A couple of weeks ago, I was scheduled to take a trip from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles on JetBlue. Every year, my family goes on a one-week pilgrimage, where we put our work on hold and spend time visiting temples, praying, and spending time with family and friends. To my Jewish friends, I often…
Jesus fuck this is one of the most utterly disgusting and vile things I have read in a long time. What the actual fuck is wrong with people?!
ETA: After a recent discussion with someone close to the person this letter was addressed to, I’m satisfied that the person in question has learned a valuable lesson and therefore does not need to be singled out by name any further. My entire intention in writing this letter was to try to educate,…
Feminists are people who stand in solidarity with other women, right? Who don’t shit all over other’s feminist work, no? And Radical Feminists, why they are so *fucking rad* that they gotta be the feministest, eh?
Ahahahahahahahahaha. Ahahahahaha. Let me tell you a fucking story.
It’s been a while since I posted a journal. Much has been happening in life and now that things are starting to settle into routines again, it feels like it would be good to get it on paper, as it were.
Last month, a 19-year-old Native American high school student at J B Pennington High School in Blountsville, Alabama was told he couldn’t wear an eagle feather if he wanted to graduate. When Sky Walkingstick, of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, explained it was a demonstration of his beliefs protected under federal law, he was still told by Assistant Principal Steven Bryson, a former history teacher, and another instructor, William Smitherman, who teaches government, economics and 9th grade history, to remove it.
“I was just starting the graduation ceremony and I had my eagle feather in my cap, it was hanging from the tassel. I was walking towards Mr. Smitherman he saw my eagle feather and stopped me. He started shaking his head no. He said you cannot wear that during the graduation,” said Walkingstick.
“I asked him why not and he said, ‘you just can’t.”
Walkingstick, who has been a men’s traditional dancer since age 5 and a fancy dancer for about a year says the eagle feather is part of his heritage, his religious beliefs and achievements. He said he tried to explain that the wearing of a feather was also protected, but he was shut down.
“I started to get upset and tear up, but I held it in. I put my eagle feather back in my car. When I came back Mr. Smitherman and Mr. Bryson told me again,” said Walkingstick.
Walkingstick was surprised two educators with backgrounds in teaching history and government aren’t aware of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.
Walkingstick complied during the May 23 graduation ceremony, even though he didn’t want to. “I didn’t want any trouble nor did I want to cause a ruckus… I went ahead with graduation with my feather in my heart and my head held high.”
His mother, Hollye Walkingstick, was frustrated by the situation. “You would think of all people, that history teacher would be more aware. It made me very mad,” she said.
“I asked Mr. Bryson ‘can you tell me why he can’t wear it?’ He said, ‘the main reason is that all of the kids are required to look the same. I told him there was no dress code the kids had to sign and no one was told they had to wear certain things. I told him you would not tell a Christian person to remove their cross or a Jewish person to remove their Star of David. And I can guarantee you that if you had a Muslim child in your school you would not tell her to remove her head covering. You could not do that by law.”
She explained that Sky respected Bryson’s wishes because he is an elder and the assistant principal. “But this is a school, you could turn this into a real teaching opportunity,” Hollye told Bryson.
Hollye said she and the teachers argued that other students—honor students—wore adornments in their tassels. She also said the school accepts funding for having minority students, but doesn’t support their beliefs.
“My daughter asked Mr. Bryson if he understood what the eagle feather meant and he said ‘Oh yeah, I know you all smoke peace pipes and what you smoke in them.’ This is a former history teacher who is now the vice principal and the history teacher was standing right next to him,” Hollye said. “This is unreal to me.”
J.B. Pennington High School principal Brian Kirk said the school has no comment on the issue and referred ICTMN to the Blount County Board of Education Superintendent Jim Carr, who has not returned several calls.
This isn’t the first time a graduating senior has taken flack for wearing an eagle feather at graduation from an Alabama school. Chelsey Ramer, a Poarch Creek Band of Indians student who recently graduated from Escambia Academy in Atmore, Alabama faced a similar situation. She did wear her feather though and nearly had to pay a copy,000 fine for doing so. (Related story: “Poarch Creek Student Not Required to Pay Fine, Receives Diploma”)
THIS IS WHY YOUR FILTHY FAKE WAR BONNET IS NOT OKAY, WHITE PEOPLE.
While you’re playing your racist games, the people whose culture you claim to be “appreciating” ARE PENALIZED FOR PRACTICING IT.
This kid was denied expression of his culture:
while you’re running around looking like a nasty mess:
I miss hands exploring my body. I miss active dominance. I miss feeling wanted. I’m touch starved for the touches that matter. I’m sick of asking for the same things over and over. I’m afraid of not realizing fantasies. I’m afraid of my fantasies not mattering, still.
He told me that I should come home and play with myself. I’m ungodly sick of plastic and damned if I can think of any fantasy that doesn’t make me feel lonely, angry or resentful, because it’s something I’m *not* actually getting outside of the center of my brain.
He’s trying, I get that, but as I said tonight when He said He wasn’t sure what to do to make it better: "At the risk of sounding snarky, maybe we could do one of the many things that I have asked for us to fucking well do?" Not rocket science.
I dunno. It’s late, I’m tired, my tummy hurts. I’m going to go to sleep.