July 20, 2008

Racism against Ojibwe fishermen

Tribal fishing video spawns bigotry, attack on news siteThe paper has a circulation of 5,000, and an online site (www.millelacsmessenger.com) visited by another 5,000 or more a month. Unless fish are in the news: Then readership rockets.

That's what happened in May, when the paper posted a video on its website showing fishermen from the nearby Mille Lacs Indian Reservation removing walleye from tribal gill nets and cleaning the fish for eating. Normal, legal and part of Ojibwe culture for centuries. But seeing it on YouTube made some walleye lovers angry, especially the bigots who posted vicious rants on the site. More than 18,000 visitors have seen the video, which amazes editor Brett Larson.

"I was stunned," Larson said Friday. "I thought we were beyond this racist stuff, but clearly we are not. You can oppose tribal netting and not be racist. But some of these people make everyone look like an idiot."
Comment:  Again, the Indians in the video weren't doing anything except removing and cleaning fish. Yet that was enough to trigger "vicious rants." Nice.

For more on the subject, see Highlights of the US Report to the UN on Racism.

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