My dearest friend online is a sister named Aaminah. She is an indigenous woman of color with disabilities. Both of us are descended from Native American nations in the same area, so I consider her my cousin. She wrote something today that I just can't read without responding to. It's called "if you think i’m identifying a little too much with the mexicans…". It's only a paragraph long, so you should read it.
When I read her post, the first thing I said to myself was, "Yes! Exactly!". I felt like I could have written this myself. It describes my feelings better than I can do myself.
Aaminah is right! These are OUR people. I am not Latino, but I am indigenous. This means all indigenous people of the Americas are my family. Mexicans are just one branch of that family. The thing is, as indigenous people, we know that their struggle is inextricably linked to ours. The people that don't want Mexicans here don't want us here either. If we allow them to kick out all of the Mexicans in this country, pretty soon we'll be begging our indigenous primos to the south to allow us to come and live there with them.
Make no mistake about it, we are next on the list. Our presence is a challenge to the narrative that the White people in this country have tried to propagate about this land. Our existence proves that this was not an empty continent, just waiting for the white man to come and conquer. It was a fully populated land, from top to bottom. We developed this land. We settled it. Then Europeans came and shit all over our lands. They spread their unsustainable, capitalist, wasteful way of life across the North American continent and into Central America.
Well, shitting on something doesn't make it yours. This is our land. I don't care how many White Arizonans approve of the new law created to drive out all undocumented people--and don't even get me started about problematic that term is, too.
No matter what you approve or disapprove of, this land belongs to me and my people. Personally, I hope that the people of Arizona get so sick of people like me that they all make their way back to their family's country of origin. You can come in my backyard and make yourself comfortable and even claim that it's yours, but it won't change the fact that my family and I lived here first and we're not going to give you this country just because you want it.