April 30, 2014

Why no NFL crackdown on racism?

As expected, critics have noted the contrast between the NBA's ban on Donald Sterling and the NFL's embrace of Dan Snyder:

Members of Congress link NBA’s Sterling controversy to NFL’s debate over Redskins

By Aaron C. DavisA victory over racism in the NBA? How about the NFL and the Redskins? That’s the link made Wednesday by members of Congress who are set on forcing the Washington team to abandon its controversial name.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the District’s nonvoting member of Congress, sought to capi­tal­ize on the National Basketball Association’s swift action against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, saying the National Football League could learn a lesson about dealing with racism in its ranks.

Norton called on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to follow the “moral example” of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who on Tuesday banned Sterling for life from the league over comments about African Americans.

“It shows a big difference between two major sports leaders,” Norton said in an interview. “One was willing to act and clearly separate his league from racism. The other is appearing to condone it by not even requesting [Redskins owner Daniel] Snyder to change the name.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) went further, saying that national outrage should now be directed toward the NFL for its refusal to change the name of the Washington Redskins.

“How long will the NFL continue to do nothing—zero—as one of its teams bears a name that inflicts so much pain on Native Americans?” Reid asked.
The NBA won't tolerate racism, so why does the NFL tolerate 'Redskins'?

By Chris Feliciano ArnoldIf the NBA is finally willing to take a stand against owners spewing racist bile in private conversations, how can the NFL continue to defend Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, which continues to use a name and logo widely seen as disrespectful to Native Americans? Oh yeah, money. Washington’s team was ranked third on Forbes’ list of the most valuable NFL franchises in 2013 with an estimated worth of $1.7 billion.

Granted, Sterling and Snyder are not a perfect bigot-to-bigot comparison. Sterling’s 19th century plantation worldview is especially stomach-churning given that African Americans represent the majority of the NBA’s players, stars and legends—and a vital fan base. Snyder, on the other hand, is free to profit from racial exploitation of a people who remain among the most marginalized in our society. (One problem is the lack of Native American representation in the NFL. According to 2013 data, Native American representation among league management is well below 1%, with similarly low numbers among players, coaches and management across the league.)

The Sterling debacle should give NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell inspiration to emulate Silver. While the term “redskin” is relatively innocuous in its historical context, time has rendered it a relic that reinforces offensive Wild West stereotypes. A white billionaire’s determination to exploit those stereotypes reduces years of genocide against Native Americans to a crude exercise in branding. The name has incited debate for more than 20 years, but the NBA’s action against Sterling opens the door for Goodell to leverage his power and demonstrate that no single franchise, no matter how profitable, trumps the values of the entire league.

If that were the happen, the Sterling circus could usher in a better era in American pro sports, pressuring other franchises to follow suit by retiring names and mascots like the Cleveland Indians’ “Chief Wahoo,” a gross caricature that has been protested for years.

NBA Rejects Racism, MLB And NFL Continue Their Silence

By Chris WeigantThe Cleveland Indians seem to be slowly getting rid of this blatantly racist image, and replacing it with a block letter "C." But the image still appears on the Indian's official homepage, and still appears on team uniforms and team merchandise sold to the public. Why is this not considered universally unacceptable, when a basketball team owner just got a lifetime ban for something he said in private to his girlfriend?

The Washington Redskins and Chief Wahoo are not something said in private. They are as public as it gets. Millions of dollars are made each year by the sale of merchandise with these names and logos prominently appearing. Yet the leagues do nothing.

It's not like they are unaware that people are offended, either. The Redskins are in a legal battle against a group which is trying to get their trademark revoked (for being patently offensive), and members of Congress have weighed in on the controversy by asking the team owner to change the name. The Redskins are well aware of the problem. The team owner refuses to budge. The league remains mostly silent. Silence, in this instance, equals consent. Why is blatant racism unacceptable when directed against African Americans but acceptable when directed against Native Americans? You'll have to ask the leaders of the NFL and MLB, because I have no answer to that question.

There are other team names and logos which use Native American names and images (the Chiefs and the Braves, to name two). However, the Redskins and Chief Wahoo are the worst examples. The Braves retired their mascot ("Chief Noc-A-Homa"... get it?), but still do an awfully offensive "tomahawk chop" chant at their home games.
First Nations and the repugnant, racist side of pro sports

By Michael BabadTo recap, the National Basketball Association won justifiable praise this week when it banned Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, for racist comments about African Americans in a private conversation caught on tape and made public.

This wasn’t lost on First Nations, who have long suffered open racism as society tolerates pro club names like the Washington Redskins, the Atlanta Braves and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Not to mention the Cleveland Indians and their repugnant caricature of a smiling Chief Wahoo. The club has now playing up a new logo–a big C–but reportedly the other will still exist.

There is pressure on Washington to change the club’s name, but there’s no sign of that happening. Indeed, owner Dan Snyder has reportedly said he won’t.

No tolerance for racism (against blacks)

Some thoughts on why black players spoke out against Sterling:

Sterling's Comments, Snyder's Condescension: Two Sides of Same Coin

By Jacqueline KeelerWhen comparing the differences in response to the NBA’s banning of racist L.A. Clippers owner Don Sterling to NFL Commissioner Goodell’s support of Washington Redsk*ns owner Dan Snyder, we must look at the ways in which racist stereotyping of Native people is seen as more acceptable than that of African Americans and other ethnic groups in the United States. We also must look at why Black players and sponsors do not take racism against Native people as seriously as racism against other Americans. We must ask, Why is it okay for Dan Snyder to talk down to Native concerns about using a racial slur as the name of his team and for our fellow Americans of color to ignore us?

When Snyder says, “WE’LL NEVER CHANGE THE NAME. It’s that simple. Never—you can use caps,” and Sterling says “We live in a culture, we have to live within that culture. I DON’T WANT TO CHANGE,” we are looking at two sides of the same coin. It is in direct contrast to President Obama’s refrain from his 2008 election night acceptance speech, “Change is coming to America.” An America built on the invention of the very concept of “race” to uphold the dual practices of slavery and land theft that lies at the very foundation of this colonial-settler country that is now threatened by a Black President, Black athletic excellence and success and Native people asserting control over their representations in the media and in sports.

Cliven Bundy wondered in a taped interview if Black people “were better off as slaves” and accused them of being welfare freeloaders--Cliven Bundy, a white man who has been grazing for free for 20 years on land half the size of Rhode Island and owes the U.S. one million dollars in fees and fines. You can see how little many in the United States have moved on from the Civil War, the rupture that was the first real attack on the slavery/land theft complex that birthed this country.

I thought a lot about the differences in American perspectives—particularly those of Black Americans, like the Washington Redsk*ns player DeAngelo Hall, who said earlier this year in an interview with Mike Hill of Fox Sports, “They probably should [change the name], but they won’t for awhile at least.” He then backtracked on this rather tepid support of Native American concerns after ostensibly receiving pressure from Snyder, saying, “I can’t claim to understand where they’re coming from or their viewpoint, so for me to say what’s right or wrong or what should be changed is out of my pay grade. That decision ultimately--you know me, all teammates and I have stayed away from this topic. It’s one where you really can’t be right.”
Short version: Because America has repudiated explicit racism against blacks but not Indians.

Bad people vs. flawed system

And some thoughts on why many people spoke out against Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling:

This Town Needs a Better Class of Racist

It's easy for polite American society to condemn Cliven Bundy and banish Donald Sterling while turning away from the elegant, monstrous racism that remains.

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
The problem with Bundy isn't that he is a racist but that he is an oafish racist. The elegant racist knows how to injure non-white people while never summoning the specter of white guilt.

The problem with Cliven Bundy isn't that he is a racist but that he is an oafish racist. He invokes the crudest stereotypes, like cotton picking. This makes white people feel bad. The elegant racist knows how to injure non-white people while never summoning the specter of white guilt. Elegant racism requires plausible deniability, as when Reagan just happened to stumble into the Neshoba County fair and mention state's rights. Oafish racism leaves no escape hatch, as when Trent Lott praised Strom Thurmond's singularly segregationist candidacy.
And:Like Cliven Bundy, Donald Sterling confirms our comfortable view of racists. Donald Sterling is a "bad person." He's mean to women. He carouses with prostitutes. He uses the word "nigger." He fits our idea of what an actual racist must look like: snarling, villainous, immoral, ignorant, gauche. That the actual racism that Sterling long practiced, that this society has long practiced (and is still practicing) must attract significantly less note. That is because to see racism in all its elegance is to implicate not just its active practitioners, but to implicate ourselves.

How can it be that in a "black league," as Charles Barkley calls the NBA, an on-the-record structural racist like Donald Sterling was allowed to thrive? Everyone now wants to speak to Elgin Baylor. Where were all these people before? Where was Kevin Johnson? Where was the Los Angeles NAACP? When Donald Sterling was driving black tenants out of his buildings, where was David Stern?

Far better to implicate Donald Sterling and be done with the whole business. Far better to banish Cliven Bundy and table the uncomfortable reality of our political system.
Comment:  This applies to the Washington Redskins, Chief Wahoo, and other examples of sports stereotyping. "They didn't mean any harm," people tell themselves about the offenders. "They didn't attack or insult Indians. They're just thinking about their teams, their fans, and 'tradition.' As long as no one's compared to a slave or treated like an animal, what's the problem?"

