23 January 2008

Obama: Pro-"Indian" or Pro-"Indian" Player?

hey, brady braves ... following up from this bureau's recent blogosphere announcement of supporting Obama for prez, we see that the illinois senator spoke on u.s.-indigenous relations in nevada the other day ...

as stated at indianz.com, "At a campaign stop in Nevada, Manuel Couchum of the Te-Moak Tribe asked Obama what he would do to help tribal members. Obama said he would first address the "tragic history" between tribes and the U.S. "We have not always abided by treaties. We have not always been honest and truthful in our dealings and that's something that's history that we have to acknowledge if we are going to be fair and honest about moving forward," he said. Obama also said he the Bureau of Indian Affairs won't be the only entity that deals with tribes. He said the White House would create a relationship of "dignity and respect" with Indian Country. Finally, Obama said he would work to improve the health and welfare of Native Americans. He is a co-sponsor of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act that is being debated in the Senate this week [Sen. Dorgan, Dem from ND has been on CSPAN today speaking on the urgent, long, long-overdue need for "improvement"].

but earlier this month in new hampshire, Obama spoke the "r-word," that dehumanizing cousin of the "n-word," and hence the bureau's support has a footnote to include now (one which we feel could be corrected if Obama were to get educated on the "r-word/reds**n" ... Oglala Lakota journalist Tim Giago caught Obama's "r-word" reference:

"[D]uring the New Hampshire debates, a debate that saw the Republicans take the stage first, Obama was asked if he had been watching the Republican debate before he came on and he replied, “I was switching between it and the Redskins football game.” I use the “R-Word” here as a direct Obama quote and in this case the “R-Word” does not mean “Recession.” This lack of sensitivity resonated in Indian country. It made one wonder whether Obama ever considered the meaning of the word that is as hurtful and degrading to Native Americans as the “N-word” is to African Americans."

noting the recent media blasts at Sen. Clinton for saying that it took Lyndon Johnsons' approval/passing of the Civil Rights Act to help enact Dr. King's "dream," Giago later continues that"Sen. Obama should learn how Native Americans feel about the 'R-Word.' If he looks it up in the dictionary he will find that the word 'Redskin' is an insult to all Native Americans. Now where is the national mainstream media, a media so [quick] to jump all over the Clinton’s, when it comes to a Black presidential candidate demeaning Native Americans? Are racial insults reserved for African Americans only? Where is the Indian Al Sharpton?"

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