Terese Marie Mailhot: Sorry but Jill Stein isn't Indian Country's ally

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein speaks with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II on September 6, 2016. Photo by Jill Stein

Jill Stein, the Green Party's nominee for president, was charged in North Dakota for taking a stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline. But what has she accomplished for Indian Country? Writer Terese Marie Mailhot (Seabird Island Band) wants to know:
In this coming election Jill Stein has become a legitimate candidate for Native people. Our options are slim: Trump, being evil incarnate, Hillary, being morally ambiguous, and Gary Johnson—a running joke well on his way to obscurity. It’s like picking through the dregs of leftover Halloween candy three weeks into December.

Jill Stein is that white girl who goes to Native functions and gets so outlandish the cops show up and arrest everyone but her. She looked absolutely thrilled to write graffiti on a bulldozer at recent protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. I’m familiar with that face. It’s the face of a tourist when they get to smudge themselves at our gatherings, or look at our regalia, or, really do anything that makes for good dinner party fodder, or a compelling Facebook status. Stein gets to congratulate herself and benefit from the exposure, but what has she actually accomplished for Native people?

Why are people acting like she’s not an Ivy League graduate and isn’t estimated to be worth millions? She won’t produce her tax returns in their entirety. She grew up in affluence and she lives in affluence. She’s the only candidate who cares about Indigenous people, but is that enough? Aren’t we familiar with how privileged white people help our community? It becomes paternalistic, nearsighted, and downright insulting. I don’t need a tourist to better my circumstance. A true ally doesn’t pose for pictures or walk in the front of the march.

Read More:
Terese Mailhot: Jill Stein, Let’s See Your Shot Records (Indian Country Today 10/13)

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