Latest from The Spokesman-Review
A misinformed member of the media is once again playing a joke on Indian country: ignore the federal trust responsibility and tribal people will be better off. Don’t be fooled, it’s not a new joke. Indian country heard this same argument during the termination era. John Stossel’s piece “Freeloaders” is conveniently making its way across the internet just as Congress considers budget cuts in excess of $30 billion, putting Indian country and the federal trust responsibility in the crosshairs. The objective is simple: Distract the public and distract Indian country from holding Congress accountable to meet one of its most basic constitutional responsibilities/Jefferson Keel, Indian Country. More here. (AP file photo of Fox News reporter John Stossel)
Question: Are Stossel's comments tapping into a larger anti-Indian movement across the country?
The Chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, joining Tribal leaders throughout Indian Country in protest of Fox News’ latest rant by commentator John Stossel, has some advice for Fox President Roger Ailes: don’t fire Stossel, re-educate him. Michael O. Finley today sent the attached letter to Ailes, recommending that Fox attempt to improve its dismal reputation for biased reporting by sending Stossel to a course on American Indian History and then to live on a reservation for a month. Stossel had claimed, on a recent segment of Fox and Friends, that American Indians have benefited from the generosity of the federal government more than any other group/Colville Indian Tribe news release. Full release here. And: Letter to Roger Ailes of Fox News here. (AP file photo, of Fox President Roger Ailes)
Question: Do you understand the concern of American Indians, including the Coeur d'Alene and Colville tribes? Or do you think they're overreacting to comments by a Fox News talking head?
Chief Allan has heard it all his life. Why do you Indians get so much help? Free this, free that, a check every month. Why do you have it so good? “My whole life, everywhere, going to elementary school, going to middle school, going to high school, going to college … I always heard, ‘Why do you guys get all that (funding)? Why do you get those monthly checks?’ ” said Allan, the chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. And so, when Allan heard Fox News bloviator John Stossel’s piece, “Freeloading Doesn’t Help the Freeloaders” – about the negative effects on tribes of the government’s “help” for them – it chapped his hide. Stossel didn’t mention the fictional monthly checks, but he managed to drag out every other element of the arguments Allan’s heard all his life/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.
Question: Will John Stossel or Fox News respond to the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's complaint re: Stossel's stereotyping of American Indians?
Tony Stewart, of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, sent the following letter to Fox News President Roger Ailes re: reporter John Stossel's comments about American Indians: “It is with deep disappointment and sadness that we viewed the Fox and Friends commentary featuring John Stossel regarding his biased and hurtful comments regarding Native Americans. Mr. Stossel’s failure to understand and appreciate the tragic history suffered by the truly first Americans, the American Indians, demonstrates a lack of knowledge or support to remedy the wrongs of the past. We suggest that Mr. Stossel inform himself regarding the millions of acres taken from the American Indians, the U.S. military forcibly removing Indians from those lands, and the slaughtering of the men, women and children of the tribes.” (AP file photo, of John Stossel)
Marc Stewart, Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe spokesman (re: “Coeur d'Alene Tribe demands Stossel apology”): The argument that treaties and executive orders happened “so long ago” and there for should be forgotten or that the Indians should just “get over it” and be “assimilated” is sadly part of the national political dialogue. It’s paramount to remember that Native Americans were recognized as United States Citizens in 1924. Indians weren’t allowed to vote in Idaho until 1950, others states didn’t allow Indians to vote until 1965. If you put that into context of Native Americans giving up their lives to defend America in wars, you can understand why Indians take offense at those who seek to marginalize them by using loaded words like “handouts” and “lazy” and “freeloaders.”
Question: Do you understand the culture and sovereignty status of American Indians?
The Coeur d’Alene Tribe is demanding Fox News employee John Stossel apologize for his on-air remarks regarding Native Americans and why the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs exists. Coeur d’Alene Tribe Chairman Chief Allan sent a letter to Fox News Channel President Roger Ailes that addresses Stossel’s ignorant and insensitive comments he made during a March 24 broadcast on Fox and Friends/Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe news release. Read Chairman Allan's letter here.
Question: Should John Stossel of Fox News apologize to the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe and other Native Americans for his comments about them?