The invasion of what we call the North American continent and its peoples began with the Spanish in 1565.
February 1692 The First Witches Burned.
Burning of books, majickal objects, or objects that have great spiritual value is one of the first things the colonizers began practicing when they took over the land that would come to be known as North America.
The other day someone thanked me, and I didn’t respond. I did, but I did it in a blog post that was self-aggrandizing and I hate those kinds of posts so I took it down.
On the day that a man thanked me – or someone with a deep male-sounding voice to clarify on purpose – a young Asian girl made fun of an Elder(dress) Indigenous person, who offered this young teenager water.
And it angered me. It made me so angry. I have stayed in the house for the better part of the last five years building this site, and I enter back into a world in the middle of a pandemic, with whole-ass cities that don’t have access to clean water, and here is an offer of life.
From an older person to a younger person, it was such a majickal moment that should have been honored with a thank you, instead she received laughter.
Today as I was getting off an elevator a young girl and her friend laughed at my bald head, and it made me so angry. I don’t have cancer, I’m not sick, but I could be, I could be sick due to medications – which by the way I am – might explain my weight gain, which it does.
And it was so humiliating. I was proud of my haircut. I know how brave it is for a woman “of my age,” to walk out of the house without hair on her fucking head, especially as a Black woman whose hair is coveted often, by our white counterparts.
I am angry about the water now as I am at the anger that Will Smith got for slapping Chris Rock. More so now than ever I am doubling down on my belief that that slap heard around the world was the right fucking thing.
Today I had to ask my mom why all my problems had to be made about her – “why is it when Devon is hurt, it always comes down to how it affects you?” was the exact question.
I am angry because I realize now, how disrespectful I’ve been to my elders my whole life. I realize now at the cusp of turning forty that I have prioritized my youth for sooo long because I got so little of it.
Like so many of us, my childhood years were interrupted by abuse and trauma, and so when I see a moment that is majickal I cherish it more than those who don’t understand what it means, to be offered water, from an Indigenous person.
Here’s what it means to me, and possibly only to me.
The colonizers came from across the water and invaded. Whole communities were wiped off the map forever, their children were stolen, and their language ripped from them through vicious violence, and bribery that often ended in sickness and in death.
Everything that the ancestors of Indigenous folk knew was destroyed, because the water brought life, but it also brought death. Maybe they didn’t have access to the Gods the way they thought, or maybe the Gods are just fucking cruel.
“Here’s water to drink that will sustain you when you’re starving but it’ll also bring viciously evil men and women who will destroy everything about you in the name of supremacy.“
I wanted to cry at this moment, not because an Indigenous woman was insulted, or not just because of that, but because our ancestors have been drilling this in our head forever, “respect is vital to the survival of our nations and our communities. We MUST respect those who came first.”
In an Asian household that girl would never have dared laugh at an elder who offered her water, not so openly, but here in this moment with so many Indigenous gathered, from around the lower mainland, here in OUR hometown, you disrespect them by laughing at their elderress. Are. You. Fucking. Kidding Me.
We talk and speak openly about respecting indigenous culture and beliefs and their way of life, and then in a moment when they come together to honor EVERY SINGLE CHILD who WHOSE BEEN ABUSED OR LOST TO ABUSE, you laugh at an Elder.
You bet your ass I wanted to slap you.
You laugh atm e, fighting so you, a girl and her friend both with brown skin can have a safer existence here in Surrey, because I have no hair, and you have no idea of my struggle or why. Yes, I wanted to slap you.
This thing we do where we prioritize youth and promise that they will be the savers of the next generation is so backwards. It’s the adults who have to stop having kids they can’t respectfully take care of.
Like people are selling their children through fucking Facebook, are we ready to have this conversation yet?
Respect is earned, not just given they say, what more do the Indigenous, do the Brown and Black women of this world, have to do, to earn a fucking thank you, instead of being treated with disrespect because we don’t understand something.
If you don’t understand something, instead of being a bully and an asshole, ask the fucking question, don’t make assumptions because that is LITERALLY how people die in this town.
There was a time that Indigenous folks were not allowed to gather feathers for their tribal dresses and uniforms, there was a time they were not allowed to honor their dead.
Give them their day and listen when they say EVERY CHILD MATTERS, they mean you too.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall