Little background to the Red Privilege thing: It’s a term that’s been thrown around in my local geographical community with a handful of people that have a lot of pull. It’s been used in a way that reads, “Hey! I’m doing this thing that’s super awesome and Native and I’ve been able to do it for a long time! Look at me! Look at how neat I am!” It’s particularly used by someone who straight-up told me that I’m “a bad Indian,” who will never be “good enough.”
And I have a lot of anger about that.
And I shouldn’t have reacted in such a knee-jerk way to a bigger conversation.
I must clarify that I wasn’t trying to say that it was a privilege in the greater scheme of things AT ALL. I see it as something really strange and poisonous that’s happening here with people like me, people that aren’t urban, aren’t rural, aren’t reservation NDNs. I’m just floating, trying to find my place and to listen and to learn.
I am sorry that I used it in a way that invalidated people. I really am. It’s been made evident to me that this is how it may have been taken, especially by others I look up to in regards to cultural issues.
In my own life, with my own experience with the term Red Privilege (and I shit you not, it’s been used a lot lately here), it’s by passing, non-passing, easily identifiable, and everyone in between who happen to be able to have a connection to their cultural past. That is what’s so painful to me. It’s people that are lighter than me, darker than me, anything else that is or isn’t like me. But they are still more than I will seeming be recognized as. They are enough and have fun with a term. Maybe they’re reclaiming something. Probably they are. And it hurts.
I got angry. And I am sorry. It’s a personal sting of mine, and I didn’t mean to wedge any sort of rift open.