And so the racism in America continues. Perpetuated by people who assure themselves they aren't racists. "It's bad people like Bundy and Sterling who are the problem, not me."

For more on the subject, see What Bundy and Sterling Tell Us and First Sterling, Then Snyder?

April 29, 2014

What Bundy and Sterling tell us

The paternalism of rich white men aka the 1%:

Donald Sterling’s disgusting 1 percent ramblings: Let’s pity the racist billionaire

Donald Sterling's racism is cut from the GOP playbook--a classic case of "makers vs. takers" delusion

By Paul Rosenberg
DS: You just, do I know? I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? Do I know that I have—Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league? (emphasis added)

Excuse me. Donald Sterling gives the players on his team food? Clothes? Cars? Houses? They don’t work their asses off earning what they buy for themselves, building on a lifetime of hard work and practice, and years of unmitigated exploitation as unpaid athletes along the way?

Does anyone other than Sterling have the slightest difficulty in hearing how much he sounds like a classic 19th century slave owner, talking about everything he’s done for his ungrateful slaves?

Certainly his question, “Who makes the game?” recalls the slaveholders’ delusion that they alone created the enormous wealth they enjoyed. It was a believable fiction, I suppose, if first you absolutely convinced yourself that the slaves who did all the actual work were not people at all, but mere property, nothing more than livestock, really. One has to wonder: Is that what Sterling thinks of the men who play on his team today?
Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy’s ignorant paternalism: Angry old white men gone wild, again!

Donald Sterling’s racial views are worse than Cliven Bundy’s, yet some on the right defend the racist billionaire

By Joan Walsh
It’s just another episode of “Angry Old White Men Gone Wild,” but the two men’s sins aren’t the same. Racism wasn’t entirely shocking coming from the not-too-sharp Nevada cattleman who seems to have marinated in the paranoid anti-government thinking that’s taken hold in marginal white communities. Its crude expression was much more disturbing coming from the powerful, wealthy Sterling.

But there’s more than simple anti-black racism linking the views of Bundy and Sterling. They share an ignorant, self-serving paternalism.
And:Comparing the situation of Sterling’s players—talented, wealthy athletes with agents and contracts—to slavery is silly. Still, a twisted and racist paternalism links Cliven Bundy’s slavery rant with Sterling’s talk about his players. “I give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses” is only a few bad leaps of logic away from slavery being good for black people because it gave them “homes with their chickens and their gardens and their children around them, and their man having something to do.” In both cases, black people are simple, passive and not entirely capable of caring for themselves. They should be grateful for the good will of the men who exploit their labor and accept their position at the bottom of society, because they’re not meant for more than that.

Of course I’d say it’s the players who give Sterling food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Without their labor, their talent and their extraordinary dedication to do everything it takes to win, Donald Sterling wouldn’t have a basketball team. Now, he’d still have food and clothes and cars and houses, because he’s a predatory real estate mogul who paid $2.725 million to settle a Justice Department suit that accused him of driving African-Americans, Latinos and families with children out of his apartment complexes.

Systemic racism

White racism won’t just die off: No utopia awaits when retrograde attitudes like Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy’s are gone

Sterling and Bundy belong to a different generation, but Paul Ryan and the Supreme Court are enshrining white power

By Brittney Cooper
The staggering political and historical amnesia that allowed six justices to co-sign such a policy caused Justice Sonia Sotomayor to both write and read a 58-page dissent before the court. Sotomayor rightfully suggested that those, like Chief Justice John Roberts, who believe racial discrimination will end by restricting the right of race to be a consideration hold a “sentiment out of touch with reality.” Such a view reminds me of my academic colleagues who put the term “race” in scare quotations, and tell themselves that because race is a social construction–a biological fiction–that they no longer have to think about the real material impact that centuries of race-based discourse have had on constructing a racist world.

“Race matters,” Sotomayor wrote. And “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.”

The dangerous, backward and wrongheaded thinking of Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling represent just two of the most obvious iterations of these kinds of “unfortunate effects.” And we are powerless to advocate for ourselves against systemic expressions of such thinking because the Supreme Court has chosen a “see no evil, hear no evil” approach to the problem.

Though the racial views of Bundy/Sterling on one hand and the Supreme Court on the other exist rhetorically at opposite ends of the spectrum, both point to an insidious and unchecked march of continued racism that disadvantages and harms black people, in particular. Bundy/Sterling vocally promote the kind of racial thinking that makes even the most conservative white person cringe, while Chief Justice John Roberts and five other justices promote the kind of colorblind view that seems to represent the highest expression of our national understandings of liberty and justice for all.

However, what Sterling’s and Bundy’s views demonstrate is the extent to which retrograde racial attitudes are alive and well among white men with money, power and control over the livelihoods of black people. And what the Supreme Court’s abdication of responsibility suggests is that the government has no responsibility to remedy the discrimination that clearly still exists in institutions that are run largely by white men who belong to the same generation and school of thought as Bundy and Sterling.
Donald Sterling was more than just a “painful episode”

The Clippers owner has been publicly shamed and banned from the NBA. But that won't fix the root of the problem

By Roxane Gay
For now, the NBA’s punishment is, like the security theater to which we are subjected at airports, an elaborate performance. “Look,” the NBA is saying, “look how quickly we have dispatched with this racist aberration in our midst.” Unfortunately, it is not a new revelation that Donald Sterling is racist (and sexist). He is not an aberration. He has been made to pay for his racism twice before—in 2003 and 2009—in housing discrimination lawsuits, which are far graver infractions than his racist comments and behavior over the years. The NBA simply remained silent in 2003 and 2009 because there wasn’t yet enough public outrage for them to have to perform some kind of response. It took a splashy gossip spill from TMZ (and what an unexpected meter of justice that site is) for Sterling to face any kind of comeuppance that is not really comeuppance.

There has been and there will continue to be vigorous discussions about race in America. I worry that little will come of these discussions because we aren’t addressing what must be done to change the current racial climate. Donald Sterling’s lack of interest in having black people at Clippers’ games is on par with rancher Cliven Bundy’s nostalgia for slavery as a means of giving black folk something to do. These men’s racial attitudes are troubling and indicative of the racist beliefs far too many people hold. More important, these men and their ilk are propped up by a system for which the consequences for extolling such beliefs are painfully inadequate. They are propped up by a system that enables voter suppression, segregation, the retrenchment of affirmative action supported by even the Supreme Court, a glass ceiling in far too many industries, and the list goes on.

What truly worries me, though, is that far too many people seem surprised when racists like Sterling or Bundy are revealed, as if these men are closer to the exception than the rule. What worries me is that I am not at all surprised when these men are revealed for who they truly are. What worries me is that “post-racial” America is not that different from the Americas that have preceded us, and it might not ever be.
Comment:  Bundy and Sterling have been rich and racist most of their lives. They've been acting on their racist beliefs all this time. Sterling even had a record of housing discrimination. Yet most of us are just learning about this racism, just reacting to it now.

Both cases are great examples of how systemic racism surrounds us. People like Bundy and Sterling are in charge of the large powerful entities--government, business, the military, churches, the media--that dominate our lives. And this power is mostly invisible to the naked eye.

What matters isn't whether our next-door neighbor is considerate or not. What matters is who's in charge of things such as defense, finance, taxation, health, welfare, education, and the environment. And the answer is generally rich white men who support the military-industrial complex run by other rich white men. They decide who gets most of society's benefits, and it's them, not us.

For more on systemic racism, see Whites Think They're Losing to Blacks and Educating DMarks About Systemic Racism.

First Sterling, then Snyder?

Many people noted the irony of the NBA's cracking down on Donald Sterling's racism while the NFL supports Dan Snyder's racism. Some tweets and images on the subject:

Dave Zirin ‏@EdgeofSports Apr 26
It's very difficult to look at universal condemnation of Donald Sterling's racism and not think about the pass given to Dan Snyder.

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
Dan Snyder, say hello and good-bye to @NBA owner Donald Sterling. P.S. You're next. #Redskins #NotYourMascot #ChangetheName

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
Why not "Sterling didn't mean any harm, he's helping black people, there are more important things to worry about"? Because #racism is EVIL.

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
That shiver you just felt was every sports team owner with a racist Indian mascot wondering if he's the next Donald Sterling. #ChangetheName

Unless it's the Redskins and Chief Wahoo? Time to start applying our disapproval of racism to every sports team in America.

Getting the ball rolling

The first of what undoubtedly will be many postings on the subject:

Will Sterling lifetime ban push Redskins issue to critical mass?

By Mike FlorioTo no surprise, Oneida Indian Nation opted to use the penalties imposed on Sterling as a reason to draw more attention to the lingering controversy involving the Redskins name.

“In banning Clippers owner Donald Sterling, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and other NBA team owners have taken a courageous stand against racism in professional sports, acknowledging that professional leagues cannot be a platform to promote bigotry,” Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said in a release. “In taking such appropriate disciplinary action, the NBA has shown leagues like the NFL that they have a moral responsibility to take disciplinary action against people like Dan Snyder, who also continues to proudly promote bigotry with the use of a dictionary-defined racial slur as his team’s name.”

