With the DNC coming in two week, I thought it's a good idea to bring this post back up.
The Democratic National Committee has selected the tribal chairman of a tribe that has perpetrated serious civil rights abuses on its membership to be a member of its platform committee.
Does the DNC not do any vetting of its candidates anymore?
From the article:
Mark Macarro serves as the Tribal Chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. He was first elected to the council in 1992 and is serving his fifth term as chairman. Mr. Macarro also represents the Pechanga tribe in the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). Through his work, Mr. Macarro has worked to improve the economic self-sufficiency and political self-determination of his tribe. (OP: Mr. Macarro has violated the civil rights of his tribe, refused to uphold the constitution and bylaws of the band, overruled the will of the people and has verbally threatened spouses of members. Please see this link) In addition, Mr. Macarro works to preserve the Pechanga tribal culture, language, and traditional life through traditional singing and speaking the tribe's native language. Mr. Macarro is a product of the California Public Schools and holds a degree in political science from the University of California.
Couple this with the NAACP of CA taking money from a tribe that is not for civil rights (Pechanga brought in busloads of people to vote down a civil rights platform and the Exec meeting of Dems in Anaheim late last year.) and you have to wonder who is FOR civil rights anymore.
UPDATE: Does the DNC support violating civil rights to control elections?
Howard Dean, you have some 'splaining to do.
Macarro: No Business of the White Man
UPDATE II: Here is a letter than you can copy and past and send to Howard Dean AND you can call to express your displeasure: 202-863-8000
Democratic National Committee c/o Chairman Howard Dean
430 S. Capitol St. SE
Washington , DC 20003
Re: Appointment of Mark Macarro to the DNC Platform Committee
Dear Chairman Dean:
I submit this letter as a formal request to you and the Democratic National Committee ("DNC") to remove Mark Macarro of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians from his appointment on the DNC Platform Committee.
Under Mark Macarro's leadership, Pechanga tribal officials have been responsible for the mass disenfranchisement of over 300 tribal citizens, which comprise 25% of the tribal population. And it was no coincidence that the mass removals occurred just prior to two regularly scheduled tribal elections in which Mr. Macarro ran for re-election as tribal chairman. Needless to say, Mr. Macarro was re-elected both times.
The actions to remove these citizens from the tribal rolls, and deny hundreds more their citizenship, have been characterized by lack of due process and equal protection of existing tribal and federal laws. In fact, laws enacted by the United States Congress to protect Indian individuals from arbitrary and capricious acts of tribal officials, such as the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, have gone largely ignored during Mr. Macarro's tenure.
Targeted individuals have not only been denied minimum due process and equal protection standards, the most recent mass disenfranchisement was approved by Mr. Macarro after the tribe's governing body had passed a law prohibiting such action.
This "cultural genocide" now finds hundreds of Pechanga tribal members and thousands more California Indians, cut-off from much needed health care services, senior services, education assistance and child development programs.
Mr. Macarro has routinely stated that the actions to strip tribal members of their citizenship were internal matters and of ".no business to the white man." Mr. Macarro and other tribal officials have escaped prosecution for their violations of basic rights by invoking the tribe's sovereignty. Nevertheless, immunity from prosecution does not equate to innocence of action.
Mr. Macarro's actions are horrific indeed, and one must wonder why, in this age of instant access to information via the internet, the DNC would appoint such a person to such a prestigious and high profile assignment. The situation at Pechanga has been reported on extensively in many mediums, yet it appears that the DNC is either unaware or cares not about such basic rights violations.
The human and civil rights violations which have occurred at Pechanga under Mr. Macarro's leadership rival those in many Third World dictatorships. Indeed, if Mr. Macarro was not the leader of an American Indian tribe and the Pechanga Band was not funneling millions of dollars to the DNC and Democratic candidates, the DNC and Democratic lawmakers might very well be calling for sanctions against Pechanga and an investigation into the human and civil rights violations committed by Mr. Macarro and Pechanga tribal officials.
It is time for the DNC to institute criteria for DNC appointees that gives greater weight to the content of the individual's character than it does to the number of zeros in their bank account. At the very least, the DNC must re-examine its vetting process to ensure that people like Mr. Macarro do not slip through the cracks in the future.
Please reconsider your appointment of Mr. Macarro to the DNC Platform Committee.