Letter: Repeal recognition of tribal governments

"The sad fact is that American Indians were displaced by the successive pressures of the colonization, settlement and economic exploitation of North America. They lost a series of battles against soldiers and disease, and ultimately against the onslaught of a more advanced civilization. It is absurd to act as if the Indians didn't lose those battles and that war; to carve out an imaginary sovereign state belonging to them, the borders of which are continually shifting to the detriment of U.S. citizens; to include Indians as beneficiaries of U.S. social programs while exempting them from the obligations of their taxpaying neighbors; to allow their legal claims in U.S. courts while precluding claims against them; and to pretend they exercise a superior sort of stewardship over land or nature such that they can be made exempt from environmental regulation.

However unpopular it may be, we need to repeal the recognition of Indians and their Tribal Governments as a land within our land. The survivors of the lost Indian civilization can and should be made citizens, with the same rights and responsibilities as the rest of us. Their cultural heritage can be maintained just as well without tax- and regulation-exempt casinos and a free ride in matters of national security, economic infrastructure, social welfare and civil jurisprudence. Their well-being, and their right to cultural and ethnic self-determination and self-expression, don't require our paternalistic treatment of them as children whose rights we hold in trust."

Get the Story:
Andreas Danckers: Tribal 'Nations' Within U.S. Aren't Justified (The Wall Street Journal 10/20)

Related Stories:
WSJ: People can't sue tribal governments (10/12)
Joe Garcia: Tribal justice systems not a 'quirk' (2/12)
WSJ: Indian Civil Rights Act a little-known 'quirk' (2/1)

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