Expanded from my Tumblr.
My friend Ceceliea, of Anishinaabekwe, has closed her blog.
She has been a Native American social justice advocate, working for the good of Native women in Michigan and also online. Recently she was bullied by women while trying to assert her right to be involved in conversations about women of color in feminist spaces, mainly mainstream feminist spaces, and was bullied out. If she is comfortable, she may share more of the specifics of her story here.
Not just by White women, mind you. Other women of color insisted that she didn’t fit into their spaces because she is of mixed heritage. (I can relate.) Finally she couldn’t take it anymore and her beautiful voice is now private to only a select few people. She has burned out and has fallen back.
She is another to add to the list. I told you, they don’t go away.
This is tragic because she is a fantastic and wonderful force of positive energy for Native women and for all women, really.
This is the shit that pisses me off.
First, that she was another blogger bullied off the ‘nets.
Second, that Native issues get swept aside, because we aren’t brown enough sometimes to be listened to when we engage in discussions about how privilege has destroyed our people. Even among Natives, it is tough, because some of us apparently don’t look the part enough. Thirdly, how being mixed blood somehow erases our WoC/PoC status, how we are supposed to surrender our identities to another party who has decided that we are somehow Not Non-White Enough to not be white. In threads I am assumed to be white, and when I say I am Non-White I am assumed to be Black. Maybe Latin@. No one ever considers that I could be any of the myriad other options until I assert.
No, I don’t believe in Reverse Racism, but there is a hierarchy within the Non-White community, especially online, where those of us with non-black, mixed ethnicity heritage are somehow considered not enough of whatever to engage, and we are turned away — stripped of our identities, our experiences are erased, even though some of us have grown up straddling worlds where no one has really accepted us.
And you know what? This is bullshit, because I will tell you what. I live in places where I am looking at the future, and I see mixed ethnicity people in it, more and more.
Military families are increasingly mixed-ethnicity. Military marriages are inter-racial/trans-racial (OK, the language here is new to me). Granted, most of them don’t look like mine, where we get the total spit take where people see me (the Native woman who apparently isn’t dark enough) and the Asian man and it comes off as a bit of a mind-fuck, but it is a common thing. The children here are mixed ethnicity. The children growing up today are like me. The military is the most culturally diverse organization the U.S. has to offer (though it is still working on how to handle that) So we are going to have to figure out how to include people like me and Cecelia into this conversation on ethnicity and race. We have to figure out how to deal with ethnicity that isn’t cut and dry. And fast.
It is so horrible that Cecelia closed her blog. Her voice being gone is like a death in this world, and for those people who were part of it being gone, congratulations on causing that death. Pat yourselves on the back as you add another tick mark to the wall.