Tuesday, February 5, 2008

KFI HOST BILL HANDEL says "only one drunk Indian" is against the expanded gaming props.: NO on 94 No to Pechanga

Wow, Bill, apparently, you haven't been doing your research. "One Drunk Indian" is a ridiculous statement. Probably something you heard from Pechanga, sounds like them. I'm surprised you didn't say, "One stinking Indian" or "One filthy Indian".

UPDATE II: I received a letter from KFI Progam Director Robin Bertolucci. Here is the text:
Thank you for your letter to KFI regarding Bill Handel's discussion of Propositions 94, 95, 96 and 97. Mr. Handel's remark was insensitive but he was not referring specifically to Mr.Gomez. He was expressing his frustration with the person portrayed in the No on 94-97 Propositions. I have spoken to Mr. Handel and made him aware of your concerns. I have asked him to avoid using stereotypes to make his points and he has assured me he will do so.

Thank you again for bringing this matter to my attention.


Robin Bertolucci
Program Director

Thank you Robin.

Thousands of Indians in California are against the expanded gaming propositions. Read up a bit. http://www.nounfairdeals.com/ has a list. Probably could have done it yourself, but were too busy doing comedy.

UPDATE: I received a letter from KFI. Here is what it says:

Thank you for your note to KFI. I am forwarding your concerns to our Program Director, Robin Bertolucci, and she will be happy to get back to you.

Thank you.


Kristin Osborn
KFI AM 640

Please continue to write at the emails below. Is this Handel's "Don Imus" moment? Or, because it's Indians, it's no big deal?

HERE IS A LETTER that you can copy and paste or send a version of your own:
Mr. Handel,

This morning shortly before 8:00 a.m. you made and repeated some insulting, racial comments that were totally uncalled for. If you want to refer to yourself as a "Latino-Jew", that is certainly your prerogative.

However, in commenting this morning on your opinion of Prop's. 94 -97 and why you intended to vote yes on them, you repeatedly referred to the "one drunken Indian" who appears in the commercial for the No on Prop 94-97. You made that comment three or four times. You crossed a line with your remarks and your actions need to be addressed. Your comments weren't just a personal attack on that Indian man, they were racist remarks.

That Indian is well respected and happens to be John Gomez, Sr., Vice President of the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization, AIRRO. Mr. Gomez's opinion to vote No on Prop 94-97 was not that of one Indian, his comments were supported by the AIRRO organization as noted on the screen during the commercial. Mr. Gomez is one of over 300 Indians disenrolled from the Pechanga tribe (Prop 94) under the leadership of Chairman Mark Macarro, because he stated they didn't belong.

He hired a respected anthropologist to discount the heritage of those 300 members. That backfired when the anthropologist returned with a report that refuted Mr. Macarro's claims and yes indeed all 300 disenrolled members did belong to the Pechanga Tribe. Mr. Macarro discounted that report as being only 99% accurate and he proceeded to violate every civil right know to man in disenrolling those innocent people. Mr. Handel, disenrollment is a kin to separating you from your country. We take that very serious.

In truth, Chairman Macarro did the math, less members divided by casino profits means more money per tribal member. Pechanga members got a big raise after the disenrollment. They are at about $35,000 per month, per member, at this point in time. Only 8% of California's Indians receive any benefit from gaming. That is not what the voter's intended when gaming came to California.

In the past five years, disenrollment, reclassification and moratoriums in Indian Country are commonplace. Tribal leaders like Macarro use tribal sovereignty as a weapon against their own people. He's not alone. He and others like him perceive themselves as the untouchables. There are over 3000 disenrolled Indians in California and the numbers are now growing by hundreds every few months. Nationwide, it is a travesty. It has to stop.

Rewarding Macarro with more slot machines by voting yes on Prop 94 is not the answer. Those deals with the state need to address all of the issues. It is the only way Macarro will be held accountable for his crimes against his own people. It is the only way change is possible. There is a better deal out there.

John Gomez, Sr. has fought for the civil rights of victimized Indians for years. You disrespected that man with your comments. You disrespected Indians with your comments. You owe Mr. Gomez an apology and I hope one will be forthcoming. I am appalled that you really felt it was OK to spew those remarks out for the world to hear.

I'm certain there are others like myself who have a great concern when a microphone is provided to an individual who uses that power irresponsibly.

Robert Edwards,
Chairman Indians of Enterprise No.1
former Vice-Chair, Enterprise Rancheria
disenrolled November 2003

Cc. Robin Bertolucci, Programming Director, KFI 640

Their emails are:
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