That determination in making it impossible for a woman to make her own decision in how she copes as a victim of rape and ultimately survives an unspeakable trauma does not correspond with the belief in the sanctity of life. Rather, that determination only clarifies a stronger belief in a grossly perverted sanctity of sin.
Ran across an Oklahoma State Senator’s Facebook/Twitter update with what, to me, appears to be a blatantly embittered comment in reaction to his status. Tried to set the record straight.
Thinking about the term “advocacy”, and cases when advocating one sector of society results in the opposition and oppression of another.
"I’m not right, I just say things sometimes."
As I have revisited, reflected, and remembered knowing my Muscogee Grandfather — it occurred to me that I should consider that while I was too young to consciously comprehend what he was saying years ago, my subconscious likely absorbed his messages in a way shaping the person I have become. And certainly how I think, observe, perceive the world and everything around me.
I do not speak for everyone; I only speak for myself using personal experience, knowledge, and the information I actively seek. In posts, everything I write comes with the desire for all people to take the opportunity to join an open dialogue towards peace and understanding.
I believe the thoughts we share are not a product of words; rather words are a product of our thoughts which can not always be completely comprehended through listening. Each comprehendible thought articulated contains the incomprehensible inner-thoughts from which it came. It’s merely a seat on a car of an entire train. Thus, I find myself in a constant state of learning and intrigue.
(Picture: with my Grandfather, Harmon Wiley)
Lily of the Mohawks
Beatified by Pope John Paul II on this day, October 21, 2012 —- Bl. Kateri Takekwitha, patroness of the environment and ecology, possesses the honor of being first American Indian to be declared a Blessed.
If someone were to make an attempt in honoring an American Indian in a culturally relevant and acceptable way today…it would not look even remotely like this:
In the same spirit of meaning well, Bl. Kateri’s canonization generated all sorts of “crafting” opportunities with kids perpetuating the same stereotypes that continue to persist this 21st century.
Bastardized versions of feather headbands and the warbonnet do not accurately represent or honor American Indians. Pony beads, bright feathers, and all things fashioned as leatherwear without any context do not accurately represent or honor American Indians.
Seek knowledge and be responsible for teaching awareness through proper education and relevant activities such as a game of lacrosse, making corn husk dolls, or find paper dolls that teach children the cultural clothing variations between the different Tribes and Nations.
Contact a cultural center for suggestions. Seek your local Indian Education Program or call the office of an out-of-state one. Do some analytical research online.
Stop “meaning well”. Start “knowing full well”.
"[Life] has the odds"
My Grandfather once said (or perhaps he said it many times, but regardless…), “You’re talking about everything is even - it has the odds”. He was referring to life at the time his words were recorded, and I couldn’t agree with him more. No matter the context, these words can apply to so many scenarios like it’s a good thing…or a bad thing…or a completely neutral thing. It’s the the balance in life that we face with every turn. It also manifests in relationships…new and old…close and distant…important and irrelevant. It manifests in how we’re perceived and how we perceive others…and ourselves.
Personally, one of my first lessons in perception started when I was very young in Public School. I was a shy, artistically-inclined child. Aside from anything artistic, I seemed to have a lot of trouble in school. It had nothing to do with misbehavior, although other children would talk to me until they got a reaction and as soon as I’d speak, it was I who got in trouble. If I was singled out in school, it was always a bad thing. Except when it came time for the class to write a thank you note to a class visitor…I was always voted the classmate with the best handwriting.
Anything unrelated to the arts — I was always confused by concepts as they were explained by some of my teachers. I ultimately thought that these concepts could only be explained in a way that I couldn’t understand…and for that, I was by no means a genius like my Grandmother. Around grades time, I was called lazy. Another lazy Indian.
Since I was growing up in a predominantly white suburb, my Mother was sympathetic and got me involved with the local Indian Education Program so I could interact with other Indians. All of a sudden, I wasn’t dumb anymore. Not only was I able to understand mathematics, I had the ability to compete as a student.
I was a child. I was mostly concerned with what I was doing wrong and feeling guilty any time I had to seek understanding. I didn’t think about the genetic, environmental, and background differences between me and others. In hindsight, I suppose my teachers were unaware of and uneducated in approaching diversity within the classroom, and THAT was the true root of the problem. But, I prefer to exercise my imaginative melodramatic inner nature and perceive them as having been lazy.
Life has its odds.
(Picture: with my Mother, G. Wiley Smith)
…at the expense of whom? Another instance to add to the long list of colonial attitude and racial supremacy assaults and their dependency on digging up the past to do it.
"Would you put on black face if it were part of the team tradition? So why would this be okay and that not?" Something to think about.