Did you hear on the 5:30 news yesterday that an Indian spokesperson has asked the DMV to recall license plates with REDSKINS on it. This, of course, upset the Redskin fan who had purchased the plates. It seems that he felt quite proud of his loyalty to the Washington team. It also seems the team feels quite proud of their name, and rightly so. Did you ever hear of a team calling themselves the Rotten So-and-Sos or the Dirty Skunks? No, of course not. Teams and other groups like to call themselves by nicknames or have mascots they can take pride in. Where is the denigration? This phony sensitivity being generated by a few Indians calling themselves spokespersons has gone way too far. What is really lamentable is our politicians jumping on all these occasions for press, trying to show sympathy for the plight of the poor Indian. Excuse me, I must mean poor “Native American.” I, by the way, am a native American. As a matter of fact, I am a native Californian.
Also seen in the news this week was an article wherein an Indian casino had won a court decision making it illegal for our government to go onto the reservation to obtain casino records of alleged welfare fraud. This was supposed to be because the tribe property is its own sovereign country and not subject to the federal, state, or local laws. How then, I ask you, can they get welfare from this “foreign” government? If we can’t go into their territory to police the system, how then can we send in welfare checks? This is clearly a classic case of wanting, and getting, it both ways.
It has been about six or seven generations since the end of the Indian wars and all the rights and privileges of American citizenry were accorded the Indian. He has had the opportunity for a free education for almost as many generations. Why are they still acting like special deserving poor people? It is because we treat them like special deserving poor people, and they are smart enough to take advantage of it. It is high time the Indians joined the main stream of this country and the American people treated them like mainstream Americans.
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Several years ago, I wrote “The myth of the accidental overdose” (April 19, 2019, Other Voices, The Union).