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.  



Anonymous said...

OP you are wrong, you are a leader, you have brought many many disenrolled Indians and others a constant amount of information regarding disenrollments, tribes, and all of the corruption involved, You have helped keep us at a level above the major depression that can set in, you give us hope. Even if things never turn around, you have helped push the issue and have showed that you are a true fighter, a true warrior. I thank you, because you really have helped me and made me want to continue the fight.

White Buffalo said...

There is a concern that is the elephant in the room. Indians are just like all other people. We are human and we have all of the faults as our non Indian brothers. Good/bad that is not the point. The point is we as a nation have proven with disenrollment that we are lured by greed and wealth just like everyone else. It is also true that within every group, race, and ethnicity there are those who are not corrupted by the evil trappings of the easy life. They stand up to the corrupt and sometimes they win a moral victory, yet in the short run it appears that they lose. What is it that they lose if they stand up for something greater than personal gain. Things like integrity, honesty, truth, and community. Nothing, in fact they have something that can not be bought with gold. Personally I am no longer fighting to be a member of Pechanga. They are corrupt and I do not think I want my name associated with evil people. I will still fight for my identity as a Native American but I am much more than just a per-capita check. I also fight for the right of ancestry, cultural identity, and the right to walk on the land.

OPechanga said...

I was Pechanga BEFORE they had a casino, my father was on the reservation BEFORE Macarro was born, His Mother was on the rez BEFORE Macarro's father was born. His grandmother and great grandmother, Paulina Hunter...

I fight for HER: Olive Miller Cuevas
I fight for HER: Mary Miller
I fight for HER: Paulina Hunter
I fight for my children: Christina, Richard, Michael
I fight for my grandchildren: Roman, Robby, Anthony, Sophia, Ilian and Kenzie.
I fight for my family, even when they WON'T. I fight for APIS, I fight for TOSOBOL..I fight for MACARRO...Mark's Cousin Arlene..because they are RELATED.
I fight for all of those that have quit on us and quit on their family....


Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Keep up the fight OP. I descend from Paul Magee who was a Pechanga member, as was his father Robert Magee. My mother was enrolled at Pala so that is where she enrolled her children, but we have connections to both Pechanga and Pala. Our heartbreak is as powerful as yours, and our desire for justice is unextinguished.

Anonymous said...

Paul Magee ? There was a Robert Magee with a son Fred Magee ? Was Paul fred's brother ?

Anonymous said...

He's lying.

Anonymous said...

No no lies here. Paul Magee was married to Delfreda, Margarita's granddaughter. I think there was a Freddy. Inez was Paul's sister.