Friday, January 16, 2009
Did He Really Say That?
Is the current Governor of the State of New York that ignorant of history that he could really be making the comments the press is claiming he made? I find it almost impossible to believe that anyone but the most ignorant racist could say that Native People must compensate New York State for the "privileges and benefits" of being located in the State. I didn't hear him actually say the words so I'm cautious in my response. Let's just say if Mr. Paterson has beliefs that represent anything close to this sentiment, then he or anyone else that feels this way should just continue to ignore us and drop the whole issue. This kind of stupidity will just get someone hurt. I don't set the bar higher for Mr. Paterson because he is black, nor do I for the in-coming US President, but you would think a man of color would at least understand that there is enough complexity borne out of the history of racism and oppression in the US to keep him from suggesting that the State has made us a Privileged People. Let me be clear. Neither the United States nor any of its member states have ever given us a right or a privilege. Every right we have, we have always had. We battle the State and federal governments every day to honor their promises to never claim our land and not to disturb us in the use of it. Year after year these governments have looked for ways to fit us in their box. They pass laws out west, drag Native people into courts and then claim they have legal precedent to act against us and all those promises they made. They build bad laws on top of bad court rulings in places irrelevant to us and call it Federal Indian Law. Mr. Paterson, if this is too much for you to acknowledge and grasp, you are not alone. Why do you think this confusion for you still exists? It is time to punt. Just like everyone that came before you. You can't accept the truth of our Sovereignty and our birthright, so rather than costing your State billions, making a fool of yourself with stupid comments and risk getting someone hurt, just let it go. You don't even have to apologize.