Andrew Cohen on the Redskins Nickname Controversy and Critical Issues Facing Indian Country


An excerpt:

Why didn’t anyone like Costas or Krauthammer, or any veterans group for that matter, stand up for Dusten Brown, who is still today a member of our nation’s military?  Right or wrong, why wasn’t his case or cause the subject of great national debate? Instead of talking about a football team’s name, why aren’t we talking today instead about the role of religion in the Brown case or the disturbing revisionist trend some see in these custody and adoption cases, a trend exacerbated by the Supreme Court’s ruling, that enables non-Indian couples to get around the protections of the Child Welfare Act?

The new debate over the team’s name comes at a time of great anguish for the American people and few have been hurt more by the government shutdown than Native Americans. The economic costs have been great but so have the social ones. And even before the shutdown, during the period of sequestration when many federal programs were cut or limited, American Indian interests in particular were harmed. Did you know that the Indian Health Service, which tries to ensure medical coverage for tribes, was not exempted from the effect of sequestration the way most every other large federal health program was?

When the sequestration began to hit, in March of this year, the chairwoman of the National Indian Health Board told members of a Senate committee: “Since the beginning of the year, there have been 100 suicide attempts in 110 days on Pine Ridge. We can’t take any more cuts. We just can’t.”  Why are so many talking about the nickname of a football team when so few are talking about these suicide attempts on an Indian reservation and our government’s inability to adequately fund mental health services for these people?

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One Response to Andrew Cohen on the Redskins Nickname Controversy and Critical Issues Facing Indian Country

  1. Lisa says:

    Well said. The thing is the Washington Racist cause a lot of harm. The most obvious is that it makes a mockery of First Nations Peoples. That mockery makes it possible for so many other damaging things to happen. The Brown case being perhaps the most obviously tragic. There are many issues in our Nations that need support and while the support of honorable serves people and vets would be great many have given us so damned much already. Their support is vital and important but we have no right to demand more of them. If it is freely given and offered well then wonderful if not it is we collectively not just native peoples but all Americans that owe them. Perhaps the most tragic thing in the Brown case is that the government he swore to served and protect whose so called Constitution he risked his life for tosses that same out when it comes to the part where we as individual nations are to be respected and treated with honor. Then again its just a piece of old crappy paper that really has no meaning in this modern world Its kind of useless if the so called justices don’t use it to defend the weakest among us our children. Oh well its not like we matter. I mean its not like many of our people died to protect that piece of crap. Opps oh yeah we did. Maybe just maybe we should rethink that the next time there is a war and they need us. To bad the code talkers didnt maybe the Japan would have been wiser rulers. Given recent history it makes me wonder if we sided with the right side in WWII. And yes my uncle would kill me for saying that as he served as would my dad but hell I do wonder sometimes.

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