Category Archives: Race

Who qualifies to represent themselves as Native?

Okmulgee mounds in the ancestral homelands of the Mvskoke people long before Europeans arrive

Who qualifies to speak for the Native people?

I’ll be the 1st to admit, I’m fortunate enough to have unbroken Native descent. My Mother’s birth certificate says Indian right on it. My Grandmother who was alive for half my life, is on the Dawes rolls. I had much in person contact with her.

That said, my Mother and Grandmother weren’t exactly running around with ‘I’m an Indian’ t-shirts and braids in their hair. Considering what residential schools, gov’t policies, and general population attitudes did to my family, this is understandable in my opinion.

Most of my direct family are Mvskoke citizens. I have many cousins as well. I am from a large and well known Native family in my Nation. Last I looked, my Nation was the 4th largest in the US, about 100k citizens. It has a lineal descent requirement, not blood quantum.

Like my Native Nation, I do not believe in blood quantum, though mine is about median. There are about 2000 full bloods left and my blood quantum is higher than more than half my Native Nation.

I believe strongly in lineal descent

I’m fully confident I am Native and have no insecurities about this.

I don’t care if someone has a 200 yr break since their last ‘fully Native’ ancestor.

I don’t care if their blood quantum is nearly non-existent.

I don’t care what ‘race’, color or phenotype a Native is.

I don’t care if a Native’s culture & language is lost or unknown.

FYI: Culture and language is SUPER important however, and I fully encourage immersion in culture and language education.

I stand with Native Nation determination of who is Native, and who isn’t.

When I disagree, like for instance, I disagree with my Nation’s current determination of Freedmen, my primary focus is on voting and influencing my Native Nation, not Twitter or others.

I do not believe in self-identity

If someone can only self identify, or only has family lore to go on, they need to stand down, and shut up. They need successful research before they identify as Native. Period.

FYI: I believe DNA means zero.

All the above said, I am an individual Native. I am mostly in listening and learning mode, and I share what I can as an individual.

As the elder of my direct family, much of what I share on social media is primarily for my descendants.

My beliefs on who qualifies as a Native are NOT the same as who I believe should be representing Natives publicly as leaders, spokespeople, teachers, writing books, participating in panels, running large social media accounts, etc.

These positions have a higher threshold.

These are the 2 big questions:

1. Who qualifies to represent themselves as Native?
2. Who qualifies to speak for the Native People?

My opinions are obvious from the above tweets. I will add, neither Natives nor Native spokespeople should be expressing opinions with disinformation, false facts, bullying, control freaky, immaturity or anything less than adult respect and behavior.

As always, internal Native issues are for Natives, not non-Natives, allies or not.

We really need to be adults and find common ground to be civil with each other.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

This post is a slightly edited version of this original thread on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/CryptoMvskoke/status/1591539860162359296

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National Hockey League is Mostly White People

The NHL Chicago Blackhawks Hockey Team is Racist

The National Hockey League is mostly white people but conveniently does not keep statistics on the percentages of ethnicities in the league. According to the NHL Wiki article Race and Ethnicity in the NHL “The NHL is composed of 93% of players who designate themselves as white“. USA Today says the NHL is “97 percent white and beyond“.

Considering their embarrassingly high degree of whiteness, it may be that the NHL and in particular the NHL Chicago Blackhawks will be among the last of racist sports teams to give up their unabashed racist ways.

Imagine a mostly white hockey team named after an Indigenous African warrior, with Black stereotyped mascotry and logos. Imagine fans in blackface and made up tribal markings screaming various white imaginations of African war behavior.

Sounds horrific, right?

Yet change African to Native and Black to Red, and this is perfectly fine with almost all white people

Many of those perfectly fine white people would be very angry and pout for extended periods if you dare suggest they are at best upholding, sustaining and financing racism, or at worst are just plain racist.

BBBut but but Black Lives Matter, I’m not racist in the slightest degree.
Yes. You. Are. If you buy, use and wear racist sports clothes and swag, if you watch and finance racist sports games and broadcasts, you are deep in racist doo doo. The NHL Chicago Blackhawks alone received $178 million in 2019/2020 season revenue – you pay that.

My brother-in-law is part Native and he is OK with this.
Yeah yeah yeah, 36% of surveyed Americans thinks they have Native ancestry when less than 3% actually do. There is also no such thing as part-Native. Part-Native is an immediate red-flag to bullsh*t. You are either 100% or zero percent.

My great-great-Grandmother was a Cherokee princess and I’m OK with this.
<Face-palm> There is no such thing as a Cherokee princess.

This honors Natives.
No, it does not.

Sports teams donate to Native charities, and finance/improve museum exhibitions.
Great but you can’t buy your way out of racism. No person or organization has the right to benefit and justify harm to others.

You Natives are making me feel bad for enjoying my favorite, legal and wholesome sports.
Good! Recognition of your white fragility is probably the first step towards eradicating racism.

This is what happens when you lose a war, spoils go to the victors.
OK, you’re a full-blown racist, go away.

Come on allies, get with it

Do I need to go on? No, I do not, the evidence is substantial. Google it if you doubt my words. Educate yourself. Mascotry and stereotyping Natives IS harmful. It IS horribly disrespectful of living people. If you OK with it, you ARE being racist.

