Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Stop the Hate!

 

Written Transcript:

Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day! Why? America belongs to who? Indigenous Peoples’ Day officially recognized in Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital. History in the making! Why? Years and years of activism, protests, workshops, conferences, feedback, misunderstandings, errors, etc.

Important: PATIENCE.

Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day! There are some cities in America had removed Columbus Day in respect for Indigenous People’s Day. One day, it will be all over America, the land of freedom. Why? It belongs to Indigenous People. Christopher Columbus was a mass murderer, engineered one of the greatest genocide ever, racism, and it is time to throw Columbus out of the picture.

It is important to recognize Indigenous People’s history, tradition, stories, suffering, positive or negative that should be shared awareness. I remember when I was eight or nine years old kid, I just had a conversation with my dad earlier today, asking him whether he remembered the tepee story I built–and my dad said, “Yeah, I remember you were very skilled with that”. How did I learn?

My grandmother, her mother which was my great grandmother, 100 percent Oregon Cherokee and the entire family as well. I never knew. I never met them. Too bad. Why? My great grandmother died due to a child birth where my grandmother was born. She died right there. My family never discussed about that ever. Best to keep White race that way. Scottish, Irish as I was taught growing up. Then I found out that I have Cherokee until I was in 30’s.

I wish I’d grow up learning food culture, story telling, traditions, events, etc that would have been rich experience. Missed opportunities. Back to tepee story. How did it happen? My grandmother had an old book about Native Americans in drawings, pictures, stories, horses, etc and saw something that caught my attention and that’s why I decided to build tepee by myself.

“Hey Dad, look what I had done!” and I remember that day, my Dad was impressed! He allowed me to sleep there one or two nights. Great experience! I did not realize that I had great passion inside, I did not know that I had Native American inside me, only White–and Deaf.

Due to language deprivation, lack of communication in ASL, never knew the stories…but I felt funny because spirits or souls inside me testing my character, connecting to Native American experience, I would go outside all the time, wood chopping, fishing. My brother and I would go fishing together as kids. That was rich experience I would never forget. Always cherish moments.

I took American Indian Literature course in Oregon. Great storytellers, wrote several essays and how to respect and appreciate Native American culture and language, it was champ! I signed up for ‘Environmental Education through Native American Lenses’. For example, how Native American cooking, making natural tea, life experience stories and it was champ learning experience for me! My Nez Perce/Cherokee professor was phenomenal!

I went to a conference called “Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports” in Washington, D.C. for example, mascots such as Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins, etc; I was only Deaf there with two interpreters all day from 10 AM to 5 PM. Took a stand and asked a question for panelists at a conference where you can find me via YouTube link below at 1:17:51–

I did my civil duty. Why? I do not support Racist stereotypes, mocking Native Americans. Why? I’ve seen enough stories, for example, Hate Crime.

This book: “Silent Victims: Hate Crimes Against Native Americans” published by Barbara Perry.

2016. I stood in solidarity and marched with Standing Rock Protest in DC. A sign was made: “Hate Crime is a gross injustice which denigrates Native Americans”

2019. It is officially “Indigenous Peoples Day” in DC! History in the making! Important to be aware about activism. Need more of your activism out there, open-minded, understanding that Indigenous Peoples’ Day is important. Christopher Columbus? No! He was a White supremacist, Racist, killing awfully LOT, and he was really hateful towards Native Americans. We do not need a holiday like that. Throw Columbus out! Again, celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

Thank you.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including copyright message.

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What Do AGBell and Columbus Have in Common?

It makes you wonder about those two men (Alexander Graham Bell and Christopher Columbus) who had practiced the greatest threat to human beings.

 

Abolish Columbus Day!

Why We Should Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day

We need to resist against hate, xenophobia, and all forms of oppression against Christopher Columbus for what he has done to Indigenous people. We shall celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.

Indigenous People’s Day: Resistance in the Epoch of Christopher Columbus

 

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Please support Indigenous Peoples’ Day all over the cities and towns in the country, “Columbus Day” is a commonly used as a white privilege label to support to any bigotry, hostility, and discrimination against Native Americans and its use is often politically motivated. That is why I do not support Christopher Columbus’s legacy in secrecy, war, and violence in Native American lands. To date, if Columbus was alive today, hate crime charges without question where the trial is necessary for Columbus.

There are plenty of literature reviews on Native Americans and criminal justice, found one of the literature reviews focusing ethno-violence and found not a single case of Native Americans as victims of racially motivated violence. It makes them deeper than an invisible cloak. It is literally bad! What had Native Americans done to them? Kurt Vonnegut writes in his book, Breakfast of Champions: As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North American for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them.”