While it’s unlikely that the Sterling situation will nudge the Redskins name controversy toward a critical mass, the unwillingness of the NBA to tolerate an owner expressing racist views behind closed doors highlights the question of whether and to what extent the NFL is willing to tolerate a situation where reasonable minds may differ on the existence of overt racism.

Dear R*dskins Stars: The Clippers Show You Don't Have to Fear Your Owner

For more on the subject, see What Bundy and Sterling Tell Us and NBA Bans Sterling for Life.

NBA bans Sterling for life

The outcome of the fast-moving Donald Sterling story:

NBA commissioner bans Clippers owner Sterling, pushes to 'force a sale' of team

The lesson of Bundy and Sterling—your racist friend isn't okay anymore

By Matthew YglesiasIn a Facebook post, Bundy's daughter slammed conservatives like Hannity. "What does this have to do with land rights issues?" She asked. Historically speaking, the answer to that question is, to say the least, complicated. But the more immediate answer is simple: by and large, America isn't willing to tolerate a racist friend anymore.Sorry, racist friends!

Twitter Explodes With Hilarious First Amendment Fails Over Racist Clippers Owner’s Ban

"I'm no racist but...," said almost every conservative on the Internet.

Donald Sterling’s stunning comeuppance: The supreme satisfaction of swift action

NBA's Adam Silver brought a tone of moral outrage. Now owners should reckon with something else: The other victims

By Joan Walsh
In the end it likely came down to money, not morality. Donald Sterling’s racism had already cost the Los Angeles Clippers a dozen sponsors, Coach Doc Rivers had already made it known he would not return to the team next year, and more trouble was coming. But NBA commissioner Adam Silver brought a tone of moral outrage in delivering the toughest judgment possible against Sterling Tuesday afternoon: banning him for life from any involvement with the team and the NBA, fining him the maximum $2.5 million and urging NBA owners (the only ones with the power) to force a sale. “I fully expect to get the support I need to from other owners to remove him,” Silver declared.

It was a satisfying moment: Rarely do we see racists get such a quick comeuppance. Silver seemed genuinely, personally aggrieved by Sterling’s disgusting comments about African-Americans in a league that runs on black labor, talent and fandom. He praised great black NBA pioneers including Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, Sweetwater Clifton and “the great Bill Russell.” His quick, tough action earned him praise from NBA Players Association advisor Kevin Johnson, also the mayor of Sacramento. “Today the players believe the commissioner has done his duty,” Johnson declared in a press conference following Silver’s announcement. “He is not just the owners’ commissioner, he is also the players’ commissioner.”

Still, Silver’s tough sanctions against Sterling can’t erase the fact that the NBA did nothing about earlier allegations of Sterling’s racism and ignored his ugly off the court behavior as a slumlord repeatedly charged with discriminating against black and Latino tenants. In fact, the bold move almost served to underscore how long the league had looked away from the festering sore that was Donald Sterling. Taking questions after his announcement, Silver said, “I can’t speak to past actions. When we had evidence, we acted on it.” He added that he only considered Sterling’s recently recorded racism in deciding on his lifetime ban, but said the owners would consider the entire record when deciding whether to force him to sell the team.
Why Donald Sterling’s inevitable downfall is proof that the “outrage machine” actually works

Pundits love to mock Twitter's ability to stoke anger—but the rapid fall of a corrupt NBA owner shows its value

By Andrew Leonard
Yes, people, this is for real: When the ad money starts drying up, shit is about to go down. Donald Sterling is now in the fight for his professional life.

But why now? Everyone who seriously follows the NBA has known for decades that Donald Sterling is a horrible human being, a bigot and an abuser of women. Eight years ago, Bomani Jones wrote a piece for ESPN lamenting that a man who had settled the largest housing discrimination suit ever brought by the Department of Justice, could skate by without any sanction from the NBA. Sterling managed to be both an abominable person and the worst owner in professional sports (as measured by wins and losses) and yet his position was still untouchable. So what’s so different today, that the release of one audiotape could set off an avalanche of fury so apparently meaningful? Why are a few words so much more hurtful than actual deeds?

The amplifying power of social media has to be part of the answer. Of course, it’s not the whole answer. The narrative of race in America is always a touchy subtext in the NBA, a league in which the teams are 70 percent African-American, but the ownership is overwhelmingly white and male. The smoking-gun nature of the audio recording speaks more directly to our hearts than any Department of Justice legal filing ever could. And the simple fact that the NBA world had its full attention focused on the most thrilling first round of competition anybody can recall in recent NBA history has certainly helped focus the media’s attention. A zillion TV cameras were already pointed at these playoffs. You want drama? You got it.

But just as “black Twitter” forced the murder of Trayvon Martin into the mainstream; and just as social media took Romney’s 47 percent video and spread it instantly to an entire electorate; so to has the ubiquitous transmission of TMZ’s Sterling scoop meant that the man’s racism—and, by extension, the beating heart of racial privilege in America—was front and center in everyone’s news feed and timeline.
For more on the subject, see Natives Condemn Sterling's Comments and Sterling: Don't Bring Blacks to Games.

April 28, 2014

Natives demand Nike "de-chief"

Native Americans Demand Nike “#Dechief”–Stop Selling Grotesque “Chief Wahoo” ProductsEradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, a group of Native parents and their allies from across the country are calling on Nike, Inc. to stop selling products that feature the Cleveland Indians’ mascot Chief Wahoo. EONM has launched a Facebook event page “#Dechief Nike Twitterstorm” to trend the Twitter hashtag #Dechief and demand Nike remove the grotesque caricature, Chief Wahoo Nike from its products.

“Dechiefed” hats, jerseys and jackets of Cleveland fans have been featured on social media where photos of team gear with Chief Wahoo removed are posted accompanied by the hashtag #dechiefwahoo.

The groups asks that Nike live up to its dedication to inclusion, “We want it [diversity and inclusion] to drip over everything Nike does!” and follow the Cleveland fans’ lead and “dechief” their own products. It should be noted that even the Cleveland team, itself, has substituted a red letter “C” for Chief Wahoo on its uniforms.

Profiting from Native Mascotry in not being diverse; it is not being inclusive. Selling items, such as a zip-up jacket with the “Chief Wahoo” and the Nike “Swoosh” makes a powerful statement about Nike’s stance, according the leaders of the group.

Native American group asks Nike to stop selling Chief Wahoo gear

By Allan BrettmanThe news release also notes that Nike sells branded merchandise for the Washington, D.C., football team and Florida State University, both of which use Native imagery.

The news release says the group Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry “will be holding local protests at the Nike World Headquarters this week in Beaverton, Oregon and conducting a social media campaign to trend the #Dechief hashtag begun by Cleveland Indians fan Dennis Brown."

The release was written by Jacqueline Keeler of Portland, who in April wrote an article in Salon.com, "My life as a Cleveland Indian: The enduring disgrace of racist sports mascots."

Neither Nike nor the Cleveland Indians responded to requests for comment Monday.

Keeler said in a follow-up email Monday morning that the organization has more than 600 members in a Facebook group. She said the group also has received support from the National Congress of American Indians and from Asian American allies at 18 Million Rising and Hyphen magazine.
Comment:  For more on Chief Wahoo, see Chief Wahoo Hurts Bottom Line and 42nd Annual Chief Wahoo Protest.

Sterling: Don't bring blacks to games

Cliven Bundy the welfare cowboy must've been overjoyed to find himself bumped out of the news this week. Clippers owner Donald Sterling took his place with a racist and sexist tirade caught on tape.

A sampling of Sterling postings, with my comments:

Report: Clippers owner Donald Sterling caught on tape telling his girlfriend to not bring African-Americans to 'my games'

Clippers owner Donald Sterling can't be a racist. Some of his best friends and basketball players are black!

Your Complete Quotable Guide To Decades Of Donald Sterling's Racism

Digging deeper

Why Is the NAACP In Bed With Racist Donald Sterling?

NAACP On Sterling: Local Chapters Need 'Better Vetting Process' For Awards

Ya think?!

Maybe give the award to someone who hasn't donated big bucks to your cause. #conflictofinterest

Conservatives Called Him A Democrat, But Sterling Is Registered Republican

Sordid Subplot Appears To Show Another Ugly Side Of Donald Sterling

Let's not forget that he's a sexist pig as well as a racist pig.

Donald Sterling’s girlfriend has magical racism powers!

Maybe Stiviano should get the NAACP's award for exposing racism against blacks.

For more on conservative racism, see Bundy the Conservative Racist and The Science of Conservative Racism.

Natives condemn Sterling's comments

Chumash Casino Yanks Sponsorship of LA ClippersThe tribal-owned Chumash Casino announced Monday it was ending sponsorship of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team in the wake of racist comments attributed to team owner Donald Sterling.

Sterling is alleged to have made the comments in a recorded conversation with a woman. Portions of that conversation were released over the weekend by TMZ and Deadspin, leading to a national outcry.

