Okay, This Has To Stop

Quick Note: This is not directed towards my readers or those who follow my blog. You’re all awesome and very respectful. Rather, this is directed at random comments I get from those I have no idea who they are and they usually never even have a blog on here.

Let me just say that I get I don’t look like a Native American. I get that. My skin is not even slightly brown, I have blue eyes and I honestly can’t say if I have Native American features or not. Also, I am not registered with my tribe. I have no document proof. What did my family do with it? I don’t know. My grandma with her parents left the reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina when she was 5. When her parents left, it seems they left everything behind. I was not alive at the time, so I can’t tell you anything else. It hasn’t stopped me from searching for what people call “real” proof, but researching your family history isn’t something that can accomplished in only a few minutes. What I do know, is that other members of my family do look Native, some even had darker skin.

But what I can also tell you is that looks are deceiving. Not everyone looks their race. Actually, a lot of people don’t and biracial people experience this a lot. You cannot go by a person’s looks and think you know exactly what they are, know exactly what their heritage is.

And although this is not the first time, even on this blog, I just got a comment about my claiming to be Cherokee. I even dealt with such comments on Xanga. I’ve been called a wannabe, told I have no heritage and other stuff. I dealt with this and other stuff on Xanga and kept quiet about it. I won’t be quiet this time.

I don’t mind people reading my blog, that is why I keep it open to everyone instead of private. However, this is my blog and maybe on Xanga I let this stuff slide, but it won’t happen here. If someone wants to comment, that’s fine. If they don’t agree with my opinion on things, that’s fine also. But do not come to my blog and call me a wannabe, do not tell me I have no heritage, do not tell me I don’t look Native (I already know that). You take great offense to someone claiming to be something they are not? I take great offense to people thinking they know what a person’s heritage is and bashing them.

You can doubt me all you want, but I am not pretending to be something I’m not. I know what and who I am. So, do not come to my blog and bash me.

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15 responses to “Okay, This Has To Stop

  1. Osiyo,
    Here is something I found online many years ago. In my opinion those that bash people because of how they are not able to give proof of their heritage need to read this to understand the mind of those people. By the way many Indigenous tribes adopted other cultures into their tribe, so looking like the Hollywood Indian is not the norm. These people need to go back and reread their own history: talk with their elders to learn the truth. Many of the Great Chiefs were / are of mixed race.
    ARE YOU AN INDIAN?

    By

    Les Tate

    11/18/96

    How often have you heard or said “I’m part Indian”? If you have, then some Native American elders have something to teach you. A very touching example was told by a physician from Oregon who discovered as an adult that he was Indian. This is his story. Listen well:

    Some twenty or more years ago while serving the Mono and Chukchanse and Chownumnee communities in the Sierra Nevada, I was asked to make a housecall on a Mono elder. She was 81 years old and had developed pneumonia after falling on frozen snow while bucking up some firewood.

    I was surprised that she had asked for me to come since she had always avoided anything to do with the services provided through the local agencies. However it seemed that she had decided I might be alright because I had helped her grandson through some difficult times earlier and had been studying Mono language with the 2nd graders at North Fork School.

    She greeted me from inside her house with a Mana’ hu, directing me into her bedroom with the sound of her voice. She was not willing to go to the hospital like her family had pleaded, but was determined to stay in her own place and wanted me to help her using herbs that she knew and trusted but was too weak to do alone. I had learned to use about a dozen native medicinal plants by that time, but was inexperienced in using herbs in a life or death situation. She eased my fears with her kind eyes and gentle voice. I stayed with her for the next two days, treating her with herbal medicine (and some vitamin C that she agreed to accept).

    She made it through and we became friends. One evening several years later, she asked me if I knew my elders. I told her that I was half Canadian and half Appalachian from Kentucky. I told her that my Appalachian grandfather was raised by his Cherokee mother but nobody had ever talked much about that and I didn’t want anyone to think that I was pretending to be an Indian. I was uncomfortable saying I was part Indian and never brought it up in normal conversation.

    “What! You’re part Indian?” she said. “I wonder, would you point to the part of yourself that’s Indian. Show me what part you mean.”

    I felt quite foolish and troubled by what she said, so I stammered out something to the effect that I didn’t understand what she meant. Thankfully the conversation stopped at that point. I finished bringing in several days worth of firewood for her, finished the yerba santa tea she had made for me and went home still thinking about her words.

    Some weeks later we met in the grocery store in town and she looked down at one of my feet and said, “I wonder if that foot is an Indian foot. Or maybe it’s your left ear. Have you figured it out yet?”

    I laughed out loud, blushing and stammering like a little kid. When I got outside after shopping, she was standing beside my pick-up, smiling and laughing. “You know” she said, “you either are or you aren’t. No such thing as part Indian. It’s how your heart lives in the world, how you carry yourself. I knew before I asked you. Nobody told me. Now don’t let me hear you say you are part Indian anymore.”

    She died last year, but I would like her to know that I’ve heeded her words. And I’ve come to think that what she did for me was a teaching that the old ones tell people like me, because others have told me that a Native American elder also said almost the same thing to them. I know her wisdom helped me to learn who I was that day and her words have echoed in my memory ever since. And because of her, I am no longer part Indian,

    I
    am
    Indian.

    May The Great Spirit’s Blessings Always Be with You!
    Nobody Special _:^) “Robin” “Eyes open”

    Like

  2. Eden, I’m so sorry to hear that people continue to treat you this way. 😦 It breaks my heart. 😦

    I would think Native Americans would welcome you with open arms.

    It doesn’t matter if a person’s heritage is 1/8 or 1/2 or 3/4’s…they are still whole!

    Continue to be you! And be proud! 🙂

    Don’t let what negative people say get you down. Keep speaking out.

    (((HUGS)))

    Like

    • *hugs back* Thanks. People just need to learn to not go by how someone looks because you can’t tell that way. At least not anymore. Almost everyone is missed now. I’m sure there aren’t many people left that are 100% anything.

      Like

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