Sunday, August 23, 2015

Where is the Native American MLK on Civil Rights? Steve Russell Commentary

In a commentary for Indian Country Today, Steve Russell, who has done some great work on the disenrollment issue asks:  Where is our MLK on disenrollment?  There part history lesson in the essay and must be read.

Where is our MLK? That's a terrific question, here are some others.  
WHY doesn't someone step up?  
Is the job too tough?  
Do YOU really care about disenrollment of others, or just yourself, maybe you closest relatives.

Steve's points:

Then there are the disenrollments over greed, where there have been many instances of dead people being disenrolled so as to justify doing the same to their living relatives. By behaving as if the only point of tribal citizenship is access to per caps, tribal governments support the narrative of tribal citizenship as an excuse to advantage Indians at the expense of white people.

The disenrollments over score settling support the narrative that after over 100 years of tutelage by the U.S., Indians are still unable to govern themselves in a manner that protects everybody. Isn’t it time to quit propping up the power of unprincipled scoundrels based on their Indian ancestry, based on racism?
In every case of disenrollment, we see interest convergence between the new Indian fighters marching toward colorblind law and the tribal governments that gin up reasons to expel their political opponents.

There are nearly 12,000 disenrolled and SO few taking the lead.  Attorney Gabe Galanda, Russell himself have done well in getting the information out.   David Cornsilk has stood with the Cherokee Freedmen for decades.  John Gomez led AIRRO for a while. The late Bob Foreman and his daughter Carla stood proud.  We just saw an example of courage from warrior woman Cathy Cory.

ME?  Get serious.  I've been writing this blog for 8 years, and I can't even get all MY OWN family to stand with me, on a matter that affects them and their children.   It proves I'm not a leader. I fight because it's the right thing to do.  I've been published in newspapers, interviewed on radio and on television but I'm not as well known, nor is my blog.   WHY?  BECAUSE the people that are affected won't join in.   This is NOT yet time for a march on Washington, it's simply driving a website into greater consciousness.   So that politicians KNOW we are watching them.

But we must do more.  It's not ONLY MLK that got civil rights  for Black Americans.  It was the hundreds of thousands of supporters.   And THAT is where we are lacking.  

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