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What is Indigenous People’s Day? It is about celebrating of the Indigenous peoples in North America to celebrate their culture, language, and arts. It is important to appreciate them as part of humanity and it is also difficult to imagine and understand the current strains of Indigenous peoples where they face the connections with colonialism. As for Columbus’ trial, according to the United Nations: 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:

any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:

 a: Killing members of the group;

b: Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

c: Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

d: Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

e: Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. (Article II)

Do we need to celebrate Columbus Day what he has robbed Indigenous Peoples lives? It should be student-centered, human-centered, and love-centered that we need to retain our knowledge about Indigenous People in schools. Also, it can be educator-led that we need strong educators to bring in stronger awareness that impacts learning. At a human compassion, we all need a healthy terminology such as Indigenous People’s Day.

Finally, it should be Hate-Free, as Indigenous People deserve an education without financial hardships. They deserve a chance to thrive in their lives, without facing hate and racism daily. We need teachers and learners clearly to share a common interest in positive meaning and we need to re-invest Native American literature more often in our public schools and universities. Can we channel our knowledge toward the essentials of teaching and learning about Indigenous People’s Day? Please visit this YouTube video with captions provided:

 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

At the Center of White Privilege: Altering Deaf People of Color’s Public Spaces

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I am 42 years old male, my government skin is white, and a direct line with indigenous people in my family, I will copy and paste this powerful statement that today people still thinks Indigenous people are “people of color”:

A common phrase used to describe minority or underrepresented populations is “people of color.” American Indians are not, to quote Elizabeth Cook Lynn, a member of the Crow Creek Sioux tribe and founding editor of Wicazo Sa (a leading journal in American Indian Studies), “people of color”. Cook-Lynn writes:

Native populations in America are not “ethnic” populations; they are not “minority” populations, neither immigrant nor tourist, nor “people of color.” They are the indigenous peoples of this continent. They are landlords, with very special political and cultural status in the realm of American identity and citizenship. Since 1924, they have possessed dual citizenship, tribal and U.S.; and are the only population that has not been required to deny their previous national citizenship in order to possess U.S. citizenship. They are known and documented as citizens by their tribal nations. (1) 

References: https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/p/we-are-not-people-of-color.html

After watching a Deaf white woman with privileges video to belittle Deaf people of color conference couple of days ago, I do not know what to say, more like tying knots in my stomach. This post might be bit long to read—and try my best to unpack my white privileges. When I was a college student at a local community college, I signed up for African American History as part of my degree requirement before transferring to a university. My majors were: English, Liberal Studies, and Sociology.

That day in 2005 when I entered into the classroom to learn and appreciate African American history, I reached a very low moment in my academic experience when the teacher turned out to be a white male and had no experience in teaching this subject. It was a very last minute notice by the History department and I was offended. That was where I decided to withdraw that course on the same day. I felt good about it—that was part of unpacking my white privileges.

Later I became a university student—I signed up for American Indian Literature that was taught by Indigenous professor. I signed up for Jewish Literature that was also taught by Jewish professor. Then I signed up for Advanced Topics in American Literature: The Harlem Renaissance taught by Black professor. If Deaf Studies is taught or run the department by a hearing person, what do you call it? Is that a cultural appropriation? What about disempowerment? Dirty politics will always get in the way.

The whole point is that it is appreciated by what it is called cultural appreciation to learn about another culture with respect and courtesy by their own experience through the trials of oppression. In 2010, I attended National Deaf People of Color Conference: Hands Joined, Signs United, Colors Flying held in Portland, Oregon, it has popped my eyes even more coming from Deaf POC. They were the teachers of stories. I thank them for their experiences.

….What societies really, ideally, want is a citizenry which will simply obey the rules of society. If a society succeed in this, that society is about to perish.” [A Talk to Teachers]

What this means is, if we project that someone fail, they indeed might. But if we encourage and educate them, especially to take the occasional chance and challenge existing knowledge, we could truly advance as a society.

It is about education of People of Color. What I learned all these years not just the courses I took, but all the books I’ve read is that people of color has been stigmatized and never allow a Deaf white people with privileges to challenge Deaf people of color conference’s goals and missions on the basis of gender and race. Did it create an environment of paranoia? They already suffered as a result of extreme prejudice and stereotype.

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This pertains to social problems because there is definitely a large gulf of misunderstanding between POC and whites that seems to pervade society to this day, and that is tragic if we are to share the earth’s resources and live and work together as a human race. When no one asks honest racial questions about it, generations of ignorance and hatred fill the spaces between different races. When we all make an extra effort to understand each other’s experience or at least learn to it, that is progress in filling these racial gaps between people.

If I may make friendly suggestions to read three those books just to start and understand:

Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk

John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me

And two movies to watch: Dear White People: A Satire about Being a Black Face in a White Place and 13th: From Slave to Criminal With One Amendment.

Yes, I have more books to share, but I feel this is good enough for now. It is only beginning—time to unpack white privileges right there. Remember, Hands Joined, Signs United, Colors Flying……Deaf People of Color comes FIRST—and try not to break up the hands, signs, and colors into white privileges. Make a good example.

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-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

 

 

Join the Movement: Indigenous Peoples Day!