Chumash Tribal Chairman Vincent Armenta released the following statement:

“We’ve always been proud supporters of the Los Angeles Clippers, however, the recent statements attributed to the Clippers’ owner have forced us to reconsider our relationship. We remain supportive of the members of the team and we wish them the very best going forward. As a group that has long been marginalized itself, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and the Chumash Casino Resort are especially sensitive to maintaining the dignity of all people. We cannot ignore any statement that causes harm or hurts any group. As a result, we’re withdrawing our sponsorship of the Clippers organization.“

Other businesses are also ending sponsorships with the Clippers including used car dealership chain CarMax.
NCAI Condemns Sterling’s Comments: “No Place In Modern Society For That Kind Of Hatred And Discrimination.”The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) released the following statement in response to the ongoing situation around the Los Angeles Clippers:

“NCAI condemns Donald Sterling’s appalling comments regarding African Americans. There is no place in modern society for that kind of hatred and discrimination. We also want to applaud the many athletes, sportscasters, corporations, and individuals who have spoken out against Sterling and his comments. It is encouraging to see so many people standing together and declaring that this behavior is unacceptable.

“NCAI is no stranger to facing down racism and ignorance in American sports. Every incident of hate and racism–whether a singular incident or the repeated, high-profile use of offensive words and images–is unacceptable and has no place in the 21st Century. We will continue to support the LA Clippers players and fans as they face the fallout from Sterling’s words and we will continue to fight for a world in which no race or ethnic group is treated in this way.”
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Sterling: Don't Bring Blacks to Games.

Below:  The Chumash Casino.

April 27, 2014

Christina Fallin calls Natives "sheep"

Christina Fallin, the headdress-wearing daughter of Oklahoma's governor, is in trouble again:

OK Governor’s Daughter Criticized for Performing in Native Regalia and Doing a Fake War Dance

By Levi RickertChristina Fallin, 27, the daughter of Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, is back to misbehaving. This time she wore American Indian regalia as she performed at the Norman Music Festival in Norman, Oklahoma on Friday night.

The younger Fallin provides live mixes and dances during performances in Pink Pony, a Oklahoma City-based band.

This past March Fallin drew the ire of Indian country for posting a photograph of herself on social media sites in an American Indian headdress.

Part of Friday night’s regalia worn by Fallin was an American Indian-styled shawl with the word “Sheep” on the back as she performed a fake American Indian war dance.

Oklahoma Gov's daughter Performs Fake War Dance and Calls Natives "Sheep"Protestors led by Choctaw musician Samantha Crain staged a protest at the Norman Music Festival in Oklahoma and Native American's reaction via social media was outraged as Fallin wore a Native American-style fringed shawl with the word "Sheep" on the back and performed a fake war dance while her boyfriend Steven Battles ridiculed the protesters and flipped them off from the stage.

Earlier that day, Crain noted on her Facebook page, "Publicity stunt or not, even if they are lying, their attitudes, their insincerity, their irresponsibility, their general lack of caring about anything other than the advancement of themselves deserve a protest. So I will be at the Pink Pony show at NMF tonight. Midnight. black watch stage. Peacefully and quietly picketing with signs to tell them how I feel."

Some of the signs said, "culture is not a costume," "with all your power, what will you do?," "you still owe us an apology," "don't trend on me," "I am not a costume," and "please forgive us if we innocently oppose you". The last sign was a take on Fallin's non-apology after she posted a photo of her self misappropriating Native America regalia reserved for highly honored leaders for a glamour shot to promote her career. Faced with more Native American protests Fallin attempted to have Crain and supporters removed by security, but they were allowed to remain on private land adjacent to the stage.

According to a tweet by Chahta Summer, a Choctaw mother and recent law school graduate Fallin's shawl with "sheep" written on the back was a direct swipe at Native Americans. "Their supporters were calling us sheep the last time, saying we called her out to be PC, not thinking for ourselves."

With all your power, what would you do?: Christina Fallin's band, Pink Pony, protested at Norman Music Festival

A first-hand account of the Christina Fallin/Pink Pony protest at the Norman Music Festival.

By Louis Fowler
Eventually, the Norman PD showed up and said we had every right to protest there, but Lackey continued in her ranting. However, and kudos to Blackwatch for this, they allowed Crain on the other side of the partition where Fallin’s entourage stood mocking us, holding her sign with a courage and determination that inspired all of our tired arms to just hold our signs up higher, more stoic than ever.

Within minutes after that, Fallin took to the stage dressed in pantyhose, garters and an obviously Native-inspired shawl that read in big black letters “SHEEP.” This was in reference, it is theorized, that the protesters were easily-led morons for not believing what the band said in their non-apology regarding their “love of native culture” and whatnot.

This was painfully and brutally reinforced when, during one of their numbers, Fallin lifted her shawl over her head and did a perverse mockery of a native war-dance, twirling in circles as the drummer—anonymously wearing a “white-face” mask, mind you—tried desperately to keep the beat.

To see her reenact a sacred ritual like that in front of drunk, hateful hipsters literally caused the protesters’ collective jaws to drop. In essence, to me, it felt like Fallin was throwing it down and ultimately declaring war on Natives, not only the culture, but the people as well.

She really is like her mother.

Daughter Of Oklahoma Governor Provokes Protests Over Her Use Of Native American Symbols

The 27-year-old caused an uproar when she hinted she would wear full regalia at an Oklahoma music festival. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says she “[does not] approve of her behavior on that night or that of her band.”

By Lindsey Adler
Norman Music Festival has released a statement about the performance:The Norman Music Festival does not support the actions of Pink Pony, and in particular Christina Fallin, at our festival on Saturday night. We had no prior knowledge of the performance content, and we oppose her use and depiction of American Indian artifacts and symbols. We certainly understand that these actions do nothing but promote racism, cultural discrimination and religious discrimination. The Norman Music Festival is here to support artists and bring people together--not divide them. We apologize to anyone who was offended.Governor Mary Fallin released a statement Monday afternoon:On Saturday night, while performing at the Norman Music Festival, my daughter acted in a way that I believe was inappropriate. While she will always be my daughter and I love her very much, I don’t approve of her behavior on that night or that of her band. I have communicated that to Christina.

I have great respect for Oklahoma’s tribal members and I celebrate their traditions and culture. As governor, I work in hand in hand with tribal leaders on everything from disaster response to economic development. Tribal governments are important partners to our state government, and I value the good relationships my administration has cultivated with them.
This posting has a photo gallery and a brief video of Fallin's performance.

Christina Fallin at center of Norman Music Festival protests, festival apologizes for Pink Pony performance

You can't see enough of her "dance" to describe it. I don't know if I'd call it a "war dance." A better comparison would be with the shawl dances done at powwows.

I also don't know if I'd call the poncho a "Native-inspired shawl." She may have intended it as a cape: displaying her message in back while not obscuring her outfit in front. She may not have thought of Native shawls, which aren't especially well-known.

But if you take all the elements--the "shawl," the "sheep" message, the dance, and the band members in whiteface--together, Fallin clearly meant to taunt her critics. It was a big middle finger to the Natives and others who dared to question her blatant cultural appropriation and complete lack of apology. In other words, she was mocking them with her white privilege--saying she could do whatever she wanted and they couldn't stop her.

To be fair, she was labeling all her critics "sheep," not just her Native critics. But non-Native critics like me were only following the lead of Natives, echoing their arguments. So it's fair to say Natives were her primary target.

Even her right-wing mother the governor recognized the intended insult. Wow, kind of a burn when your own parent criticizes you in public with an official statement. Maybe that'll get through her thick white skull; let's hope so.

April 26, 2014

Bundy the conservative racist

Not surprisingly, Cliven Bundy the welfare cowboy turned out to be a racist. The media has been overflowing with the news this week. Some examples with a few comments from me:

UPDATED: Cliven Bundy Muses On What He Knows 'About The Negro'

Conservatives begin backing away after Cliven Bundy’s remarks disparaging ‘the Negro’

Conservative Pundit Dana Loesch: All Bundy Needed Was Some Media Training!

Use code-words, dummy! Don't name the people you're denigrating openly! C'mon, that's Republican Race-Baiting 101!

Republicans Blast Nevada Rancher for Failing to Use Commonly Accepted Racial Code Words

Militia Supporters Rally Around Bundy: 'Rumors' Won't Keep A 'Good Man' Down

Some of his best friends are Negroes!

Government = slavery?

Not Sorry: Bundy Spends Another 20 Minutes Rambling About 'The Negro'

Cliven Bundy’s Racist (On Video) Rant Is Nothing New For Conservatives Who Praise Slavery

Coulter, Bachmann, Santorum, and Buchanan are among the mainstream Republicans who think Negroes might've been better off under slavery than under welfare.

CNN Asks Cliven Bundy: ‘How are You Not a Welfare Queen in a Cowboy Hat?’ (Video)

Racist domestic terrorist and freeloading welfare cowboy!

Lawless Rancher's Slavery Comments Echo Conservative Media Rhetoric

Again, conservatives are denouncing Bundy for saying explicitly what they believe implicitly. To them, telling the truth about conservative racism is a Bozo no-no.

You can't say you support Cliven Bundy except for his racist views. He's anti-government because he's anti-minority and vice versa. ‪#‎racism‬

Conservatives love racists

The funniest part of this is how so many conservatives loved Bundy until his anti-government (racist) views became clear.

