Sources of emotion
By Randy Stapilus
boundaries of the reservation of the tribe employing the law enforcement officer”--allows a tribal officer to enforce state law inside the reservation (doesn’t cover enforcement outside of it). And, “There is no negative fiscal impact to state or local government. The Indian tribe bears the expense of POST training under current law, which will continue. Positive fiscal impacts may result from the addition of qualified law enforcement officers employed by a federally recognized Indian tribe within the state of Idaho in the Indian reservation rural areas, without county or city expense.”
If you’re interested in stronger law enforcement, without even raising taxes, this should seem to be up your alley. It was backed by a conservative Republican, Representative Rich Wills of Glenns Ferry, a retired state trooper who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. Sounds like a slam dunk.
But no; the House rejected it today, 34-35.
By Betsy Z. Russell
Opponents raised fears, ranging from the tribe taking away the guns of non-Indians who have concealed weapons permits and pass through the reservation to provisions of tribal code being used to impose civil penalties on non-Indians--something that already can occur today on the reservation.
Shirley said he was stunned to hear that the first question a dispatcher asks in Benewah County is whether the person calling in with an emergency is an Indian or non-Indian. That’s just not right, he said. “This action now compromises safety, cost-effectiveness and just plain good neighborly coexistence.” The dispute, Shirley said, boils down to “prejudices and biases that are counterproductive to improved law enforcement. … Not only is it a safety issue for the officers, but I think it’s a safety issue for the public as well.”
These people had no valid arguments against the bill. Taking their cue from Fox News, presumably, they fabricated reasons to oppose it. The Indians might take their guns! The Indians might throw them in jail! The Indians might do unspeakable things to their women and children!
Not coincidentally, these are the same arguments white conservatives use against Obama, Muslims, and other "foreigners." They might take our guns! They might throw us in prison camps! They might steal our property, rape our women, and kill us!
And how did these white conservatives react to this reasonable idea to curtail crime on the reservation only? How do white conservatives always respond? With hundreds of attacks and threats. With fear- and hate-filled bigotry. Obama, blacks, immigrants, Muslims, and Indians aren't real Americans. They aren't white and conservative and Christian like "us." We have to crucify them before they crucify us.
There's no other way to say it. Many if not most conservatives are bigots who are prejudiced against other races and religions. Their goal is to protect their white power and privilege at all costs.
For more on the subject, see Political Vitriol in the Giffords Shooting and A History of Conservative Hate Speech.
Conservatives spew more venom
We can find many examples of this conservative fear and hate of "the other." Several of them crop up in the news every week.
Here's one: While most people are cheering the democratic movements in Egypt and other Islamic states, conservatives are looking for any excuse to demonize the rebels and their cause. Columnist Maureen Dowd notes how they responded to reporter Lara Logan's rape:
Stars and Sewers
By Maureen Dowd
On her LA Weekly blog, Simone Wilson dredged up Logan’s romantic exploits and quoted a Feb. 3 snipe from the conservative blog Mofo Politics, after Logan was detained by the Egyptian police: “OMG if I were her captors and there were no sanctions for doing so, I would totally rape her.”
Online anonymity has created what the computer scientist Jaron Lanier calls a “culture of sadism.” Some Yahoo comments were disgusting. “She got what she deserved,” one said. “This is what happens when dumb sexy female reporters want to make it about them.” Hillbilly Nation chimed in: “Should have been Katie.”
The “60 Minutes” story about Senator Scott Brown’s revelation that a camp counselor sexually abused him as a child drew harsh comments on the show’s Web site, many politically motivated.
Acupuncturegirl advised: “Scott, shut the hell up. You are gross.” Dutra1 noted: “OK, Scott, you get your free pity pills. Now examine the image you see in the mirror; is it a man?”
Recognizing tribal authority = improving healthcare = admitting illegal immigrants = building mosques. And so forth and so on. The latest examples of this are the Republican attacks on Planned Parenthood and workers' rights. We also saw this attitude in Bryan Fischer's pro-genocide columns, conservative criticism of the Pascua Yaqui prayer, and the scaremongering over the UN declaration on indigenous rights.
Other examples include English-only laws, bans on ethnic studies, phony concerns about "voter fraud," hand-wringing over ending "don't ask, don't tell," and attempts to repeal various parts of the US Constitution. And of course the demonization of Obama as a Muslim and a foreigner. Each of these battles is about the same thing: asserting the supremacy of white male Euro-Americans over everyone else.
Conservative crybaby Napier basically said what conservatives are thinking when he called the Idaho bill "Custer legislation." It didn't matter what the bill actually did or whom it helped. Conservatives see themselves as Custer valiantly defending white Americans against hordes of brown-skinned savages. If a law is pro-Indian, they think, it's anti-white and anti-America by definition. Because their worldview is "us" (white male Euro-Americans) vs. "them" (everyone else).
For more on the subject, see Gray vs. Brown Americans, What "I Want My Country Back" Means, and Culture War Over Who's American.
Below: White Americans stand tall against tribal law enforcement, healthcare reform, illegal immigration, and mosque-building.