October 01, 2007

"Typical greedy corporate businessmen"

Tribes worry wealth clouds the public's perception of themAbout half of 810 likely voters polled this summer for the California Tribal Business Alliance, a trade group that Viejas helped start, agreed that Indians are acting “just like any other special interest group.”

Only about a third agreed that “Indians have gotten a raw deal” and are using money from casinos to “make sure they have a voice in the system.”

A recent story on a casino expansion plan drew this response from a reader of SignOnSanDiego.com, The San Diego Union-Tribune's Web site, which allows people to post comments anonymously: “I have no respect for these tribes anymore, they are just typical greedy corporate businessmen now.”

Public perceptions can lead to policy changes, and voters next year may decide the fate of four compacts signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger calling for a massive gambling expansion.
And:There are other places, notably the halls of Congress, where the image of Indians as wealthy is a problem, said lobbyist Jana McKeag, who works for the Barona band's business partner along with other gambling and Indian interests.

“In Washington, D.C., perception is reality,” McKeag said.

For instance, the success of Indian gaming has hurt efforts to fully fund programs such as Indian health care, she said.

Perceptions of Indians as rich also come from a darker place in American history, said Doug Elmets, who works with tribes on their public image.

“You still have a certain amount of latent racism,” Elmets said. “That type of attitude exists in society, and it's not just necessarily targeted at Native Americans; it's really targeted at any group or ethnicity that does well.”
Comment:  Perceptions lead to policies...exactly. That explains why I deal with perceptions.

See Greedy Indians for more on the subject.

1 comment:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
The ACTUAL perception that forms the basis of most racism today anent Native Americans is that Natives OPPOSED the founding and formation of the United States (AND Mexico and Canada!), becoming the ENEMY of all that, and that ANYTHING positive in favor of the ENEMY is to be opposed.
When writerfella was drafted into the US military in 1964, his background check exceedingly was thorough, with the investigators even finding that writerfella had donated $.25 to The Brothers For Freedom, later determined to be an American Communist front. The TBFF were on a national tour with a replica of The Liberty Bell on a flatbed truck to schools all over the country showing the Bell and asking for milk money so they could launch helium balloons filled with propaganda leaflets over The Iron Curtain. Even at age 11, this sounded good to writerfella and he donated a quarter. When writerfella was confronted by such a fact, he simply said, "Who knew?" Then he said, "I certainly hope none of you holds it against me that my family once supported the armed overthrow of the US Government!" NO ONE LAUGHED OR SMILED, and writerfella was under investigation all the more. Strange, at the time they more were interested in writerfella's history and politics but NOT his homosexuality! KI-YIKE! Would someone kindly please explain that to writerfella?
All Best
Russ Bates