Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Capital Letters Further White Colonial Hierarchy


Dr. linda manyguns, the Associate Vice-President of Indigenization and Decolonization at Mt. Royal University in Alberta, Canada, recently issued a statement indicating that she would cease using capitalization in order to protest the “symbols of hierarchy wherever they are found.” (There is an associate vice-president of indigenization and decolonization at mt. royal university?)


Dr. manyguns (should a trigger warning have been required before her last name?) said, “we resist acknowledging the power structures that oppress and join the movement that does not capitalize.” Apparently the “lowercase movement” actually exists.

Manyguns, a Blackfoot woman, added: “Indigenous people have been actively engaged in a multidimensional struggle for equality, since time immemorial. we strive for historical-cultural recognition and acknowledgment of colonial oppression that persistently devalues the diversity of our unique cultural heritages. the office of indigenization and decolonization supports acts that focus on inclusion and support the right of all people to positive inclusion and change.”

She is apparently a woman of many hats, as her biography notes that she is also an elder for the Buffalo Women’s Society and a member of the Beaver Bundle Society. (I’m not going to ask.)

Manyguns pointed out that she would henceforth only capitalize “Indigenous” and the honorific “Doctor,” both of which, oddly enough, apply to her. She said: “the goal of equity, diversity and inclusion of all people is synonymous with the interests of Indigenous people. we support and expand the goal of equality and inclusion to all forms of life and all people. we join leaders like e. e. cummings, bell hooks, and peter kulchyski, who reject the symbols of hierarchy wherever they are found and do not use capital letters except to acknowledge the Indigenous struggle for recognition.”

She supports “equality and inclusion to all forms of life?” Should we invite a rodent to dinner? Take a slug to a movie? Dance with a deer tick? Give paramecium the vote?

And does this equality and inclusion apply to the unborn and the unvaccinated?

Perhaps we should capitalize those two terms, as the Unborn and Unvaccinated have consistently been the victims of systemic oppression that devalues the diversity of their unique cultural heritages.



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