Why don’t you just get over it?
It’s a question posed to Indigenous peoples routinely
These words come laced with traces of manifest destiny
Like people are breathing the same air of the same breeze
That pushed Columbus’ sails to shore
Get over it
This equates to being uncomfortable with the privilege
Of living off of Indigenous lands
And on legacies that were built on minorities backs
If you’re going to step to me with this blatant dismissal
You better have your rebuttal grounded in facts
- Indigenous spirituality and gatherings were outlawed by policy based on European fear and control
- Laws were put in place to separate families and placed Indigenous kids in residential schools so they could swallow the indian whole
- Treaty processes were tainted with interpreters with forked tongues and signed under duress or under the false pretence that nothing would change.
- Nothing remained the same
- Our traditional ways of governing were undermined and restricted and reconstructed without our consent
- Indians were restricted to the confines of reservations unless they had an official pass from an indian agent
- Sled dogs in the north were mass executed to stop nomadic living and start government reliance
- Indians were banned from getting legal representation and from participating in forms of colonial defiance
- The residential school era cut the tongues out of our mouths, buried babies, and bred dysfunction
- If we’re looking at how fair treaties are because of so called benefits, well then you’re looking at a land reduction
Please know what “it” is before you tell generations of nations to sweep genocide under the rug
Because it makes your history look unclean
Would you have the audacity to tell blacks to silence stories about slavery?
Or south Africa to choke back and swallow apartheid?
What about the Maori, the Aboriginese, the Polynesians?
White guilt and white privilege is getting a complex
So we better hold our lips and keep our version of history in check
We don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable with the shifting colours of our presence
Create tensions at the utter mention of the stories that indigenous bodies hold
You act as if this story of genocide and assimilation is centuries old
Like old policies are not chopped up , repackaged
And given back with the same bones
Bones, is what we have been given
The other day I heard a story of a man who was beaten as a child for stealing scraps for starving children in residential school. Scraps that came from the lavish plates of priests and nuns. Scraps that were destined for the garbage.
Beaten for bones.
Bones that were beaten.
So the next time you go to say get over “it” you better realize that “it” is alive and well and it exists in every facet of this society
Every systemic structure is plagued with racial inequalities that are provided as privilege to you and at the expense of minorities.
Maybe you need to get over ethnic superiority, one sided history, and illusion of right to colonial legacy
Just saying though, maybe the “getting over” isn’t meant to be applied to me.