Brownskirts: Aboriginal Fascism

I’ve had a touch of the blahs these days. Things have gotten me down. Do you really want a list? Well, it’s just the general state of the world. I recently read a vitriolic hate letter written by some american Native Youth Movement member to Redwire about their sex issue. It was so racist and homophobic, I am so tired of aboriginal people dumping shit on other aboriginal people about what is “traditional” and “honourable.” Okay, so I don’t think about my ancestors when I’m fucking (which I haven’t much as of late anyway), on the other hand, why WOULD I think about my ancestors when I fuck? Ew!! My great grandfather was a war chief and a notorious horse thief, along with being a great medicine person. But I honestly don’t believe that has anything to do with my sex life.

Besides that I don’t think there is any one right way to be aboriginal. There seems to be this contingent of very vocal fascist Aboriginals who slam anyone who’s mixed race, doesn’t speak their language, is queer, etc etc. It seems to me to be very much rooted in a residential-skool-christian framework rather than an honest aboriginal culture. I remember growing up sitting with my Aunties (some of which were more like adopted Aunties) listening to them talk about sex. Oh my god, aboriginal women could put Peaches to shame! I find it tragic that one of the things we have lost is the celebratory approach to sexuality that many aboriginal cultures had. There is (in Canada anyway) a movement to bring back that kind of sexual discourse among aboriginals. The group show in which I was a part of, Exposed: Aesthetics of Aboriginal Erotic Art comes to mind.

Another example of the celebratory nature of sex that aboriginals had is the whole concept around two-spirited people, transgendered/gender-queer people who had a role as spiritual leaders in their communities. Besides being spiritual leaders, in the book The Spirit and the Flesh some anthropologists noticed that these people were also considered highly desireable. Nowadays you hear many brownskirts saying that queer and transgendered folk never existed in aboriginal society!! Besides being homophobic, this also smacks of colonialist brainwashing. Colonialists needed to destroy the positions of honour that two-spirited people inhabited in order to attack aboriginal culture’s very foundations. To keep affirming these homophobic ideas is to keep affirming the colonialist mindset we have been duped into.

In fact my sister, who is severely mentally handicapped, was even the target of a brownskirt once who said that people like her never existed before the “white man” came.

Being half Scots has also put me in the bad books of the Brownskirts. Having been born a second generation halfbreed (people always ask me which one of my parents was white, I have to break it to them that they are both aboriginal) I’m automatically considered to have lost my culture. Nevermind that I’ve been going to sweats since I was a little kid, or that I was raised participating in aboriginal culture more than white culture. In fact all I know about being white is that I’m light, people don’t hassle me in stores thinking I’m ripping something off, and I engage in a lot of pop culture. But who doesn’t?

This drive for racial purity reminds me of the same party lines you hear from white power groups. Although some aboriginals think it’s more noble for them to call for a purifying of the race than the KKK, I personally don’t see a difference between the two groups. It’s time for race discourse to accept the fact that race these days is becoming more convoluted. It is no longer a black/white/red/yellow kind of thing. Some people are halfbreeds, like Cher! Other people are even more mixed, think Tiger Woods. We’d like these people to pick a side out of some racist desire to keep the tribes from mixing, even after the fact we’re so desperate to have someone deny a part of themselves just so we’re not confused by them anymore.

Confusion is good. People can inhabit more than one race and still be fully engaged in the struggle for rights of aboriginal people. In fact, I encourage that. Someday I want to have babies. Being a dyke, I could choose more halfbreed sperm. Or maybe I will fall in love with someone from a different culture, and have a more mixed kid. Who knows? I’m fully embracing the possibilities, and whatever my child is, they will grow up with knowledge of all their different ancestors, whoever those ancestors may turn out to be.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Peaches lately. We need an aboriginal Peaches man! Anyway, for a bit of fun after this heavy article, go to her swearing typewriter at And fuck up a storm for sexual freedom, esp. if you are of colour!

Brownskirts is a term coined by my mother which I have used w/out permission, I am calling her to thank her tonight. Thank you mommy!

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