Recently in Montecristo Magazine: “The #Frankfurt #BookFair Sheds Light on #Germany’s Strange Obsession with #Indigenous #Culture”

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In a recent issue of Montecristo Magazine: “The Frankfurt Book Fair Sheds Light on Germany’s Strange Obsession with Indigenous Culture”. Red Haircrow was interviewed along with others, on the topics of Germany, Hobbyism and Cultural Appropriation in Writing and Literature, and the oft underlying issues of Eurocentrism, Racism & White Privilege. 

Read the full article at link: “Haircrow says publishers tend to look for “recognizably Indigenous” stories. “It forces the Indigenous person to limit themselves if they want to get published in a traditional way,” he says. “They limit what readers are receiving. It’s a huge disservice to readers and to the writers.”

Recently at @Zeitwissen, #Indigenous #Knowledge, with comments by Indigenous folks (including me)- #Stereotyping #Racism #Colonialism

Recently in Zeitwissen, a section within Die Zeit, one of the largest news sources in Germany, an article was published on the need of Indigenous knowledge in natural sciences to help salvage and repair the climate crisis, a large part of which nuevo European values and practices unleashed on our world. Myself and other Indigenous peoples were asked to comment on how Indigenous knowledge can be of use in natural sciences. Me being me, I came at it from a slightly different, but critically important angle.



“Like Indigenous cultures and peoples, Indigenous knowledge is often “primitized” and stereotyped in a Eurocentric way. Yet Indigenous knowledge and methodologies are based on equitable values beneficial to all life, and they have positive application for everything from psychology to astrophysics, education to engineering.”

“Wie indigene Kulturen und Gruppen wird auch indigenes Wissen oft “primitized” und stereotyp auf eurozentrische Weise dargestellt. Indigenes Wissen und indigene Methoden beruhen jedoch auf gerechten Werten, die allen Lebewesen zugute kommen, und haben positive Auswirkungen auf alle Bereiche von der Psychologie bis zur Astrophysik, von der Bildung bis zur Ingenieurwesen.”

Much of the time, the majority insists on minimizing, defending or ignoring such practices, and fail to see how such behaviors extend to all aspects of life, particularly industries and business world, too. Some completely disregard the obvious intersectionality of Indigenous racism, to other forms of normalized bigotry, prejudice and bias, and to sexism, ableism, Eurocentrism.

“Your credentials are quite nice, and yes, more psychologists are needed in Germany, but we don’t have any Native clients.”

What’s wrong with this statement? Yet I’ve heard it time and time again, from supposed educated and non-racist people. Simply being Native in Germany, unless you’re dancing (oh wait, it has to be “traditional in feathers!” or in a job considered not academic, often finds you unemployed, politely rejected, even gently rebuked by puzzled professionals who are mystified how you, a psychologist, educator, professional who happens to be Native (or some other “non-white”) practitioner could possibly help their almost exclusively white clients. As if you being Native (or non-white) you are only able to help persons like yourself, in the way many of those prejudiced limited and compartmentalize themselves, excluding “Others”.

As if simply being non-white makes you less professional, less relevant, less well-read or that your methods (as if you haven’t studied the same materials as they the same 10+ years) are primitive even dangerous! When in fact, IN ADDITION to that, you have the experiences, observations, knowledge and intellect beyond theirs. They also know many of their clients or patients, or even other staff who are white German are unapologetically prejudiced against “Others”. So there are also times where you might be hired, but your co-workers treat you abysmally with the flippant comment, “Well, what did you expect!” or your work and person are so underappreciated and criticized, the emotional burden takes it toll. They also do this to “their own” also who might also try to improve racist, sexist, ableist, Eurocentic situations. “To name is the problem is to become the problem.”

So in this, they are failing their clients, don’t really want the best or better for their clients. Think this stuff through. It matters. It really does, but especially in psychology where non-European peoples have suffered greatly at the hands of psychiatrists and psychologists, many of whom are entrenched or apologists of racial hierarchies and eugenics. A pattern and history Germany shares with the USA.

But not only that, the abuses, subtle and unsubtle derision, dismissal and minimization are also heaped upon their own peoples and demographic group. There are many, many reasons why so many people distrust and avoid psychologists unless at extremis. I’ve heard so many horror stories. And the German equivalent of the USA’s Psychological Association, literally says on their website, unless its white psychology methods or beliefs, its dangerous! Deep deep racism and Eurocentrism.

“I can’t help you. I don’t come from an immigrant background” is a phrase actually told an ethnic professional by their therapist, who had taken their experiences personally and become angry, as if the client’s speaking about the racism they daily experienced was attacking her, the psychologist. Too many “western” practitioners with egoism and value system of self-centeredness, competitive and skeptical retraumatize their own patients, whatever their background or heritage. (Reference.)

And, of course, this is across all industries in western society but particularly done in an often polite yet still inherently brutal Eurocentric way in Germany. Whether you’re trained as an artist, an engineer, or whatever, these fear based privileged practices that revel in stereotyping and (mis)labeling are a huge part of the continuing and actually rising normalized (and structual) racism, hate, xenophobia and selfishness especially in this time of Corona Pandemic.

My 2011 Essay on #NineEleven, September 11th – A BIPOC Perspective

Click for a larger image

Falling Man by Richard Drew, from the Yahoo UK article

That Day: Nine Eleven, September 11th, 9/11 begins: “Six a.m., and I’d just finished a long night on patrol….”


And ends:
“My lamentation for those lost goes beyond nationalistic or even personal, but down to the root of humanity that empathizes and actually feels the others. That day, it was if a part of my flesh were cut away, and those people were MY people, but I didn’t make it a cause for further hatred and intolerance of others as so many have done.

And for all they died in such terror, I feel a peace for them now. They are all there. They are at rest and don’t have to endure such as we anymore. They will only know joy, however and by whomever or whatever supplies it. That is my belief, so I can embrace them, and though it still can hurt, I am not consumed by agony. Though I hate how they died, I won’t let their deaths make me into something that exists with hate or darkness.

The man who jumped to his death from the building, the one caught by Richard Drew in the photo called “The Falling Man,” made me think of this quote:

“When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.” —Chief Aupumut, Mohican 1725

P.S. 9/11 has become a rallying cry and touch point in modern America, where each may and are required to imagine those last terrible moments for so many, and use it to fuel their convictions. Usually against anything or anyone stereotyped to be Muslim, anything or anyone as a threat to the USA superiority or justice. Yes, heavy irony there.

Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, Jamestown, Staten Island (bet you didn’t even think of that one), Rhode Island, a thousand more, known and unknown in whitewashed history of Native American genocide. As strong and poignant, by nature of our spirits and beings, and because of our connection to each other past and present, be it a hundred years ago or a thousand times thousands, Native Americans don’t forget, especially in that American selective memory, concern and altruism is hypocritical. It’s just another “order of the day”.


For further thoughts on American history, immigration, society and politics, the 2020 article at Medium, “When I Think About America”.

Decolonizing Academia – A Master’s Thesis – “#KarlMay’s Legacy: Czech and German “Indians” vs. #CulturalAppropriation”

Karl May’s Legacy: Czech and German “Indians” vs. Cultural Appropriation by Martin Slezák (2020).

A well written thesis, and one of the few were the author actually added my rightful credentials alongside other academics, and added directed quotes. Many writers who have quoted me in the past fail to add my university credentials, referring to me as just as a blogger or an activist, aka someone just complaining about situations.

In western society, with its elitist Eurocentric system of expertise and worthiness to speak on a topic reserved for mostly white males with university degrees made possible due to centuries of privilege and precedence, failure to add the credentials of a person of color is beyond problematic. Whether a honest omission or not, it is clearly known in academia and society that POC are often ignored or minimized, and only slightly more regarded when compared to European peers, if holding a degree. Degrees almost always attain through far greater hardship, and having to battle structural racism within institutions that see them receive lesser marks for comparable work, lack of support from advisory and university staff, plus the microaggressions of curricula, teachers and other students. We see the effects in academic staff retention but also in hiring practices, which are widely discriminatory for a list of reasons.

There is also a distinct patronizing air towards scholars and universities in eastern Europe as well, particularly from far western Europe and the UK. However, on the topic of Native hobbyism, cultural appropriation and cognitive imperialism, I have experienced far more progressive thinking from the east. I have had many more inquiries from people from Eastern Europe not just seeking resources to learn accurate information, but advice on how they can take actual steps to correct misinformation in their education systems and communities. In Germany, there is still a large amount of defensiveness and attempted justification for racist and neo-colonist practices on all levels of society, from the media to the Kita.

This is just one of the many positive examples.

(Personal photo of a magazine, in which there was an article on Indian hobbyists.)

#CoVid19 Community, Indigenous vs. Western Values & the Inherent Privilege of “Stock up and Ride it Out!”

This all really brings to mind the article I published in Medium last month,“WHEN I THINK ABOUT AMERICA” and that this is  Indigenous values vs. Western values in a nutshell. Being giving/sharing, concerned about community, cooperation vs. competitive, self-centered, taking/saving (while others are in need), skeptical.

The excerpt is from a letter: By Dr. Sharkawy On COVID-19: “I’m a doctor and an Infectious Diseases Specialist. I’ve been at this for more than 20 years seeing sick patients on a daily basis. I have worked in inner city hospitals and in the poorest slums of Africa. HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis,TB, SARS, Measles, Shingles, Whooping cough, Diphtheria…there is little I haven’t been exposed to in my profession. And with notable exception of SARS, very little has left me feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed or downright scared. Mostly, I’m scared what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, open-mindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.”

Find constantly update COVID19 Statistics HERE.

Another excellent reality check written by Mike Davis- Not advocating an political position, but this is spot on, THE MONSTER IS FINALLY AT THE DOOR.

“The danger to the global poor has been almost totally ignored by journalists and Western governments. History shows that poorer people and countries suffered most from epidemics. The Spanish Flu of 1918 is just one example.

“The outbreak has instantly exposed the stark class divide in healthcare: those with good health plans who can also work or teach from home are comfortably isolated provided they follow prudent safeguards. Public employees and other groups of unionized workers with decent coverage will have to make difficult choices between income and protection.

Meanwhile millions of low wage service workers, farm employees, uncovered contingent workers, the unemployed and the homeless will be thrown to the wolves.”

To be able to stockpile material goods, one must have savings, money. Money beyond the paycheck-to-paycheck or for us freelancers, with jobs, universities and other venues closing, that can mean we have zero income. As freelancers or those in jobs with less benefits, you have to make the choice between becoming homeless, without even basic necessities and going out to try to find some paying work, exposing yourself to the virus. Just in self-quarantining as suggested, but with little or no food, necessities anyway, especially if you have children or pets, may need medications? That is the reality for millions, and can only increase even if strictures loosen in the next weeks, as the economies of all countries will take a significant hit. So for those saying, “Calm down! Just stay at home.” I’m absolutely sure, you have necessities, you have savings, you have those privileges that help you to better remain calm.

While many of us are not in the demographics currently being affected fatally, the issue of lung damage will remain if you contract and survive covid19. That doesn’t go away. The short-sighted thinking and self-centered “every man/woman for himself”, and that eternal European rationalization “I’m just trying to take care of my family!” while knowingly contributing to behaviors and practices that take or reduce the lives of others…. We’ve seen an upswing in racism, xenophobia and cruelty, there’s no other word for it, in western society in the last couple of decades. What’s happening now is no surprise.

Where I live in Germany, the city I live, in a rather out-lying district, I’ve been out trying to find some goods to get us by. But when you have little money anyway the crazy rush to buy up toilet paper, hand sanitizer and non-perishables isn’t something you can do. While many shelves are empty, and of course, many older people have to go out to get basic goods, many of them too cannot stockpile because it is a matter of not being able to carry many packages home. I’ve seen people of that demo actually being more kind than before. But, honestly, the racism, white supremacist behaviors and privileged ugliness I’ve experienced in Germany has been from the middle-aged to younger generation. Many of whom are convinced they have it harder or as hard as anyone else, including POC, and using the aforementioned mindsets to aggressively go about life offending, lacking empathy, and being self-centered to an absurd but allowed degree. Or conversely, blithely minimizing the very real and serious inequalities others are experiencing, while “improving” themselves using their resources of privilege.

In times of crisis like this, it seems some of the old people haven’t forgotten what it means to have nothing. To be without, and without any hope of relief. Community, commitment to each other, trust, respect, and fellow feeling. Not romanticizing anything, as 20th century German history is a brutal mess of death and trauma, but in my area at least, and thus far, I couldn’t imagine happening here what we see going on in the USA.

For us, because we’ve had such a financial hardship in the last three years when we had to end up producing and funding this film alone, living on the edge, always close to homeless and with little or no prospects? This pandemic is notable, but our daily lives and living hasn’t changed much. Indigenous peoples have already been living in a post-apocalypse for a long time because of European colonization. We keep going on as long as we can, and we know crying doom, saying things like “Life is meaningless” or “It’s just the flu!” nonsense is also privileged behavior.

We are not immune to stress, anxiety, hopelessness and depression, but our values help keep us from giving up and/or harming others. We will still help each other, and others as we can, even when we have little or nothing because we believe that is the right and moral thing to do. To do otherwise, I believe is to surrender your heart, your spirit, and ultimately your life. It is great to know there are people from other cultures and groups, who remember their own collective-focused roots, and reject the self-centered rationalizations of western society as a whole, and which the virus pandemic has clearly revealed.