On Indigenous People’s Day…

Sadly, we don’t have an All School Meeting today for me to acknowledge this day as Indigenous People’s Day (a day that originated in Berkeley) but I want to acknowledge it somehow.

This morning, when I checked my social media pages, I saw a post from a Native friend:

“still here columbus. you bastard.
goin’ to work, even.”

The simplicity of these words hit me in the gut. The numbers and facts I have read, the information I still don’t have* became painfully real in that moment (* — this is something I’m working on in my self-education as an immigrant in this country). I sent my friend my love and support, and he wrote back, explaining that he is “a bit grumpy this morning.”

A bit grumpy.

I can’t even imagine…can you?

How would you feel if you felt erased from history? If people took off as a holiday (and had sales for great deals on) the day, which, to you, symbolizes the decimation of 80-100 million of your ancestors?

I wrote back to my friend:

“I can’t imagine why.
Just remember: your joy is revolutionary.”

His part in history is to thrive against the odds. My responsibility is to educate myself and others so I can stand in solidarity with my friend.

I now have this map of Native American Nations with their traditional names & locations hanging in my office, and I’m looking forward to studying its details. Please come visit (S. Campus) and see it for yourself. It’s powerful.

And below are some more resources and perspectives to get us going.

We are always and constantly writing and rewriting history.
We can do better.

The time is always now.

Thanks for reading…

tk


RESOURCES & PERSPECTIVES:
• Chapter 1 from Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States

• Indigenous People’s Day 2015: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know | Heavy.com

Italian Americans who Fought for Justice

• This video:

• The hashtag #RethinkColumbusDay is trending today as Americans celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day and challenge Columbus’s genocidal legacy: Today, Americans #RethinkColumbusDay | Colorlines

• This Oatmeal illustration: Christopher Columbus was awful (but this other guy was not) – The Oatmeal (It’s worth noting that Bartolomé was no saint — he was against enslaving natives, yes, but until his repentance, his suggested solution was to enslave Africans instead. Read, research, and draw your own conclusions.)


• This video by my friend Hari Kondabolu on another friend’s (W. Kamau Bell) now defunct tv show, Totally Biased: