Seasonal Depression and the Fallacy of White Guilt

“And when the last Red Man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among the White Men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children’s children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway, or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone. In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The White Man will never be alone.”

-Chief Seattle

Everyone who’s born in the Western Hemisphere is a Native American. We are all Native Americans.

-Russell Means

Goddamn, I fucking hate November. Somehow between the pagan sugar rush of Halloween and the gold-leaf grandeur of Christmas, Satan shit out thirty days of windburned misery. My depression is a year round affair, but come November, the bitch breaks violent. Everything becomes heavy, basic daily chores become acts of contrition to a vengeful god, and all the jolly people, where do they all come from? All sins considered, it seems only natural that this awful little month should be topped off by Thanksgiving, a strange celebration of American colonialism with Type 2 Diabetes. We all know it’s a racist fucking holiday, that if the Indians ever actually did share a smorgasbord of carbohydrates with the pilgrims, they paid for it with more than just indigestion. But what are we not going to scream at each other over a colossal bird stuffed with a soggy loaf of bread? That would just be silly.

The consolation this year is that the whole damn country seems to be nearly as miserable as me for a change. America is a full blown basket case. The election that never ended never did, leaving a nation of shrieking partisan imbeciles with one more reason to mow each other down in holiday traffic. We now have two sexual predators with dementia proclaiming themselves leader of the free world and our only hope for salvation from the other. Our best hope may be that the Covid plague kills them both before anyone can bomb another hospital. Precious moments like these find me pondering the people we stole this hemisphere from and thinking out loud; Jesus Christ, we fucking deserve this.

And even in the sweet psychosis of my depression fried lizard brain, I’ve got a point worth making. America is essentially a colossal luxury resort built on an Indian burial ground. How can any of us feign shock that this country is haunted? There was no First Thanksgiving Dinner. Not really. Just a bunch of Colonel Kurtz-ian colonial psychopaths in buckle hats, murdering tribe after tribe and fucking their daughters before they burnt them at the stake for doing long division. And the massacres never stopped. That tsunami of blood loosed from the elevator of the Santa Maria known as Manifest Destiny swept from sea to shining sea in what is still likely the most devastating holocaust in recorded history.

But we didn’t stop with the Indians. We couldn’t stop. By the time this nations native people were safely tucked into their desolate reservations, mass slaughter had become a booming global industry that defined our national character. So we just kept on killing, in the verdant jungles of the Philippines and Nicaragua, and right on to the desert hell scape of the Levant. And we seriously have to wonder why we’re not happy? Because mass murder is bad for you, stupid. There’s a reason most mass shootings end in suicide by cop, and now we’re coming at China with a Buck Knife in our hands and Helter Skelter in our eyes, daring them to pull the trigger. But do we really deserve this? Does anyone?

In order to survive my mental illness’s, I’ve had to learn that the hardest thing to do is forgive yourself. The United States of America is a gruesome experiment not unlike Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. A nation built on the principles of conquest is a nation built to self-destruct, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Americans, as a people, deserve to go down with this ship. As tempting as white guilt can be to indulge in, it’s no more productive than seasonal depression. The harsh truth is that our dear empire is something of an orphan factory that runs on disenfranchising everyone but the very rich.

America was built on the graves of slaves and Indians by a population comprised largely of refugees, indentured servants, and other assorted shiftless immigrants who came to this country because it was the only one that would take them. When my people came here to flee another genocide back in Ireland, we were called “white n*ggers” and treated like animals until we could prove ourselves useful by killing other poor people. We were jumped into America like a hoodlum. We can sit around and feel guilty about this shit until next November, or we can get up off our asses and try to make things right. The closest we will ever come to achieving that goal is by joining the Indians to get revenge on the empire that fucked us both and stole this country. Custer is just another word for Cromwell.

One of my heroes, the red outlaw, Russell Means, once stated that we are all Native Americans. I don’t think he meant this literally but I do believe that that is the kind of mindset pale faced revolutionaries need to adopt. We need to think like the white trash paupers who joined the slave revolts to get even with their crooked creditors or the starved settlers who fled puritanical settlements to join local Indian tribes. We are all oppressed and though that oppression may be far more heinous for some than it is for others, that doesn’t mean that we don’t all deserve to get even, and we can only get there together. The Bidens and Trumps of this world thrived for centuries by pitting us against each other, over differences both petty and colossal, in order to distract us from the fact that we are all Native Americans now, we have all invested our blood and heritage into this soil for better or worse, and we have our masters outnumbered. Sweet Jesus, lets make like H. Rap Brown and burn this motherfucker down already.

The late great Chief Seattle once dreamed of an America drowning in the ghosts of his people. He predicted ominously that the white man would never be alone. All I’m suggesting here, all I’m asking, is what if we’re all those ghosts? What if the ultimate karma for the “white man” is that his own children turn against him and embrace the ways of his enemies? As an anarchist collapsitarian, my ideal for a post-US America isn’t that far removed from what this hemisphere looked like before the colonialist psychopaths in buckle hats fucked it up. A land of many non-homogenized tribes where concepts of race and gender were as fluid as the borders. A land where the earth was sacred and there was little difference between religion and environmentalism. A land where wars were small and strictly personal and slaughter was never trivialized into an industrial complex. A land like this existed once not so long ago. Why not again? Maybe we can still do it right this time, together.

I feel a little less depressed already.

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.