Tex Hall: US helped tribes with broken treaties, promises

"Recently on the Fox News Channel, contributor John Stossel offered up this gem of ignorance:

“Why is there a Bureau of Indian Affairs?” he said. “There is no Bureau of Puerto Rican Affairs or Black Affairs or Irish Affairs. And no group in America has been more helped by the government than the American Indians, because we have the treaties, we stole their land. But 200 years later, no group does worse.”

Stossel’s stubborn ignorance of American history is profound. Even by cable TV standards.

He wonders why there is Bureau of Indian Affairs? Perhaps if he had cracked a history book back in high school, he would have learned that the BIA was established in 1824 as part of the United States Department of War.

Right, the Department of War. That wouldn’t have been our first choice either. I’m pretty sure the Puerto Rican, Black, or Irish would have enthusiastically turned down the rights to their own bureau in the Department of War under similar circumstances.

But it is Stossel’s foolish use of the word “helped” that unintentionally (and unfortunately) reminds us of our history."

Get the Story:
Tex Hall: Stossel’s No Apostle (Indian Country Today 4/15)

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