After watching a video of some Polish people playing native with a lovely song and wearing all the feathers and trappings of indigenous Americans, I was surprised to see the scathing criticism they received.
Apart from looking a little silly, it was clear they had no bad intentions and were simply trying to spread a little joy in the world. Of course, they made a faux par with the headdresses and feathers, which must be earned in the respective cultures, but the backlash seemed a little disproportional.
Cultural appropriation is the latest social justice wave in the US and seems to carry the guilt of a nation with it. It’s understandable, the US was built on genocide and theft, entire cultures were all but wiped out. The irony of American's virtue signalling about cultural appropriation is that they do so whilst standing, living and driving on stolen land.
And it’s not just the US. Australia, Mexico, Central America, South America and as we speak West Papau have all experienced the genocide + land grab + religious reprogramming formula that has been rolled out around the globe.
When you speak to the tribal elders that really know what’s going on, they aren’t holding their hands out for help, or begging the white man to preserve their culture. They take full responsibility for that role themselves. They pity us, they say help yourselves. How can you help us keep our culture and land, when you have lost your own and do nothing? They know that until we fix our own wounds, nothing can be reversed.
The culture we live in is force fed - Hollywood, pop music, alcohol, media outlets, news channels, podcasts, conspiracy theories, counter cultures, social media, hashtags.
And oh it’s so empty and painful for us. Too painful for us to accept. We live in our heads, forget our bodies and constantly chase the dream of success, frittering our lives away to survive in a system that requires our unquestioning obedience to pay for things that belong to us by birthright. Instead we get to chase a buffet table of highly addictive rewards that will keep our awareness numbed just enough to keep us playing the game.
In the meantime we feed a machine that grows richer and more powerful over us everyday, whilst we concern ourselves with the next dopamine hit to wash away the mundaneness of our soulless existence.
Why were these polish kids mimicking other indigenous cultures and not connecting to their Slavic roots?
Where is our European indigenous culture? For the Irish, the English, the French, the Germans?
It’s the same formula folks, genocide + land grab + religious reprogramming. You may not think you’re Catholic or a derivative of, but if you were brought up in white man’s world, then you carry that programming with you.
Millions massacred, Cathars, Celts, Pagans of all backgrounds. All in the name of God and the most powerful corporation on the planet.
What has this raised? It’s spiritual bypassing of the highest degree. Many people are talking about feathers and respect when genocide and landgrabbing should be on the agenda for all of us. We have so much to put right and we’re ignoring the work with these petty surface level arguments of who’s disrespected who. Let’s progress it to who stole from and killed who and how this can be set right. Not in token gestures of reservations but by actually giving the land back. All of it. To everyone.
These kids had their culture destroyed as we all have.
The flames are still flickering, the wisdom keepers have not all died out and the land remembers always. It’s time for us to take it back.
They hang the man and flog the woman
That steals the goose from off the common
But leave the bigger villain loose
That steals the common from off the goose
Many a white do gooder shies away from this conversation. Trying to preserve the land and cultures in other places whilst ignoring the fact their own has been taken and wiped out. The wounded healer in action. We can no longer ignore our own. If we really want to heal the wounds of our planet, this is where we must go.