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Kearns and Sons

Racist comments don’t represent majority

By Archie L. Thomas & Merry E. Schrumpf, Corvallis

We are saddened and offended by the public death of our community values, respect and common courtesy as revealed in recent discussions with Native Americans at the hands of our county commissioners and planning board chairman.

Many within this community worship a carpenter under the symbol of a cross and others’ forefathers followed Brigham Young across the western wilderness to settle by a little known salt lake. Would we individually or as a community be insulted if asked, “Why do we worship a carpenter or why this cross symbol anyway? Aren’t there billions of other slats of wood to worship? And how enlightening is it to settle in a desert by a salt lake? Why do members of our community get drunk at Darby Logger Days, Bitter Root Brew Fest, or the Creamery Picnic? And how does this behavior affect Havre, Montana during discussions with a native people our population displaced at gun point over a hundred years ago?” Should we be asking ourselves, what is the difference or similarity between this approach to local governance and the racist environment of the 1960s in Mississippi?

As appalling as these insensitive religious and racist statements are by public officials, the same statements are amplified tenfold by the silence of the other public officials present who did not object.
This is not the first nor will it be the last time citizens will come before this commission with a “good heart” only to find “bad faith.”

5 Responses to Racist comments don’t represent majority
  1. Howard
    November 27, 2013 | 4:14 pm

    Mike, Since all humans originated in Africa, do you refer to yourself as an African-American?

    • Mike in Stevensville
      November 27, 2013 | 8:45 pm

      No. I was born in America (which, by definition, makes me a Native American). I claim, simply, to be “American”.

      What about you, Howard?

  2. orion
    November 27, 2013 | 12:33 am

    So Mike, and your point is? Do you simply not have the capacity to understand that we call these peoples Native Americans for two reasons. First, they were here long before Europeans. Second, most of us with any sensibility just wanted a better name than Indians. The latter is of course even more inaccurate. Most of us understand it is not an absolute term. How far back do you want to go? We all originated either in the fertile crescent or Africa. It’s just a name pal – but it does imply some senior rights of possession which, though if it applied to you, you would say are god-given – yet the white man chose to disregard them in their case. I see your comment being just as mean and bigoted as those recently expressed by Wisniewski, and members of the BCC. Just what exactly is the nature of the grudge you carry?

    • Mike in Stevensville
      November 27, 2013 | 3:07 am

      Asking people to be scientifically and history correct is a grudge, in your opinion?

      Your comments about going back far enough only serve to prove my point that we, all peoples, are wanderers.

      And if it’s “just a name pal”, what is your concern over my (again) request?

  3. Mike in Stevensville
    November 26, 2013 | 9:23 pm

    There is no such thing as “native” American. It is a scientific and historical FACT that ALL peoples wandered to this continent from other continents. That makes every single group of peoples in this country, no matter when, where, or how, they arrived, IMMIGRANTS.

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