Nobody is perfect and that includes me. There’s only so many hours in a day in which to learn and be “woke.” I have tried to maximize those hours in my private time and in my formal schooling, during which time I focused on Native American issues and ethics and political philosophy.
Recently, however, I’ve gotten tired of having to “prove” my woke-ness, my compassion and my willingness to fight alongside others. I’m a disabled, bisexual, former teen mom and I’ve had it with call-out culture.
You may not miss me in your social justice scene and that’s fine. But, after over 14 years of studying Native Issues and fighting for Native rights, I’ve been called “Kevin Costner” by a close Native American friend. Sorry, but it’s things like this which tax me mentally. I simply don’t have time for that kind of nonsense. If you can’t trust I’ve done my research on “the white savior,” we don’t need to be talking.
I’m of the mind that I need allies. In fact, I plea for allies. If you don’t need allies, that’s great. I also come from the time when we had strong gay-straight alliances on campuses where I learned about alliances. I may be wrong about various things, but don’t act like I’m a pretendIndian.
I’ve decided, then, that for my own mental health, I’d become my own advocate–and I welcome allies. You don’t have to be perfectly woke. You just have to try. I’ll try not to call you out on any small infraction.
In this era, we talk a lot about “identity politics,” which typically includes race, ethnicity and immigrant status. We don’t often focus on disability and young mothers, of which I am both. If you think these aspects of identity and status are not marginalized and kept down in areas of justice, then I suppose you have some learning to do. So, learn and join me in my fight.