In a country that has always denied its actual origins, it is not surprising that conversations – including soul-searching – about race in this country, generally rely on a black-white binary. The Trayvon Martin–George Zimmerman case perfectly illustrates the nation’s inability to see beyond black and white… despite the fact that we live on Indian land.
It’s akin to how some describe history: It’s what we choose to remember and what we choose to forget.
By acknowledging that we live on Turtle Island or Pacha Mama, the automatic impulse is to avoid that inconvenient fact; to acknowledge that reality would lead to questions of genocide and land theft, and worse, we might actually have to speak to live indigenous peoples, but we don't want to go there, right?
We might even have to acknowledge that the nation's draconian immigration policies are, in effect, modern day Indian removal. But again, we don't really want to talk about that either, right?
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