Remember the Danish television documentary called “Prisoners of the Past,” which featured comments I offered about Indian casinos? It was considered offensive by a few white liberals and fake Indians, of course. But now’s there’s more fodder for them. Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) has released a second documentary, “Fanget i fortiden: Casino-Indianerne.”
Dr. Yeagley in the newer Danish documentary, Fanget i fortiden: Casino-Indianerne.
I am technically unable to transfer the documentary for display here on BadEagle.com, but it is currently on this link, and I do not know how much longer it will be availabe on the Danish (DR) site. It can still be referenced on the DR site by doing a search for “Fanget i fortiden.” My attention was called to this new documentary by a friend on FaceBook, Karsten Torup Falkenberg Kristensen, for which I thank him profusely.
I know that the Danish TV crew was in Oklahoma for two days, but that was simply a small part of a world tour they were making to gather information about indigenous peoples on different continents. That was the topic of the first documentary, “Prisoners of the Past.” However, this new documentary is exclusively on an Indian casino story. The clips in which I appear are completely distinct from the ones used in the original, world documentary. The Danish TV crew was at my house for a entire day, and I went with them to Lawton, to the Comanche tribal headquarters the next day. But this new documentary features only comments pertinent to the casino issues. DR also spoke with two important members of One Nation United, an organization of people objecting to the abuse of law and constitutional rights which are trampled upon by ‘run-away’ Indian casinos.
I am certainly happy to voice my objections to the abuse cause by Indian casinos. I can’t say that the example in the DR documentary is typical of all Indian casinos. It presents matters, however, that are not unusual. I know that the Comanche nation’s four small casinos occupy a great deal of discussion, cause a great deal of suspicion toward our leadership, and do seem to encourage great deal of strife among tribal factions; however, Comanche casinos have not caused any disputes with surrounding environment, non-Indian communities, or civic parties. Comanche leadership has always sought full cooperation with the communities in which our casinos are found. I do not know of a single dispute or dramatized issue between the Comanche nation and its environs caused by our casinos.
I personally find no satisfaction in causing grief to white people over the matter of casinos. However, Indians have rights–both as US citizens and, of course, as citizens of their own Indian nations. I don’t see any advantage in Indians provoking whites, or abusing their rights as American citizens. However, offended white people must realize that Indian casinos exist entirely through, by, and because of white people. Politicans, land developers, county, state, and federal officials, and the synidate, and above all, white gamblers, all have their essential, fundamental part in Indian casinos. Indians have not created Indian casinos. White people have.
And for those conservative white people who object to the tax-exempt status of Indian land–which attracts the white money enterprizes, I say this: if you object to Indian business on Indian land, then simply boycott it. No one is forcing you to gamble your money away at the Indian casino. No one is forcing you to buy alcohol and tobacco at Indian stores on Indian land. Do you have no self-control? Are you then manifesting the same helpless, dependent behavior you accuse liberals of encouraging? This is outrageous and intolerably inconsistent. Please reassess your position!
When Christian white conservatives object to Indian casinos and smoke shops, it is even more ironic and intolerable–to the point of wild hypocrisy. True Christians would never advocate the use of tobacco, alcohol, or gambling anyway. So why would they advocate a political position based on “fair business,” or “level playing field” when it comes to dealing in these businesses? Why would they care if a white liquor store claims unfair competition from an Indian store across the street, on Indian land?
Thus swirls the conversation when politics and religion mix on the matter of Indian business.
However, if there was a national Indian bank, through which all Indian casino income was channeled, and all Indian people shared in the profits, as I suggested to Arnold Schwarzenegger some years ago, then I might have a more positive attitude about casinos. To this day, the largest tribes, in most need, have no casinos. They are not in demographic environments which would make a casino profitable. These Indians are left completely out of the picture.
I want to see all the progress possible for American Indians. I think all our tribes should adopt a business model of government, instead of the 1934 BIA tribal government model, which is practically inapposite in many cases. I think economic independence should be a primary goal of each tribe. I have to say, casinos have alone brought in the kind of money that might contribute to over-hauling tribal government. However, as everyone is well aware, present tribal government allows (if not encourages) the appalling abuse of funds, and millions of dollars are always missing, unaccounted for, or otherwise absconded with by leaders. This is the reputations casinos have developed for American Indians.
What I say in the new Danish documentary is absolutely correct–in my opinion!