Most of the social and spiritual gatherings I participate in are composed of people from a variety of ethnicities and beliefs. Coming from a multi-cultural background myself, this is usually not an issue. Yet, as years have gone by, I’m finding myself feeling increasingly uneasy at the upcoming of any new event. We all have cultural blind spots and a certain amount of ethnocentricity, yes. Because of this awareness, I try not to look for offense in the ignorance of others; we are all working from our own programming and we are all in different spaces. But this discomfort continues and for the longest, I couldn’t quite pin-point what it was that bothered me so much about non-Indian guests in our gatherings. Continue reading “Ayaca e’ Iguana: Decolonizing Indigenous Diets”
There has been much said regarding monuments to confederate and colonizing “heroes”, on both sides of the debate. Some feel that removing the monuments is unwise: because we should revere history, because it cannot change the past, because it should remind Americans of our shame, because these monuments are public art and should cared for. Those who feel they should be torn down say it’s racist propaganda, it celebrates murder and destruction, the decimation of whole cultures. Both sides seem to have valid points, and I find myself, as a colonized Indigenous person, listening with 2 different sets of ears. It seems to me that the contrast here is the perspective from which these issues are being considered. Continue reading “Decolonizing Public Spaces: One Taino’s Perspective”
The film I share below is from the TED website. Although I have issue with some of the ideas they propose as well as some of the support they receive, they do have some wonderful presentations that open your eyes to thoughts and ideas you may not have been aware of. That’s what growth is all about- awareness- ennit?
The following is a presentation that touches on the history of the relationship between the US and the Indigenous people of the land they invaded and conquered, as evidenced by the relationships held with the Lakota.
This is not the history you were taught in school…
Every November, on the fourth Thursday of the month, the US celebrates Thanksgiving Day with food, drink, parades and sports. Families gather together, whether they like each other or not, to eat, drink and be merry. But this merry-making is not to be found everywhere for the day is not a celebration to many of the original peoples of this land. Continue reading “Thanksgiving Day: to Thank or not to Thank…”
A point by point response to the OSIA.org flyer, Why We Should Celebrate Columbus Day, prepared by: The Order of the Sons of Italy in America in Washington, D.C. Telephone: 202/547-2900 Web: http://www.osia.org (update: the flyer has been condensed into a page.) Continue reading “Why We Should NOT Celebrate Columbus Day”
Further Afrocentric criticism dissected…
Again, I received a response regarding my thoughts on the topic of Afrocentrism. These were posted in the comment section of the essay titled They came before Columbus…and what?!? . Because these questions are valid and others may have them as well, I sought to respond via email as well as in essay form. Continue reading “Nanas and Beans and Heads, oh my!”
It has come to my attention that my words have caused a flurry of confusion, anger, criticism and gossip regarding the thoughts and feelings I have shared about the UCTP and the behavior of its president, Roberto Borrero.
With the recent deaths occurring in an Arizona sweat lodge, three so far, many Indigenous Americans are rabidly repeating the mantras “That’s what you get when you mess with things you have no right to mess with”, “Non-natives have no right to participate, let alone conduct sacred native ceremonies” and “The spirits are clearly expressing their disapproval, when will non-natives learn?”
These are sad, angry and fear filled sentiments with which I do not agree. They weigh in my heart as I hear my relations repeat them at family events, powwows and even sacred gatherings. I have shared my feelings before pertaining to the separatist attitudes my relations have regarding our spirituality. Yet, further understanding compels me to revisit the issue and clarify, albeit to myself, this particular concern. Although I still do not agree with the segregationist views, I do believe my relations have some very good points and real reasons for concern. However, I suggest pause and deliberation lest our fears overcome and misguide us. By clarifying to ourselves exactly what it is that is really important, we can better express our concerns to others without sounding like rabid, bigoted hypocrites.
This is important because no one listens to rabid, bigoted hypocrites except other rabid, bigoted hypocrites and you end up preaching to the choir.
…Reply to a Critic
Recently, I received a response to the book review I posted on Ivan Van Sertima’s, They Came Before Columbus. This person was very passionate about defending the Afrocentric version of alternative history and emailed me an excerpt from his later book, Early America Revisited, in which Van Sertima replies to his critics: scientists, archeologist and professionals from different, but related, fields of study. I must say that his rebuttals prove quite an interesting read and encouraged me to further research, which I enjoy immensely. However, I must also say that the additional information just didn’t help Ivan’s case.