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.

 

Why History Repeats

200 years ago (1819), Congress passed the law to civilize Native Americans. 100 years ago (1919), what was it like to be in Deaf community that time? What about now in 2019? Do we recognize the history that repeats to belittle ASL and the state of being Deaf?

Open Letter for Nyle DiMarco

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This post is written for Nyle DiMarco:

First, I admire Nyle for defying the mathematical odds in Hollywood industry. That was really big. Math is your best friend but it can be your enemy where it can define your life overnight. Just like that.

Second, this is not about Deaf versus Deaf. It is about educating what Native Americans had been gone through. It can also apply to Deaf community whom they suffer as well what Native Americans do. I hope it would be learning experience for Nyle.

Please no harassing or bullying Nyle about this. Either should I be not harassed or bullied about this. Sometimes we have to remind each other and understand the stigma with open mind.

I was cheering for him on Dancing with the Stars show. That night, Mirror ball on a huge TV with full house of Deaf people were jumping joyfully when Nyle won the show. I was there and jumped joyfully because Nyle defied odds. And not only that, he had spread the message in Hollywood about language deprivation in Deaf community.

It is a huge thing.

And I appreciate his advocacy work in Deaf community. Not all I agree with, but winning two shows in Hollywood, as Deaf person understands the adversity and roadblocks matter the most. Especially the continuation of criminalizing Native Americans to be mock, marginalizes, and judges in Hollywood industry.

For years and years, Native Americans struggles with their lives, it is an unbearable journey. Go back to 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed The Indian Removal Act into law, where the law has targeted Native Americans for their skin and heritage to be bullied and removed from American society.

By 1890s, around 95%, less or more in 90th percentage, had shown that Native Americans were murdered, cut off their hair and such. The language deprivation also applies in Native Americans. It is no brainer.

Today, Native Americans suffer from unemployment, cruel and unusual punishment, one of the highest rates of fetal alcohol syndrome, and think about those Native American women being murdered at highest rate than ever as you can find the source to read online: Police in Many U.S. Cities Fail to Track Murdered, Missing Indigenous Women. It is still going on in 2019. The last two years has been worst, highest. Trump’s America.

Native Americans had also been mocked plenty of times in Hollywood. For example, Adam Sandler, sometimes funny, sometimes not funny, few years ago, there were dozen Native American actors walked off the set of his movie called, The Ridiculous Six because the actors felt offended that the portrayals of Native Americans continues to be mocked and degraded.

Few months ago, there was an article showing that hate crimes against Native Americans increased 63 percent in the first year of Trump’s policy. It has been dully noted in FBI’s data report. We should not ignore that 63 percent is nothing?

Often, Native Americans ends up invisible…and wonder why? “…Especially the hate crime data is notoriously flawed as a result of public under reporting of criminal victimization.” [Silent Victims: Hate Crimes Against Native Americans by Barbara Perry.] When Nyle as a Deaf white man pressed the button “LIKE” on Twitter that Elder Native American man by the name of Nate Phillips who got mocked by White Catholic Boys with MAGA “Make American Great Again” hats has shown the powerful image of mocking Native Americans.

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Nate was struggling with alcohol addiction where he was charged with possession of alcohol at very young age, and we should not judge him on that. That was four and half decades ago and we should not judge him. Nate’s childhood life was hard enough.

Nyle was not even born during that time either.

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Always.”

We must understand that in 1960s and 1970s era was really rough time for Native Americans. Especially for Nate Phillips. The society that time and today in 2019 continues to criminalize Native Americans.

There are some things we all need to reflect the history and the stigmatization of Native Americans cannot be ignored. Like in 1960s, Native Americans were the nation’s poorest minority group, and that was bad enough, imagine the painful journey, and in 1970, the unemployment rate were TEN times the national level.

The math when we know that TEN TIMES is powerful and bigger number like an exponent than we really understand, and what is more, 40 percent of the Native American population below the poverty line, and we know that Deaf community is also below the poverty line, too. No?

Native Americans with criminal record even if its 30, 40, 50, 60 years ago, continue to face several problems related to employment, income, education, media, and Hollywood industry. Why do we have to dig out old past about Nate Phillips? He is now 64 years old. That is a cheap shot. It is really a shame.

After taking Native American Literature, Environmental Education through Native American Lenses, and Native Studies had opened my eyes and understand why media continues to mock Native Americans.

Devon Mihesuah in 1996, American Indians: Stereotypes and Realities showing that Hollywood continues to frame popular perceptions of Native Americans. Hate crime against Native Americans is really a BIG problem. We cannot let haters bring Native Americans down.

Police brutality against Native Americans are really high and heart wrenching. I mean, high, high, high that is not even funny. Native Americans are most likely to be killed by law enforcement than any other racial or ethnic groups and they are most overlooked group of all. Like Daniel Sheehan, general counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project: “Native American people are basically invisible to most of the people in the country.”

 

 

We cannot forget Deaf Native Americans, too. Remember John T. Williams? When Nyle was featured on show called Full Frontal with Samantha Bee few weeks ago and it was good and I was very much glad that it has shared with the public eye to understand about Deaf people suffering in the hands of law enforcement. However, he signed: “your training has barely covered the importance of how to interact with America’s one million Deaf citizens.”

There is most likely a Deaf Native American might be as well as killed any time, any day in White America.

There are a lot of White teens and early 20s got away with it. We cannot deny that. No way. Please stop criminalizing Native Americans.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

MAGA HATS: Hate-Filled Literature at Native Rally

Are MAGA HATS making America great again? In the light of hate-filled literature mocking, and intimidating Native Americans is trying to make America great again is not even close. Whose land belongs to in the first place? Silence equals hate. We need to stop hate targeting Native Americans.

CORRECTION: IT IS NATHAN PHILLIPS. NOT RICHARD PHILLIPS. MY APOLOGIES!

Abolish Columbus Day!