The Politics of Land and Bigotry
On March 8, 1996, the Center for World Indigenous Studies convened a conference at the Day Break Star Center in Seattle to consider strategies for a new public consensus about constructive environmental policies and cooperative relations between Indian nations and the people of the United States. As a participant in The Politics of Land and Bigotry conference, I joined in the dialogue about the portentous movements in America intent on promoting interracial discord and a growing politics of fear. As we considered strategies and new proposals for forging a coalition actively committed to achieving a new public consensus, we listened to reports and recommendations on the Wise Use Movement, the Anti-Indian Movement, the future role of Indian governments, the politics of racial division and the political polarization in America.
Co-sponsors of the conference for forging a new coalition committed to countering interracial discord and the politics of fear included the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, noted in my June 1, 2013 article Northwest Indians Oppose Transport and Export of Fossil Fuels.
Today, the politics of land and bigotry promoted by Wall Street, Tea Parties and Christian Patriots again threatens the Salish Sea region between Seattle and Vancouver. As a fascist movement against environmentalists and indigenous peoples, the Wall Street/Tea Party convergence is counting on intimidation and thuggery to maintain power and privileges based on wealth and race. Unless moral authorities once again step forward to protect activists and journalists who support Coast Salish nations in their quest to save the Salish Sea, threats like the one noted in my February 8, 2014 IC Magazine editorial Gateway Pacific Terminal Consultant Threatens Journalists will be emulated by the Tea Party and Christian Right. Shining a light on organized racism is our job; excoriating the groups, individuals and politicians “who breathe life into that racism and resentment” is theirs.