7 worst right-wing moments of the week—Conservatives overdose on Bundy

The Nevada rancher sends more shockwaves through right-wing media, making fools out of Hannity and Alex Jones

By Janet Allon
1. Cliven Bundy: Black people were better off as slaves. Now, they put themselves in jail.

That Cliven Bundy turned out to be a colossal racist is not a hugely surprising twist ending to the ridiculous Hannity/Bundy love affair, media circus and saga that was such a marvel to behold this week. If there is a more perfect example of Fox and the right being exposed as the utterly backward haters they are, we cannot imagine it. The greatest fiction writer in the world would be hard-pressed to come up with a more airtight scenario. Truth cannot only be stranger than fiction; it can be more satirical than satire itself.

Still, Sean Hannity was shocked—shocked, I tell you—that a man who had previously said perfectly reasonable things, like he did not believe in the existence of the federal government, the face of which just happens to be a black man, turned out also to harbor morally repugnant views about race.

Seething hate even Fox News can’t deny: Cliven Bundy is not an outlier

There should be no surprise here: GOP thinking is that government "free stuff" is a form of slavery

By Arthur Goldwag
No, all right wingers are not racists, but if you open your ears and listen to what the fringe hate groups that even the likes of Sean Hannity and Fox News can’t deny are racist are saying, if you take the time to read some of their broadsides and books (and especially their footnotes and bibliographies), you would realize two things.

First, that that there is a not-so-golden thread running through American history that connects a certain brand of White Protestant Supremacism with a broad trend of rural populism.

Second, that a lot of modern mainstream Republican wisdom comes down to pretty much exactly what Cliven Bundy said—that a dependence on the “free stuff” that the government hands out is just a more insidious form of slavery.

“The specter of slavery,” I wrote in my book “The New Hate,” “has been a perennial theme in American political polemics, from rants against the British during the run-up to the Revolutionary War to Henry Ford’s International Jew.” Here’s Herman Cain, back in 2011: “Our tax code is the 21st century version of slavery. The IRS has become the overseer of the American people.” And here’s former U.S. Representative Allen West, in 2012: “the Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today, and it does not promote economic freedom.” Both of those guys are black, so they couldn’t be racist, right?
Another Native comparison

Conservatives, or at least Bundy's daughter, are still trying to compare Bundy to Indians:

Cliven Bundy’s Daughter Condemns Sean Hannity for Denouncing Daddy’s Racism

By John PragerShiree Bundy-Cox, daughter of domestic terrorist and “not-racist” Welfare Cowboy Cliven Bundy, broke her “silence” to strongly condemn Sean Hannity for his decision to stop supporting her father, who feels that “negroes” sit around lazily on their porch collecting welfare benefits and “wonders” if they might be better off picking cotton as field slaves.

To state the obvious, America's Indians and Germany Jews had a legal and moral right to be where they were. Bundy the welfare cowboy does not have a legal or moral right to graze his cows on federal land. Not for free, anyway.

In other words, the comparison fails. In simplified form, Indians and Jews = legal. Bundy = illegal.

April 25, 2014

Sorority performs Pocahontas dance in costumes

UNCC Apologizes for Sigma Kappa Redface Act, but Sorority Remains Mum

By Vincent SchillingOn Friday April 11th, members of the Sigma Kappa Sorority at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte performed a “Disney Dancing with the Princesses,” for an event called "Air Band Dance," part of the campus' Greek Week activities. The presentation included a Pocahontas dance in which sorority members wore in Indian costumes and were painted with "tribal" markings.

Photographs of the event hit social media and drew criticism from the school’s Native students as well as at a National level. In response to the event, Arthur Jackson, the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs issued a statement via the UNCC Public Relations website that read, in part:Regrettably, as part of the Pocahontas dance, the dancers wore Native clothing and displayed tribal-like markings on their faces and arms. The symbolic representations proved offensive to Native Americans in North Carolina and nationally, some of whom have contacted the University or the Sigma Kappa sorority.

We apologize. Although we have every reason to believe that the sorority intended no offense, we consider this a teachable moment for them and for our entire campus community to deepen our sensitivity on issues of race and culture, and to ensure that we maintain a welcoming campus environment for all people.
Being Lakota, Becoming Greek

By Megan Red Shirt-ShawWere there girls on my own campus who dressed up as Native Americans for Halloween? Yes. Was it an incredible feeling when another sister came to me asking about conversations surrounding having a “Cowboys and Indians” themed party a year after I had graduated? How it was stopped in its tracks because of their understanding of everything I had taught them? Absolutely. Should it take a Native girl joining the sorority chapter for these things to be acknowledged and identified? Absolutely not.

On behalf of other Native American girls who stepped out of their comfort zone and to those who someday will too in order to join the Greek system, I implore and encourage the Sigma Kappa chapter and Nationals to apologize to the UNCC Native American Student Organization for promoting “Redface” and war-paint. Pocahontas has never been a reflection of who I am as a Native woman and it is not a reflection of contemporary Indigenous people today. As young Natives, we have a right to stand our ground and protect what makes us proud to be who we are--which was something I was always comfortable doing within my chapter of Sigma Kappa. I cannot imagine being a soon to be Native freshman at UNCC and seeing those women promoting cultural appropriation--it makes me very sad to see this coming from girls who, if we had been at Penn or UNCC together, might have, been my “sisters.” That is not and never could be the sisterhood I came to know.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Thanksgiving Pub Crawls in Indian Costumes and Pocahotties Show Depth of Microaggressions.

April 24, 2014

Little Mix singer in a headdress

Perrie Edwards Called 'Racist' for Wearing Native American Headdress

By Wendy MichaelsPerrie Edwards is under fire, being called a racist for pics showing the Little Mix star wearing a Native American headdress. Did she learn nothing from Harry Styles' same mistake?

That would be a big, fat no, as fans were on the attack after Perrie was spotted wearing the headdress in a couple of Instagram pics, prompting a flood of comments, such as gems like: "Perrie Edwards stop being racist, recognise your mistakes and apologise" and "PERRIE EDWARDS PLS STOP BEING RACIST."
Perrie Edwards Causes Major Controversy With Her Recent Instagram Photo

More appropriations

Writer Dani Miller notes similar problems in a Last Real Indians column:

Native Appropriation Soup: Pac Sun, Harry Styles and Ralph Lauren Latest OffendersSexualizing native women is also another dynamic of conquest. Pac Sun sold Yeezus shirts and has now taken things a step further by selling shirts with a sexualized Native woman (from the brand Riot Society).While it is tiresome, we must continue to hold these corporations accountable for their acts of appropriation. What we allow is what will continue, and even with all the corrections of other influential companies it seems privilege is still flexing its muscles. While it is disheartening our Native communities are the ones having the last laugh by continuing to persevere. The minor act of existing is a political statement, showing that we were never conquered, WE ARE STILL HERE. No matter how many petty assertions of conquest are attempted via clothing.Comment:  For more on the subject, see Alessandra Ambrosio in a Headdress and One Direction Singer in a Headdress.

April 23, 2014

Pointing with Lips is "powerful"

Press Release: Rez Sensation Pointing with LipsNative American publishing collective Blue Hand Books has announced that Dana Lone Hill’s sensational fiction novel Pointing with Lips, A Week in the Life of a Rez Chick, debuts on Amazon.com and Kindle in early March 2014.

Her first book is already creating a rez sensation with Indian Country media:

“Dana Lone Hill is a powerful new voice from Lakota Country that has so often been confined to historical stereotype or painted in a contemporary setting with a one dimensional brush. Dana shatters those shackles and forms a deeply personal, raw and moving narrative that takes the reader deep into contemporary life on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, one of the world’s most complex and engaging societies.” –Steven Lewis Simpson director of the Native films Rez Bomb, A Thunder-Being Nation & The Hub.

“With so much literature out there attempting to portray authentic Native life, it is refreshing to have a work written from the perspective of someone who has actually lived it. This book is essential reading for those attempting to understand the life of Native people living in America.” –Brandon Ecoffey, editor, Native Sun News

“It is rare that you come across a new voice as authentic as Dana Lone Hill. She writes with passion and determination about a side of America that few will ever see. But Lone Hill takes you there with emotion and raw power. Pointing With Lips is a startling debut.” –Paul Harris, The Guardian

Pointing with Lips by Dana Lone Hill just might be one of the best books I’ve come across—if not the best. A beautiful, entertaining, relatable, inspirational, and so-much-more read, Lone Hill’s poetic yet readable wording makes you feel as if you’re sitting attentively across from her, gripping a cup a coffee waiting for more.” –Patricia Stein, Urban Native Magazine

“As her publisher, we are so thrilled for Dana and her first book depicting the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota and the realities of living there,” Trace DeMeyer, founder of Blue Hand Books, said. “This book is a triumph for Dana and for her reservation relatives. It’s so real you forget its fiction, and that’s really good fiction.”
“Pointing With Lips” by Dana Lone Hill

By Sara Jumping EaglePowerful. I read the whole book in two days. I did not want to put it down. I laughed out loud and I cried. This book surprised me at every turn, kept me guessing. The main character of the book, Sincere, and her family, the “Strongheart” and “Rain on Shield” families, are in some ways–my family, my relatives, my friends–they are in some ways–me. The book, in an exciting and entertaining way, led discussions through a myriad of contemporary American Indian issues, discussions regarding the realities of Indian life. These are issues Indian families face every day–portrayed in a way which is not sugar coated, shown with a mean Indian woman reality. We can enjoy the rez humor we know and love, the crazy stories that are so “out there” as to be true, including those rez nicknames such as “Boogie” and “Two Times.” This rez humor that helps us live and survive the pain of a world where weekly funerals and years per life lost dominate, the humor that shows that hope lives even while acknowledging the reality of shortened life spans due to health disparity and socioeconomic poverty culture. One of my favorite lines of the book seems to say it all–“maybe I was born pissed.”Native Sun News: Dana Lone Hill depicts rez life with debut book

By Brandon EcoffeyFinding books about Native people is fairly easy. They are a dime a dozen. Finding a book written about Native people written by someone from an actual Indian reservation is a rarity. A book titled Pointing with Lips by Dana Lone Hill hopes to fill that void.

