Stop the racist attacks on our children
By Valerie Taliman
It was the cyberspace equivalent of a “Wanted” poster, reminiscent of bounties once paid for Indian scalps in the old West. And in my view, it’s a classic hate crime, carried out for the sole purpose of inciting racism and hate against indigenous peoples.
“This ad could intimidate and incite violence against indigenous youth in North America, and we are joining with Manitoba chiefs to call for an end to hate crimes such as these. We want to see the perpetrators brought to justice.”
Author and poet Sherman Alexie, a founding board member of Longhouse Media, called for collective action. “As much as the world has changed for indigenous people in good ways, there are still many violent and hateful folks out there who seek to harm us, and we must condemn them in print and in action, and we must do this together.”
“Those willing to demonstrate their hate publicly are equally capable of violence,” said Lamar, who now owns a firm that specializes in helping to reduce violence and drug abuse on reservations. “As a former FBI agent and Blackfeet Nation citizen, I have seen firsthand the carnage left by those consumed by racist hatred. History can produce example after example of racist hatred being translated to violence.”
When the story broke, I saw it first on Facebook. I think my boss Victor was the first to post it, but others soon followed. I posted an item on it in my blog that night.
When people discovered the misuse of the March Point photo, Tracy Rector posted a comment on my blog item. She or Valerie Taliman wrote a statement for Longhouse Media and posted it on the Longhouse Media website. They both e-mailed me about the statement to make sure PECHANGA.net was aware of it.
Now Taliman has written a followup piece to keep the issue in the public eye and make sure everyone knows about it. Indian Country Today has published it, PECHANGA.net is linking to it, and Indianz.com may link to it also. She and others are posting this followup on Facebook and probably on Twitter as well.
At this point, anyone who follows the Native media must've heard about this story. I'm not sure what they can do about it, but at least they're aware of it. From a PR standpoint, that's a good result.
For more on the subject, see Racists Lack Self-Esteem and Tribes Need Better PR.