Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘Native Americans’

New poll shows Native Americans are NOT offended by “Washington Redskins”

Posted by sanityinjection on May 20, 2016

Remember the big pressure campaign a couple of years ago to force the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change their allegedly “offensive” name? President Obama and 50 Democratic Senators proclaimed their support for this “civil rights movement”. And then, as with so many armchair liberal cause celebres, it just seemed to disappear; the professional protesters moved on to “Black Lives Matter” and suddenly the supposed legions of mortally offended Native Americans didn’t seem like such a compelling issue.

Now comes a clue as to why the pressure campaign hasn’t been revived. A new Washington post poll of 500 Native Americans across the country indicates that 9 out of 10 are not offended by the name “Washington Redskins”. 7 out of 10 said the word “redskin” was not offensive in general, and 8 of 10 said they would not be offended if a non-Native American called them by that term. These results mirror the findings of a previous poll in 2004. Naturally, Native American “leaders” continue to reject these poll findings, as will the mostly rich, white, left-wing politicians who were the prime movers behind the whole issue. (Never mind that these same politicans spend virtually no time advocating for the things that Native Americans say they need, like decent schools.)

The whole thing would actually be comical if it weren’t for the giddy participation of the mainstream media in whipping up hysteria to aid in this phony campaign. (In this regard, kudos to the Washington Post, which remains a faint glimmer of some journalistic integrity amongst the sad detritus of formerly respectable left-wing newspapers, for publishing this poll. See also a thoughtful WashPost op-ed on the issue here.) It should be of concern that the sources from which most Americans still get their news are demonstrably more interested in pushing an ideological political agenda than in any kind of factual reporting. You need look no further than the recent New York Times attack piece against Donald Trump, which went to a great deal of effort to characterize Trump as a misogynist based on his pattern of hitting on women as a rich single man. Keep in mind this is the same publication that consistently defended Bill Clinton for sexually harrassing and having sex with women as a rich married man. See Camille Paglia’s excellent destruction of this pathetic propaganda here.

Meanwhile, if sports teams’ use of cliches offensive to Native Americans is the issue, how come there hasn’t been any fuss at all about the Cleveland Indians’ continued use of the “Chief Wahoo” logo? Why hasn’t their trademark been revoked? Answer: Because the Cleveland Indians kissed the ring: Whenever anybody complains, they hide Chief Wahoo for a while, using alternate logos and uniforms, until the subject dies down. This appeases the professional Left, because what they really want is not actual civil rights change so much as acknowledgement of their power and righteousness. Kiss their asses and they’ll let you off with a slap on the wrist; dare to suggest that the emeperor has no clothes, as Redskins owner Dan Snyder has done, and you reap the whirlwind of attacks from their subservient media allies.

The point is not that the Washington Redskins or their owner, a wealthy successful man and organization, are some kind of sob story. The point is the one made so famously by pastor Martin Niemoller. With apologies to him: “First they came for the Washington Redskins, and I said nothing, because I was not a Redskins fan.” One day it’s a sports team. The next day it’s climate change “deniers”. The target changes with the wind, but the tactics are the same. Always ask yourselves: Cui bono? (Who benefits?)


Posted in Domestic News, Politics, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Native American reservation schools: A case study in big government failure

Posted by sanityinjection on November 28, 2015

I commend to your attention this excellent article from about the long history of failure of the schools for Native American children run by the federal government through the Bureau of Indian Education, a division of the Interior Department.

As the article notes, decisions about these schools are being made by federal bureaucrats, often with little or no educational expertise. Per-pupil expenditures are high but results are poor compared to schools in other underprivileged areas. Skewed priorities have led to schools with “smart boards” and computers but not enough electricity to run them in crumbling buildings, and teacher salaries that are high but a lack of the infrastructure to attract them.

The only real success mentioned in the article was achieved by a private non-profit organization. Ironically, the article notes that there is significant opposition within Native American communities to reforms that would increase local control of these schools; reading between the lines, that’s about fearing the loss of jobs currently being held by members of those communities. The feds seem to fear that Native American communities might choose to spend less money on their schools given the chance – but how could they possibly make them any worse than they already are?

The question must be asked: If increased federal control has proven to be deleterious to Native American reservation schools, under what theory would federal control be good for any other schools? Granted, the Department of Education is not actually in charge of administrating schools – just making endless rules and regulations for them.

It’s worth noting that the problem has continued despite sincere good intentions under several administrations to try to improve things. The problem with big government is not that it doesn’t mean well; the problem is that by its very nature it is fundamentally structurally vulnerable to problems like corruption, waste, and misprioritization. State and local governments are not without their problems, but simply by virtue of their smaller size there is a limit to how messed up they can get.

Meanwhile, the Senate committee that is supposed to have oversight of Indian affairs spends its time haranguing the Washington Redskins football team  about changing its name, as if that were the way to improve the quality of life for Native Americans.

Social justice advocates like to point out the unfairness of inequities in public policy outcomes for minority groups – mostly urban ones. Surely no group has more of a moral claim to have such inequities resolved than Native Americans, although their reservations don’t generally fall within urban, Democrat-skewed voting districts.

