February 16, 2007

Attacking Indians via Hawaii

Parker:  Overcoming neocon campaign against Akaka Bill key for tribal rightsAs I recently pointed out in remarks to the more than 200 tribal delegates attending [January's] Tribal Leaders Forum in San Diego, the highly orchestrated political campaign attacking the Native Hawaiian bill is clearly aimed at U.S. tribes. The Akaka Bill is a proxy for an attack by the neoconservative movement on the right of tribal sovereignty and it is clear that their line of attack would be the same if a tribal sovereignty issue were up for a vote in the Congress. For this reason I believe that it is absolutely necessary for all tribal leaders to actively engage in this fight and to make sure that this anti-Native Hawaiian/anti-tribal sovereignty attack is defeated. If not, they will be emboldened to attack the weakest link that they can find in the armor of tribal rights with all the resources at their disposal.

Students of the political tactics and strategies of the neo-conservative movement will recognize the elements of their campaign. They focus upon several buzzwords that are known to evoke a particular negative response in the American public and then just keep repeating their arguments on as many levels of media as possible. It is irrelevant that their arguments are false or distortions of the truth (as they certainly are in this case) because they are not appealing to logic, but prejudice. These tactics have been well-documented and were effectively analyzed in George Lakoff's book, “Don't Think of an Elephant!” As Lakoff points out, you cannot win a public debate on their chosen terms.

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