The Words below were written by Dani, who has been working very hard in the effort to stop White Ego Woman. They moved me and I believe we should all take heed of them. Thank you Dani for permission to reprint them here:
(First off, if you disagree with what I say, then let us agree to disagree and leave it at that. Secondly, I myself am a citizen of the U.S. and thirdly, I am non-Native. What I speak here I speak from my own personal truth, and I know that reality is a collection of perceptions from various perspectives. But if you find anything in here offensive, then perhaps, for just a moment, take a step side ways and ask yourself WHY this upsets you. I feel the time of "pretty please" and "if I may have a word, when you have time, at your convenience" is over. Stand up, speak strongly from your heart or stay silent…if I have learned nothing from my Native friends and family, it is strength in truth…)
Attention citizens of the United States of America.
They say that ignorance is bliss. Be that as it may, I find it to be blind and those who wallow in it by choice to be asinine at best; a waste of space at worst. But (most) Americans are not only ignorant, many are willing to spew their ignorance as if it were a badge they wear proudly. One should never be proud at another’s expense.
So if you live in this country, whether you were born of a grandfather, born from a grandfather or you migrated here yesterday, you have a responsibility. You do not need to agree with things, you may battle to wrap your wits around much of it – but the responsibility still stands. And if you call this land home, if you walk upon this continent, gaze at the sky and drink of the waters, then you must pay attention:
You must understand that though your name is on a piece of paper in some corporate office, claiming that you own the land on which you live, the land is not truly yours – it is someones ancestral lands. Please treat it accordingly. You must understand that not only does the local historical marker stand on ‘old Indian land’ but so does your local grocery, post-office, gas station, porn shop and deli – they all sit on old Indian land. The Empire State building, Seattle Space Needle, Wrigley Field and the White House –they all sit on old Indian land. Where you walk, where you sleep and where you spit was all stolen by lies, by torture and by blood. You may live there now, but understand who died for you to do so.
Citizens of America you have a major responsibility set upon your shoulders. You have the responsibility to know the history of this country – the whole, bloody history. You have the responsibility to know what the term ‘residential or boarding school’ is in an Indian context. You have the responsibility to know the significance of December 29, 1890. You have a responsibility to know the name Leonard Peltier, the ‘incident’ and the true meaning of political prisoner and how it is not a foreign issue.
Citizens of America you have mandatory lessons to learn. You must learn about the third-world countries found within the continental U.S. borders and the statistics found there. You must be able to define such terminology as "cultural genocide", "stereotype" and "appropriations of traditional culture" and how they apply to the indigenous people – today more then ever. Most of you must learn what the word ‘indigenous’ means…
Americans, as citizens living here, claiming this as your home, you carry the burden of truth. You carry the burden of teaching your children about the blood-thirsty monster who is Christopher Columbus. You must teach your children what a treaty means and how the U.S. government shakes with one hand, while shooting with the other. You have the burden of teaching your children about bounties. And you have the burden of teaching your children about Old Yellow Hair and karma.
"Every American schoolchild learns about the Boston Massacre, which preceded the Revolutionary war against England. Five colonists were killed by British troops in 1770. But how many schoolchildren learned about the massacre of six hundred men, women and children of the Pequot tribe of New England in 1637? Or the massacre, in the midst of the Civil War, of hundreds of Native American families at Sand Creek, Colorado by U.S. Soldiers?" – Voices of a Peoples History of the United States of America, Howard Zinn & Anthony Arnove