White, black, brown, olive-complected or yellow, humans to a great
extent are reflexive products of their culture, and cannot see the hole
they are in, (as seen by persons from other cultures.)
For instance, see: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Zen_Forum/message/19993
--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "audreydc1983" <audreydc1...@...>
> When I see a white person attempt to connect (to the land, or deity)
in a Native American path (or one that just mimics a native american
path), I usually wonder about what "hole" they're trying to fill. Most
of them are blissfully unaware that their own ancestors had a similar
tradition of ancestor/land/god worship - but the NA traditions are more
accessible, call it a choice governed by proximity.
> I think, ultimately, that the commercialization and commoditization of
Native American culture feeds itself. Ever buy a book on NA
spirituality? Ever buy a dream catcher, or get one as a gift? Yes, they
bring awareness of NA culture - but at a HUGE price - it cheapens it,
and turns culture into commerce.
> And now for a personal anecdote, that I think is somewhat relevant: My
maiden name is Custer, and I've caught some flak for it - from WHITE
PEOPLE. While I was in the Marine Corps, I worked side by side with a
Native American. We had a long talk one day, and he told me that he
understood that it was George A. Custer's JOB to do what he did. He was
in the Army, and it didn't matter if he liked it or not - he didn't have
a choice in the matter. After all...if it wasn't him, it would've been
someone else. We parted good friends, with a hug - before he went to
Iraq with my husband's old unit.
> The only people that made a big deal out of it were the white people
that worked with us. They would make jokes like : "we better not leave
them alone together; someone might get scalped", etc. Both of us were
extremely uncomfortable, and asked them to stop, on several occasions.
> I will not apologize for what my ancestors did. It was not my choice
to be born here, live here (and ultimately, die here). Their choices are
not MY choices. I wish that the NA peoples didn't have to go through
what they did, but "SORRY" will not bring anyone back. It will not
reverse the damage to North America. It will not reverse government
trickery and ignorance of treaties. It will not stop the shameless
commercialization of their culture. "Sorry" is empty - especially when
it isn't your apology to give.
> In retrospect, I think that white people who insist that other white
people apologize for their ancestors' actions are suffering from what I
call "The Great White Guilt". They think "sorry" means something; just
because it makes them feel better, they think that the apology acceptor
should feel better too.
> So, in respect to the NA culture, I do not practice it. I acknowledge
and accept it for what it is.