Race obscures real problem
Economic inequality should be addressed, not cultural diversity
Michaels fails to see how cultural death is tied to economic disenfranchisement. For instance, American Indian tribes were robbed of culture-–religion was banned and children were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to boarding schools where their hair was cut and they were whipped for speaking their tribal languages-–to fold Indians into the American workforce at the bottom as laborers. And the Indians who fight to hold on to tribal languages and traditions are not subscribing to the agendas of the rich but attempting to define themselves on their own terms with the ultimate goal of recapturing cultural and economic self-sufficiency; the two often go hand in hand. And it is not a myth or a ruse that poor American Indians are 10 times as likely to be victims of violent crime as their poor white neighbors, and that most of the violence visited on Indians is perpetrated by whites. This suggests that race still exists as an important category.