January 28, 2010

Tribal jurisdiction = "Custer legislation"?!

Obama using Indians for his dirty work

By Barry NapierI can say, without reservation, that I’m not a racist. Black or white, yellow or brown, I don’t care, so long as the fellah is decent and sociable. Obama, however, IS racist, and it shows in this proposed piece of legislation.

Idaho pro-Obama bosses are trying to muscle-through ‘Custer Legislation’, so that the (Red) Indians can at last get their own back on white men--cowboys and Indians all over again!

The idea is to give Indians total legal control over any non-Indian who even passes through their territory. They would be tried under separate tribal laws, and even if the accused comes from outside the reservation, they cannot call in outside help or legal counsel! And only Indians would be allowed to sit on the jury. Watch out for revenge from Indians who are filled with leftist revisionist history!

The bright-sparks who are trying to bring this in are Idaho Attorney General Wasden and US Attorney Thomas Moss. They have been working out the details for the past six months… and everyone in the USA should ask “Why?” What is the point of making parts of the USA free from state and national laws?
Comment:  I can say without reservation that Napier is a racist. The language in his screed proves it:

  • "Obama using Indians": As if Indians are incapable of independent thought. Of determining what's best for them.

    Napier later admits that one tribe is backing this legislation and two others aren't. He doesn't name the tribes because all Indians are the same to him, presumably. Perhaps he doesn't even know the tribes' names. He sounds like regurgitating right-wing talking points rather than thinking on his own.

    In any case, attacking "Indians" for the actions of one tribe is like attacking the world's Caucasians for the actions of the Bush administration or the Manson family. It's racist.

  • "(Red) Indians": As if Indians are actually red.

  • "Get their own back on white men": This ungrammatical phrase apparently means "get revenge on white men." The implication that Indians want revenge on whites is racist because it denigrates an entire race.

  • "Only Indians would be allowed to sit on the jury": As if Indians are inherently biased and incapable of rendering a fair decision. Again, a racist assumption about Indians.

  • "Revenge from Indians who are filled with leftist revisionist history!": Again, a racist assertion about a revenge motive, coupled with a racist implication that Indians can't think straight.

  • It's not hard to imagine that Napier, like many conservatives, is prejudiced against Obama. With zero evidence, he attacks Idaho Attorney General Wasden and US Attorney Thomas Moss as "pro-Obama bosses." And he thinks Obama or someone "higher up" is orchestrating this legislation. It's all very reminiscent of the teabaggers' racist attacks on Obama as an un-American Kenyan and Muslim.

    Clearly Napier is clueless about tribal sovereignty. He's clueless that it's a nation-to-nation relationship based on the Constitution. Clueless that tribal nations are political entities, not racial entities--that their members can belong to any race, in theory.

    If Obama were behind this legislation, which he's not, it wouldn't be a "racist" move. Again, because tribes are political entities, not racial ones. Similarly, if a local district, precinct, or ward were 95% black, that wouldn't make it a racial entity either. A federal or state agency could help the district, precinct, or ward without being guilty of "racial preferences."

    Idaho rectifying PL 280?

    I don't know the details of the proposed "State and Indian Tribal Cooperative Law Enforcement Act" A Google search doesn't turn up anything about it. I wouldn't trust anything Napier has written about it, since he comes from the "black helicopter/blue helmet" school of conservative idiocy.

    I presume this act has something to do with correcting the worst parts of the infamous PL 280. Here's some background on how this law has weakened tribal sovereignty.

    Public Law 280:  Issues and Concerns for Victims of Crime in Indian Country

    By Ada Pecos Melton and Jerry Gardner1. What is Public Law 280?

    Public Law 83-280, the 280th Public Law enacted by the 83rd Congress in 1953, was a substantial transfer of jurisdiction from the federal government to the states in Indian country. This transfer of jurisdiction was required (or mandatory) for the states specifically mentioned in the Act and also permitted other states an option to acquire jurisdiction. Indian Nations, on the other hand, had no choice in the matter. The Indian Nations which were affected by Public Law 280 had to deal with greatly increased state authority and state control over a broad range of reservation activities without any tribal consent.

