November 08, 2007

More racism against Indians

Racism in Indian countryIn Red Rock, Okla., in 1992, an Indian student was arrested and placed into the school jail for chewing gum. (Yes, they have a jail!) At the same time, an Anglo student, the son of a teacher, who set an Indian student's hair on fire, was not punished at all!

Indian students have been arrested, jailed and fingerprinted for such minor offenses as refusing to sit where they are told or for making too much noise. They are systematically excluded from college preparatory classes, shunted into vocational and "bonehead" classes, not encouraged to be in school every day, and in general ignored in preparing them for higher learning and for life.

In Winner, S.D., near the Rosebud Reservation, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the school district, the superintendent and two principals in April 2006. When a white student pushed an Indian student against a locker and called him a "prairie nigger," the Indian student, a middle schooler, was arrested and jailed when he pushed back. Brian Naasz, the principal, had the police arrest the Indian student, but not the white student who instigated the fight. The ACLU documented that an Indian student was three times as likely as a white student to be arrested.

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