Thursday, November 21, 2013

Poem: Ode to All of the Insults and Cultural Insensitivity

An ode to all of the insults and cultural insensitivity,
The debilitation of words that force our vanishing,
Across territories,
You've insulted my family,
Community,
Bands,

Madeline Island,
Moningwunakauning - place of the golden-breasted woodpecker,
Also known as LaPointe,
Our homeland,
The place of our ancestors,
 
Missed identities,
Unmarked censuses,

It always starts with,
I love your culture,

It must be that Indian in ya,
Said the hippie-dip who insultingly threw beer bottles on our powwow grounds,
Gross insensitivity displayed,
The truth of the individual revealed,
Not this "we're all one" bullshit,
Not for respecting Anishinaabekwe, 
And the powwow grounds are alcohol and drug free,
To honor sacredness of our land,
Water, 

You know a real Indian,
Said the enlightened Buddhist in Boulder, Colorado,
Because I am not a real Indian, 

Do your people live in tipi's?
Laughs obnoxiously at me in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan,
Median income for a family is well over $200,000,

Remarked bitterness in a farm field in Manistee County,
As I am labeled "the other," by "progressives,"

If you were to present in the Native community you would be seen as white,
Said a Native activist who fights for Native people to define their lives and identities for themselves,
When she defined my life and my identity at that moment it was a form of colonization,
Later she would exclude me from her "movement" that claims to be for everyone,

But blood quantum does matter,
How much are you?
How do you know you are Native American?
Everybody thinks its cool these days to be a minority these days,

Fake Indian,
Fake poet,
You're a wannabe,
I thought you were white,

And finally, 
It must be really cool to be Indian.

2 comments:

dmarks said...

"Said the hippie-dip who insultingly threw beer bottles on our powwow grounds"

It's quite clear in this who REALLY has a problem handling alcohol.

(referring derisively, of course, to the stereotype of the "drunk Indian". I am pretty sure all the drunks I have ever encountered were all white.)

Anishinaabekwe said...

I'll never forget those beer bottles being thrown out of this persons tent next to Keweenaw Bay, on my rez. Horrific and colonizing.