And more snow related suffering…….

“In some areas homes have been without power since last November, facing record snowfalls and the collapsing infrastructure of America’s Midwestern water and power lines and disaster response systems.

“Power outages began with a storm in December knocking down around 5,000 power poles, and has been accelerated by an ice storm Jan. 22 knocking down another 3,000 power lines on the reservation.

“Frustration at the insufficient response of the Red Cross and governor’s office is mounting,” she added. “All of this while people sit without power, water and face food shortage.”

There is more snow-related devastation to report on, this time right here in the mid-west. Yet almost no one has heard about it. I can see why there was so little press about the dzud in Mongolia, but this is happening right here in our own backyard. I don’t want to pull the race card, but being a card-carrying member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, I fell like I have to call a spade a spade.

The news here in America is tiered according to race. When white children disappear, it makes the cover of Newsweek. When black children die in inner-cities, it barely makes the 6 o’clock news. And when thousands of Native Americans are left without power (heat), food and water, no one speaks at all. Scott Peterson got how much news coverage? How many unsolved murders were there that year?

Yes, I’m white. But that doesn’t mean that I want my news and information white-washed for me. Native Americans have suffered more than any other racial/ethnic group in the history of this continent, and they continue to be marginalized. I’m not one of those people who gets pissed off because there’s an NHL team in Chicago called “The Blackhawks”. But was does irk me is how my ancestor’s entire history, culture, and contribution to the world we live in today has been white-washed and almost completely written out of the history books. I’m also not one of those people who is going to get pissed off because you supported people in Haiti when they were in need. Compassion is compassion, and turning charity into a polarizing, fodder-for-more-partisianship mechanism is reckless and misguided. I’m all for helping out our fellow humans when we are in need, regarless of geography. But I will ask that you at least acknowledge the need right here in our own backyard.

Our culture is dying, our languages are fading away, our history has been all but lost to the great textbook publishers in Texas. Please don’t let our people suffer the same fate. You can donate to the local Red Cross here.




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6 responses to “And more snow related suffering…….

  1. I’m also white, and also have some Native American heritage. When you mention how so much of the American media outlets are “white-washed,” I completely agree. It took taking a multi-cultural counseling class in college, but I’m seeing it more and more everywhere I look. The States are a “melting pot,” as some have said, but what mixture is really coalescing in it these days?

  2. nathan

    You’re very right; there are a lot of imbalances when it comes to news reporting. A great example is crime reporting, where pictures of black male suspects almost always end up on TV screens and in newspapers, while it’s a coin toss whether you will see white male suspects attached to reports about the crimes they allegedly committed.

  3. I agree. We hve over 100 people in this area die from exposure due to heat being turned off or lack of shelter or medicine, and it ends up on page 10 of the paper. But God forbid the Presidential motorcade gets stuck for 10 minutes, PAGE 1 NEWS!!

    • An inconvience for someone “famous” is more newsworthy than the real suffering of ordinary citizens. Shameful really.

      We can’t just blame the media though, because they don’t report on “news” that people don’t want to line up to buy.

  4. No the media isn’t all to blame, people like sensationalism, and pay attention and buy those sorts of stories. Pretty sad when you really think about it.

  5. Elsa

    I’ve often applied the same logic to adopting children – why complain about how difficult the Chinese government makes it to bring a child back to the US, when there are so many children within 50 miles of you who would love to be part of a family? I know it makes us feel good to help people in places we consider “backward” or less developed, but what’s right under our noses deserves attention. Children, hungry people, those who suffer: they are among us. They are us.