Like many Native people I grew up with mixed ethnic heritage. My mom was from the reservation and my father was first generation Sicilian-American. Growing up I was around my Italian/Sicilian relatives far more than my Indian relatives. But I always related more to my Indian side, ever since I was small. To this day my Italian relatives don't understand it. "You're more Italian than you are Indian," they say. It drives them nuts.......they seem to take it as a personal insult that I am more compelled by my Indian-ness than my Italian-ness. The dilemmas of a mixed race, mixed heritage person. Many Italians percieve themselves as superior to others. But from the other side, I also hear these kinds of attitudes from Native (or people who claim to be Native) people also. In an op-ed I wrote and was published here at ICTMN just this week, someone commented that I couldn't be trusted because of my hair color and my hyphenated name. What that has to do with anything is beyond me. The point is, the concept of racial/cultural superiority and all its attendant ignorance is so deeply embedded in the psyches of peoples all over the planet that these kinds of displays at the Catholic festival remind us how far we have to go in educating people about that ignorance.
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 11:10