Another Stereotype of the Month entry:
From Carole Levine of NativeVue.org:
Trashing Indians for Fame and Profit: Just Say No, and Now
I'm not politically correct and I bristle when unscrupulous race-baiters spirit a legitimate debate and frame their opponents as bigots when it may simply be a case of philosophical differences. It cheapens the argument and worse-it inures the public to genuine instances of intolerance and allows hatemongers to lurk in the shadows.
All the more reason to expose true racists before they scuttle to the corners like the cockroaches they are. Yes, we have free speech. But anyone who knows history is equally aware of the dangers of vile demagoguery shrieked by the likes Father Coughlin in the 1930's or more recently, George Wallace, David Duke, and Louis Farrakhan.
Unfortunately, contemporary talk radio has given a megaphone to more than its share of these losers. Most, thankfully, are dismissed as loonfests. Occasionally, however, the proponents of hate speech have developed a more sophisticated demeanor; that is, they have toned down the wild-eyed rages and have infused just enough "humor" into their tirades to make it entertaining for mass appeal. And corporate big media, God bless 'em, if they find a demagogue with a smile and friendly handshake, he will be packaged to makes oodles of cash for the conglomerate stockholders.
Meet talk radio's latest poster boy, Glenn Beck.
Glenn, for those of you who don't know, can be heard on more than 200 stations and on XM radio throughout North America with pithy observations such as calling hurricane Katrina victims "scumbags" while disparaging 9-11 families and playfully threatening to "kill" filmmaker Michael Moore. (Okay, I can't stomach the bloated ass either but these kinds of remarks make Moore look, dare I say...sympathetic.)
Now he's added Indians to his ever-expanding list of people to ridicule for fame and fortune. Here's a sample of comments he made this past week regarding a move by Lakota officials to establish an abortion clinic on the Pine Ridge reservation in response to the recent South Dakota anti-abortion legislation.
BECK: Whatever happened to the Indians? You know, they were celebrating Mother Earth and Father Sky or whatever it is, and that was beautiful and special. Now, it's about gaming, alcohol, fireworks, and abortions. I mean, what happened to the proud Indian?...
I mean, you know, I'm bringing this up not because I have, you know, huge opposition to keno — casinos and Indian trinket shops; don't get me wrong here. I bring it up because, you know, the Indians are using the whole "You took our land [sobbing]...
I think they're taking that a little too far, don't you? I mean, South Dakota about to pass the no-abortion thing, so the women in the tribe — in fact, let me get this straight, the — it's Fire Thunder, that's her — I don't know whether that's her last name or her middle and last name. It's Cecilia Fire Thunder. So — anyway, she says she wants to open up the abortion clinics on the Indians' land, and I mean — how good do you feel about giving away the sovereignty now? I mean, when I say we gave them sovereignty, I mean it's, you know, more in a way like, you know, we took their sovereignty and then loaned them a little bit of it back, but you know what I mean. I hope that contract isn't iron-clad — when are we gonna get out of that contract with the Indians?...
But I mean, can you really set up anything you want now on these reservations? South Dakota really — they have their hands tied, you know? Otherwise, the Indians will have found something that can be more profitable than casinos, and that's abortion clinics. And then, look out, man — exploiting everything illegal for profit. That's what — I mean, is that what the Indians have turned into?
On the face of it, you might say...so what. He's running a freak show for freaks. Problem is, like Jerry Springer's exploitation of the intellectually and morally challenged, lots of people LISTEN AND SOAK UP this stuff. It's scary, really. For that reason, there comes a time when decent folks-red state, blue state, all ethnicities, progressives and religious fundamentalists alike, come to the realization that this kind of rhetoric is despicable and harmful and must stop. Now.
The efforts of so many to build a viable, dignified, accurate, and multi-dimensional portrayal of Indigenous people after centuries of cultural and physical decimation demand that the Glenn Beck's of the world be exposed and delegitimized. So let's do our part in any way we can. Contact Beck's media patriarchs to express our disgust with his verbal vomit.
Do I expect the talk radio world to turn on its axis and see the error of its ways? Not yet. But then again, 50 years ago Rosa Parks just rested her tired feet on a city bus.
HERE'S HOW YOU CAN RESPOND...
Glenn Beck's Website: www.glennbeck.com
Glenn Beck Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Domestic Affiliate Relations The Glenn Beck Program: email@example.com
Premiere Radio Networks, Inc. 15260 Ventura Blvd. 5th Floor Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 Main: (818)377-5300 Fax: (818) 377-5333 Toll Free: (800) 533-8686
XM Radio Contact Page: http://www.xmradio.com/corporate_info/location.html
Abortion is legal in most of the country. The state of South Dakota is the odd man out here, not the Oglala Sioux. By passing an abortion ban that defies Roe v. Wade, the state is trying to subvert the law of the land.
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