Are ‘They’ Spiritually Ill?

A recent exchange on Facebook began with something like this: “Are racists and xenophobes mentally ill?  No, they are ‘sick people’ who are spiritually ill. They have lost their connection to the community, to hope and to love.”

That’s not an exact quote but it gets to the gist. When I asked how ‘spiritually ill’ was defined, there wasn’t a definition but I was asked to contribute to that and how keep each other ‘spiritually well’ and how do we deal with people who are spiritually unwell.  Without doing either, I mentioned I happen to know a bunch of racists and xenophobes who are well connected to their community, have hopes for their children and selves and families just like everyone else and certainly love.

This here is how racism, xenophobia, ethnocentrism, and other cliquish ‘isms’, ideas and behaviors begin. The moment anyone separates another person or group of people as ‘not enough like me to keep me comfortable so therefore I must define them as unlike me as I can’ is the beginning of being exactly that which you are judging.

It’s that attitude that has decimated communities across the globe in the name of religion, racism, capitalism, and destiny.  Because brown people aren’t people; because Jewish, Muslim, Christian people aren’t enough of whatever we say they need to be more like us so we can take what we want from them.

My Facebook response:

“Why not just love them how they are, how they show up in the world? Why call them ‘ill’ at all because their experiences have brought them to a different way of understanding the world and their relationship with the things of the world?  Isn’t the ‘medicine’ to the ‘illness’, the healing, in loving them, those we call ‘other’? If their behavior or definitions or identity is that of separation aren’t we doing the same thing by labeling and judging in this way?”

Because when we do, yes, we are.  Prettying up the notion of hate or separation and devaluation by race, class, political ideologies, country of origin, opinions and choices, and illness by calling it anything associated with ‘spiritual’ is what begat Crusades, genocides, abusive gurus, and, perpetuates slavery and the violence we see today.

We can’t change that by echoing it.

Love. Want to help? Find ways to connect with people who are not like you. Take a class on non-violent communication. Introduce your kids to kids in other communities.  Invite your neighbor to dinner. Be kind. Read books by people who are not like you–without arguing about what you’re reading. Mentor a kid. Volunteer with a local NGO. Help a family. Drive someone to run an errand. Join discussion and reading groups. There are spaces and people in every community doing good works. Join them. Or start your own but don’t start with the notion you have to heal anyone who views life differently than you.

Advertisements

I see you. Thank you.

Dene Thá, Poplar Hill, Acho Dene NWT, Fort Nelson, Bad River, Pictou.  Thank you.

Tobique, Windigo, Shibogama, Paawidigong, Wabuskang, Munsee Delware, Tetoten Community, Kwikwetlen, Semilahmoo, Marmora Mine, Curve Lake, Hiawatha, Aldervil, Tyendinaga, Bay Qunite.  Thank you.

Leqand, Sumas, Swantlen, Matsqui, Sapotaweyak, Nisgaa, Okanagan, Chiniki, Treaty 8, Paul, Enoch and Alexander First Nations. Thank you.

Skwah, Squiaala, Tzchentn, Soowahlie, Douglas, Shxw’ow’tamel, Skaahlook, Dakota Ojibe, Poplar River, Island Lake, Long Plain, St. Theresa Point, Lake St. Martin, Adena, Wyandotte, Sioux Valley, Rolling River, Sandy Bay, Weywaysee Cappo, Cote, Keescehowenin, Rouseau River, Conchiching, Fisher River, Hitchi, Catawba, Shawnee, Apalachee, Muscogee, Yuchi, Kijicho Manito Madadeskarine.

 

Thank you. I love you.

 

We’re the Dark Force

There is no secret occult, invisible evil, or supernatural Dark Force spinning a web of entrapment and sexual slavery.

It’s us. Solid human beings that actively choose to create harm; some in what they weigh as ‘small’ ways, like creating a ‘friendship’ online that leads to a meeting in person and drinks with a drug in it.

It’s the mother whose son hears, “That girl! Look, she’s nothing but a tramp, she’s worthless!” It’s the girl who hears that–maybe from her own mother, who may or may not know that her father has been raping her since she began to toddle.

It’s the human need for connection and the capacity of other’s to exploit that, as well as economic poverty and other forms of lack.

It’s the collective agreement that the election of a mayor, tribal council person, school board, preacher or President who ‘grabs ’em by the pussy’ or ‘just takes what he/I wants’ is okay.

It’s the sexualization of children without teaching them about sex and all that it really is; it’s about hiding our own sexuality and need for intimacy behind porn and paywalls to substitute for connection. It’s about turning a blind eye to those who look, speak or behave differently than us because they are ‘other’.

For many of us, it’s the unwillingness to acknowledge our own privilege, the damage our forefathers wrought and our shared responsibility in fixing their fuck-ups. And, boy howdy, did they ever fuck some things up.

