Arts & Entertainment | Opinion

Charles Kader: Author fails in attempted 'Takedown' of Mohawk people






An aerial view of the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation in New York. The area pictured is the Hogansburg Dam, which the tribe started removing in July 2016. Photo by St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

Charles Kader, a member of St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, offers a review of Takedown: A Small-Town Cop's Battle Against the Hells Angels and the Nation's Biggest Drug Gang, a book that he says paints an unfair portrait of the reservation in New York:
I took great offense at the broad brush stroke of the authors in demonizing the residents of Akwesasne. Claims that 80% of the community members are illicit smugglers lack any citation. The repeating of the unfounded claim that 9/11 hijackers passed through the border here in 2001 is embraced by Buck personally to this day. From these inaccuracies, I consider the book research to be uneven.

A claim is also made that elected Mohawk tribal leaders are behind the criminal tide engulfing this disputed area of the international border. Again, no basis for prosecution is offered. Therefore, the comments in this book should not be considered quote-worthy or compelling.

. . .

Equally off-base was slamming the Mohawk tribe and their website for claiming to be building a better tomorrow. The paragraph was as disparaging as any passage in the book. While the tribe declined to comment for this piece, my advice to them was to shoot down any unfounded accusations forthwith and posthaste. In treacherous political times such as these, you never know where the quotes might come from.

In a perfect world, law and order zealots like Jeff Buck would be invaluable to address the dispossession of Native original land base territories since 1492. In my view the U.S. criminal justice system chooses to prosecute the latest infractions, without regard for those earliest ones transgressed against the original American peoples.

This is another form of avoidance theory. It has been deliberately imposed in a form of social disorder with an outcome that sees age old loss normalized and economically indemnified. Deal with it is the official suggestion. Yet, it is the one example that many point to even today to illustrate the incrementalism of modern Big government. “Look what they did to the Indians; they can do it to us…” In Takedown, Jeff Buck thought he could still do it to the Mohawks. And there, like the book, is where he failed.

Get the Story:
Charles Kader: 'Takedown': A Book Review With Global Social Lessons (Indian Country Today 8/4)