By Eric Lach
Stossel was on Fox & Friends this morning to discuss some high-paying government jobs recently reported in The Daily Caller. The report found that the "Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs needs someone to run the Facebook page for the Dept. of the Interior and they'll pay up to $115,000 a year." Stossel took that as an opportunity to wonder about the entire concept of a Bureau of Indian Affairs.
"Why is there a Bureau of Indian Affairs?" he said. "There is no Bureau of Puerto Rican Affairs or Black Affairs or Irish Affairs. And no group in America has been more helped by the government than the American Indians, because we have the treaties, we stole their land. But 200 years later, no group does worse."
Established in 1824, Indian Affairs is the oldest bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. Among other responsibilities, the Bureau is charged with "maintaining the federal government-to-government relationship with the federally recognized Indian tribes," according to its website.
By Shani O. Hilton
Stossel follows Rand's lead
Stossel's comments are part of the conservative drive to eliminate the funding for Indians. Or should I say eliminate Indians, period? The most infamous proponent of elimination is libertarian Rand Paul:
Sen. Rand Paul Set to Ignore Treaty Obligations to Indians
By Rob Capriccioso
Think that’s a melodramatic bit of hyperbole? Check out the proposal introduced in Congress Jan. 25 by the newly elected senator. It calls for the elimination of funding to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Department of the Interior agency that oversees a variety of Indian programs. That’s not all. The senator, who is a medical doctor (an eye surgeon, although seemingly myopic), also proposes trimming almost half of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service (IHS) budget this year. Republicans and Democrats don’t tend to agree on much, but one thing they have agreed on over the years is that IHS has been dramatically underfunded. Like them or not, the BIA and IHS are the main agencies of the federal government that have worked with and for Indians, carrying out federal trust responsibility and treaty obligations called for in the U.S. Constitution.
Native Americans will rue Paul's proposals, should the be enacted.
“What Sen. Paul is proposing would mean the end of the policy of self-determination and self-governance, among other things,” said Eric Eberhard, a law professor with the Center for Indian Law and Policy at Seattle University School of Law.
“Ironically, even as we see a resurgence of interest and veneration for the U.S. Constitution, there appears to be a blind spot when it comes to the obligations owed Native American Indians in federal treaties solemnly negotiated and ratified as the ‘supreme law of the land,’ ” added Philip Baker-Shenk, a partner in the Holland & Knight firm’s Indian law practice group. “No honest fan of the Constitution can deny that the founders were referring to treaties with the Indians when they wrote the Constitution.”
While we're at it, eliminate the tribes' cultures and religions. Let them assimilate into the mainstream like other minorities have done. Let them become good Christian Americans like John Stossel, Bryan Fischer, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and other white supremacists in disguise.
That's the Republican Tea Party agenda for Indians in a nutshell. To reiterate what I've said before, it's to demonize Indians and other minorities as evil and un-American. To justify taking their land, resources, and money and redistribute it to society's upper crust. To enrich America's white power elite at the expense of everyone else.
No wonder Indians often say the genocide against them has never ended. Judging by the anti-Indian rhetoric of Rand, Stossel, and Fischer, it hasn't.
For more on Indians as welfare recipients, see:
Conservatives hate Wikileaks and Indians
Stereotypes drive racism in South Dakota
Mines minister blames the victim
Didier: Stop "protecting the weak"
Guilt-ridden liberals give Indians gaming?
Why Americans hate welfare
Banker: Young Indians receive $50K