August 06, 2008

McCain:  Bikers yes, Indians no

Column:  McCain policy should uphold Native religious freedoms, sitesIt's with some irony that Sen. John McCain has touted the federal government's “ethical and legal responsibility” to help Native people live the American Dream, a statement that smacked against the backdrop of the sacred Bear Butte as McCain paid tribute Monday to veterans attending a nearby biker rally.

While McCain has a strong record of championing Native causes, his legislative coups don't reflect the need to protect sacred sites and indigenous people's religious freedom.

McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, spoke to several thousand motorcycle enthusiasts at an annual tribute to military men and women attending the Sturgis Rally, the country's largest biker extravaganza. He greeted the crowd at the Buffalo Chip Campground, about four miles south of Mato Paha, a sacred butte rising 1,253 feet from the surrounding prairie.

Traffic to the campground was backed up for hours Monday night as people drove to the rough-and-rowdy, leather-and often-barely-clad venue for the night's headliners, featuring motorcycle stunts, Kid Rock, female wrestlers, the Miss Buffalo Chip Beauty Pageant - and McCain.

“I find it strange that he would come to a venue such as the Sturgis Rally that is very well known for nudity and drunkenness,” said Tamra Brennan, founder and director of Protect Sacred Sites.

“I understand he was there to honor the veterans, but it seems there's a lot of other ways he could have honored veterans.

“And why didn't he come into Indian Country while he was here?” she said. “During the campaign process, he didn't come to any of the reservations like the other candidates did and talk to people about Indian issues.”

Brennan, who lives at the base of Bear Butte, is among Native sacred site advocates campaigning to protect Bear Butte from continual encroachment, mostly by big biker bars within eye- and ear-shot of the ceremonial mountain, a religious area in the foothills of the Lakota Nation's revered Black Hills.
Comment:  As I said before, when Indian interests compete with white interests, guess which side McCain takes.

Below:  What McCain cares about:

And doesn't care about:


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
BUT -- when Indian interests (or even white interests) compete with Black interests, guess which side Barrack O'Bama will take?
All Best
Russ Bates

Rob said...

Since Obama is biracial, there's no reason to think he would favor black interests (whatever those are) over white interests. As for black vs. Indian interests, how exactly do they differ? Blacks and Indians both want fewer wars, scandals, and constitutional violations and more jobs, health care, and environmental protections.

P.S. You misspelled "Barack," as usual. Is there any chance you'll ever learn how to spell?

alanajoli said...

This is interesting to me:

While McCain has a strong record of championing Native causes, his legislative coups don't reflect the need to protect sacred sites and indigenous people's religious freedom.

Which Native causes has he championed, then? Has he only done so for PR, and then not voted the same line? Or has the legislation he's supported been for causes other than sacred sites and freedom of religion?

Along the same train of thought, how has Obama voted on similar issues in the past? How both candidates have voted on issues seems like a greater indicator of how they will likely act in office than whatever PR stunts they pull during their campaigns. Of course, a truly motivated candidate would keep their PR consistent with their voting record, but I've come to believe that that's sadly a lot ot hope for in a candidate...

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
The spelling of his name now has evolved into 'Barrack O'Bama.' That is an older newpaperman's way of dishonoring someone they do not respect: misspelling the name. Besides, O"Bama never has said if he's Irish or not...
All Best
Russ Bates