It ain’t easy being Indian… (August 2016)

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country
  
It’s weird how things work out. And don’t. First off I didn’t think I would still be around to write the above so in my case it’s cool. I’ve had a spectacular life and not all of it has been good, but mos def spectacular. For so long I’ve been threatening all of yooz that I’m gonna write a book and that is going to happen. I will also be working with author, journalist and playwright Mark Anthony Rolo on a play about my crazy life.
  
Some of you may have your sparse Indian hairs standing up after reading this incredible (insert your reaction here gr and kb) collaboration but let me assure yooz the time has come so just be ready. I’m now able to focus for the first time in my life on what I’ve been writing about for almost 18 years. All my life really!!! I know some of you have read my column for years now and you must know how much I appreciate yooz. Big Love Ya’ll.
  
The best part of all my personal experiences has been that I’m not alone. Probably 99.9% of real brown Indians have been through what I have and more which is sad. When I say ‘best part’ I mean it’s not us personally, it is the color of our skin and our culture we have never left after over 500 years. That is strength, resilience, courage and the refusal to give up in the face of unrelenting racism and colonization. I’m so proud of us.
  
I’m so not a Teddy Bear Indian. Never have I written or said anything to make non-Indians feel comfortable or that I’m not a threat. Let me be clear: I am a threat and you may not like or agree with what I say but it is my life experience and no one can dismiss it or marginalize me. I AM and I matter. Bring it, I got you.
  
The reason I bring that up is that so many Indian writers bow down to what white people think will sell and I call that selling out. Not all of us are mystical beings who are in tune with the Earth no. Deep in our DNA we are but not all of us listen.
  
A character I named Moosie is just that; a cultural caricature I invented when I saw paperback books of a bronze Indian man holding a white woman who succumbed to his savage love albeit unwillingly, at first. I laughed just hard. I said to myself I can do better than that and did so. The response was hilarious. I had women asking who Moosie really is and men who made their ponytails float like Moosie’s in the wind even when there was no wind.
  
Point is a lot of people liked my fictional character and wanted more of it but my column has been about an Indian woman living in this crazy space and writing about my life trying to survive. Apart from my own problems I’ve addressed many life issues that affect us all as Indian Nations. I cry and rage a lot wondering how I can help and make a difference for the better and continuation of our People. That is and will be my main purpose, for the love of us as a distinct and sovereign people.
  
I share now that I’ve been betrayed and deliberately hurt by close family and friends. It sickens me most of all because of the time and trust I wasted on them. They have serious character flaws and thanks to my therapist I don’t carry any trauma they inflicted on me. He said, “It’s not your fault” after I told him how my former best friend hurt me. That statement saved me and I now say it to yooz.
  
So much of what you have suffered is not your fault. It’s the fault of the racist, colonial, oppressive culture being inflicted upon us. The good news is a great many people are awakening and making their voices heard. Those people are also walking the talk in life and politics (Plz go register to vote!) who will be recognized as a serious power.
  
It is so easy to acquiesce to the mundane machine and think that no matter what you do or not it’s already been rigged so your vote doesn’t count. I say it does and that if you choose not to vote you then have no right to complain about anything. I know that our political system sucks but it’s all we have right now so make your voice heard, please.
  
Not everyone has the platform I have to speak out but you still can. Love to my granddaughter, Love to All.




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