March 24, 2008

Indians invisible in debate

Tim Giago:  Indians lost in race relations debateWhen it comes to race relations, Native Americans are the invisible people. Any Indian living in North or South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Arizona or even Washington, has felt the pain and the shame of racial prejudice. It has come in the school yard, in the search for decent housing, in restaurants and department stores. When I was publisher of Indian Country Today, the paper covered the story of an Indian man suspected of shoplifting at a department store in Rapid City and how he was wrestled to the floor and humiliated by the store’s security only to find out that not only was he not shoplifting, he was also a minister in the Episcopal Church. By reporting this story my newspaper lost a very valuable advertiser. The local daily did not carry the story.

There are still many issues about race that arise nearly every week in the states I mentioned involving Indians and Whites. Several school districts in South Dakota have taken the issue to court and won. The ACLU has stood up for the rights of the Indian people across America because the state and federal courts have often been so lopsided in dealing justice to Native Americans. In many Western states there is a dual system of justice when it involves Indians.
Comment:  "Nearly every week"? Based on my Stereotype of the Month contest, I'd say Native issues regarding race arise several times a week.

Below:  Recent examples of the ongoing racism and stereotyping.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rob said...

For more on the racism in Rapid City, see Most Racist Place in America?