Friday, November 20, 2009
Well it took all of about two minutes for law makers in Washington to push the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act through committee and on to the full Senate for vote. I have written extensively on the PACT Act already so I won't belabor the point again.
Native People are right to be pissed. The racist attitudes that prevail in Albany and Washington are consistent and historic in their nature. All those Hope and Change Indians who fell in love with Barack Obama will have an opportunity to see their confidence betrayed when he signs the bill into law, eliminating jobs and crushing the Native economies that have depended on the USPS for delivering legal products for their customers. The reality is that this 44th Rahnatakaias should at least make a token gesture and veto this bill. The Senate has enough votes to override it anyway. Failure to do so will demonstrate how meaningless our lives are to him and his agenda.
So where do we go from here? Do we take any lessons away from any of this? I hope as we go forward that our people can set aside our differences to stand together and fight for our issues. This time we saw Philip Morris standing side by side with health organizations to endorse and, in some cases, literally write legislation against us while we couldn't demonstrate enough unity to pull Marlboros from our shelves. To all those who expected someone else to fight for them, whether it was their Nation or tribal council or their richer neighbor down the road, I hope the next battle pulls you in. We don't need leadership, we need participation. A room full of tribal councilors and prominant businessmen can't compare to the 5,000 who marched on Albany in '97 and why not 10,000. The next time I hope that rather than criticizing how the battle was fought by others or anyone thinking that they knew far too much to consult with others, that we can work together for a common cause and recognize who the enemy is.