When California’s former governor Schwarzenegger said Indian tribes are ripping us off, I doubt his purpose was to incite violence against American Indians, but bolstering bigotry nevertheless plays into vigilante schemes. The recent assault on a young Apache mother in Central California by three skinheads with swastika tatoos is probably deplorable to the now aging action film star, but it highlights the consequence of ill-considered political propaganda.
When we battled anti-Indian violence in Washington state in the 1990s, it wasn’t difficult to find the source of the problem: trade and industry associations with an eye on Indian reservations and tribal resources were stoking the fire. Exposing the organizational and financial backing of vigilantes wasn’t that hard; what was hard was to break the mainstream media coverup and collusion with these associations.
Disturbing as this reality is, it is a fact of life that tribes and their friends need to monitor and expose what’s going on; otherwise, the good guys are always playing catch up with the bad.
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here