White People are Scared of Us
April 15, 2017 12:01 PM   Subscribe

So it was with anger and sadness (rather than shock or rage) I took in the news about San Bernadino and took in how the news of that loss was being told: as though this were a radical and inexplicable act, a violence that disrupted the calm, rather than a pulse, a beat, in the song of violence that has sung our country into existence. There is a debt of blood that must be paid. And white people aren’t the piper, they are the song.
The Savage Mind: A powerful three part essay on growing up, becoming, and being Native American, from Ojibwe writer and professor David Treuer.
posted by Rumple (4 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for posting this. Difficult to read because the truths are difficult. Difficult to comment on because the answers are so elusive, beyond people need to stop oppressing one another, an idea for which I have lost nearly all hope.

I deal with total cultural erasure internally -- a "fake indian," with no ties to those roots, because of the violence. My granny walked away from home when she was 12 years old, the 5 miles to town, & got herself a job as a live-in made for two "spinsters" who took her in. She left because "my father was mean," (An itinerant & putatively Mormon ranch hand in Montana Idaho & Utah who beat his wife & children) & walked away from what of her Blood culture she had, except her pride. Married a good, white military man. She was a strong woman - I wish I had her strength. I don't know where I'm going with this even, except to a profound sadness. I wish it could stir some resolve in me to do something, but my whole life I've wanted to DO SOMETHING, I know not what.

It would be nice though if we could somehow stop the erasure.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:49 PM on April 15, 2017 [27 favorites]

In the way this work looks at the way external violence gets refracted into internal violence it reminds me quite a bit of some of Kiese Laymon's work.
posted by praemunire at 5:45 PM on April 15, 2017 [5 favorites]

This is another one of those hard reads that I'm glad was shared. This really stuck out in particular:
...the fiction of goodness is itself an act of violence.
I've long felt like that, but never expressed it so well as that statement - boxing people into heroes and, well, everyone else, is a cover for atrocities that's baked right into our whole culture here.

Anyway, thanks for sharing this, Rumple.
posted by mordax at 7:15 AM on April 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

Thank you for posting this.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:42 AM on April 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

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