Sometimes, my mind turns on and a million questions flood and keep going.
Sometimes a loud noise or sudden sound will awaken me from deep sleep and then my mind wanders and goes down the infinite bunny holes it can create.
And then…there are the times I fall asleep slowly and just don’t really sleep and a quiet noise pulls me out it and I stare blankly at the ceiling wondering about too much and not enough to make my mind go silent.
No, I don’t have insomnia. I just lose sleep once in a while…
And tonight is one of those nights…
But now I have to try to get sleep before the dawn breaks and I don’t know if my mind will cease for a bit….
Too many questions run amok in my brain and the person I want to ask them all to doesn’t even know I exist or ignores the fact I do…like I am some ghost.
It makes me ask more questions.
Deep questions emotional questions things that I don’t have answers to.
Sleepless I am tonight…
Honestly, I am disappointed by the portrayal of Native Americans in literature and media that is continually enforcing the stereotypes that flood the American Culture about Native Americans. Frankly, most authors (even some of those who are Native American) who write their stories for young children, young adults, and create movies off the books have fashioned their images of native American lifestyle to “The Classic Indian” that was stereotyped decades ago.
Why does it bother me so much? Because I want to change those stereotypes, those misnomers. I want students to have an enriched view of Native American life, not some romanticized, fairytale of what they were like. I don’t want the Native American’s to be thought of as invisible any more. They have not ‘disappeared’, they are not ‘gone’, America has just robbed them of their memories, their lands, and their place in society. America ignores the Native American because first of all, all other races and nationalities are FOREIGNERS to America. They were not here first, they were all here last. They wish to forget they’ve stolen lands, lied, cheated, and bribed their way into history as ‘dominant’ while sweeping under the rug the Native Americans.
I believe the biggest tragedy is the inability to overcome this ‘Romanticized’ view of Native Americans. That they were either swept away from this place, or that they’re all like Dances With Wolves…Or classic cowboys and Indians. Frankly, these ideas offend me. Native Americans are tribes, tribes that have different cultures and different beliefs all under a giant bow tie called “Native American”. There is no “one” Native American, there are many. And it’s sad to see that so many generations have been impacted by no knowledge of these differences. They’ve all been glumped into the Hollywood version of Native America, and have been tricked into believing lies and deceit.
Now, Native American history is not pretty either! It’s not some clean story that we can all deal with. The truth is, there is violence. There were things that were a part of Native American life that ‘moral Western’ culture does not and cannot hold to. The infantcide of children with diseases and deformed limbs (oh wait…American’s still do this practice under the cover of ‘abortion’). Elderly were ousted out of their communities to die alone (oh wait…what are nursing homes?). And many other travesties. I honestly know, because I am mostly ‘white’ (Oh hey yeah I’m actually also Cherokee and Comanche, you try being born in the Northeast Corner of Oklahoma) that there is a difference of cultures between the West and Native America, but these differences can be learned and appreciated if you are willing to step outside of yourself. Maybe if America would come to terms with her own past, and her own neglects and wrong views…Maybe than Native America would be redeemed. But after centuries of broken promises, and ill fated disasters of ‘treaties’ and politics, no wonder most of the remaining Native Populations don’t have a desire to be part of the American world…the popular world. In fact, many of them are more willing to fade away because of the pressures to fit the American mold…
Can America—Native and Non-native—Bridge the gap? Can they work together? I hope for that future, but in all reality, it will be hard work of forgiveness, repentance, and restoration. I think the first place we can start though, is by removing these Romanticized Lenses of Native American populations, and the stereotypical lenses that all native peoples are one ‘people’. Recognize their differences, recognize their cultures, and you might have a chance at making some head way…Irish, Chinese, Indian (From India), Korean, Hispanic, Jewish, German, French, British, people out there…all you Non-Native American…need to wake up and see what is going on for real.
Sorry, but that’s my thought. My voice on this matter. I have been bugged by it for a long time…