June 19, 2010

Better to be a white guy

Because of the recent Dudesons controversy, I posted the following on Facebook: Good thing I'm a pure white guy. Can you imagine how much 'splaining I'd have to do if I were, say 1/8th Cherokee? People would be calling me "wannabe" and "fake" constantly.That led to the following exchange with Michael Cooke, who likes to challenge everything I say:Instead they wonder how racist you must be to think Native Americans need you to speak for them?Yeah. But that opinion is easy to dismiss because it's asinine. Readers know that I'm constantly quoting and backing the positions taken by Natives. The number of times I disagree with them and offer my position instead is small.

And if I were 1/8 Cherokee or whatever, I'd be facing both asinine claims, not just one asinine claim. So it's better to be a pure white guy.But why, when they could be speaking for themselves on their blog, perhaps a blog you helped them establish?They are speaking for themselves in many forums. My blog is just one additional forum.

I don't think I've ever said "Read my blog instead of a Native blog" or the equivalent. In fact, I religiously link to the source material, which proves my intent to share Native voices.

And of course I work at PECHANGA.net, where we're all about disseminating Native news. Why would I devote my time and energy to that if I thought my opinions were paramount?

You see? Your claims are illogical and therefore asinine. Most people can think this through without my having to explain it to them. But an occasional idiot needs me to prove him wrong.Seriously, have you a connection to Native Americans? You didn't seem to in the APA5 days. What happened?Around 1990, I decided to do a comic book featuring Native superheroes. To do it right, I began delving into the political, cultural, and historical issues. And here we are.

There's no other connection. Unless you count the pseudo-Hopi kachina I made in 2nd grade as a connection:

For more on my blogging, see Educational Value of Blogging and Rob Should Fight Poverty?! For more on how I got started, see The Genesis of PEACE PARTY and Why Write About Native Americans?

P.S. I'm not disparaging anyone who's 1/8 Cherokee or whatever. The point is that everyone should be content with who they are...and I am.

1 comment:

ChristineRose said...

I remember people asking me the same question, Why should I speak about Indian issues when Indians can speak for themselves? The answers are manyfold. First, the more people speaking out against injustices, the better. I live in CT, and just this weekend attended an activist festival as part of an extended booth that included the Indigenous radio station: First Voices, WBAI, the group supporting Leonard Peltier, and myself for Changing Winds. There was only one Native person of four or five of us, but we were all very well versed in the issues, and Native people knew we were going to be at the place to speak on all of the issues. On my part, the Natives I was speaking for were the elderly on a reservation in SD. I have been asked by them to do work they cannot be here to do. I do what they want me to do, and I say what they trust me to say. I consider it a tremendous responsibility and also an honor to be trusted to do what I do. I passed on information to at least 200 people in NY, information that may inspire others to rise to lend a hand to help change some of the injustices in this country.

For sure, most people would have rather heard it all from a Native person, but this weekend, I was all they had. And judging by the responses, many of these people will be back to help.

If we continue to divide ourselves between you and us, we keep positive change from happening. We are all in this world together, and the more people fighting for change, the more likely it will be to occur. Nobody is silencing the Native voice. People like Rob and myself, we are working HARD to bring the Native Voice as far out into the world as we can. And when dealing with white racists, it is good for them to see that whites can and do take a stand with Natives...why? Because it breaks down the Us and Them. Racism is always bad, no matter where it comes from. Supporting each other across cultures is the best way I know how to bring about change. Lets link arms and fight together.
Christine Rose