Let me preface this post by saying this: A friend asked me yesterday, “What do you think about the indigenous peoples march incident?” I had not seen the video. I asked him not to tell me anything. I wanted to avoid the commentary and really focus my intention on seeing this “viral” moment capture for exactly what it was.
I watched the video. Many times. Observing all the parties within view. I tried to place myself in each individual’s shoes. I am immediately overwhelmed with the task. I would like to share my perception:
I am at once drawn to a smirk on a young, white man’s face and his red fucking “Make America Great Again” hat. (insert severe eyeroll) Admittedly, there are many social assumptions I could make, but I digress for the sake of this social experiment. I will block that out. Actually, there’s several repeats of this young man. What else? I am struck by the overwhelming disdain I feel rolling off of him. He reminds me of my son. Am I projecting? I notice two more faces. More smirks. More … ? It just feels oppressive. One of them is saying something about “Europeans and Africa”? Again, assumptions…pause, What else can I say: This seems misplaced at an “Indigenous Peoples March” on Martin Luther King Jr, weekend. I cant see what it is directed at. There is someone with long, flowing hair. They beat a drum. The cry sounds likely to belong to a man, he is clearly of Native American decent and shit, the boys are clearly mocking him at this point. It feels gross. Why do I perceive it as a cry? Is he in pain? The vocals are foreign to me and also, he beats the drum with purpose. It reminds me of the way evangelical Christians worship. There is a similar emotional weight to his noise. Perhaps he is praying? He does seem to continue to “pray” or “chant” as this cloud of disdain somehow breaksdown, which is kind of breath taking because it just felt like … that feeling of electricity in the air before a storm lets loose. Perhaps we just witnessed an act of God. I am suddenly full of awe. I can understand why it went viral. I am struck by how many emotions/feelings I have in the span of watching this video. Eventually, I find myself in tears. I require time to process and will revisit.
It is only when we stop lying to ourselves that we can stop being lied to by others. It is only when we trust our own experience of the truth that we can be free.~ Tovar, Virgie.