A relative of mine recently visited the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles California. Without question it is an amazing space created to tell a horrible story. A story that was genocidal then and has had lingering affect on the generations that followed. It’s truly an amazing what we can do to our fellow man. This relative was so moved by her experience there, and spoke with such genuine emotion about her experience that it was hard to not feel a small part of that pain and injustice.
As she spoke about these atrocities I couldn’t help but think of how most of our culture doesn’t even realize that much of this same thing happened to our own First Peoples of this land. It seems like Indian people are just thought of as Hollywood stereotypes or museum artifacts. There is such an out cry for the Holocaust people and rightly so but also so imbalanced by the same massacring and stripping of culture to the ones here before us. It just doesn’t even register in the minds of most Americans.
I read a piece by a Native elder one time that said with respects to our culture that ” We could somewhat make it right with African Americans, because we could give them back what we stole from them; their freedom, but we can give back what we took from the Indian people; their land and culture. We’re not giving back the Black Hills, Vermont, Oregon, Alabama or any of the land. So is that where the guilt remains? That there seems to be no way to make the wrong right. I might also add that we took way more than just freedom from black people. They also lost identity and culture among many other things. Do we unconsciously feel that if we don’t acknowledge it that it doesn’t exist. And it does seem like a wrong that can’t be fixed. Although we could do much to keep the continued oppression and hunger for what’s under their land now.
I guess it also feels like the Holocaust wasn’t something we had a hand in, so does that make it easier to shine the light? Just wondering out loud. Many of us that are mixed races also have a Native heritage, so there is even more spiritual conflict going on. But right is right. Wrong is wrong and human beings are human beings. And it’s never too late to stand up and be a human being !