LENO [shrugging]: I mean, I don't...I don't underst--[laughter and applause]
LENO: All right. I'm just saying.
LENO: And after a 13-year legal dispute over historical accounting mistakes by the Department of the Interior, the government has agreed to pay more than $3 billion in reparations to American Indians for the way they were treated. They're paying them $3 billion for the way they were treated.
LENO: To which black people said: "Hello?! Uh, Civil War?! Hello, slavery?! We're here!! Anybody!!"
KEVIN EUBANKS: I have a little Indian in me as well. [rimshot]
LENO [laughing]: Are you part Indian?!
KEVIN EUBANKS: I'm part--yes, I have a little Indian in me too.
He states that the government made accounting mistakes--true. Then he claims the settlement is for the way we treated Indians--false. The settlement is to pay for the accounting mistakes, big brain. Duhhh.
Unless Leno was referring to way the DOI "treated Indians" by losing their money, he misstated the case. Even if that's what he meant, "reparations" is absolutely the wrong word. When you pay someone what you owe them, it isn't reparations by any stretch of the imagination.
Besides, we know what Leno meant by his reference to black reparations for slavery. Blacks want reparations for the way we treated them...and so do Indians. Never mind the tedious business about the DOI's accounting mistakes. You know, the fact that the government was holding the Indians' own money in trust, not giving them taxpayers' money?
Sidekick Eubanks compounded the problem by claiming he's part Indian. The implication was that he's going to line up for a Cobell handout just like other Indians. In other words, that the settlement is a "politically correct" giveaway motivated by liberal guilt.
Perhaps Eubanks is part Indian, since many blacks are. Regardless, he won't get a penny of the settlement unless he's an Individual Indian Money (IIM) account holder. Neither will any other Indian.
Reactions on Facebook
Journalist Lise Balk King turned me on to Leno's bit 10 minutes before it aired on the West Coast, so I was able to TiVo it. Her initial reaction was: "Talk about misinformation for the millions watching Leno tonight...geez." Here are some of the ensuing comments on her posting:
Big Dog Productions
This is the DIRECT phone number to the production department of the Jay Leno Show. Let's make their phones dance! Start now and leave messages.