This year in Literature and Film I have been learning about human rights around the world. But lately, I have been learning more about Native Americans and their rights in this country. It is really sad to see that these people do not believe in their culture anymore because they have been losing their faith for a long time now. The saddest thing about this is that it seems that they do not want to be Native Americans anymore.
I recently read a book titled The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, written by Sherman Alexie, a Native American. This was the first time I got more into their culture and it was very interesting to see such a beautiful culture being lost into a big black hole called racism.
Immigrants came to this country to escape the injustice of their home countries. However, for the Native Americans, these immigrants were people who took their land and destroyed it as if it belonged to them.
I am originally from Peru, and in my country there was something much bigger: an Empire. The Inca Empire was destroyed by the Spaniards. They thought that by killing and abusing innocent civilians, they would be able to control them. The Spaniards thought they automatically had the power to treat people worse than animals and insult them because of their different beliefs or the color of their skin. Even now, we still face the same problem all over the world. We might not even see it, but it is there. The suffering of these natives is really sad. It reaches to a point at which a person from the outside sees it and realizes how cruel people are with their own ancestors.
“We need to defend what is ours,” I published the other night on Facebook, thinking of my people in Peru, not only mestizos, but blacks, Asians, and the most important race in my country that we as Peruvians do not recognize: Incas. I believe these cultures have the right to stand up for what has always been theirs and to ask for their lands and rights as human beings.
It is time for those cultures to rise up from the death and come back to life. I do not think it matters where your family comes from, but it matters where you have been raised. The people who were born here, in the land of the Native Americans, need to think about how the Native Americans gave their land, food, shelter and freedom to the immigrants.
Unfortunately, it seems that we have turned our back on them, and as a result, they do not have anything left, not even their culture, beliefs, or, even worse, themselves.
We, as teenagers, as people that are going to be in charge of the near future, have the option to save a little bit of what is left to share it with the world. These cultures cannot be part of just our history, but part of our everyday life, the food that we eat everyday, everything that surrounds us. We just need to start doing something to save them before everything is lost and we are left with nothing but regret in the end.