This post is an ode to the book “stuff white people like” which I almost bought but didn’t because I thought I’d get bored right away (sorry white folk, the stuff you like isn’t that interesting to read about in a book I paid for… )
So I thought I’d write a post called stuff white people do.
These are things that I have been asked directly or things that have been said to me. Can’t say I am racist because I am just relaying what was said to me (what’s that saying again? Don’t shoot the messenger? Ya well: Don’t shoot the messenger)
Stuff white people do:
- Ask me if I speak Native. Native is not a language it is an ethnic group. The only way you can ask someone if they speak a “specific group” is if they are Italian, German, and I think Chinese (just to name a few).
- Speak to me in a Native language I do not know. Mohawk is not the same as Ojibwe. Just like English is not the same as French.
- Try to call me Pocahontas. Not. Cute. John Smith was in his forties and Pocahontas was in her teens when they met. Enough said.
- Tell me how many Native friends they have and even drop the names of a few after they tell me something borderline racist. Doing this is the equivalent of a white supremacist trying to rationalize his hatred towards a specific group then throwing in there “ya but I have a black friend.” It just sounds dumb. Oh and name dropping is never good especially if the Native is “famous” like Ted Nolan. “Oh ya, you know Ted Nolan?” I don’t know Ted Nolan personally or even had a conversation with him but you get my point.
- Telling me how many powwows you been to in the last month. Ok ok, I get it… Your more Native than I am!
- Try to tell me that Natives get everything for free and that we don’t pay taxes. Really we get everything for free? Shit, why am I working then and paying for everything…. Oh and why am I filing my taxes each year! That’s right, we don’t get everything for free and we pay taxes too.
- Look at me in disgust when I say “Tax exempt please!” Hey, don’t get mad at me, I didn’t sign the treaties or make deals with the Canadian government. I was just born Native.
- Tell me I don’t sound “Native.” Whaaachuuu talkin’ bout Willis! Oh wait, wrong race again.
- Tell me I don’t look “Native.” Note: I don’t know Spanish either.
- Tell me Natives have it easy. Everything isn’t what it seems people. Everyone has their own battles, their own stories…. Just take a chance to listen to them once in a while instead of talking about your own and making judgements.
Maybe you will be inspired. Native or not. White or not. Learn to listen