    Before Public Law 280 was enacted, the federal government and Indian tribal courts shared jurisdiction over almost all civil and criminal matters involving Indians in Indian country. The states had no jurisdiction. With the enactment of Public Law 280, affected states received criminal jurisdiction over reservation Indians. Furthermore, Public Law 280 opened state courts to civil litigation that previously had been possible only in tribal or federal courts. In the affected states, the federal government gave up control over crimes in Indian country (those involving Indian perpetrators and/or victims). Indian Nations lost control over many criminal and civil matters within their territory due to the policies of the federal and state governments.

    3. Why is Public Law 280 Controversial?

    From the beginning, Public Law 280 was unsatisfactory to both states and Indian Nations. Public Law 280 inspired widespread criticism and concern from Indians and non-Indians alike. Disagreements arose immediately concerning the scope of powers given to the states and the methods of assuming that power.

    Indian Opposition

    Indian opposition to Public Law 280 has focused upon the one-sided process which imposed state jurisdiction on Indian Nations and the complete failure to recognize tribal sovereignty and tribal self-determination. Public Law 280 required neither the consent of the Indian Nations being affected nor even consultation with these Indian Nations. When he signed it into law, even President Eisenhower expressed misgivings about the lack of tribal consent and urged immediate amendment of the law to require tribal referenda--no such amendment passed Congress until 1968.
    The key point to note is that PL 280 is mandatory in only six states. Other states don't impose the same restrictions on tribal sovereignty. And yet...no calamaties have befallen these states. They haven't turned into Communist enclaves where non-Indians are imprisoned in Native gulags.

    In fact, most people have never heard of PL 280 and don't know some states have more power over tribes than others. That's how stupid and irrelevant Napier's charge of an Obama takeover is.

    In short, Napier's scare tactics are completely at odds with the legal record. And he's a racist for suggesting Big Chief Obama and his little Indians are on the warpath again.

    For more on the subject, see The Facts About Tribal Sovereignty.


    dmarks said...

    "The idea is to give Indians total legal control over any non-Indian who even passes through their territory. They would be tried under separate tribal laws, and even if the accused comes from outside the reservation, they cannot call in outside help or legal counsel!"

    I'm not sure about the "no outside help" part, or if it is true, but the rest of it is just like, say, if someone just passing through Iowa commits a crime in Iowa. Yes, of course, they are subject to the separate laws of Iowa.

    This fits in with the soveriegnty of states as defined in the Constitution.

    Rob said...

    A comment by Patrick G. Barkman on Facebook:

    Have you ever noticed that ANY statement that begins "I'm not a racist" inevitably leads into pretty blatantly racist sentiments? He also displays an INCREDIBLE ignorance of Indian law. Does he think it's shocking that if a Texan commits a crime in Oklahoma, ONLY Oklahomans get to be judges there or sit on the juries?

    sandyv said...

    OMG, how stupid are white people. You commit a crime in a sovereign nation and those laws apply to YOU. I am sick and tired of whites killing natives and running off the rez for safe keeping by white officers. You people have NO IDEA of why this legislation is for the survival of the tribes. I seriously doubt any native would stop you from getting a lawyer off the rez, but let me tell you, it's your life as lawyers just don't know native laws as they are different on all reservations.
    This idiot that claims this is racist is an ignorant hillbilly that doesn't know crap about sovereign nations or law or the judicial system. Native judicial system has federal laws to back them. Natives have been murdered (17 native women on the Yakima rez in 15 years and NOTHING! WHY hasn't the FBI done their job? No arrests, no investigation, nothing) Get your damn facts straight before you show your ignorance and prejudice. The white boys have raped, robbed, beat up natives for years and once off the rez, NOTHING ever happens to them. My Uncle was hit and run in town by a white boy (wheat family that was rich). He was drunk, and doing 80mph, knocked my uncle out of his boots and left 10 kids without a dad or income. The white boy? He sped off the rez and the white police where he lived did nothing, NOTHING.

    Rob said...

    For an explanation of the proposed legislation, see What Napier Is Ranting About.