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Default Dec 24, 2021 at 08:26 AM
I'm so sorry your tribe has experienced historical, generational, racial, and ongoing trauma. I do believe that there is systemic issues that keep these traumas going, including racial traumas, rape traumas, abductions, human trafficking, and discrimination in the medical and psychological fields. I do agree with much of what you've said. It's just when tribes start experiencing preventable disease, that's when people do get worried about extinction, too.

People need not be from the same tribe, religion (such as Lakota), or race in order to care. We may not know everything there is to know about your culture and its struggles, but there are a few of us non-native minorities who do understand rape culture, unethical experimentation, racism, medical discrimination, historical traumas, generational traumas, and more. We may differ in our histories and experiences and specific forms of racial traumas, but we do know what suffering, trauma, and distrust in the government are like.

But all-or-nothing thinking will keep you unwilling to trust anyone. That can lead to preventable disease and otherwise.

But if your religion truly is against the vaccine, then it sounds like you're doing all that you can with mask-wearing and social distancing. I get that, and I get that there are different terms that Native Americans and Indigenous people in the USA have for getting waivers for vaccines. As long as masks are being worn properly (typically, two masks - one that is at least a KN95 with either a surgical or cloth mask over it - will do best to protect the wearer from getting or spreading the virus, and tightly over both the nose and the mouth). It's really when people go unmasked or wear masks improperly that I can see the spread of the virus happening when it could have been prevented.

With all-or-nothing-thinking, however, people may just think that "everyone is going to get it anyway" (not true), or "my faith dictates that it's God's will" (which is a form of spiritual abuse inflicted unwillingly on others, who are also being indoctrinated by others' beliefs), or "I outright don't care if you get the virus or not" (whether people want to admit this attitude or not, which sometimes stems from pandemic fatigue, but other times stem from hate, bias, revenge, etc.). These are all my concerns about how this pandemic is continuing to divide people by race, religion, SES, nationality, and more.

Trauma survivors distrust many people and many things, too. They may or may not have racial traumas, but many have gender-based traumas (distrust in men, for example, after having been widely raped by them), workplace traumas (after having experienced harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination), medical traumas (after having experiencing the ER and/or ICU for an injury or illness), historical traumas (with ongoing discrimination against Black persons, Asian persons - since their concentration camps and the Yellow Peril, Indigenous persons, Native Americans - just read some articles in Idaho and you'll hear about the recent Sheriff's racist statements after getting charged with a felony, LatinX/Hispanic persons, multiracial persons, and persons that meet one or more of these categories plus have disability, obesity, gender, sexual orientation, and/or age discrimination to deal with). We have also been hurt by the government and through experimentation, including those who used to reside in Puerto Rico. But many people learn how to balance their distrust, which stems from trauma, and seek medical care when needed, including preventative vaccinations.

It's not about comparing your disabilities with mine, your racial traumas with my racial traumas, etc. In therapy, which you state is "colonized," they do offer healing treatments that include this notion that trauma survivors should NOT compare their traumas to others - either to say that their trauma is not as bad as others or to say that their trauma is worse than others. Trauma is trauma, and such warrants healing. We can't force everyone in the world to understand our traumas, as that would actually spread vicarious/secondary trauma - especially to those who truly would get too triggered to hear it and are not trained in treating trauma. There are specific trauma support groups, including those for racial traumas, generational traumas, and historical traumas. They discuss how to live a balanced life in the midst of structural violence. Many migrants from other countries who come here as asylum seekers and refugees will attest to the traumas they endured in warzones they lived in, some of which are due to differing belief systems, others being due to the color of their skin. They may rightfully distrust systems and governments, but they do what they can to also survive and live harmoniously with others.

Distrusting everyone all the time is not a healthy approach for any survivor. At some point, you have to trust someone in order to survive in a world that is based on social sharing, etc. Otherwise, our mental health worsens, which then affects our physical health worsening. Any persons who would want to side with you and your pain would easily be put off if even they are not welcomed or are distrusted. Then where's the restorative justice when there lacks trust.

Also, people can change, and people can see through the biases and structural violence in order to help and partner with. But when people are unfairly stigmatized and judged, it doesn't help promote relationships, solicit help, or otherwise; it only pushes people away.

If you don't even trust in our scientists and educational system, then that's quite a lonely world to live in. Many white supremacists and white nationalists also believe in the same ways you just described, which draws certain parallels that explain the victim-offender relationship in certain criminal justice/victimology theories - which are based on social sciences that aren't "indoctrinated" as you say, but have done much to observe and weed out certain biases (you can't weed out all biases, unfortunately). Without science, there is no electricity or running water, too. It takes science and higher education in order to achieve your own clean water and electricity, or to learn the art of business and fundraising or taxation in order to get the funds or sweat equity for building electrical and clean water infrastructures on indigenous and Native American lands. In a similar vein, the white supremacists in this country have also used the term "indoctrinated" to describe our educational system, in particular, the social sciences. There are many parallels between victims and their offenders because, sadly, victims learn from their offenders.

The reality lies somewhere in a balanced field, not at the extremes. Taking an anti-government stance and an anti-educational stance and an anti-scientific stance is being political. It may be a different kind of politics than mainstream politics, but it is considered extremist progressive - or a different term meaning similar things. Extremism only harms the extremist group and others; it itself is "indoctrinated" with extremist beliefs that are tantamount to all-or-nothing thinking, which is unhealthy. Trauma treatment understands that this all-or-nothing thinking is a cognitive distortion, even though the feelings behind such traumas that happened to you are valid. But the reality is, there are many loving, caring, and helpful people out there who are scientists, doctors, nurses, therapists, educators, professors, and more. We can't just distrust them all because of the color of their light skin, the social status they uphold, the educational background they have, or their leadership role. That is tantamount to unresolved traumas that have worsened our psychosocial health and our cognitive health, whether you believe in that or not.

I'm sorry you are struggling so much, and I do understand all of your concerns. As a minority myself, I've experienced historical traumas, racial traumas, and generational traumas, too (different, but not to compare). But I also need to heal and live in a society in order to survive.
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