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How Much Indian Are You
 
I had a man ask me once
How much Indian are you
 
I looked at him
And then answered
I’m not sure
 
This did not seem to make him happy
 
He persisted
Are you one forth, one eighth
A sixteenth maybe
 
Again I told him
I really am not sure
 
But this was not an answer
That he would accept
 
He said
What about a thirty-second or 
Possibly one sixty-fourth
I grew tired of this game
 
I asked him
Why is it so important
Is it that you wish to group me
With a bunch of other people
Or maybe
Away from some others
 
I am but a man
My family comes from a great many places
Maybe your desire
Is to find out how much Indian I have
So that you can possibly remove it
Isolate it somehow
 
If you cut away my foot
Would it still remain in me
I would think so
 
What about my hand
Would that do it
Is that enough to take
Or 
Would you need to take 
An arm or a leg
Could you then be sure
That it was all gone
I think not
 
To be sure that you could take this from me
You would probably have to take
My heart
And if you ask me
What part of my body
That this represents
Again you will get the same answer
 
I’m not sure
 
Ed Roberts 4/17/01
 


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How much Indian Are You