Disengagement Trifecta

To American Indian/Alaska Native federal government employees, we call this time of year the “Disengagement Trifecta.”

It starts on October 12th with the commemoration of a white guy, Christopher Columbus who has more world-wide recognition than Jesus Christ and only the second non-president in the history of the USA to be honored with a federal holiday.

This rapist, torturer and murderer of Native people is highly respected at my agency. Listen to what one of our commissioners entitled his motivational blurb on keep yearly resolutions. “The Importance of Goals Setting, Committing to and Realizing our Goals in Life” with the following subtitle “By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination”-Christopher Columbus.

On the heels of Columbus Day, American Indians/Alaska Natives have to endure the indignity of Halloween as every conceivable offensive team mascot, logo and symbol raises its ugly head. This is a particular problem in cities like San Francisco, CA, Kansas City, MO, Atlanta, GA, Cleveland, OH, Chicago, IL and Washington, DC. If your workplace is like mine, decked out federal employees in these locations will come to work in all manner of distasteful, disgusting costumes that denigrate their American Indian/Alaska Native colleagues. Go Warriors, Chiefs, Braves, Indians, Blackhawks, Indians and R-word. No wonder in Indian Country we call Halloween the “White Person’s Pow Wow.”

The main event of this 3-ring disengagement circus is Thanksgiving, another big priority of my agency. Listen to how one or our biggest business units described what is a “Day of Mourning” for American Indians/Alaska Natives. The first Thanksgiving, turkey and mashed potatoes, football, the Macy’s Parade and getting ready for Black Friday. At least they have their priorities in order.

For American Indian/Alaska Native employees, it is one, two, three strikes you’re out at the old engagement ballgame.

So root, root, root for the home team of engagement. For the visiting team of American Indians/Alaska Natives, there is always next year.

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