Another Stereotype of the Month entry:
Schwarzenegger and the Indians
By David Yeagley
FrontPageMagazine.com | November 3, 2004
"The Indian gaming tribes…are trying to rip off California," says the state's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. State Proposition 70, through which California Indian gaming tribes are attempting to evade the governor's casino management proposals, would give unlimited expansion rights to certain tribes. They accused Schwarzenegger of racism, and disguise their attempts at law-evasion under the cover of "Indian sovereignty."
Casino Indians are turning Americans against Indians, and the Indian cry of "racism" is an empty echo in this circumstance, not because racism doesn't exist, but because here the accusation is false and disingenuous. California casino Indians are clearly in the wrong, and making fools of Indians everywhere.
This has been my fear for some time. Two-and-a-half years ago I posted my first article on the ill-effects of Indian casinos. Other articles followed. Now with Governor Schwarzenegger's public pronouncement, my concerns are obviously justified. I have ‘prophesied' that casinos would be the ruination of Indians, and California is the beginning of the end. Indian sovereignty will be lost altogether, because of its blatant abuse.
But who's really abusing it? Is it just the Indians who are trying to rip off California?
Not exactly. It's white politicians like Senator Barbara Boxer, white syndicate operators like Stations Casinos, and white land developers and contractors like Jimmie Rogers and Redwood Equities, who are the movers and the shakers. Indians are only tools in the grand money-making schemes of these whites. People like Gregg Sarris, the only "Indian leader" in history who has provided no evidence whatsoever of his Indian heritage, are only useful idiots in the hands of the irresponsible, careless "entrepreneurs."
Aside from this true picture of the racial element in the casino wars, the fact is the reputation of Indians has gone from bad to worse. The tide is turning against Indians, due to the foul play associated with uncontrolled gambling, and the host of social ills concomitant with that.
My concern is such that, after speaking at Rohnert Park, California (July 13, 2004), I began sketching out a proposal for the financial management of Indian casino money. That proposal was based on my FrontPage article, "An Indian National Bank." The proposal was presented to Peter Siggins, legal advisor to Schwarzenegger, on October 20, 2004.
The proposal suggests nine points:
1) The American Indian Bank. All incoming revenue from Indian casinos shall be deposited in the AIB. Thus, accountability may be more readily assured.
2) Moratorium on Federal Recognition. There can be no more "tribes" popping up in California, at least for the time being, until the casino management system can be put in place.
3) Accountability for Tribal Leadership. No tribal laws must be occasion for abuse of tribal members, or of non-tribal neighbors. Such tribal law is subject to the laws of the United States, as well as to the states in which the tribes are located.
4) Casino Money Management. An independent management source must oversee all casino operations. This can be neither the US government, nor the casino companies, nor the Indians.
5) Casino by Law. Casinos are to be permitted only by law. Tribal constitutions must be able to accommodate the complexities of modernity, and until such constitutions exist, no casinos shall be allowed, and then only under the most careful independent management and oversight.
6) Mandated Indian Casino Bank. To tribe shall be allowed to have a casino unless the profits are deposited in the Indian bank. The bank must develop on a competitive basis, and eventually might replace much of ill-performed responsibilities of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
7) Casino Controls. A serious of controls will insure equity: a) Passports should be required to enter any Indian land (for both Indian and non-Indian visitors). This is a tariff opportunity; b) each casino must have its own unique currency, to eliminate fraud; c) tariff on casino currency when exchanged back into American dollars.
8) Equity among Tribes. Federal recognition is based on a historically earned status. It is not the occasion to award one tribe while ignoring another. Casinos are an opportunity through federal recognition; therefore, all tribes are equal. The profits of casinos must be distributed throughout all Indian country, and no tribe shall be left out, simply because of its isolated geographical location and lack of casino opportunity.
9) Casino Revenue vs. BIA Budget. It is possible that the revenue of casinos, as managed by the proposed Indian Bank, might eventually replace the BIA altogether.
More details will be forthcoming.
The bottom line is Schwarzenegger is only partly right: These "Indian" leaders are trying to rip off other Indians, too.
Dr. David A. Yeagley is a published scholar, professionally recorded composer, and an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Liberal Studies. He's on the speakers list of Young America's Foundation. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. View his website at http://www.badeagle.com.
Once again Yeagley insults and stereotypes California's Indians. This time he calls them crooks (law evaders) and simpletons ("useful idiots"):
>> "The Indian gaming tribes…are trying to rip off California," says the state's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. State Proposition 70, through which California Indian gaming tribes are attempting to evade the governor's casino management proposals, would give unlimited expansion rights to certain tribes. They accused Schwarzenegger of racism, and disguise their attempts at law-evasion under the cover of "Indian sovereignty." <<
How many stupid statements can you find in one Yeagley paragraph?
