March 24, 2011

Stossel:  Indians are biggest moochers

Stossel:  No Group Has Had More Gov't Help Than American Indians

By Eric LachQuick, which group has the U.S. government helped out the most? Wall Street, maybe? Or the unemployed? Oh, how about all those defense contractors? Wrong, says Fox News contributor John Stossel. As far as Stossel is concerned, it's Native Americans.

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.
John Stossel:  No Group’s Been Helped More By Gov’t Than American Indians

By Shani O. HiltonStossel was attempting to make a small-government argument that federal intervention has actually hurt Native Americans, but instead, he displayed stunning ignorance of history and, well, the Constitution. The BIA exists as a liaison between the U.S. government and the 565 tribes who reside on sovereign land located within the U.S. That’s not to say there aren’t problems with the Bureau and its interactions with its constituents, but boiling the challenges Native Americans face down to a complaint about the existence of the BIA is pretty absurd.Comment:  Stossel didn't use the word "moochers," but that's what he meant. He wasn't saying Indians have received more help and that's as it should be, since they gave up their priceless land for perpetual treaty benefits. He was implying that Indians are getting race-based handouts they don't deserve. In other words, that they're worse welfare moochers than their fellow black and Latino moochers.

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 CapricciosoWatch out, Indian programs and all those who depend on them. The toast of the Tea Party, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, so desperately wants to cut the federal budget that he’s ready to stomp all over federal trust responsibility and treaty obligations to Indians—even obliterate them, if he must. The good news: The United States won’t be quite so broke. The bad news: The United States will have broken the law in order to balance its books on the backs of Indians.

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.”
Let's summarize the Rand/Stossel agenda: Eliminate the US treaty obligation to tribes. Eliminate the tribes' sovereignty over their reservations. Heck, eliminate the reservations, period, so we can gobble up their land.

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


Burt said...

Natives should be the wealthiest people in America, but the creation of a federal agency to overlook Indian monies and land royalties is only one example of using people as statistics to embezzle and siphon funds to third parties. Only today, it is happening to all Americans, natives and non-natives alike.

Its the oldest game in America. In the old days, Indian agents got rich and greedy by getting in bed with industrialist and corporate heads.

Instead of casting blame on an entire race of people that for the most part never asked for a BIA or federal annuities, but were forced by gunpoint, Stossel should examine where and whom today this cycle of corruption still exists, beginning with the same people and industrialists from over a hundred years ago running things today.

A poor man goes to prison for stealing food to feed his family while a corporate executive goes to congress to steal from the nation. This is capitalism folks.

Natives will be the first to tell you they only want a job or an opportunity like everyone else, but they would also be the first to offer a helping hand or take up arms to defend this land of hateful people.

Stossel needs to look at who the real moochers are, probably his bosses, instead of laying blame at the most unemployed and overlooked people on the continent.

Jaine said...

Burt said
"they would also be the first to offer a helping hand or take up arms to defend this land of hateful people."

It's the same in New Zealand too. Maori are subject to terrible, untrue and unjust 'welfare bludger, violent thug' stereotypes despite the fact they often are the first to offer a helping hand and do what they can for those in need in their communities and in Aotearoa (New Zealand).

Stossel sounds like a moron.

dmarks said...

"...but they would also be the first to offer a helping hand or take up arms to defend this land of hateful people..."

I have some experience with seeing how Native communities honor and respect war veterans.

Anonymous said...

being part Native American myself, and a type 1 diabetic who can't afford health insurance, I fully depend on the HHS to get my medications TO LIVE, not to get rich, but just to stay alive. Ok tell me what is the poor area in the US? a Lakota Reservation. 4 of the top5 poorest counties in the US are RESERVATIONS without healthcare, even HHS. Stossel would be dead within a week in any of those counties.

Robin said...

What I took from this piece was that all the federal aid did not help the indian nation live better. Not a conservative conspiracy to end indian subsidies. The tribe that did not take federal aid does very well on their own and live well. Your blog entry inflames more division in our country, unfortunately. I was sadden by how much poverty there continues to be in the indian nation that is given so much help. Sad.

Anonymous said...

The colonizers are the biggest of all moochers. They stole and murdered to get what they have. The ignorance and superior racial attitudes like this is what will bring the republicans down again.