Obviously a problem that has been many decades in the making will not be resolved by any kind of quick fix. But a good first step would be to take the existing funds being allocated to the Bureau of Indian Education and use them to hire private management organizations to overhaul these failed schools, rather than keeping control in the hands of the same bureaucrats that have been mismanaging them all along.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Bolivia: Leftist government uses mob violence to silence dissent

Posted by sanityinjection on March 18, 2009

The Associated Press brings word of the latest milestone in South America’s descent toward socalist dictatorships. Most readers by now are at least somewhat familiar with the anti-democratic antics of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez. Less well known among Anglos is the systematic destruction of democracy in Bolivia being overseen by that country’s President, Chavez ally Evo Morales.

Morales began as a rabble-rousing left-wing activist for Native American rights. Like Chavez, he was freely and legitimately elected President of his country. Since that time, he has undertaken a radical program of reform in the name of Bolivia’s poor and minorities, while at the same time constitutional changes designed to cement his control of power and undermine any democratic opposition. Morales’ moves came close to igniting a civil war just a few months ago.

Enter into this picture one Victor Cardenas. Like Morales, Cardenas is an Aymara native and a long-time advocate for native rights – in fact, his accomplishments as a former vice president rival Morales’ in that area. Anyway, Cardenas had the gall to announce publicly that he might consider running against Morales in the Presidential election. As a result, his own native neighbors attacked his wife and son, threw them out of their house and beat them so badly they had to be hospitalized for days. The government of course, condemned the violence but has made no attempt to identify the perpetrators or bring them to justice.

If that sounds like Nazi Germany circa 1938, it should.

Said Cardenas: “They jailed and tortured me during the dictatorships but never did anyone take action against my wife and children.”

O brave new socialist world! That has such people in it as Chavez and Morales, come to save us from the evils of free speech and representative democratic government, those tools of oppression! Who courageously stand by and encourage thugs to beat up women and children!

Posted in Foreign Affairs | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Not-so-thankful Thanksgiving?

Posted by sanityinjection on November 26, 2008

Why is it we can never have a holiday in this country without somebody whining about it?

Our latest tale of woe, dear reader, comes to us from Claremont, California, which for those of you unfamiliar with the area, is like the Cambridge of Cali – an uber-liberal university town. Apparently, there is a long-standing tradition in Claremont that during Thanksgiving Week, the students at the town’s elementary schools dress up in Thanksgiving costumes – Pilgrims and Indians – and get together for a holiday feast.

Of course, it was only a matter of time before some parents decided to rain on the kids’ parade. They objected to the wearing of “Indian” costumes by the children as sterotypical and demeaning to Native American culture:

“It’s demeaning,” Michelle Raheja, the mother of a kindergartner at Condit Elementary School, wrote to her daughter’s teacher. “I’m sure you can appreciate the inappropriateness of asking children to dress up like slaves (and kind slave masters), or Jews (and friendly Nazis), or members of any other racial minority group who has struggled in our nation’s history. There is nothing to be served by dressing up as a racist stereotype,” she said. Raheja, whose mother is a Seneca….an English professor at UC Riverside who specializes in Native American literature, said she met with teachers and administrators in hopes that the district could hold a public forum to discuss alternatives that celebrate thankfulness without “dehumanizing” her daughter’s ancestry.

Naturally, other parents, some of whom have Native American ancestry themselves, objected to their objection, and there was a fun school board meeting at which the school board did what school boards always do in these situations – they caved in and agreed to hold the event sans costumes.

I don’t even know where to start with this one. First of all, someone who is a recognized expert on Native American culture should know better than to lump all Native American tribes together. Thanksgiving commemorates the cooperation between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe. Thus, it has absolutely nothing to do with Ms. Raheja’s family ancestry as a Seneca.

Secondly, comparing the interaction between Europeans and Native Americans to slavery or the Holocaust is a gross and insulting distortion. In the latter cases, a helpless group was systematically persecuted and tortured. Native Americans were far from helpless against the European settlers, and often gave as nasty as they got. There were atrocities and betrayals committed on both sides, but also periods of peace and even friendship. It is historical fact that the Europeans and Native Americans commemorated in the Thanksgiving story did, at least for a time, succeed in getting along peacefully with each other. Isn’t that worth celebrating?

As for the costumes, why is it inherently “demeaning” to dress up like a Native American? Is it demeaning to dress up like a Pilgrim, too? Some Native Americans did indeed wear feather headdresses and beads, and were quite proud to do so. Imagine if Ms. Raheja, instead of going on the warpath (am I allowed to say that?), had offered her expertise in helping to design authentic Wampanoag costumes that reflect positive aspects of Native American culture and leave out the tomahawks or whatever it may be that causes offense? Use the occasion to teach the kids about the troubled history of the relationship between settlers and Indians. The sad story of Squanto, who was kidnapped by Europeans and brought back to live as an outsider among the Wampanoags who were not his tribe, is a microcosm for many lessons.

But instead, the solution is always to eliminate anything that might be controversial – let the children suffer because of the squabbling of the parents. In the immortal words of National Lampoon’s Dean Vernon Wormer: “No more fun of any kind!”

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »