PLEASE, decolonise your own shit first!

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PLEASE, decolonise your own shit first!

Buzzwords are frustrating asf. If I can, I like to avoid them. Yeah, sometimes there a times that you HAVE to use them because they sum up exactly what you’re trying to say but for the most part, I feel like people use them as a way to say ‘Look at me, I’m relevant asf!’ No bitch, you aint. You just using a word that you saw that one time on Tumblr right before scrolling down to find the porn.

At the moment, the one that pisses me off the most is ‘DECOLONISATION’. Now I’m all about fighting against outdated colonial ideas that continue to oppress people. I think that colonising cultures are harmed by colonisations, just as indigenous cultures are. Hell, I see it happening in my own family (which is a mix of Samoan, British, Maori, Japanese, Cook Island and German influences). I believe that moving back to some of our indigenous ways of knowing, doing and being (I say some because I’m not about that #CannibalLife) are some of the most powerful ways of finding out who you are and how you fit in your world. For me as a genderqueer, masculine-attracted, male-presenting, sapiosexual; it is so much easier to start by saying I am Samoan from Sapunaoa and Vailu’utai, Scottish from Glasgow, and English from Ilford. That I’m the youngest in my generation. That mum was born here in NZ and my dad migrated to NZ from Samoa. That I have three sisters and a brother. That I have 12 nieces and nephews. That I actively practice fa’aSamoa because I believe in fa’aSamoa values like alofa, fa’aaloalo, tautua, and ‘aiga. Because who I am is where I have come from and the people that have and continue to make me.

But I keep hearing things like ‘fuck white people’ and ‘I’m like SO decolonised.’ Where is the sincerity in that? Where is the alofa and the fa’aaloalo? Who are you serving by saying shit like that? Are you aware of who is hearing that bullshit and how it affects them?

So, I’ma say something once and I need y’all to hear what I’m trying to say with all the love and understanding that I can muster but also with a staunch conviction:

I am 100% committed to my fa’aSamoa. But I am also White and not ashamed of that. So instead of attacking hateful or ignorant people with more hate, attack them with love and understanding. If they won’t hear them, walk away knowing that your own soul and integrity is still intact, and that you have done justice to the ways of your ancestors.

In the words of Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III:

“My blood has been spilt for Samoa. I am proud to give it. Do not dream of avenging it, as it was spilt in peace. If I die, peace must be maintained at any price.”

At what point do we stop hating people and start hating systems? #DontHateThePlayer #HateTheGame #Filemu

Author: Jonathan Selu