Friday, January 27, 2006

Peace & Friendship or Collusion & Corruption


We have progressed considerably since the divinely inspired mission of "Manifest Destiny" was first discussed and implemented here in the U.S. Or have our politicians and lawmakers merely changed their tactics and put a new face on the old tradition of exploitation of our tribal members? The rascism which has been linked with manifest destiny, has allowed greedy politicians and profiteering carpet-baggers to literally steal billions of dollars from our Native Tribes. From the very beginning, history has been witness to the presidential and congressional manipulation of the tribes of North America and the theft of their natural resources and land, along with their independence. Let's take a look at the Indian Peace medal for instance. The medal's back pictured clasped hands of the European and the Native American along with crossed tomahawk and peace pipe. Thomas Jefferson was pictured on the front of the medal. The very president that adorned the medal is the very man who initiated the "Trail of Tears", which brought about the death of native cultures and the reservation system. The Peace and Friendship portrayed on the medal should possibly be replaced with Collusion & Corruption!

The majority of the federal legislation passed after 1871 has served to either reduce the sovereign powers of native nations or enhance the state's powers over them. Among the policies initiated by legislation was assimilation, as in the 19th century allotment and break up of reservations, forced schooling of children, the 20th century termination of tribes, civil rights assaults by the FBI through their COINTELPRO program, involuntary sterilization of women at Indian Health Service clinics, and the placement of large numbers of children into non-Indian foster and adoptive homes prior to the passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978). The injustice which has been thrust upon the indigenous people here is very well documented and unfortunately, usually accepted by society as a necessary evil, supposedly by the divine inspiration of manifest destiny. An effort to justify and relinquish conscious guilt through a social imperative maybe? How any society can justify crimes against humanity and cultural genocide is unfathomable to me, but societies have practiced this since before history was written.

The tribes in North America have fought the land rush, gold rush, and mineral rush; and now they are in the middle of the gaming rush. Tribal casino revenues now are bringing in multi-billions of dollars yearly and are becoming very attractive to the profit hogs, both private and governmental. Casinos have helped create increased levels of inter-tribal government corruption and have been detrimental to the solidarity among Native Americans. In 1988, Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which according to government reports, was designed to reduce poverty and unemployment rates, build schools and healthcare facilities, new roads and sewer systems, and build new responsible governmental tribal courts. But according to some activists within the American Indian Movement, in essence the gaming is merely a way for the U.S. government to get out of it's treaty obligations and the biggest thing that gaming has brought, is the greedy politicians running from their plush D.C. offices in search of profits.

Many American Indians view the Gaming Act as merely another governmental plan to continue the genocidal manipulation for which they are well known. And the casino business backed by U.S. Congress is seen as creating corruption within the tribal leaderships. And the corrupted leadership is waging a war on their very own people. Some tribes are removing hundreds of members from their roles or denying enrollment to others. Since the IGRA was implemented, we have seen gambling monopolies created in states which normally don't allow gambling, it's brought about tribal conflicts, and even tribal member and community conflicts. And of course lately we have heard plenty about the atrocious behavior of Jack Abramoff and his contempt for not just Native Americans, but all Americans as well.
Enter Jack Abramoff. Along with his friends and associates, he targeted a handful -- six, to be exact -- of Indian tribes to finance his empire on the Potomac. What, exactly, happened? As far as I can tell, the Abramoff crew took advantage of the Indian tribes' goodwill and bankrolls to the tune of $82 million in order to pay for their own mansions, exotic trips and think tanks -- you get the picture. Which is: A few Indian tribes get scammed, a bunch of lobbyists and congressmen and staff get greedy (and later nailed), some promises get made and a casino gets shut down, and then Congress starts falling over itself to enact lobbying reform. Meanwhile, nearly all federal Indian health care, education, housing, water, energy, heating and roads programs are getting cut. -Tex G. Hall

So the scandals against our native people and all citizens we are now hearing about, which are deeply rooted within the corporatist leather of our elected official's pocketbooks, boils down to "Same shit, different day", and manifest destiny is still alive and well in the wealthiest country of the world. And along with that wealth, the collusion and corruption that always accompanies it, is working it's magic just as it always has. And the American Indians are still fighting for their rights and an end to the genocidal tendacies of a supremist government!

4Comments:

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Sunday, 29 January, 2006  
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Thursday, 09 February, 2006  
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Thursday, 09 February, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did the previous comments even READ THIS ARTICLE??
We are responsible for the omissions and lies of our leaders. We elected them.
We are responsible for the history our forefathers created, and to right the wrongs done in their children's names.

Tuesday, 01 September, 2009  

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