You know I’m right. It’s OK, I get it. This is America, built with the blood, labor and land of Indigenous peoples world-wide. And still building and profiting. Everything you have been taught from birth to this moment has been reinforcing these wrongs. You can’t stop the world, but you can stop you. You can stop spending your time and money on racist sports and have more influence than your electoral votes.

Don’t be offended, just think about it and deal with it.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

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Cultural reflections on whiteness & my new 2021 DNA

A few major changes, now on 3 continents instead of 4

Ancestry.com revises periodically their DNA ethnicity estimations as their science advances and DNA databases grow. Their previous estimate was calculated in August 2020 which is in this post. I do think this is improved and it also matches my children’s DNA better.

Gone are the South American Indigenous groups and Mexican Indigenous was further refined to Yucatan Peninsula Indigenous. Note my Indigenous heritage from my maternal grandmother also includes the African, which is now 3 country groups and some portion of English, Scottish and/or Irish likely.

European Jewish is still my largest group coming from one grandparent, as my paternal grandfather was my only unmixed grandparent.

England & Northwestern Europe follow a close 2nd with all 3 other grandparents contributing to in varying degrees probably, but mostly my maternal grandfather.

Sweden & Denmark increased a lot, which I believe is part of my paternal grandmother’s Dutch heritage along with Norway and Germanic Europe.

  • European Jewish 28%
  • England & Northwestern Europe 27%
  • Sweden & Denmark 12%
  • Indigenous Americas-North 9%
  • Ireland 8%
  • Norway 4%
  • Germanic Europe 4%
  • Scotland 3%
  • Indigenous Americas-Yucatan Peninsula 2%
  • Nigeria 1%
  • Mali 1%
  • Senegal 1%

DNA is very interesting I think, but it doesn’t necessarily speak to the culture(s) one is, is raised within or claims you

Many people think of culture as language, music, dress, political and social behavior etc., which is true but culture also speaks to the values and thought processes one is taught.

My values and thought processes were taught to me mostly by my Indigenous mother, who was taught by her Indigenous mother, who was taught by her Indigenous mother and so on… Most Native tribes are matriarchal and the maternal nature and direction of my Indigeneity is impossible to ignore. Being Mvskoke is a strong and dominant part of me.

Likewise, my Jewish father was taught by his Jewish father, who was taught by his Jewish father and so on and the patriarchal nature of the Jewish culture were passed to me in a strong fashion. The religion of Judaism is validated maternally, which is why I had an Orthodox conversion in adulthood, but there is no doubt in my mind the Jewish culture is patriarchal.

None of this is to dismiss my European heritages, but for me the dominant cultures of each of my parents burn the brightest. No doubt it took me many years to organize my upbringing into understanding the cultural influences, but at this point I clearly see it.

The white Christian American (European derived) culture is something just not in me. For a long time I didn’t understand why I didn’t fit into (American) life. Now I know.

White Christian American culture & society thinks it is the neutral, & that other cultural standards & behavior fall short

It thinks other cultures aren’t civilized, up to the modern state of advancement or even G-d blessed state that white Christian American culture and society is.

This view is 100% false.

Much of white Christian American interaction with other cultures is about measuring and changing people to follow white standards. Assimilation can be subtle or as forceful as at gunpoint.

White Christian American culture and society, being the designer of race says that skin color is the ultimate determining measure of value.

This is also completely false.

There are a quite a few facets to this but I’m going to discuss one: Light skinned or white passing people of other cultures. It is a clear fact that light skinned or white passing people of other cultures benefit or at least do not suffer exactly the same as darker skinned peoples under white racial structures. But bear with me and learn. This is adjacent knowledge not replacement knowledge to the fact that the darker your skin is, the more you suffer under whiteness.

Skin color is just the art of G-d in the garden of humanity

It has no real value differentiation. Essentially it is decoration and meaningless. However, under the white construct of race, white people have turned it to their cruel and dominating advantage. Many people are square pegs trying to fit into a white round hole.

Going forward, when I say white, just insert ‘white Christian American (European derived)’. Strongly replace your vision of skin color with culture and values.

Regardless of appearance under the false and made up white racial structures, Native and Jewish cultures (to name just two) are not white cultures.

Regardless of varying degrees of assimilation or awareness, I am not a white person. My children and grandchildren are not white people. My parents and grandparents were not white people. We don’t act or think like white people.

This is why Jews say to themselves “oy, goy” with that common understanding and head shake, because Jews do not think like white people.

This is why even white passing Natives will call you a colonizer, settler or a white person. Not just because you are, but because white people have a thought process that isn’t the neutral they think it is and clearly one of its own culture, that is not shared by Natives.

In my own life and others, I can think of many clashes and harms due to this white misunderstanding of other cultures, regardless of the level of a Jewish or Native person’s enlightenment.

ALL government, law, business and social structures are controlled by and polluted with false white viewpoints.

Whether white people know it or not, according to their own limited or non-existent standard of understanding… from the building you live in… to your workplace… all the way to even the world stage… and probably soon even outer space, non-white cultures are getting the short end of the stick, period.

Only YOU can change this by equalizing the ruling, power and economic structures now. Not when it meets white standards, but now. Not when you think it’s right, had enough white meetings, prayer or whatever, but now.

Food for your thoughts.

And that’s it for now, stay tuned for more.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

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