The debut release from Lone Hill is a fictional story set on the very same Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where she was born and raised. The book portrays the life of a single Oglala mother struggling to raise her children amidst the chaos, struggle, and beauty that accompanies being a resident of the reservation.

“The inspiration (for the book) definitely came from two best friends of mine. We would sit around and watch seasons of Sex & The City and talk about having a rezzed out version of the show,” said Lone Hill.

The author who has written for several publications across the world including Native Sun News, The Guardian, Last Real Indians, LA Progressive, and her blog justarezchick has had the privilege of interacting with many people from multiple cultures. Thus creating an image of reservation life that was both authentic and understandable by the larger population was important factor in the formulation of the plot.

Cherokee whistleblower in Good Wife

In the All Tapped Out episode of The Good Wife (airdate: 4/20/14):Florrick/Agos takes on the case of an NSA whistleblower, only to learn that the agency has been monitoring the firm as well as Alicia’s personal life.At a hearing, the NSA refuses to discuss the whistleblower's job performance, claiming it's classified. The Florrick/Agos lawyers counter:

The Good Wife: All Tapped Out“If the NSA refuses to be forthcoming about my client’s wrongful demotion, then we will be forced to file a civil rights claim, in federal court.” Nice. Fight bureaucratic stupidity with more stupidity. “On what grounds?” Garvey grumbles. “This was an act of discrimination against a man of a protected class.” What, Froines grumbles. “Mr. Dellinger. What nationality are you?” “Irish, Dutch, and, ah, Cherokee.” Now that is convenient. Froines can’t believe it. Because clearly it’s okay for him to hide behind legal protections that don’t apply to him, but it’s an outrage if someone else does it? “How much Cherokee?” he demands.

“This nation has discrimination laws in place to protect citizens like my client, a proud descendant of the Cherokee nation of … Oklahoma,” Clarke nods firmly. Cary smiles to himself that wonderfully secretive Cary smile. “This is absurd,” Garvey glowers through his glasses. “Their claim is an obvious pretext which Mr. Dellinger will surely lose.” Maybe so, Cary shrugs. But these cases become part of the record. “You know, the public record?” Clarke adds. “The record open to the public?” Ha ha ha ha ha! I love them. I mean, this is all a steaming pile of horse manure, but I’m glad somebody knows how to shovel it. Garvey wants a recess, and the twitchy, nervous little judge grants it in his nervous little baby voice. Clark permits himself a tiny smile of satisfaction.
Comment:  I'm guessing the threatened lawsuit would go nowhere fast. It might get thrown out before it even went to trial.

But it's good to see a TV show acknowledge Native issues, even obliquely. Like Castle, The Mentalist, and a few other shows, The Good Wife is aware that Natives still exist.

April 22, 2014

Snyder: Redskins "not an issue"

Notah Begay: Snyder's Redskins foundation a 'gimmick'

By Erik BradyBegay, whose Notah Begay III Foundation will receive a national award Wednesday, spoke to USA TODAY Sports before Snyder spoke. Begay called Snyder's foundation "a gimmick ... to try to offset some of the public disdain for the name of his football team. The Washington football team's front office has tried to make the issue about them and it's really not about them. It's about, unfortunately, the NFL and its owners and its corporate partners condoning use of that word.

"I don't think if a similar racially offensive word was used for the Hispanic, African American or Jewish communities that it would be tolerated. But because the American Indian people historically have not had much political leverage, or because we don't represent a great amount of buying power from a retail standpoint, we don't get the same level of treatment that everyone else in this country gets."

The NB3 Foundation withdrew support from a charity golf tournament in Arizona this month when it learned the OAF was title sponsor. Begay, who is Navajo, Isleta Pueblo and San Felipe Pueblo, is on the golf broadcast teams for NBC and the Golf Channel. Begay's foundation won the Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy in 2012 (named for the late UCLA basketball star Steve Patterson, who also played in the NBA.) Today Begay's foundation and the Philadelphia Eagles Youth Partnership will each receive $10,000 as winners of the Legacy Award that goes to Patterson Award winners that best used the award as a platform for growth.
Snyder defends "Redskins"

Meanwhile, Snyder finally spoke out:

Redskins’ Snyder says team name is ‘not an issue’

By Joseph WhiteWashington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said Tuesday it’s time for people to “focus on reality” concerning Native American matters instead of criticizing the team’s nickname.

“We understand the issues out there, and we’re not an issue,” Snyder said. “The real issues are real-life issues, real-life needs, and I think it’s time that people focus on reality.”

Challenged by those who consider the name “Redskins” offensive, Snyder and his staff recently traveled to Native American reservations and last month established a foundation to assist American Indian tribes. He had declined requests to answer questions about the foundation until Tuesday.
A few tweets in response:

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics Apr 23
Snyder: "We understand the issues." White man knows best whether #Redskins is a legitimate Native issue. #whitesavior http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/redskins/2014/04/22/daniel-snyder-team-name-controversy-foundation-notah-begay/8014797/

Adrienne K. @NativeApprops Apr 24
Gyasi bringing up that it is the "height of arrogance" for a white man to determine what the problems are in Indian Country. (I agree)

Adrienne K. @NativeApprops Apr 24
I'd argue that 26 reservations (out of 567+ tribes) actually is a "drive by" and not a "significant effort" @OTLonESPN

More responses to Snyder

To Redskins owner Danny Boy Snyder: Your racist nickname IS an issue

By David RamseyDanny Boy Snyder is such a riot. He’s a rich guy who believes he can dictate reality. He announced yesterday that his team’s nickname–the Redskins–is “not an issue.”

Only the nickname is an issue. And will remain an issue. A contentious, lingering issue that will follow Danny Boy around for as long as he refuses to drop a racist moniker.

Snyder pretends Native American support is unanimous. It’s not. I am on record as opposing the Redskins moniker, but I’ve never pretended all Native Americans agree with me. Several polls claim the majority of Native Americans support the nickname, but we’re still waiting for a comprehensive poll that will clarify the issue.

Danny Boy should listen to Michele Companion, a member of the Mohawk Nation and our local Native American community. She does not feel honored by the Redskins moniker.

“I find the Redskins nickname degrading. I find all the nicknames racist, hurtful, offensive. . The fact that we’re still treated like cartoon characters is not a small issue. It’s a reflection of how so many people in society actually see us.”
Olbermann's Three Worst People: Dan Snyder, Dan Snyder and Dan SnyderKeith Olbermann doesn't pull his punches, and he's not to everyone's taste. But for his fans, one of the most beloved bits he does is always his countdown of the three most unpleasant--in his extremely opinionated opinion--people in the news on a given day. Called "Worst Person in the World," it's a tradition he's carried over from his news/politics show that ran on MSNBC from 2003 to 2012 to his current gig as a long-form sports pundit on ESPN2. (Techincally it is now called "Worst Person in the Sports World").

"Worst Person" is always three different people, with just one exception we're aware of (and we do not claim to have seen every show Olbermann has ever done)--in November 2005, he gave Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly all three (Worse, Worser and Worst) un-coveted honors.

Make that two exceptions. Last night, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder hit the Worst Person trifecta.

April 21, 2014

The science of conservative racism

First, why conservatives tend to be racists:

How Whites Are Reacting to the Browning of America

Some white people see their future minority status as threatening and it pushes their political leanings to the right.

By Martin Longman
By coincidence, this morning I read an excerpt from Stony Brook University Prof. Michael Kimmel’s book Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era (reviewed here). This particular excerpt focused on the Aryan Nation and white supremacists, but the book looks at angry white men in general. What he found was a strong correlation between white men failing to inherit any significant wealth or to achieve a status commensurate to their father’s, and a sense that white people are getting a raw deal. In the following passage, Prof. Kimmel actually seems to conflate the Republican base with white supremacists, but that’s because he sees both as points on a continuum, distinguishable only be the degree to which their discomfort and anger has caused them to hate.That such ardent patriots are so passionately antigovernment might strike the observer as contradictory. After all, are these not the same men who served their country in Vietnam or in the Gulf War? Are these not the same men who believe so passionately in the American Dream? Are they not the backbone of the Reagan Revolution? Indeed, they are. The extreme Right faces the difficult cognitive task of maintaining their faith in America and in capitalism and simultaneously providing an analysis of an indifferent state, at best, or an actively interventionist one, at worst, and a way to embrace capitalism, despite a cynical corporate logic that leaves them, often literally, out in the cold—homeless, jobless, hopeless.

