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Anti-Native American Media Bias

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Anti-Native American Media Bias

The reporting on the Abramoff lobbying corruption scandals by the mainstream corporate dominated media has demonstrated an anti-Native American bias. This anti-Native American media bias has been effectively exploited by Republicans to paint Democratic lawmakers as being an equal partner in the Republican culture of corruption partially revealed by the Abramoff operation.

First of all, the Native American tribes were victims of Republican exploitation. Abramoff was a major Republican operative. He headed the national College Republicans early in his political career and stayed connected at the highest levels of national Republican politics from that point until now. Jack Abramoff was a frequent guest at the Bush White House. His personal donations were huge and Republicans received the money. He was hardly on speaking terms with the Democratic political establishment.

The Native American tribes were being threatened by Republican politicians in DC and in the various state governments with taxes and laws aimed at their newly organized gambling facilities. Republicans were looking to balance state budgets and offset the deficits created by the tax breaks they had given large corporations by taxing the profits of the Native American businesses. In some cases, the Republicans involved seemed to be acting to protect large corporations already engaged in gambling from the new upstart Native American competitors.

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When the Bush Republicans took control of the White House after the disputed 2000 Presidential Election, Native American tribes had real reasons to worry about the future of their businesses. After the 2002 Congressional Elections, Republicans were in full control. Jack Abramoff was able to exploit the situation to his personal benefit and to the benefit of mostly Republican officeholders. Abramoff robbed the tribes blind with the active help of other Republican politicians and officeholders. Money for direct government actions seemed to be part of the normal operating procedure among this Republican cabal. Democratic officeholders did not engage in such blatantly illegal behavior.

Native American tribes had traditionally supported mostly Democrats. They continued some donations to Democrats. Democrats had been friendly to the interests of the tribes to a much larger degree than the Republicans. Political donations by Native Americans are not inherently dirty. Only the racism of the mainstream media can explain why these donations are being portrayed as corrupt by the media.

Institutional racism by newspapers, cable, TV, radio and Internet journalists has combined with institutional laziness to falsely color the story. What is essentially is a republican scandal has been colored as bi-partisan. More importantly, Native Americans have been largely frozen out of playing an important role in national politics. They have been denied the use of their new wealth to influence political campaigns because politicians they support are unable to accept donations from them without being falsely tarred by the media with an unsupported taint of corruption.

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Large corporations like Enron could act illegally and give huge amounts of their illegal profits to Bush and his Republican allies without those politicians being directly connected to corruption by the media. The Native American tribes were not engaged in crimes. They were victims of crimes. The criminals were all highly placed Republican political figures. The Democrats were just friends of the victims and hopefully will remain friends of the Native American tribes.

I am of mixed pioneer and Cherokee blood. I am a Democratic activist. The Abramoff rip-offs personally offend me. The racism of the mainstream corporate dominated media toward Native American political involvement is worse.

Written by Stephen Crockett (co-host, Democratic Talk Radio http://www.democratictalkradio.com ). Mail: P.O. Box 283, Earleville, MD 21919. Email: midsouthcm@aol.com .

Feel free to publish at no charge without prior permission.
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Stephen Crockett is co-host of Democratic Talk Radio and author of the Democratic Voices opinion column.

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