24 2 / 2014
Anonymous asked: Is the song Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden racist? I read your post when Mastodon made that sexist, racist failed attempt at being subversive thanksgiving shirt so as you are a first nations female metalhead I was wondering your opinion on this. Perhaps to add insult to injury the guys singing it are British. Thank you!
Good question. I really like that song, and I think that the difference is in the approach. Iron Maiden’s song takes a pretty clear stance against the genocide of Native Americans:
ex. “The only good Indians are tame/ Selling them whiskey and taking their gold/ Enslaving the young and destroying the old”
I get that Mastodon wanted to do something to the same effect, but instead of making a poignant piece of art like Iron Maiden, they sold a shirt that did absolutely nothing to encourage critical thought.
It’s the difference between:
1) writing a song that discusses genocide, thereby exposing your fans to important information
2) selling a shirt on Holocaust Remembrance Day that shows a sexy Jewish lady on her knees at the end of an SS officer’s gun barrel
16 2 / 2014
Progressive activists and scholars, while prepared to make critiques of the US and Canadian governments, are often not prepared to question their legitimacy. A case in point is the strategy of many racial justice organizations in the US or Canada, who have rallied against the increase in hate crimes since 9/11 under the banner, “We’re American [or Canadian] too.”
This allegiance to “America” or “Canada” legitimizes the genocide and colonization of Native peoples upon which these nation-states are founded. By making anti-colonial struggle central to feminist politics, Native women place in question the appropriate form of governance for the world in general. In questioning the nation-state, we can begin to imagine a world that we would actually want to live in. Such a political project is particularly important for colonized peoples seeking national liberation outside the nation- state.
Whereas nation-states are governed through domination and coercion, indigenous sovereignty and nationhood is predicated on interrelatedness and responsibility.
As Sharon Venne explains, “Our spirituality and our responsibilities define our duties. We understand the concept of sovereignty as woven through a fabric that encompasses our spirituality and responsibility. This is a cyclical view of sovereignty, incorporating it into our traditional philosophy and view of our responsibilities. It differs greatly from the concept of Western sovereignty which is based upon absolute power. For us absolute power is in the Creator and the natural order of all living things; not only in human beings… Our sovereignty is related to our connections to the earth and is inherent.”"
16 2 / 2014
Anonymous asked: Is 1/16th enough to identify as NDN?
I think that depends on if you talking about how you personally identify or if you mean tribally recognized/enrollment. Tribes differ in the blood quantum needed to be enrolled; so your enrollment would depend on whatever tribe you are. If you mean how you identify I cannot answer that for you. You shouldn’t feel like you need to ask me, or anyone else, how you identify. I am no authority over you. You know yourself. You know your culture(s), you know who and what you are. If you are feeling disconnected from your Native culture then there are steps you can take to connect with it. If you feel unaccepted because you are mixed race or biracial then that is an ever on-going battle. You must accept yourself and not base your value on however many people will agree with you/accept you.
Edit: and remember there is more to being NDN then just an identifier.
16 2 / 2014
achalar asked: Any time I get passionate about something I am immediately labeled an angry black woman.
You and me both sister. Every time I start to call some shit out or talk about things that matter to me as a WoC, people respond like,”Ha, okay Angela Davis, we get it, you’re Black ✊”.
Being socially aware is one of the most stressful things when ignorance prevails all around you, I swear.
16 2 / 2014
Anonymous asked: I remember in my History class the teacher said we could act out skits from any era and everyone but me(the one black person there) said the 1950s so I got up and started walking out the classroom. The teacher asked me where I was going and then I was like, "Sorry, I thought I had to leave since people of color weren't allowed in the same schools in the 50s." And all the white kids were so quiet while my Hispanic classmate help up his fist to bump.
16 2 / 2014
samsara-with-some-adhd asked: How do you feel about humanism? As a way of working against racism, oppression, etc.? I've read about it, and I feel the argument that it ignores race is a bit premature, wouldn't an -ism that centers on being human include race, not exclude it?
Humanism was a revolutionary philosophy back in the 16th century.
But today, when people describe themselves as modern-day humanists in an English-speaking context, it’s often because they’re bashing feminism, anti-racism and any kind of religion, especially Islam. Just because humanism has the word “human” in it doesn’t mean it’s intrinsically more inclusive. It’s a little like claiming to be on the side of good. Who believes they’re on the side of evil? Who are the modern-day “anti-humanists” that humanists oppose themselves to?
Humanism CREATED racism and oppression; it is not a way of working against racism. “Human” is a word with a very dirty history.
Although this source isn’t perfect, it explains how the word “human” has been used historically in such a way as to dehumanise the majority of the inhabitants of the world, and enable imperialism and colonialism:
Please educate yourself further.
Yes, yes, yes, what astrochelonian said.
One of very basis of humanism is the components of “human nature” and (to a certain extent) “state of nature”. This is true of many Enlightenment era theories, and they form the crux of current Western human rights theories and policies.
But the definitions of “human nature” used at the time were actually definitions which made out Africans and Asians to be savage, primitive and barbaric peoples, in need to have social order implemented for their own good, and forced to “become” more human.
Edit: although I will hold my reservations on if humanism itself formed racism. That entire era of Western political thought was completely bent towards justifying colonialism, so almost every aspect of thought, from scientific to political theories, was used as a weapon for this purpose.
And when people say they “want to be treated like human beings” as if we should all agree about what that means?
That definition precedes what they understand to be “disrespectful” though.
He/she said x to me, therefore, he/she doesn’t think of me as a “human being.”
Feminism is the radical notion that woman are “people”? Read: human?
Kindof a reductive definition that can become problematic in a world where men are framed as the default “people.”
I want everyone to rethink the lot of these terms and our language and these concepts and these attitudes.
This is why I almost never frame analysis of problems on those terms.