There have been family stories about my white roots, something so dark and painful it's hard to articulate the specifics of it. I have a frail, white Victorian era ancestor, which explains my affinity for chaise lounges, large hats, and lethargy. It's a glorious thing to discover yourself in your roots. But it's been hard. There have been a few things I've done to reconnect with my white lineage.
I recently started saying "Now more than ever" as often as humanly possible. It isolates people involved with Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock protests, and immigrants who don't receive basic human rights, currently detained and isolated from their families. I mean, sure, those things are bad, but what about us white people. This is the worst for us, and it matters now more than ever that we protect ourselves. We're the minority, really.
Casseroles have connected me with the white ways of digestion: consolidate all of your food desires into one bowl for ultimate efficiency. Never waste any part of this dish because it is sacred, passed down from grandma and your mother in-law. Make it bland, then cover it with cheese; nobody will be able to discern if it's good or bad, because cheese. And, if casseroles aren't your thing, you can always be an ethnic food enthusiast, who meets someone from a different culture and immediately tells them how much he loves their food. A white past time that shows you eat, but don't really care to know a culture beyond its tapas.
This is the cutline. (Photo: Dude/Agency)
In the way Joseph Boyden found himself by wearing bearskin and dancing around a fire, I found my white culture through wearing fleece jackets and toe shoes, and buying organic and gluten free foods at my farmer's market. Nothing feels more natural, and I'm proud to be a little bit white with native roots.
I embraced the blood memory of my people. Being native gave me the ability to connect with my land and community in a collective and considerate way, but being white has recently gave me a natural ability to fill out forms and file my taxes on time. I also know how to whisper-complain about a long line, and stare at my watch, and people actually believe I have somewhere to be. It's profound.
"I've found the beauty in repeatedly saying 'reverse racism' and laughing when people try correcting me."
Before I used to get cut off in lines, and white women reached over me without saying excuse me, but with my fleece on and these toe shoes, people have to regard me as human.
If people question my identity, I lash out and argue until it's impossible to reason with me. Someone questioned my white ancestry, and I told her that being white is about kinship, lineage, and not about blood quantum or any racist definition of my people. I show them a Tweet Matthew Modine liked of mine, and that this was basically an adoption ceremony.
If you have a problem with who I am, look at the benevolent Modine, who embraced me whole-heartedly.
I've found the beauty in repeatedly saying "reverse racism" and laughing when people try correcting me.
I'm new to this journey, so forgive me if some of my ideas on whiteness aren't accurate, but I am just a babe to this new world. I've started reading Eat Pray Love and Wild while I drink lattes I later post to Instagram. I just put up a "Live Love Laugh" decal on my wall. Bear with me; I am on a journey to find myself and the Victorian woman inside me who enjoyed blood letting and fainting.
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