January 21, 2014

GOP official: "Herd all the Indians"

Michigan GOP official: ‘Herd all the Indians’ to Detroit, build a fence and throw in corn

By David EdwardsIn a recent interview for a profile by The New Yorker titled “Drop Dead, Detroit!” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson admitted, “Anytime I talk about Detroit, it will not be positive. Therefore, I’m called a Detroit basher. The truth hurts, you know? Tough sh*t.”

Patterson recalled telling his children to “get in and get out” if they needed to go to Detroit.

“And, before you go to Detroit, you get your gas out here. You do not, do not, under any circumstances, stop in Detroit at a gas station! That’s just a call for a carjacking,” he said.

Patterson also proposed a fix to Detroit’s financial problems: Turn the city into a reservation for Native Americans.

“I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass. I said, ‘What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and the corn.’”
And:Activists with Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network had planned a news conference on Tuesday to call for Patterson to apologize.

National Action Network’s Michigan chapter president Rev. Charles Williams II said that the comments were “repulsive” because they were an insult to the city’s African-American population and “a direct slight to the American Indians who occupied the land before Detroit was Detroit, and Oakland County.”
L. Brooks Patterson's Detroit bashing in New Yorker draws fire

Comment:  Patterson's comments are offensive in at least two ways:

1) The idea that Indians could, would, or should be herded onto a reservation, where they'd be caged and fed like animals. This is a textbook example of racism--of discriminating by race. Patterson would never say something similar about blacks or whites.

2) The idea that Indians aren't modern-day people who wear regular clothes and eat regular food. That they'd need or want "blankets and corn," which wouldn't have even satisfied their distant ancestors. These days, Indians want sushi, Gucci, and Wi-Fi just like everyone else.

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