Monday, October 27, 2008

Behind Blue Eyes

"No one bites back as hard on their anger.
None of my pain and woe can show through."
Behind Blue Eyes - The Who

In this life, I've been given a unique perspective because of my racial and cultural background, but sometimes I feel a smidge uneasy with the positions it puts me in and I feel the need to bitch about it, right now.

I'm considered a minority on paper because of my ¼ American Indian blood quantum. Since I clearly look white, most people don't believe me or they simply assume that I'm Caucasian. My sister and father are darker skinned, but I tend to repeat my mom's semi-Aryan look (it's only "semi" since her grandmother was a Russian Jew that looked middle eastern but she married Whitey McWhiteness and blonded the DNA a bit).

Back during the good old genocide days of "Colonial America", being a quarter blood would have given me fewer rights as a human being than a full blooded white person. I would've been considered a terrorist and "less than", regardless of my baby blues.

Nowadays it ensures my enrollment with my tribe, a somewhat free education in the state of Michigan, and I can legally own an eagle feather (that makes up for everything THANKS).

I'm guessing 99% of the people reading this can't name at least ten different American or Canadian Indian tribes off the top of their heads (no Googling and you can't include CHEROKEE or SEMINOLE, respectively - too easy). Americans don't like to think about the first inhabitants of this portion of earth because things didn't go down so hot and hey, if we don't see them, they're not there right? (That was/is the plan.)

I'm not going to whine about the racist laws still on the books or the land leasing issues still fucking over the people that are now being solicited to help with the energy crisis (the land that was strip mined and thought useless is now a great set up for wind-powered energy, go figure), no, those rants would fall on deaf ears in most circles anyways.

Actually, my dilemma is rather simplistic and solvable, but it requires some cooperation from people that part their teeth and shove words in my direction.

Neighbors, family, and friends say horribly racist shit to me all of the time and if you retort in any other fashion aside from agreement, YOU are shot down (or worse) as "overly sensitive". YOU are the bad one for not letting them be ass holes.

Most of the time now, I just shake my head silently in disgust as I cannot change these people and I'm not going to attempt such a feat - it's futile. I shan't cross them out of my life (I've tried that, it's not pretty), but I can't say they get 100% of my respect either (and they will never see me naked fo sho). I know they would never say such things in front of the person or target they're verbally shitting on, but that sort of makes me even more pissy, because they think it's ok to say in front of me (um… it's not).

I've even had someone say "Well you look mostly white, so what does it matter?"

How…? Wha….? So I guess if looked like Irene Bedard* that would spare me having to listen to your racist rhetoric? (If I looked like Halle Berry I know it would.)

Just because I look white, DO NOT ASSUME I'M A FUCKING RACIST LIKE YOU MIGHT BE!!!! Do NOT assume that I am of the same religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) that you are, and do NOT assume I vote a certain way. KEEP YOUR NEGATIVE SHIT TO YOURSELF!

I don't care if you're just "joking". Some people think that if they laugh hard enough after they unleash their racial slurs, that it's just half a stab, nothing to get defensive over (maybe it sounds funnier when you have a white hood over your ears, but since I don't…kindly fuck off).

Powerless. Hate wins. All I can do is raise my eyebrows and take note.

Then I wonder what they say about me when I'm not around.

*I'm not giving it to you. Google her.

Currently listening :
Smoke Signals: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture
By B. C. Smith
Release date: 1998-06-23