Demonstrators protesting the shooting death of Philando Castile gather in front of the police department in St Anthony, Minnesota
Demonstrators protesting the shooting death of Philando Castile gather in front of the police department in St Anthony, Minnesota, U.S. July 10, 2016. REUTERS/Adam Bettcher

 

Yesterday I posted a status in solidarity of Native American peoples on Columbus Day, describing how Columbus and his men raped, murdered and enslaved an ancient culture for the sake of extracting resources. I stated I wouldn’t be taking part of the ‘celebrations.’

A huge number of people supported the sentiment, of all backgrounds.

Despite the many people who commented and private messaged me to show their thanks and support, one Facebook friend posted the following comment:

 

final

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quick pause. The man who posted this may have had Cherokee heritage, but to have a distant relative who is Native American is not to say you can speak for a whole people. Just as one woman cannot speak for all women, and may not advocate women’s rights just for the mere fact that she is a stakeholder.

In this moment, whilst writing this article, another man contacted me over private message, with a news link that called the ‘attacks’ on Columbus Day absurd. He said something to me which couldn’t have made me less chill… ‘chill.’

I just want to take a moment to tell all bleeding heart lefties out there, don’t stop.

Do not ‘chill’ when we speak of colonialism and illegal land grabs.

As a white, middle class European I have been at the receiving end of white privilege since the day I was born. Every single day structural racism and oppression affects people from all over the world, whether it is a Native American person being arrested for peacefully protesting the North Dakota, or a person of colour being systematically abused by the police force.

The legal system throughout the world is incredibly corrupt and racist, with sexual and physical abuse, even murder, of people of colour being forever normalised on news broadcasts.

Those lucky enough to be born the ‘right’ skin colour in a society plagued by inequality, structural racism and abuses of human rights against non-white people, you must not be embarrassed or confronted into silence. Speak up, and speak loud.

We have a choice. To sit back and watch whilst society continues to value and respect us more for nothing more than the colour of our skin? No way.

Use your voice. Speak out for those who aren’t being listened to. Your voice is power, never be ashamed of standing up for what you believe in.

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