if it’s inaccessible to poor people it’s not radical
This is how you lose her.
You lose her when you forget to remember the little things that mean the world to her: the sincerity in a stranger’s voice during a trip to the grocery, the delight of finding something lost or forgotten like a sticker from when she was five, the selflessness of a child giving a part of his meal to another, the scent of new books in the store, the surprise short but honest notes she tucks in her journal and others you could only see if you look closely.
You must remember when she forgets.
You lose her when you don’t notice that she notices everything about you: your use of the proper punctuation that tells her continuation rather than finality, your silence when you’re about to ask a question but you think anything you’re about to say to her would be silly, your mindless humming when it is too quiet, your handwriting when you sign your name in blank sheets of paper, your muted laughter when you are trying to be polite, and more and more of what you are, which you don’t even know about yourself, because she pays attention.
She remembers when you forget.
You lose her for every second you make her feel less and less of the beauty that she is. When you make her feel that she is replaceable. She wants to feel cherished. When you make her feel that you are fleeting. She wants you to stay. When you make her feel inadequate. She wants to know that she is enough and she does not need to change for you, nor for anyone else because she is she and she is beautiful, kind and good.
You must learn her.
You must know the reason why she is silent. You must trace her weakest spots. You must write to her. You must remind her that you are there. You must know how long it takes for her to give up. You must be there to hold her when she is about to.
You must love her because many have tried and failed. And she wants to know that she is worthy to be loved, that she is worthy to be kept.
On or around the 13th of October this year many people in the United States and other countries in the Western hemisphere will celebrate the day that three ships full of lost Europeans, lead by Christopher Columbus, were found by the Taino Indians of the Caribbean on a beach. What resulted on this day set into motion the systematic murder, torture, raping, pillaging, robbery, slavery, kidnapping, and forced removals of Indian people from their homelands that would come to set the pattern for Indian-European interactions over the next 500 years. What occurred was neither beautiful nor heroic and it cannot, and will not, be recognized as a honourary and celebratory event by we, the indigenous peoples of this hemisphere.
From our perspective, the arrival of the colonial-pirate Columbus was an unmitigated disaster from the start. Despite the fact that his personal diaries indicate that he was greeted by the Taino Indians with the most generous hospitality he had ever known, he began the immediate enslavement and slaughter of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean islands. This was also not the first mark on his record, because before he sailed the Atlantic in search of China he was a slave trader for the Portuguese, who’s job it was to transport people kidnapped from their West African homes to Portugal to be sold as slaves.
This is the indisputable truth of the events, however many of our brothers and sisters who continue to uphold the celebration of Columbus Day argue that we, as people in the 21st century, can not judge the actions of a 15th century man by modern standards. This is a weak defence at best because it implies that there were no moral or legal constraints applied to individuals such as Columbus, or countries, in 1492. However, as the legal historian Robert A. Williams, Jr details, European moral and legal principles were in existence before 1492, and, they actually, in theory, largely came down on the side of the rights of indigenous peoples to be free from unjustified invasion and pillage by Europeans. The simple fact is that the European Christians were largely acting outside of their own understanding of the spirit of the law.
The problem though runs much deeper than the simple facts of the personality and history of a colonial-pirate like Columbus, because the day itself represents a much larger national, and international, dynamic that continues to propagate a whole slew of myths and lies that serve to dehumanize the American Indian. These myths work to justify to the current inhabitants of the Americas the theft of our lands, the attempted destruction of our nations, and the genocide against our peoples. The continuation of Columbus Day continues the racist assumption that the Americas were an untamed wilderness, sparsely populated with primitive savages who contributed nothing to the world, and, as such, should be grateful for their colonization and their televisions, toaster ovens and cell-phones. The national-state education systems of the Americas continue to enforce these founding mythologies to this day.
The continued dignification of Columbus and his legacy with parades, holidays and other celebrations is an insult to all of us. As the indigenous people of this land, we can never condone social and political festivities that celebrate our genocide. As far as many of us are concerned, it is akin to celebrating German culture with something along the lines of an Adolf Hitler Day.