I’ve changed the name of my blog to Acorn Mush and My Life in Limbo. I think this better reflects what I’ve been writing about lately. Acorn mush is a staple food of my Nation. It’s not flavorful, but it nourishes.
Maybe it’s something about being so far away for so long, but since coming to Japan, I’ve been a lot more active about Native issues. I think it would have happened anyway though. Before I left the states, I was already learning a lot more about our fights on different fronts. Maybe I’m more active now because before it seemed like some progress was being made. There were people more qualified than I doing the fighting, too. But, now it seems we’re headed to another dark period. We’re already there.
People talk about Natives as if we don’t exist or belong in modern society. Our separate histories and cultures are conflated and taught as one if they’re taught at all. When Native issues are discussed it’s from a white perspective, or from a historical one. Our voices in 2018 are shushed, deemed unimportant or irrelevant. We will not be heard. Our opinions don’t seem to matter. I’m white passing. When I bring up a problem, I’m often put in a position in which I have to “prove” my Native-ness. Usually this is done by white people who suddenly claim to want a Native opinion. When I do provide what they’re after, my opinion doesn’t matter anyway, no matter how many other Native voices I reference. Do you understand how exhausting and heartbreaking it is to have to prove your own identity, again and again, over and over, to what end? They still won’t listen.
You know, the suicide rates of American Indians are the highest among all ethnic groups. I have depression and anxiety, but I’ve never been able to get the help I need. Some days the only thing that keeps me afloat is that I know that I am needed by someone else. I have a responsibility to be okay. I don’t want to be an inconvenience. My point is that I haven’t had affordable access to a professional that could help me and I am far from alone. This is only one problem. There are so many more.
I am screaming, crying, beating a drum, while my audience loses interest and walks away.
They try to do it slowly, so I won’t notice immediately, but I do.
I keep beating.
They only wanted a show, to feel something for a moment.
“What can you do?”
“It’s no help getting angry.”
“It is what it is.”
Then, they leave. Able to forget.
My words reach no one.
Again, we’re refused our own identities. Again, our sovereignty is attacked. Again, a language is killed. Another, another, another. Cultures, memories, lives.
Someone far away, too far to hear our pleas, our bloody fists pounding at the gates…. Someone far away wins.
“Did you hear a mouse?”