Freeloading Doesn't Help the Freeloaders
By John Stossel
Almost a quarter of Native Americans live in poverty. 66 percent are born to single mothers. They have short life spans. Indian activists say the solution is--surprise--more money from the government. But Washington already spends about $13 billion on programs for Indians every year.
There are special programs in 20 different Departments and Agencies: Empowering Tribal Nations Initiative, Advancing Nation to Nation Relationships, Protecting Indian Country, Improving Trust Land Management, New Energy Frontier Initiative, Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, Construction, Improving Trust Management, Tribal Priority Allocations, Resolving Land and Water Claims, Indian Land Consolidation Program. This is just a partial list.
But that's still not enough for Indian activists. In my Fox News Special "Freeloaders" (10 pm ET tonight), Elizabeth Homer, who used to be the U.S. Interior Departments Director of American Indian Trust, argues the government must do more.
I say government already does too much. Indians would be better off without government handouts. I have evidence: tribes not recognized by the federal government, tribes that get no special help, often do better.
Members of the Lumbee tribe from Robeson County, NC, own their own homes. They succeed in business. Lumbee tribe members include real estate developer Jim Thomas, who used to own the Sacramento Kings. Lumbee Jack Lowery helped start the Cracker Barrel Restaurants. Lumbees started the first Indian owned bank, which now has 12 branches.
The political class doesn't understand that its independence, not government management, that allows people to prosper. Congressman Mike McIntyre (D-NC) is pushing a bill called the Lumbee Recognition Act. This bill would give the Lumbees the same "help" that other tribes get. That would give the Lumbees about $80 million a year.
"We shouldn't take it!" says Lumbee Ben Chavis, another successful businessman. Chavis says not getting any handouts is what makes his tribe successful, and if the federal money starts coming, members of his tribe "are going to become welfare cases. Its going to stifle creativity. We don’t need the government giving us handouts."
A report on this will air tonight at 10pm ET on the Fox News Channel. Its titled "Freeloaders." It also Re-airs Sunday at 9pm & Midnight ET.
Let's break it down for Stossel the conservative idiot. The Lumbee tribe has been seeking federal recognition for decades. This means that dozens of elected Lumbee tribal councils have sought federal recognition, which means the majority of Lumbee Indians must support recognition. Compared to that, who cares what somebody named Ben Chavis says?
Most of the nation's 565 recognized tribes could list businesses similar to the three Lumbee successes Stossel lists. Yet not one of them is demanding to be terminated and "set free." Not one of them wants to disband the BIA, sell its reservation, or eliminate its sovereignty. Not one of them is ready to abandon its treaty rights, which is the source of the government programs Stossel mislabels "freeloading."
Once in a while you do hear reactionary Indians who want to sell out their heritage, assimilate into the mainstream, and become just like the white man. I may have heard such calls a few times. Let's say five or so Indians want to do this...and five million or so don't. Stossel may be too stupid to realize it, but he's losing the debate 1,000,000 to one. For every Indian who agrees with him, roughly a million don't.
Stossel's not-so-secret agenda
I've said it before and I'll say it again. What conservatives like Stossel, Bryan Fischer, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, Pat Buchanan, Rand Paul, et al. are doing is obvious--to me, at least. These Tea Party Republicans are launching hateful, racist attacks on Indians and other minorities to see what they can get away with. It's like launching a trial balloon for white supremacy.
They'll say the most ridiculous things they can imagine about Obama, Muslims, gays, or Indians. If America rallies behind their gambits, they're one step closer to establishing a conservative Christian autocracy that enshrines white rule. If thinking Americans slam them for their stupidity, they'll deny, obfuscate, or blame the "lamestream media." Then they'll regroup and try again.
That's the ultimate goal behind Stossel and his "Freeloaders" special. Demonize the Indians as un-American thieves and terrorists...build momentum to terminate them in Congress or the courts...take their land and resources...ban their cultures and religions...let them suffer and die...and celebrate another triumph for white Christians. That was plan Europeans came up with soon after October 12, 1492, and it's still the plan of many Americans.
For more on the conservative agenda, see Political Vitriol in Giffords Shooting and Conservatives Hate Wikileaks and Indians.
Below: "Don't bother to thank me for stealing your whole continent. You're free now to open a laundromat or TV repair shop!"