The entire incident reminded me of the Salem witch trials. I wanted to say, “That was very white of you to exile me without giving me the chance to stand up for myself.” Rather, I politely rephrased it to a mere sarcastic, “Thank you for giving me the chance to give my side of the story.” Using the word “white,” although a well-placed insult, would have served no good purpose.
I was escorted off of the grounds, never to return. When I told my parents of the betrayal, they were aghast. Deep inside, I expected them to defend me in some way, but they never did. Rather, they chose to side with the tribe and call me a witch. As time passed, they grew closer to the Georgia Cherokee while I found myself increasingly estranged.
A sweat lodge was erected in the back yard one day. Mother forbade me to go near it or the back yard. Finally it was apparent that they valued their new religion over their only daughter. It was the last straw. I turned my back on it all, never to be red again.
This is from Ghost in the Water, one of my rare “roots moments” when I write from my cultural perspective. Ghost in the Water can be found in There’s Nothing Romantic About Washing the Dishes.