One, what Schwarzenegger says is his opinion, not a fact.
Two, evading Schwarzenegger's "proposals" isn't the same as evading the law. Anyone who's negotiating a deal can "evade" an onerous or unfair proposal they don't like.
Three, Prop. 70 would've given tribes "expansion rights" on their reservations for 99 years. That's neither geographically nor chronologically "unlimited."
Four, the tribes' accusations of racism were accurate, since Schwarzenegger castigated the entire race—not California's gaming tribes only. See Schwarzenegger: Indians Full of "Greed," "Ripping Us Off" for details.
Five, gaming tribes aren't disguising anything. They're sincerely concerned about weakening their inherent sovereignty. Almost every expert thinks Arnold's proposals do just that, which is why so many tribes oppose them.
>> Casino Indians are turning Americans against Indians <<
So half of America's Indians are turning the nation against all Indians? Because—although Yeagley doesn't seem to understand this—almost half the nation's tribes conduct gaming. That includes almost all the well-known tribal groups: Lakota, Cherokee, Apache, Blackfeet, Ojibwe, Iroquois (Seneca, Oneida, et al.), and Pueblos (Acoma, Isleta, et al.). It includes Yeagley's own Comanche. Even the Navajo, the biggest holdouts so far, are contemplating gaming.
When most people think of Indians, they think of the Lakota, Cherokee, and Apache. So the most well-known Indians are turning Americans against the same well-known Indians? As usual with Yeagley's claims, that makes no sense.
What Yeagley really means is that they're redefining their image, raising their profile, and some people don't like that. Americans were happy with Indians when they were poor and vanishing. Now that they're sticking around, moving into their neighborhoods, marrying their daughters, etc., these people are upset. It's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? all over again.
>> here the accusation is false and disingenuous. California casino Indians are clearly in the wrong <<
No, the accusation is true and California's "casino Indians" are in the right. Yeagley's the only one who's wrong here.
Notice that Yeagley doesn't prove or even substantiate his charges in this essay. That's typical of his weak writing. If you want proof that Yeagley's wrong, see all his pathetic essays at Yeagley the Indian Apple.
Notice also that Yeagley refers only to California's gaming tribes, as if they're the only ones conducting gaming. Previously he's also referred to Connecticut's tribes—but no others. It's as if he skimmed a couple of articles on California and Connecticut gaming and a light bulb went on over his head. "Here's a new way to attack Indians and peddle my anti-Indian agenda."
Minnesota and other states are trying the same thing California is trying—namely, to tax Indian casinos to make up for budget shortfalls. Since this is illegal under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), tribes are rightly opposing it. How it is evading the law to insist on the validity of an act of Congress?
Apparently Yeagley is unaware of anything beyond the articles he's skimmed. Apparently he has no clue what's happening in any state but California or Connecticut. He's a dilettante and one should dismiss his opinions accordingly.
>> and making fools of Indians everywhere <<
By earning millions while alleviating their poverty, preserving their cultures, and protecting their sovereignty, gaming Indians are certainly making a fool of Yeagley.
>> Two-and-a-half years ago I posted my first article on the ill-effects of Indian casinos. <<
"Two-and-a-half years" ago...big deal. Since Indian gaming has been fully recognized as legal since IGRA passed in 1988, that's not saying much.
In fact, Yeagley's admitting he's a newcomer to the issue. Some 14 years after the present renaissance of Indian gaming began, Yeagley hopped on the anti-gaming bandwagon. Not until legions of critics attacked it did he chime in.
Along with Time magazine and the Wall Street Journal, Schwarzenegger has made it safe to slam gaming tribes. Apparently Yeagley wasn't brave enough to take a stand until he could do so from behind Arnold's muscles. So this "me too" hack finally dares to come out of the closet and agree with the prevailing prejudice against Indians.
If this isn't the textbook definition of "opportunist," I don't know what is.
>> Now with Governor Schwarzenegger's public pronouncement, my concerns are obviously justified. <<
"Obviously"...if you believe actors, muscle men, and sexual predators know more about Indian gaming than lawyers, academics, and tribal leaders. Now you know why I call Yeagley an "apple"—red on the outside, white on the inside. He gives more credence to the son of a Nazi than he does to any Indian involved in gaming. He'll quote an uneducated bodybuilder but not, say, an Indian lawyer or professor with decades in the business.
