There is nothing more disheartening than seeing how totally and utterly some of our leaders “elected/hereditary/grassroots/people of influence” in our communities, circles, and movements reject, judge, or neglect our people who are hurting and in a really bad spaces. Especially when it comes to addictions, or dysfunctional patterns of behaviour, especially when you see these same people talking about the negative effects that genocide, colonization, forced assimilation, and residential schools has on our people daily, and we are impacted by PTSD on a daily basis.
If that is the true way you feel than you would realize that the effects run deep and they are hard to shake, inter-generational effects are not just shrugged on and off like a coat. Like a sister said when we were talking: “we don’t just decide one day to wake up and head down to skid row and be addicted to alcohol or drugs or sell our bodies.” there are many reasons layers and layers of complex issues that put our peoples in these positions and if your CONSCIOUS of this than you wouldn’t put down or look down on our people who are hurting hard and self medicating. I seen a influential person posting on social media a couple years back that when the people on welfare and reserves start protesting or rallying than it will be a “real” revolution.
I beg to differ, the real revolution will begin when we stop judging and belittling others for coping with trauma and pain as best they can, it will come when we realize the worth of our people and stop joining the white folks in neo colonialism and perpetuating negative stereotypes. Some of our fiercest and most hard warriors have clawed their way up and out of the black hole of genocide, it’s a shame to look down on our lives and the way we lived them because that’s what made us who we are. We have to accept somewhere along the frontlines not everyone is gonna be sober or functional or clean, or whatever ideal you want to fit our hurt people into and include and love them anyways instead of being dismissive and hardened in your spirit and heart. Especially if you have been there before, especially if you know how hard it is to find support, to dig yourself out, to struggle to breath when your drowning in a morass of racism, and daily trauma.
There is space for us all, there is space for the depressed, the anxiety ridden, the self medicaters, the negative, I believe when we create those safe spaces a true healing will be achieved and if we stop expecting more than our people can give and start accepting what they have to offer our movement will only become stronger and more powerful.