|Written by Ricey Wild,
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My dear readers it must be very
obvious that I love to laugh tell stories and joke and tease. I love
other people who do that too and it is they whom I seek and I ignore
the haters. This is my world and I get to say who’s in it. That
being said there are times that intrude on my contentedness like that
awful Lone Ranger movie starring Johnny Depp. At these times I have
to reach back to my own memories of being terrorized in every way by
the colonials’ descendants.
I’m writing specifically about the
recent backlash against rapper Emerson Windy and his “song” and
video of him in dressed in redface, eagle headdress and all rapping
about “smoking that weed” and using a peace pipe to do it. To be
fair, which I try to do even in the face of my extreme disgust at the
video, which even used actual pow wow footage in psychedelic
graphics. I watched the video of his apology on the Facebook page
petition to make him take that disgusting video down.
What struck me most is that Mr. Windy
seemed really taken aback by the outrage directed at him regarding
the video. He kept referring to it as a “piece of art” and that
he meant no offense to the beautiful Native American culture. Windy
also expressed astonishment that people had written words about him
and to him that “even I can’t say” obviously the N-word, which
is taboo unlike the R-word, which is not. I’ve pondered all my life
why in the heck do black people and other oppressed races in this
country not get how we Indians feel being subject to this? And no,
ignorance is not your excuse. Google Native American; American
Indian; even Wiki it if you want to learn about our loving complex
culture, customs, technology, language, style of dress and dancing.
It will only be the tip of the wigwam, tipi and longhouse but it’s
Okay, so Windy gave a public apology,
great. It was the following comments on YouTube that I am so sickened
by. As a cynical optimist I like to think that we, the American
Indian community have come a long ways in speaking for ourselves and
that it’s meaningful because we do vociferously … mostly.
Obviously centuries of colonial entrenched racism and denial of our
rights as human beings is sadly, still far into the future. Most of
the comments were the usual hateful and stupid like statements: “get
over it,” “Indians should be thankful we took this country, they
were dumb savages that didn’t know how to develop the resources”
and that we should assimilate and shut the $#@! Up.
Those are by far the ugliest words by
people whose ancestors only survived because tribes took pity on them
and their ignorance. Ingrates. By the time our ancestors realized
they were dealing with homicidal sociopaths from Europe it was too
late. Yeah, I went there.
Now about my childhood; it was great!
I grew up in a loving family and as first grandchild I am Princess
Inkapunk (my Gram’s nickname for me) and I was adored only as
Indian families do who have grandkids. Then I went to public schools,
which is where and how I learned that Indians are bad, lazy no-good
alcoholics that don’t take care of their children. Of course this
depiction was completely contrary to my experience as a little kid
but what did I know? I was just another dirty Indian girl.
By the time I hit fourth or fifth
grade it was instilled in me that Black people were bad, no-good lazy
porch simians that don’t take care of their children. I and
everyone I knew freely referred to them collectively as … the
N-word and thought nothing of it. In fact when I was about 10 or 11 I
went with my mom and her friend to a Halloween party all dressed in
Blackface à la Uncle Remus. The room got quiet when we strutted in
and at first I didn’t understand why people seemed mad at us. THAT
instance was true ignorance and the beginning of my conscious
I understand now how we the oppressed
were with evil intent told to oppress other non-whites so we kept
fighting against each other rather than organize to make null and
void our common adversary; White people. I sincerely apologize to
people whom I have never met whose culture I degraded. I truly did
not know but when I did learn I stopped that behavior and became
interested and respectful of others’ human experiences and history.
Just so you know? When I say or write White people I mean the culture
of greed and hate they cultivate. Word.