Finally, they believe themselves to be the true heirs of the real America. They are the ones who are entitled to inherit the bounty of the American system. It’s their birthright—as native-born, white American men. As sociologist Lillian Rubin puts it, “It’s this confluence of forces—the racial and cultural diversity of our new immigrant population; the claims on the resources of the nation now being made by those minorities who, for generations, have called America their home; the failure of some of our basic institutions to serve the needs of our people; the contracting economy, which threatens the mobility aspirations of working class families—all these have come together to leave white workers feeling as if everyone else is getting a piece of the action while they get nothing.”
Racists "don't see race"

Next, how they justify or excuse their racism:

How the GOP became the white supremacy party—and got away with it

Paul Ryan's condemnation of "inner city" values just scratches the surface. The modern GOP is fueled by such claims

By Chauncey DeVega
Following the triumphs of the civil rights movement, colorblind white racism has largely replaced “old fashioned” racism.

While whites still use very explicit and racist speech in the “backstage,” private spaces, or online, America’s embrace of multiculturalism and pluralism have deemed such acts anathema to “decent” people. This is especially true for a nationally known politician like Paul Ryan.

Colorblind racism inverts reality and distorts the facts. It involves denying that racism still exists as a serious social problem; black and brown people are limited in their life chances not because of institutional discrimination but because of their “bad culture” or “laziness”; white supremacy and systems of white racial advantage are dismissed as either exaggerated or non-existent; racism is reduced to mean words by white people, as opposed to systematic institutional discrimination against people of color.

The most perverse result of colorblind racism is that many white people now believe that they are “victims” of “racism”, and that “anti-white racism” is a larger problem in the United States than is discrimination against black and brown Americans. Mountains of research and empirical data detail how Americans society is oriented around maintaining white privilege and white material advantages over people of color.

Colorblind racism overrides those facts by distorting white people’s (and some others’) ability to process and understand reality.

Paul Ryan’s “inner city” comment is a quintessential example of colorblind racism. He cannot plainly state that lazy black people are genetically predisposed to idleness, crime, violence, and sexual promiscuity. However, Ryan can suggest that the supposed failures of black people are really their own fault, and that all they need to do is “work hard” and have “good culture” to get ahead in America like “normal” (read: white) people.

You Don't Have To Be A Racist To Practice Racism

By Ed KilgoreIn the end, describing a policy, a message, or even an item of political philosophy as objectively “racist” is no less legitimate than any other term of opprobrium. Personally, I find the Randian doctrine whereby anyone favoring progressive tax rates or business regulations is a “looter” conspiring with “losers” to steal the fruits of capitalist innovation even more offensive than racism, insofar as it treats large majorities of the U.S. population—including all those Democratic-voting minority members—as either morally debased or incorrigibly duped. I am not about to stop criticizing that point of view simply because its advocates do not subjectively view themselves as self-righteous cads hoarding the fruits of others’ labor. Nor are Randians about to stop calling me names for my own beliefs. Nor does all my church-going protect me from being called a “secularist” because I believe in a strict separation of church and state.

The reality a lot of us naturally want to avoid is the distemper and polarization in our political discourse is not simply the product of name-calling or rhetorical hubris or bad faith. Some of it has to do with genuine and very large differences of opinion about government, culture, and, yes, race. So much as I would like to find common ground with conservatives, and much as I know many of them have fine (subjective) motives: when I see racism, I’m going to call it what it is. Just avoiding the subject is not just bad politics: it is (subjectively, for me) an evasion and a lie.
Just the facts, ma'am

Finally, the research that confirms the link between conservatism and racism:

Multiple Scientific Studies Confirm: Extreme Conservatism Linked to Racism, Low I.Q.A January 2012 article in the Journal Live Science also cites the Hodsdon-Busseri study,

“There’s no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb…Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice.”

Indeed, University of Washington Political Science Professor Christopher Parker, author of the new book Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America agrees.

Professor Parker, interviewed by Chris Matthews says,

“What we’ve found out, we’ve come up with something that we called Reactionary Conservatism. What that means is, where as a regular conservative or a more mainstream conservative recognizes change is necessary to avoid revolutionary change, a reactionary conservative actually wants to go back in time. In the book we tie the Tea Party to the Know Nothing party of the 1850s, the Clan of the 1920s, the John Birch Society of the late 1950s and 1960s. It’s the same belief system, Chris, this idea that they’re scared of losing the America that they know and love to these other groups of people.”
Fear of becoming a racial minority makes white Americans more conservative: study

By Scott KaufmanTwo researchers from the Department of Psychology and Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University demonstrated that the more white Americans know about the changing demographics of the United States, the more likely they are to endorse conservative policy positions.

Maureen Craig and Jennifer Richeson conducted three studies in which white Americans were presented with information about the racial demographic shifts that have led the U.S. Census Bureau to project that “racial minority groups will make up a majority of the U.S. national population in 2042, effectively creating a so-called ‘majority-minority’ nation.”
And:Craig and Richeson found “striking evidence that perceived group-status threat, triggered by exposure to the majority-minority shift, increases Whites’ endorsement of conservative political ideology and policy positions.” However, they noted that “the addition of a simple paragraph stating that Whites are likely to remain at the top of the future racial hierarchy in a majority-minority America eliminated the conservative shift otherwise observed after exposure to the racial-shift information.”

As Jamelle Bouie noted this study strongly suggests that the coming majority-minority shift “could lead to a stronger, deeper conservatism among white Americans. The racial polarization of the 2012 election—where the large majority of whites voted for Republicans, while the overwhelming majority of minorities voted for Democrats—could continue for decades.”
Comment:  For more on conservative racism, see Whites Think They're Losing to Blacks and Excerpts from Dog Whistle Politics.

April 20, 2014

What I'm passionate about

Someone asked me what I'm passionate about and whether I'm truly passionate about doing comic books. My answer:

What am I passionate about? The simple answer would be: words and ideas.

This passion expresses itself in several ways:

1) Disseminating information. Including making up quizzes as a kid, getting a degree in library science, building a database of the LA Times, becoming a freelance journalist, blogging, and now posting on Facebook and Twitter.

2) Creative writing: Including making up characters as a kid, taking creative writing classes, trying the Marvel Try-Out Book, developing my own comic book, and now undertaking screenplays and novels.

The type or genre of stories I favor include science fiction, superheroes, fantasies, thrillers, and mysteries. The mediums I favor include comics, novels, movies, and TV shows. I constantly read and watch stories in these genres and mediums.

The themes I'm most interested in include race and culture, American and Native values, liberal and conservative politics, and science and religion. Many of my efforts in points 1) and 2) touch upon one or more of these themes.

Trek combines interests

A good example would be Star Trek, which may be my favorite fiction franchise. Within Star Trek, you can tell a variety of stories, though they're often sci-fi thrillers. You can use a variety of mediums, though TV was obviously the starting point.

And themes such as accepting diversity and avoiding violence are usually present in Star Trek. But these themes do not dominate or overshadow the stories in Trek and they won't in my work either.

I'd say I love all these things in roughly equal proportions. Which also means that I don't love comics more than anything else. Yes, I love them as a vehicle to tell my stories. I'd like them well enough if I got paid to write Marvel or DC comics. But obviously I didn't focus my career on breaking into comics to the exclusion of everything else. As long as I have other creative outlets, I'm okay with not doing comics.

I'm also gravitating from comics because I can't do them all myself. And that would be a problem if I were writing comics for the Big Two, writing TV scripts for a network, and so forth. I'd enjoy collaborating with like-minded people, but I don't want to butt heads constantly with people who don't share my vision. Nor do I like relying on people who prove to be unreliable. I'm passionate about being the one in control who can get things done and do them right.

Probably my "natural" field is writing novels--because they're long and wordy and the product of one mind. I've been fine-tuning one SF novel concept while I've been working on Peace Party and Breaking the Code, a movie script. It may be my next big project.

A decade of Douglas Miles

Another article by me:

An Unquiet Indian: 10 Years of Decks, Guns and Geronimo With Douglas Miles

By Rob SchmidtDouglas Miles, the founder of Apache Skateboards from the San Carlos reservation in Arizona, didn’t set out to be a professional artist. In fact, he started in social work.

“I’ve been making art ever since I can remember,” he says—around 25 years. But professionally, he spent his first 10 or 15 years in the social field.
About his Apache X retrospective:The reactions have been positive, says Miles. The people who supported Apache Skateboards at the beginning continue to support it. Only one criticism has been a constant. “I like the art, they’ll say, but I don’t like the gun imagery. It kind of throws people off.”

He doesn’t apologize for that, and people aren’t saying it as much anymore. They got used to it, he explains, or they see “it’s part of the story.” That is, the story of Apache Skateboards, American history, and the history of the Apache people. “It’s not something that I’m trying to sugar-coat or whitewash.”
Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Artist Who Plays Lozen and Apacheria: The Art of Douglas Miles.

April 19, 2014

Cliven Bundy vs. Dann sisters

Several commentators made the obvious connection between Cliven Bundy's white-privileged claim to own his land and America's treatment of the similarly-situated Dann sisters.

