It was interesting to read of the pope’s Mexico visit. Especially his taking to task the Mexican government regarding its treatment of native peoples in that country. Very nice. Except. Where was his holiness’ voice while he was in the U.S.? He had nothing to say here about treatment of native peoples in this country. And believe me when I say that the abuses are not of just the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, they have existed into the latter years of the 20th century and into the 21st century.
It took until 2016 for the Pamunkey nation to gain federal status. And these are a people who date back to the days of the Jamestown invaders and Pocahontas. Who were the ones most against such recognition? Gambling interests in Maryland.
White governments are so afraid of native nations opening casinos on their land. Why? Because it can mean the people on the reservation may not need to be so dependent on the largesse of said governments. And the Maryland interests are so afraid that if the Pamunkey decide to build a casino (and they currently have no such plans) it will take away some profits. Yeah, right. The large gambling population in and around Metropolitan Washington, D.C., is going to drive down toward Richmond to gamble instead of going across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to a casino at National Harbor. Get real!
Back in the 1970s big coal, in collusion with the white-run Bureau of Indian Affairs, shafted the Navajo people out of their treaty lands in order to dig up the coal therein. People lost their homes, sheep, etc. in that land grab. One of the big polluters in this country has been the Four Corners power plant in the Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming area.
I could go on ad infinitum about such things. But bottom line is that his holiness said nothing to the U.S. government about such. Instead, he intends to make a saint of a priest who had a hand in the killing of thousands of native peoples in what is now California.
Bob Brookfield, Wardensville, West Virginia
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