Saturday, January 07, 2006

Indigenous peoples and Abramoff

I find it rather interesting that the MSM is largely ignoring the effect Abramoff's behavior has had on the Indian tribes he was supposed to help.

Led on by what they say were his false promises of political access, leaders of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, which is based here, paid Abramoff and his partners about $32 million for lobbying and other services -- more than $38,000 for each of their 837 tribal members. By their accounting, they got very little in return.
Tribal leaders trusted Abramoff would deliver a chance. That chance consisted of representation, a voice, a hope that their small reservations would be saved.

"Abramoff and his partner are the contemporary faces of the exploitation of native peoples," said David Sickey, a member of the tribal council. "In the 17th and 18th century, native people were exploited for their land. In 2005, they're being exploited for their wealth."
What Abramoff and his team did is reprehensible and they should be punished by life in prison, within the general population, too. Let them know what life is really like and that Shawshank Redemption was pure fiction. There is no excuse for exploiting a culture that, unfortunately, choose to rely on white men to get what they needed to keep that culture safe.

(I have always found it interesting that, perhaps feeling guilty for their ancestors stripping Indians of their land and dignity, our Congress decided that reservations should be allowed to have casino's and are allowed to profit heavily from them. Indians need money? Hey, let's give them tax-free casino's! This has essentially added gambling to their list of aflictions: alcohol, domestic violence, diabetes, heavy poverty, etc.)