Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Apology Not Accepted
We are already beginning to hear the litany of excuses from the Congressmen representing the Western New York districts around Native communities. I hope none of our people buy their bullshit when they claim, regarding their House votes for the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act, that they didn't realize how devastating shutting down retailers that use the mail for delivery would be. Brian Higgins tried that line on us when he voted as a New York State Assemblyman to try to shut us down with State legislation. We need to clearly draw a line in the sand for these guys. You are either with us or against us. As the private sector economy of the Seneca Nation is destroyed by these arrogant, self serving career politicians, we need to hold them accountable. This goes for Schumer and Gillibrand before the Senate votes as well. These Democrats want to wear their human and civil rights credentials on their shirtsleeves all while they crush any success our communities have. Oh, they'll stand in lock step with us when we serve their needs. Get out the vote, endorse our candidate, help us with our census, help us secure the borders, create tourism for us, give us slot dollars. These guys will travel the world preaching the virtues of democracy and private sector development while not just promoting, but dictating, Socialism in Indian Country. It is no small coincidence that gaming has been legislated and shoved down our throats. These enterprises are only run by the tribes. The powers that be don't want to have to deal with Indians. We have heard this constant chorus of Nation to Nation and government to government relations for so long that we now sing it more than them. In doing so the individual Native person, the private sector of Indian Country, is taken out of the picture. It is much more convenient for Rahnatakias Obama and his minions to deal with a handful of tribal leaders than 1,000,000 Indians. In Oneida and Onondaga only the "Nation" is in business. The State and the feds only have to wheel and deal (or drag into court) a couple of guys to get their way with them. How many remember the look on the face of Judith Hard (from Governor Pataki's office) when she had to face only a roomful of angry Indians during our last go-around?
We need to also hold some others accountable. Those who claim to be leaders or representatives for Native people and Native issues also need to be dragged out on the mat. NCAI and USET cannot be allowed to continue to promote themselves and their usefulness to Native people if they only serve the needs of a few bought and paid for tribes, the Indian gaming industry and the state and federal governments. As NCAI meets in Seneca territory, in a couple of weeks, they need to be put on notice. If NCAI and USET can't support the Seneca people, the Seneca people should be done with them. While we are at it, perhaps someone should produce a tally on how much money goes to these organizations from our communities and do an honest cost benefit analysis. Not just what have you done for me lately; what have you ever done for us?
It needs to be made clear that the PACT Act is legislation aimed at specifically shutting down Native businesses. An argument can be made whether or not it violates our sovereignty or some overstated "treaty rights", but there is no question about the negative impact it will have on the economies of Native communities and no apologies will be accepted from anyone who helps make this happen.