Telling the truth could cost ya

American cable tv news is incredibly polarized in 2018. Evidence of that polarization was dramatically present this last week after pipe bombs were mailed to Democratic ex-presidents Bill Clinton, Barak Obama, his supporters and CNNs New York and Atlanta headquarters. Journalists and analysts targeted by radical supporters of Donald Trump. A second instance of a Trump supporter turning violent played out after 18 people were shot in a mass attack on a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburg.

It is a scary world when efforts of a “side” take root so much in the soil of an unwell person that violence erupts. Maybe this is the kind of ‘war’ and ‘cannibalism’ our ancestors spoke about when they were given the Great Law of Peace.

It is good to have a variety of opinion. It is healthy to voice differences of perspective. Seeing things differently doesn’t mean we are unwell politically — it means that we are in the beginning stages of reclaiming our political identities as a community and working it out.

That is to say that in order to come together as one mind, we need to first be safe to express our minds by using our voices, so that we can sort out the best of thoughts and come together at peace to a greater and collective consensus. This is what having a good mind is all about.

The job of the press is integral in today’s world to helping that good mind be healthy. We have been tasked with bringing the stories of the people, to the people. And restricting access to the press — or attacking the freedom of our stories in any means is an attack on our political and social well-being as indigenous people.

TRT Columnist Rachel Snow is facing a similar attack this week. Her efforts to inform the her home community of Stoney Nakoda on the unspoken facts behind a land designation issue via a social media page resulted in the grandmother being hit with a $1 million dollar lawsuit by the band’s elected council — claiming defamation.

This kind of heavy handed action against a band member for statements made on social media is weak, divisive and just plain cheap.

By the way, that campaign Snow created ended up helping to halt the land designation vote in her community.

When it comes to internal on-rez politics: we all deserve an opinion and we all deserve to voice those thoughts. We all, as indigenous people, deserve a platform to share our opinions and voices. We don’t all have to agree. We are not a homogenous pan-Indian society. We are vibrant and brave and smart and (relatively) free.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *