I believe hypocrisy is the lifeblood of the USA’s political system. It’s always been like a lazy parent, “Do as I SAY, not as I DO”. Anymore, though, and people are even shedding the pretense part of it. Hypocrisy is losing its hiding places. And while that is scary as shit to behold (for me), it was time for the ugliness that’s been lurking in the shadows to be exposed. I know I was clueless about so much. About anything I hadn’t experienced firsthand. I was well aware of the way addicts (even clean and sober ones) were treated. I knew firsthand the plight of poor, single moms, and the homeless. I knew clearly what misogyny looked like.

But despite being raised with ties to my Native American history and culture, and living immersed in Alaska Native culture for many years, my awareness of the systemic racism still infecting every segment of our society was woefully inadequate. Hypocrisy finally reached critical mass during this election and blew the blinders off of America. Now, my job is to clean my own house and ensure that truth doesn’t get overpowered by magical thinking and willful ignorance ever again.

So, I want to thank you for calling me out on my minimization of as horrific a reality as slavery. I still struggle with the words to describe something that to me in degree of inhumanity seems indistinguishable from genocide, except that this was something else altogether. IS something else altogether.

It’s something that makes me want to cover my ears and squeeze my eyes shut to avoid imagining the horrific acts people are capable of committing against one another, but I know that helps no one. For now, cotton is coming out of my ears and going into my mouth and I’m going to shut up and listen, and learn what part I am to have in changing tomorrow.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

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