cooptation

Llllllllinnnnnks

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Confession: These are some ways I have been racist

I’ve been wanting to get this said and am sorry it’s taken me so long.

For a short period I was influenced by writings and statements from multiracial people who seemed to look very white, who had more complicated identities and didn’t identify as white. I’m 1/64 Cherokee and have some rumors of Iroquois heritage on my mother’s side, but am mostly Scotch-Irish and Swedish. My grandmother and uncles and cousins in North Carolina have all lived on Cherokee land for generations now. I briefly thought I should honor the small part of me which is Native by trying to reconnect with my tribe, but realized that to be adopted as a Cherokee I’d have to give up my vegan ideals. I then read a lot of stuff about postmodern Native identities and for about a month started publicly calling myself multiracial and two-spirit, since these terms seemed to best describe my blended, trans identity. Since then, I’ve realized that my skin is way too white for me to identify in this way, and I’ve seen that my using these terms was racist and a form of cooptation. I’m very sorry and very aware of my error and wanted to say this publicly in case anyone saw me identifying in these ways; that phase needed an explanation.

There are lots of other ways I’ve been (however unintentionally) racist. Maybe I’ll write more confessions like this one, I don’t know. I don’t mean to draw attention to myself; there are probably better ways of fighting racism and even of addressing this particular wrong. Anyhow, here it is. Sorry.