It’s the persistence of cynicism and sarcasm, taking the easy way out. It’s the unwillingness to challenge ourselves to do things differently–to see *others* differently, to move into active loving.

Love isn’t everything. It’s a magnificent foundation but requires effort.

Love also requires the effort (and it does take work) to understand that the phenomena of sexual slavery and that of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is not easily divided into black and white, good and bad, righteous and evil. It requires understanding that even those who cause great harm mow the neighbors yard without asking, feed strangers, love their children, do good works for their communities.  They exist together in the same way we each do; masked and visible selves that need to be heard, seen and healed.

 

The Real Conspiracy Here

The greatest conspiracy here is complacency.

If the amount of energy being used (and consumed) by folks perpetuating the “obviousness” of Epstein’s “suicide” were actually being put into talking about the tens of thousands of young people who are impacted by sexual slavery, or engaging with organizations that work for and with them, we’d have less of a problem.

If the energies put toward the ‘conspiracy’ of your neighbors, preachers, parents, teachers, mayors, medicine men, dentists, doctors, plumbers, cashiers, bartenders, board members, casinos, hotels were to match the current ‘trend’, we’d have less of a problem.

If folks would stop trying to ‘raise other people’s vibration’ and actually engage in the work of active loving, we’d begin solving the problem.

If we’d stop bitching about those in power and call them on their shit productively (and vote, there’s that), we’d begin solving the problem.

If we’d stop isolating and hiding real sex and celebrating the not-so-real, we’d start solving the problem

If we’d include other human beings in our ‘defense of the sacred’, we’d start solving the problem.

If we’d stop saying things like “just a whore” or “someone should beat some sense into her” or “she’s going to be just like whateverthederogatorytrend of the day is”, if we’d stop making fun of people who think and dress differently, we’d begin changing the problem.

If we would start losing our own language of violence, we’d begin to solve the problem. If we’d begin to value brown skinned people as if they, too, walked with the holiest of the holies, we’d begin to solve the problem If women would begin accepting responsibility about how we’ve taught me that this is okay—especially by our silence–then we’d begin to solve the problem

And, to state the obvious, If we’d stop fucking children–in every way, there would be no problem.

I’m using WE here purposefully. There is a collective responsibility shared here. Jeffery Epstein? His pocket of the slave trade is a mere drop in the bucket.

The same way it’s ‘trending’ to talk about those in power subverting justice in his case, it should be trending to talk about how we each do the same thing in our day to day life, whether it’s our language, who we vote or give money to, who and what we ignore because it’s someone else’s business, how we choose to find sexual release, empower our children–including their sexuality, or disempower our other women-because of their sexuality, look out for our neighbor, or say nothing rather than something.

More than Epstein

Forty-eight weeks ago, after I’d received no help from the FBI, the US Attorney’s office, tribal legislators, or multiple local law enforcement jurisdictions, I faxed letters to a select group of Senators who’d publicly expressed interest in addressing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Then-Senators Flake and Heitkamp, Murkowski, and Tester each received a two page letter outlining information I had and requesting a conversation or intervention with federal law enforcement.
Although none of the Senators engaged, that one communication began a cavalcade of connections across the globe. What I imagine was quite the panicked phone call from a Washington DC office, has led to a year’s worth of “who the hell is this woman and what does she really know”. There may be those who doubt but they aren’t the ones trying to defame me across Indian Country. They know that their Ancestors know, that I know, and that their gig is nearly up.
I’ve watched how the Epstein case has unfolded and, now that he’s killed himself, watched the requisite conspiracy theories pop up like mushrooms after a summer rain. How I wish that same energy would be funneled into bringing to light the real conspiracy of The Fuckery that does, no surprise, intersect with the Epstein case.

Arresting Immigrants but not Sex Traffickers?

I wonder what impact there would be if 600 people connected to the sexual trafficking of Native Americans were arrested in one day? If federal law enforcement waltzed into where they work (some wouldn’t have to walk all that far) and arrested them just like ICE did the immigrants yesterday?

Think about it for a hot second. Parade them out of their courtrooms, casinos, boardrooms, the bedrooms, schools, plumbing vans, tribal offices, just.like.that.

We have the capacity to do so. Why haven’t we?

There’s no mystery in the answer.

My Dear Empath

My Dear Empath,

You are not absorbing other people’s emotions. You *may* be feeling them and, if you are, you are not expressing them–those emotions of other’s or your own. You would be giving yourself a wondrous gift in letting the emotions flow!

You are, however, receiving a shit-ton of other energy (that has nothing to do with people) that your body and brain do not know how to process.

And while you’re trying to figure out how the above fits into your world, know that you emit a good chunk of what you won’t emote. In addition to feeling craptastic, it can cause harm to others.