How Did I Miss That? Militia: God Gave Land to Settlers, Not Shoshone

By Steve RussellBig news that went on all week was the confrontation between the federal government and the “militia movement” over the removal of cattle belonging to Mormon “pioneer” Cliven Bundy from federal land. Bundy has not paid his grazing fees for 20 years. Why? His ancestors settled those lands in the 19th century. “Time immemorial,” my Cousin Ray Sixkiller pointed out, “means different things to different people.”

The 68-year-old Bundy recognizes no federal authority in the matter. If he owed grazing fees, he claimed they would be owed to the state of Nevada, which entered the United States on Halloween, 1864. Because the Civil War was going on, the Nevada Constitution contained a “paramount allegiance clause,” which is seriously inconvenient for anybody claiming, as Bundy does, a right to ignore the feds.

The year before Nevada was admitted, the US signed the Treaty of Ruby Valley, which recognized the Western Shoshone as owners of the dirt Cliven Bundy is claiming the right to use because of his “pioneer” pedigree. In 1979, the Indian Claims Commission awarded the Shoshone $26 million in compensation for land lost to “settler encroachment” while the federal government looked the other way. Those encroaching settlers would be who Cliven Bundy cites today as originators of his right to graze his cattle.

The Shoshone refused the money. They had not agreed to sell the land. They did not agree that the land should be used for nuclear testing. Carrie and Mary Dann were Shoshone elders who stood up to the abuse. Mary walked on at age 82, in 2005. The 81-year-old Carrie was last arrested in 2007, protesting against the use of Shoshone land for nuclear weapons research.

The Dann Sisters grazed their cattle on land the Bureau of Land Management claimed since 1973, refusing to pay grazing fees based on the Treaty of Ruby Valley, Article VI of the US Constitution, and a report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States that found the US to be cheating the Shoshone.

In 1992 and again in 2002, armed BLM posses rounded up the Dann Sisters’ cattle and sold them for grazing fees. The New York Times reported in 2002 that the Dann Sisters had been fined $3 million for “trespass.”

When a BLM posse came to round up Cliven Bundy’s cattle, armed “patriots” rode to the rescue. The BLM got about 400 head of Bundy’s cattle and Bundy got about as many supporters, many of them armed, from as far away as Montana. The Washington Post reported on April 10 that a sign at the entrance to the protest camp read “MILITA SIGHN IN.” Cousin Ray said he hoped their shooting was no better than their spelling.

Protestor Richard Mack, a former Arizona Sheriff, told a Fox News camera that the plan was “to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”

On April 12, the BLM postponed the circus, giving Bundy’s cattle back and leaving Cousin Ray to wonder where all these lovers of law and liberty were when the women up front were Carrie and Mary Dann?

Millionaire Mormon Ranchers Always Get Their Way, Indians Get Off Of Your Land!In the news in the last week has been the story of a downtrodden millionaire rancher who has refused to pay the Bureau of Land Management grazing fees for 20 years. Cliven Bundy refused to pay grazing fees on federal land and invited 1000 of his militia Nazi buddies who were heavily armed to release his confiscated cattle. The Federal government backed down yesterday to a bunch of Neo nazi shit kickers. Add to this menagerie of assholes is that Bundy is claiming his right to continue bilking us out of our money the fact that “my Mormon faith teaches me I have a right to this land.” What a load of shit!

Now contrast this with the treatment of Western Shoshone Tribal members Carrie and Mary Dann in 1998 after grazing cattle on land that was rightfully theirs since 1973 the US government ordered them off of their own land. In 2003 Federal agents with back up from local cowboys swept onto the Dann sisters traditional grazing lands in helicopters, on ATVs, and on horseback they confiscated 504 horses that belonged to the Dann sisters. at one point elder Clifford Dann doused himself with gasoline to stop federal agents to no avail. In the end the Federal government hung a 3 million dollar bill around the Dann sisters necks and kept their horses. Mary Dann passed on in 2005 at the age of 82.
Carrie is still with us. The Western Shoshone land claim was upheld by the United Nations. The United States refuses to acknowledge the treaty.

So here we are in 2014 and white ranchers are still using their faith to steal our land and Indigenous people who have a real and spiritual claim to the land are still being herded, harassed, and intimidated into giving it up. Had Cliven Bundy been an Indian we would be talking about a dead Indian. White millionaires just have an amazing ability to get whatever they want.
Never Mind Cliven Bundy: Here’s the Real David vs. Goliath Story Between Ranchers and Feds

Shoshone sisters have battled against the U.S. over land and cattle.

By Evelyn Nieves
The kicker to this story is that while the Bureau of Land Management’s fight against the Danns claimed the sisters' herds were overgrazing—and thus harming—the land, much of the land the Danns have fought for has been leased to gold mining companies that have conducted resource-intensive extraction methods.

The land surrounding the Danns' ranch sits atop one of the most significant deposits of gold ever found in the United States. Only a few months after the Danns' horses were first rounded up, Nevada's headlines blared about gold finds in Crescent Valley, at the exact locations where the horses were removed. Most of the world's largest gold mining companies have some interest in the land, which involves using cyanide to extract minuscule amounts of gold from rock. Because the gold dust sits under the water table, it also involves pumping 20,000 to 70,000 gallons of water per minute every day and moving tons of soil and rock, leaving open pits. The extraction methods are so energy-intensive that the production of a single gold ring generates 20 tons of waste land.

Carrie Dann is no Tea Party hero. But she vows to fight until her last breath.

"Right is right," she said in an interview. "And wrong is wrong."
Video: Dann Sisters' Battle to Save Their Cattle Is Stark Contrast to That of Cliven Bundy

Nor is this prejudice limited to Indians:

Cliven Bundy and the Tyranny All Around Us

How would the Nevada standoff be different if the rancher were black? American history has already answered that question.

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
I've been laughing my way through the Cliven Bundy fiasco because, as Jamelle Bouie suggests, there may be no better example of racist privilege than the right to flout the government's authority and then back its agents down at gunpoint. Bouie asks, hypothetically, how we'd respond if Bundy were black.

Inasmuch as this is even a question, American history has already answered it (emphasis added):In an 18-month investigation, The Associated Press documented a pattern in which black Americans were cheated out of their land or driven from it through intimidation, violence and even murder.

In some cases, government officials approved the land takings; in others, they took part in them. The earliest occurred before the Civil War; others are being litigated today. Some of the land taken from black families has become a country club in Virginia, oil fields in Mississippi, a major-league baseball spring training facility in Florida ...
Coates's position is self-evidently true. Roughly 0% of the gun-totin' far-right "patriots" would rush to defend a black, Latino, or Native rancher from the feds. And if it were a Muslim rancher, forget it!

Then there's this idiocy. Some right-wingers are seriously comparing Bundy the welfare cowboy to Indians:

The Cliven Bundy Standoff: Wounded Knee Revisited?

By Mary W.Cattle became the successor to buffalo in the late 1860s and early 1870s. That was the era when the ancestors of Cliven Bundy settled in what was to become the State of Nevada, and began to graze cattle in what would later be called the Bunkerville Grazing Allotment. The Bundy family made peaceful and productive use of that allotment for more than 120 years, mixing their labor with the land to create original wealth.

Unfortunately, the Bundy family—like the American Indians—had been living on a reservation: They were never allowed to exercise ownership of their grazing “allotment,” in much the same way that Indians were not permitted to have clear title to their lands. The land on which the Bundy family raised cattle was “owned” by the government, and the Bundys were required to pay rent—in the form of grazing fees—for the “privilege” of making productive use of it. The public-land grazing system has been described as “the nation’s most conspicuous and extensive flirtation with socialism”—except, perhaps, for the Indian Reservation System.
I responded to this with a tweet:

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
"Bundy Standoff: Wounded Knee Revisited?" More like Trail of Tears revisited. Locals steal land and feds do nothing. http://theresistanceunited.com/2014/04/12/the-cliven-bundy-standoff-wounded-knee-revisited/

Never mind that Bundy's parents bought the ranch in 1948. Whenever they bought it, they never owned more than grazing rights to the Bunkerville allotment. In contrast, the Indians owned the land itself.

Conservatives = hypocrites

More tweets by myself and others show the hypocrisy of Cliven Bundy and his far-right supporters:

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
Bundy says feds can't take the land his ancestors took from the Indians. Because Doctrine of Discovery, Manifest Destiny, and white power.

deneeshka ‏@deneeshka
I am a Native American and I look forward to reclaiming my ancestral lands at #BundyRanch. pic.twitter.com/TR20tduzVq

indigenista ‏@Indigeneesta
BundyRanchers not once acknowledged the #Paiute nation, the real "owners" of the land. #IndigenousNationhood

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
Indians agree with Bundy: Ownership claims of the first inhabitants supersede those of the federal government. Give the land back to them.

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
Bundy gets different treatment from Dann sisters. Feds ordered them off their own land and sent in copters and ATVs.

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
Conservatives hate that the federal gov't owns land. So let's put it in private hands and give it back to the Indians. Win-win for everyone!

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
A solution for everyone: Feds give land back to Indians, no more gov't handouts, and ranchers and miners pay full market rates to tribes!

For more on the subject, see Cliven Bundy the Welfare Cowboy.