Anti-Indian Strategy

Anti-Indian Strategy

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April 18, 2013

In the conclusion of Drumming Up Resentment, Ken Toole remarked that the public education system is doing a woefully inadequate job of providing information to students on Indian issues. The result, he says, is that citizens are increasingly ignorant about treaty rights and tribal sovereignty. This, he warns, makes them far more vulnerable to the politics of resentment offered up by the Anti-Indian Movement.

Capitalizing on that ignorance, right-wing media is able to help hate campaign organizers mobilize that resentment into the electoral arena, riding on fear and anger stoked by ideologues and pundits into seething “white rage.” With industry funding and movement organizing, that racist rage becomes an effective, albeit lethal, Anti-Indian Pathogen. Given this scenario, the following outline of how one right-wing radio station strategically stoked anti-Indian resentment is perhaps instructive.

Looking at the sequence of the Wealth Wake Up show on KGMI, leading up to the April 6 Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA) Anti-Indian Conference, you can see that on 3/23/13, show host Dick Donohue had on Craig Cole, the mouthpiece for Gateway Pacific Terminal, promoting the hope for economic salvation posed by the coal export terminal (opposed by Lummi Indian Nation). Next, on 3/30/13, Donohue interviewed CERA board member and Minuteman Tom Williams, who promoted the untrue idea that Indians have citizenship privileges without paying taxes. On 4/6/13, Donohue and Tea Party activist Kris Halterman interviewed CERA board member Elaine Willman live at the conference, who characterized tribes as casino bullies using their financial muscle to take half the water. (See Cascadia Weekly for background on this.)
On the Radio Real Estate show at KGMI on 3/23/13, show host Mike Kent also interviewed Craig Cole, who promoted the idea that supporting Gateway Pacific Terminal was a patriotic duty to save the American economy. While Cole did not say it, the implication is that Lummi Indian Nation opposition to GPT thus makes them unpatriotic, or un-American.
On the November 3, 2012 episode of the KGMI show Saturday Morning Live, hosted by Tea Party activist Kris Halterman, CERA board member Elaine Willman was interviewed by phone from Wisconsin, stating that, “tribalism is socialism, and has no place in our country.” On 3/30/13, Halterman had Willman back on her show to promote the idea that the state, feds, and tribes are secretly colluding to take down Washington state, and that the CERA conference in one week’s time would teach citizens, “how to take on tribal governments.”

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