Honest Tea: Ignorance is Complacence

This is stolen land. Our country is rooted in mass genocide and colonization, and as a society, we fail to recognize it. We learn in school that indigenous peoples are “savages” and have wronged us, but in reality, we took their homes, families, and culture violently, and continue to. Colonization is stealing. Colonization is murder. Colonization is racist. Colonization in America teaches us to be white.  Colonization is still happening. Colonization is all around us, in our government, in our schools, in our religions, in our cultural celebrations, in our minds, and it’s in us. We ignore it. Of course we don’t want to admit that our people have robbed and murdered others for our own benefit, so many of us choose to ignore it. And I say choose because it is an active choice: colonization is all around us, and we have the choice to either ignore it, or recognize it and actively work against it. 


Honest Tea: if you choose to ignore how we got here, you are complacent in the process.


I’m not saying I’m innocent in this, none of us are. But it is our responsibility to know our roots and how we continue to contribute to the ongoing process of colonization. 


As a Women and Gender Studies major, I’ve been unlearning everything I’ve learned, uncovering the truth of how we got here. Confronting colonization is extremely uncomfortable: of course we don’t want to admit that our society benefits from the suffering of others. It’s hard to process that everything we’ve been taught is false. However, we need to educate ourselves on the truth, or we’re actively contributing to colonization and racism. 


“But I didn’t kill anyone. I didn’t steal anyone’s land.” This is classic denial. Alright, so yeah you didn’t personally kill anyone or steal anyone’s land, but you’re failing to recognize that it is still a problem, and you’re ignoring your responsibility as someone who benefits from the system.


People are quick to get annoyed with me when I call things out because they’re uncomfortable with the truth.


“It’s not always about colonization, can you lighten up?” Oh, but it is. Everything we know roots from colonization. But you’re choosing to ignore it.


“You should be thankful. We wouldn’t be here if colonization didn’t happen.” Okay? I’m not going to be grateful for mass genocide simply because I benefit from it. You’re choosing to ignore it.


Honest Tea: you need to educate yourself on how we got here, or you’re contributing to an inherently racist system. Ignorance is complacence.