Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tribune Editorial: Hatch continues to belittle Native Americans in Bears Ears dispute

No, Sen. Hatch, we won't just take your word for it. Utah's senior senator put his foot very firmly into his mouth Monday by attacking the intelligence and the integrity of the five Native American nations whose elected leaders joined together to work for and, in the final days of the Obama administration, win national monument status for 1.35 million acres in southeast Utah known as Bears Ears. This patronizing, condescending — if not downright racist — theme has been a constant throughout the debate over the monument plan. The five nations, and their supporters from many other tribes, are cruelly dismissed as dupes, pawns, unwitting tools of far-away radical environmentalists who must be fooling the tribes, paying them off, or both...more

The Tribune is playing this for all it's worth: 

Zinke made some hopeful noises about meeting with people on both sides of the issue, including the tribes whose leaders sought the designation. But the focus of his attention has been on the anti-monument side, state and local officials who drone on about federal overreach while disrespecting the Indians and clinging to pie-in-the-sky dreams about some fossil fuel or mining bonanza that will fall from the skies if the monument goes away.

The Tribune sees the political stars are aligning against this abuse of the Antiquities Act and Hatch's ignorant comment has given them the opportunity to play the race card. Now, all of a sudden, racism has "been a constant throughout the debate", whities don't voice opinions, they "drone on" about the issues, and they don't have economic aspirations, but instead cling to "pie-in-the-sky dreams."

Shame on Hatch for his comments, and shame on the Tribune for trying to make this a race issue.

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