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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

Measure to control Indian gaming is self-serving

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

- Associated Press

Back in 1999, California voters granted Indian tribes a monopoly on slot machines in the state. Since then, the public has watched with growing and justifiable dismay as state and local government leaders have groveled before the unchecked power of the tribes made rich by that monopoly.

The tribes have built casino empires up and down the state. In the process, they have enforced their will with little or no regard to the impacts on -- or wishes of -- state, city and county governments or their non-Indian neighbors.

In that environment, there is a natural appeal to an initiative that promises to force Indians to hand over a much larger percentage of their casino earnings to the state and obey environmental and campaign reporting laws.

Unfortunately, the initiative proposed, a constitutional amendment under review by the state Justice Department, won't rein in the tribes or squeeze more money for the state out of them, as its proponents promise. Its real goal is to give the initiative's backers a piece of the slot machine action.

Rob's comment
The language in the first couple paragraphs

is obviously stereotypical. It implies California's Indians—all of them—are rich, powerful, and out-of-control.

If the tribes' "power" is so "unchecked," why is Arnold Schwarzenegger governor rather than Cruz Bustamante? Actually, their alleged clout is checked by a lot of things. Among them are the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the compacts they signed, federal and state regulations, court rulings, and public opinion.

Related links
Have gaming tribes bought California for $120 million?  No
The facts about Indian gaming
Too-powerful Indians

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