Indian sovereignty threatened...by Yeagley
>> Indian sovereignty will be lost altogether, because of its blatant abuse. <<
Yes, some thoughtful critics have said that gaming—especially the compacts that impose taxation and regulation on tribes—are weakening tribal sovereignty. Yeagley isn't one of them.
>> It's white politicians like Senator Barbara Boxer, white syndicate operators like Stations Casinos, and white land developers and contractors like Jimmie Rogers and Redwood Equities, who are the movers and the shakers. <<
For the actual story on Sen. Boxer, see Golab: "Sovereignty Is a Concept...That No Longer Works".
These non-Indian parties are involved with three or four out of the 50-plus California tribes pursuing gaming. The other 50-plus tribes have no connection to the alleged "movers and shakers." None that Yeagley can identify, anyway. Who does he think controls such major casinos as Pechanga, San Manuel, Agua Caliente, and Morongo...Donald Trump?
>> Indians are only tools in the grand money-making schemes of these whites. <<
Said the tool who is "on the speakers list of Young America's Foundation" and writes articles for conservative organizations. These people couldn't possible want to make money by using Yeagley to attack their challengers, could they? That is, to attack those who champion compassion, community, and conservation over selfishness, greed, and exploitation? Nahhh.
Yeagley's opinion of his fellow Indians—assuming he actually is an Indian—is telling. According to him, the majority of California's Indians are "useful idiots." Does something make Indians in California idiotic—the air or water, perhaps? Or is Yeagley filled with self-loathing for any Indian (like him) who has moved beyond buckskins and war paint?
>> The tide is turning against Indians, due to the foul play associated with uncontrolled gambling, and the host of social ills concomitant with that. <<
The tide is turning because ignoramuses like Yeagley keep attacking Indian gaming as corrupt and unholy. Read his essay carefully. Does he say one positive word about Indian gaming? No. He's against Indians bettering themselves and wants to destroy their economies. He's stooging for rich white Americans who see resurgent Indian nations as a threat.
His sophistry is obvious if you think about it. If he's upset by the social ills of gambling, why attack Indian casinos, which control only 20% of the market? Why not attack Las Vegas and Atlantic City?
If he supports Indian gaming generally but is upset by the problems in California, why not talk about all the places where Indian gaming is working? Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin...does Yeagley think any Indian casinos are an unqualified success? Is any state overseeing Indian gaming properly?
Obviously not, or he'd say so. So Yeagley supports corporate gaming and opposes Indian gaming but is too yellow to admit it publicly. Well, I've just figured out his positions for him. No need for thanks, Yeagley; it's all part of the service.
>> My concern is such that, after speaking at Rohnert Park, California (July 13, 2004), I began sketching out a proposal for the financial management of Indian casino money. <<
"Sketching out" makes it sounds as if the proposal might have some substance. "Drawing with crayons" is more like it.
Economically, Yeagley's proposals are nonstarters. Suffice it to say that there are several Indian-run banks already. Any of these could perform the functions Yeagley claims are needed (but aren't).
Politically, his proposals are also nonstarters. Indians have no desire to weaken their sovereignty or give up the BIA. The latter move would be foolhardy since the BIA gives Indians a voice at the highest levels of government.
In short, Yeagley's proposals are useless if not counterproductive. No other Indians have seconded them motions because they all know better.
In particular, Yeagley has no grasp of what sovereignty means. He wants the word to continue existing, I guess, while he guts the concept. Tribal law would be completely subject to federal and state law...casinos couldn't exist unless they were subject to invasive oversight...gaming profits would be taken from tribes that earned them and given to others. In what way would a Yeagley tribe still be sovereign, since it wouldn't be sovereign in any traditional sense?
>> The profits of casinos must be distributed throughout all Indian country, and no tribe shall be left out, simply because of its isolated geographical location and lack of casino opportunity. <<
Why stop with the profits of Indian casinos? Let's apply this radical socialist notion to all casinos. No, to all businesses. No, to all nations. Why should nation, business, tribe, or casino be richer than any other?
>> These "Indian" leaders are trying to rip off other Indians, too. <<
Yeagley's final unsubstantiated opinion. What are California's gaming tribes taking from other states' gaming tribes? What are they taking from California's nongaming tribes? Anything?
About the only thing Yeagley has hinted at is a loss of honor or reputation. That's his opinion and nothing more, of course. But "ripping off" refers to a tangible loss. What tangible asset are California's gaming tribes "ripping off" from other Indians, pray tell?
Don't bother holding your breath for an answer. Yeagley doesn't have one.
Yeagley the Indian apple
The facts about Indian gaming
. . .
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