reparations for the resources we have stolen? But that was generations ago, you say. Does that, in any way, absolve us as moral human beings? How can we justifiably say that the egregious crimes committed by our ancestors should go unpunished because those ancestors are long dead? We cannot.

By any reasonable moral code, the consequences of a crime committed stand, regardless of time. There must be a reckoning, a payout of the debts we owe. Moreover, though it is our ancestors that committed those original crimes, we have continued through to this day to enjoy the many and varied benefits those crimes have brought us.

We can choose, as decent human beings, to right the wrongs so long unanswered by those who came before us. We can CHOOSE to resolve the debts of our past and forge a new beginning as truly moral human beings. We MUST or we will forever be in conflict with not only those whose land we inhabit, but within ourselves. We carry the scar of that guilt. We cannot both act as virtuous and moral human beings, while also allowing our crimes to remain unpunished and our debts to remain unpaid.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Fallacy of Illegal Immigration

Our people tend to have a reverence for all things "Indian," whether it be their presumed cosmology, their oneness with nature, their fierce yet peaceful nature or any other attributes our society has ingrained in us to believe are the hallmarks of the true "native American."

We love it so much we steal it. We admire it so much we try to make it our own. We created a million dollar industry in native American costumes just so once a year, we can dress up like these brave warriors of old. By the way, that's called cultural appropriation, and if you do it, you're a DICK. Secondly, our assumptions about these native Americans are way off base.

How so? Well, let's start with the "of old" part. Yes, we DID slaughter between 80 and 100 MILLION indigenous people from 1492 on. We did it with force. We did it with biological warfare in the form of blankets soiled with smallpox, to decimate the indigenous populations. We did it with forced assimilation, destroying the indigenous cultures by supplanting them with our own, requiring their obedience in order for them to have the barest necessities. We did it with Christianity, ramming our God down their throats as a replacement for what we perceived as their primitive belief systems.We did it through rape and slavery. We did it through theft of all their resources. We did it with residential schools and missions. We did it in a hundred other equally savage ways. We continue to treat the indigenous peoples as less than, somehow inferior to us, and less worthy of everything we took from them.

DESPITE all our efforts, 5% of the indigenous population on this land survived. SURVIVED. And they are STILL HERE. And not just in those reservations we herded them into, and made smaller, year over year, the worst sections of land we'd already gleaned whatever resources we wanted from. No. They were, and are, all over what we call North and South America.

Here's a question. Did you know Mexicans are indigenous people? At least 75 - 80% of today's Mexicans, by most estimates, are of indigenous blood. The very SAME blood as those "Indians" we so admire, with their feather headresses and stern looks, tipis and peace pipes, rain dances and calling on the ancestors. They are one and the same people.

What makes them different in our eyes? The border that WE created. That politically drawn line in the dirt that has physically separated families for decades, and which now Trump wants to build higher, stronger, and which already is, terribly divisive.

It's always been OUR perception that, here in the states, we have some native Americans, who live on reservations, but they're slowly dying out. Our government gives them money to live there (false!) but they're a shadow of what they once were thanks to drugs and alcohol (which we poisoned them with!). We've maybe been to pow-wows, and have been awed and saddened by these once proud people and what they have become.

We may feel pity for them, which is wholly inappropriate, given the facts of our own actions in attempting to wipe them off the face of Earth entirely. But what we feel for MEXICANS? That's entirely different. We see them as dirty, lazy, subhuman, incapable of ambition or intelligence, great worthy acts or fine arts. We see them as less than second-class citizens, less than our own vaguely accepted "Indians." And now they're trying to sneak across the border and STEAL OUR LANDS?!

The horror! The gall! They should come here legally or not at all!

Did WE come here legally? Oh no, we "won" fair and square and they should just accept it, right? NO. No, we did not. We came here, and seeing the land already inhabited, planted our foreign flags on it and claimed it as ours ANYHOW. Then taught our children Christopher Columbus DISCOVERED it.

This land, every inch, from Canada to the tip of South America, rightly belongs to the indigenous peoples, and always has. BEFORE we came here, with our manifest destiny and our killing God, with our greed and disease and perversion, this land was tread by indigenous people from one end to the other, with NO WALL. No BORDER. No need to segregate ONE PEOPLE.

How incredibly arrogant of us to tell Mexicans to "go home," when THEY ARE ON THEIR OWN LAND!. How incredibly despicable of us to accuse them of the vilest acts that WE ourselves, committed upon their people! And how inaccurate of us to call them, OR ANY PEOPLE, illegal, because we feel a false sense of superiority to them! How IMMORAL of us to suggest that the rightful owners of these lands should leave us, the invaders, in peace to enjoy the fruits of our genocide upon them!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Perception

When you think about roller coasters, what do you feel? Does the thought fill you with excitement and anticipation? Or maybe with queasiness and dread? Do you look forward to the next time you get to ride one? Or maybe avoid any chance where the possibility exists?

Most of us have been on roller coasters at least once, and have our own experience of them. They may be attached to memories for us, that are either happy or fearful. Two people riding the same roller coaster may well get off the ride having experienced vastly different things.

The roller coaster didn’t change. The roller coaster itself was exactly the same for both people. It operated on a set of rules, which defined how fast or slow it went, how long or short was the ride, how far the tracks were laid, how many loops there were along the way.

Yet, if you were the person that experienced a great time, and found it to be exhilarating and fun, do you doubt that the other person experienced fear or nausea? No. You know their experience to be true for them, just as your experience was true for you. Some people just don’t enjoy the same things you do. Or maybe you were the fearful one, and can’t imagine what the other person found so wonderful about the experience, but do you doubt their experience was different? No, of course not.

The roller coaster didn’t change. It was exactly the same for both of you. What was different? Your PERCEPTION of the experience. A reality can exist and be agreed upon by both of you to BE reality, and yet you experience it in two different ways.

What, then, is so difficult in understanding the vastly different experiences people have of living in this land? When a superstar athlete kneels during the national anthem, and you are enraged that he would be so “unpatriotic,” isn’t it quite possible that his experience of the reality in this country is very different than yours? YOUR perception of it is different. You can’t understand how he can react in such a way because you haven’t experienced the same as him in this country. The country is the same for both of you. It is the reality; it hasn’t changed. Yet, your experiences of it are not the same.

What is so difficult in understanding that, for people of color in this country, their experience with police is vastly different than yours? The police are the same; they are the reality. Yet, what people of color experience in their interactions with police is different than what YOU experience in your interactions with them. Both are no less true.

Just like the roller coaster, this country runs on a set of rules. Those rules are built in a way that favors Europeans in a hundred different ways. It is geared toward making YOUR experience better, easier. You cannot perceive this privilege because it’s the only perception you’ve ever known. You haven’t experienced living here as a person of color. You can’t possibly know how VERY different their experience is of the reality of this country’s systemic racism.


You have only your own perception, your own experiences, on which to draw. But isn’t it possible, just like your perception of that roller coaster, that others have an entirely different perception? We must look outside our own experiences, our own perception, to truly understand the reality that maintains white supremacy.