Simon Moya-Smith: Too few Native Americans in journalism

Simon Moya-Smith discusses the reaction in the media to racist comments made by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson in Michigan:
Just then, mid-interview, the spirit of Jackson and Custer and Lincoln began to twerk on his tongue to the beat of the ol’ American tune. Patterson pierced:

“I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass. I said, ‘What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and the corn.’”

Jesus!, I thought. This man just called for the death of everyone in Detroit! Oh, God, please, I implored, let a single big-name news broadcaster catch this direct reference to germ warfare! But I knew all too well what was already being drafted.

My fellow journos of the non-Native kind courted his two cents re: commerce and not his racist bellow. To wit:

On Jan. 20, ABC 7 Action News reported – in its lead paragraph – that “Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is facing some heat for comments he said about Detroit in a national magazine.”

… For comments he said about Detroit, folks. Not for his blatantly racist remarks and his what-should’ve-been-obvious call for extermination.

Get the Story:
Simon Moya-Smith: We Have a Problem: Too Few Native Journalists (Indian Country Today 1/22)

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