Forwarded from Jim Craven (casinos)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Dec 10 10:56:22 MST 2002

I believe that Louis is absolutely correct. Unlike the likes of Cockburn
or those who wrote that bullshit puff piece for Time (using essentially
bogus BIA data from an institution--the BIA--dedicated to the
statistical and other forms of extermination of Indians and labeled the
"most corrupt and most mismanaged agency in the whole of the U.S.
government by ultra-conservative judge Royce Lamberth) Louis has been
deep inside Indian Country and has met and talked with those activists
and leaders no outsiders would ever get close to.

When someone says "I'll let the Indians decide", which Indians and
through what mechanisms would be involved? On most of the
Reserves/Reservations on which I have been, noting a few exceptions,
they are run by a corps of Indian aristocrats and functionaries through
BIA-enforced structures and laws guaranteed to promote and perpetuate
misery for all but the few aristocrats; most of these "aristocrats" and
traitors running the Tribes were and continue to be "elected" through
corrupt processes such that talking about what "Indians" want cannot be
gleaned through the pronouncements of the typical "officials". Like the
Nazis who set up "Jewish Councils" composed of collaborators who aided
and abetted the identification, ghettoization, rounding-up, deception,
transport and extermination of what they dared to call "fellow Jews", so
it is the same in Indian Country with the so-called "Tribal Councils"
essentially acting just like the Jewish Councils acted for the Nazis.

On a typical Rez, with usually 60-90% unemployment and the only jobs
being Federal or Tribal, dissidents are often silenced or intimidated
with the threat of loss of jobs for their families and relations. For
that and other reasons, anyone on the "left" trying to learn/write about
the realities of Indian Country by relying on/cherry-picking through the
bourgeois press and "official sources" just doesn't get it--not in
empirical terms and certainly not in "leftist" terms.

Never mind Time not once daring to use the word genocide when speaking
about the history and realities of Indian Country in the U.S., Canada
and elsewhere. The piece is full of patent historical revisionism and
just plain lies. I especially loved the part on "Timeline: Washington's
history of failed 'AID?' to Native Americans". No mention is made--or
investigation of--how one person can be BIA "certified" as a "tribe"
(Maryann Martin supposed last surviving member of the Augustine Band of
the Cahuilla Mission Indians) while the Chinook, after visiting the
White house to be used by them were refused re-certification by the BIA.
Talking about what BIA recognition means or doesn't mean in terms of
ongoing genocide, or talking about the inherent sovereignty and
international-law-recognized rights to independence, sovereignty and
self-determination of Indigenous Nations would have of course been over
the top for the likes of Time with whose reporters I have also dealt.

As one BIA document noted: "Set the blood-quantum at one-quarter, hold
to it as a rigid definition of Indians, let intermarriage proceed and
eventually Indians will be defined out of existence. When that happens,
the Federal Government will be finally freed from its persistent Indian
problem." This process is being aided and abetted by the Tribal insiders
who aid in the denial of formal recognition of Indians, Bands and
Nations as they do not want more fingers in the "per capita pies" from
gaming revenues. Sadly many poor Indians also aid in this process and
the gaming not only facilitates destruction of traditional cultures,
bourgeois commodification etc, it is also one of the tools of
divide-and-rule and allows the Feds to summarily dismiss treaty rights
and federal monies owed to/stolen from Indian Nations and Peoples.

Some of the numbers I have seen, from reliable insiders, of course not
evident in ALL cases but typical, is that out of every casino gross
profit dollar, about 51 cents goes to the principal "investors" all
non-Indian; of the remaining 49 cents, about 31 cents or so goes to
lawyers, consultants, licensing, some taxes etc; of the remaining 18
cents or so, about 5 cents goes for BIA holding fees; of the remaining
13 cents or so, about 5 cents goes to skimming by Tribal aristocrats;
this leaves about 8 cents or so for "Tribal Programs" (run by insiders
and their relations typically) or for per capita distributions.
Typically the casino management is all non-Indian or perhaps a few token
faces; the skilled jobs are typically non-Indian and Indians are
typically left for dishwashing, waiting, etc--the most menial jobs.
Again this is not in all cases but is the case in many or even the majority.

The bottom line: genocide; with all sorts of new forms of "infected
blankets" being passed on with devastating results every day. When are
some on the left going to learn what this word genocide really means,
what is really going on in Indian Country--by actually going there for
more than a few hours--and join-in with as much passion as some
demonstrate denouncing genocide in East Timor, Palestine and elsewhere?

Finally, it is a naked contradiction to beg or petition
anyone--especially those forces bent on the extermination of
Indians--for recognition and granting of "limited sovereignty" or any
kind of "sovereignty" of Indian nations. Where there are treaties, the
fact of nationhood is established in that only sovereign nations,
recognizing each other as co-equals, can sign and hold to treaties. In
any case, sovereignty, along with the rights to self-determination and
independence flow, under international law, from the established fact of
a given People constituting a nation as defined in international law;
these rights have to be asserted and defended not begged for.

Jim C.


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