John Stossel mistakes American Indians for government welfare recipients. Epitomizing everything that’s mistaken in white American ideas about American Indians, libertarian/quasi-conservative John Stossel displayed unequivocal error on FNC’s “Fox and Friends,” March 24, 2011. “No group has had more help than American Indians.” That says it all.
TPMMuckraker posted some of the text of this video.
It was all part of his recent and negative assessements of “Corporate Freeloaders,” to which he ascribes the demise of American society. General Electric (GE) he says is the biggest welfare recipient. Fine. But, when it comes to racial recipients, Stossel is unforgivably “racist,” or else inexcusably ignorant of history. (Actually he simply takes the white man’s interpretation of the Indian, what else?)
He decries the existence of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, on the false soliloqual basis that there is not a Bureau of Puerto Rican Affair, or black affairs, etc. Why would there be? Puerto Ricans were never a national enemy of the United States. Negroes certainly never were. They were imported labor. American Indian matters used to be under the War Department (from 1789 to 1849, in fact). The unique element is that Indians were invaded. Indians weren’t the enemy. The white man was. The white man won out, and therein lies the course of historical interpretation.
But, Stossel calls what the white man did to the Indian “help?” Indians have recieved “help” from the United States? The concept is wholly aberrant. “Help”? To be invaded by a foreign race with foreign values, to fight to the death to protect your own, then to make treaties when you’re out-numbered and out-gunned, and be promised coffee grounds, old sugar, and rotten meat–this is “help”?
I sure wouldn’t call it welfare.
Stossel dismisses Indian blood altogether. Wars were fought! Treaties were signed. Stossel briefly acknowledges treaties, but, discounts them as some obstacle for individual progress.
But, Indians are nations of families. Stossel’s white, self-idolizing individuality is not the Indian way. Most quick-to-comment profession talkers have no idea of what they’re talking about when it comes to Indians. Indians are generally not interested in white values, white materialism, white individual success, white fortune, or white ways. We suffer the consequences of our refusal to generally partake in these values, yes; but, we have the right to refuse. Our fathers won for us that right. It is ours. Forever. Or, as long as the American government retains any integrity at all. (I fear that the treates will not last much longer–due to racism, ignorance, and lack of integrity on the part of an essentially oedipal white liberal government.)
Indians are doing the worst, despite receiving the most “help”? So, Indians prefer poverty to any attempt to be white. Stossel projects his own white capitalist libertarian individualty-idolizing values on Indians, and condems Indians for their own suffering, or failure to measure up to Stossel’s expectation. Indians need to break away from the group, he says, to get out from under the government, and make it on their own. Then poor little Gretchen Carlson made an even more ignorant remark about some “tribe” in North Carolina that has it’s own bank. She was bragging on their success. Stossel quickly corrected her, skirting the issue of federal recognition–the unmentioned tribe not being an Indian tribe, but another wannabe group, “freeloading” on Indian blood-bought honor and privilege. So, that group really couldn’t be used as an example of successful Indian affairs at all. Stossel re-emphasized his point about individuals doing better when they get out from under the government management.
Now, I’m no fan of government management. I’m a fan of Indian nationhood. Stossel would sacrifice Indian nationhood, Indian identity, for his ideology–an idolized individuality. This is just not the Indian way, and never will be, as long as there are real Indians around.
Indians prefer to be Indian. Stossel obviously has no concept of what that means. His point is about the inefficiency and depressing effects of government management, on which we can all agree. But, using Indians as an example is not the right example. Sorry, John. You just lost me.
I know Ann Coulter loved your “Corporate Freeloaders” episode on FNC, but, I can only say she may not share your impression of American Indians. She expressed some of her ideas in a Bad Eagle Interview, “The Great White Woman Speaks.”
Ann Coulter, the Great White Woman.
Stossel’s FNC videos are available. After a very brief denigration of Indians, he spends most of the time on street begging, and barely mentions the corporate beggars (coercionists) at the end.
It is an interesting take, but, all in all, to include Indians in the story, as a race, as a people, as nations, shows that Stossel is typically superficial, with no understanding of what being Indian means, or more importantly, what being Indian means to Indians.
And Indians just have to realize that other people don’t care about their own race as Indians care about ours. There is certainly very little racial pride in western culture, and in Amercia–especially when a Negro Attorney General intimidates anyone who wants to talk about race (and then calls them cowards if they don’t). But, whereas Negroes want to dominate, Indians are the true individualists, or the true “libertarians,” to use Stossel’s term. Indians don’t try to dominate other people. We never have. Indians are profoundly independent, contrary to Stossel’s superficial observations.
Stossel cops a libertarian view, and I’m not at all sure that it is truly American, and less sure that it could be considered patriotic. Love of country, after all, means love of people, as if the country were one’s extended family. This ideology of self-idolizing individuality as not all that useful to a country. It is an extraction and an exaggarated distortion of “freedom.” It has its functional place, in social reality, but, it isn’t the kind of doctrine you can hold a nation together with.
A nation requires a sacrifice of some of that libertarian individuality. Indians know all about sacrifice. Call it not communal welfare, but corporate individuality. That’s Indian life. The tribe is what’s important.
Yes, our tribes are deeply disturbed by avaricious “individuals” in our leadership, but that is a human failure. It is not the real Indian way. It is a mix of imitative white greed and inefficient government bureaucracy, indeed. But our leaders are a reflection of our own failure as Indian people today, the same as America’s leaders reflect the failure of American people.
In the end (as well as at the beginning) Stossel’s observations about Indians are subjective, inapposite, and ineffective, regardless of how entertaining they might seem. His observations about Indians are simply foreign.