A block or so away from the Huron Cemetery sits the best bookstore in Kansas City Metro area. Prosperos. If you click the link below you can access a lot of photos to explain why it’s the best bookstore hereabouts.
Run by nice folks…. the sort of place that helps local artists and writers, has local musicians and even the occasional poetry reading.
But guess what! They published a sticker that proclaimed the store to be the Kansas City Indigenous Bookstore. And it stirred up a storm of outrage even among the writers and artists who’ve benefited from the store’s support.
The word, ‘indigenous’, which is one anyone can claim if they’re natural, if they’re born here, if they can’t be accused of being from somewhere else they could be sent back to, the word, ‘indigenous’ I was going to say, is now the personal property of a group of people who had ancestors somewhere on the continent before my own ancestors got here a couple of hundred years ago.
And if a bookstore has the brass to call itself ‘natural’, a ‘native bookstore’ of KC, it’s surprising how many people who had ancestors out, say, in Arizona or New Mexico feel themselves being robbed of the meaning of the word. And are supported by various frizzly headed folks with ancestors more recently arrived [though many probably have no idea when, nor from where ] ….
So, if you dislike seeing this sort of bullying by grabsters of the English language, if you preferred it back when people couldn’t snag a word to hold to their chests and warn off all competition for its use, next time you are in KC, visit Prosperos Book Store.
Go there and buy a book to show how damned independent and ambivalent you are about the building of barbed wire fences around words and a willingness to forsake friends, to fail to remember favors, to go into righteous battle should anyone trespass on the use of someone else s word.