Chairman Mark Fox of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, left, on an aerial tour of North Dakota with James Comey, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Photo: FBI

Gyasi Ross: Fired FBI director made sure Leonard Peltier stayed in prison

The surprising firing of the nation's top law enforcement official set off outrage this month. But Gyasi Ross, the editor at large for Indian Country Media Network, isn't sad to see James Comey go, noting that the FBI has brought little justice to tribal communities:
I’ve seen so many calls for the FBI to be able to do its job as if it’s the FBI’s job to find justice. I’ve seen those calls from white people, from people of color and from Native people. Let’s be clear: the FBI does not find or work toward justice. It never has. In fact, the FBI has affirmatively and aggressively moved against many individuals and Native and non-Native groups that were working toward justice and thus made justice less accessible.

From AIM to Leonard Peltier to Hank Adams, the FBI has certainly waged war on Native people. It was not a covert war by the way—as Norman Zigrossi the former assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Rapid City office told Rolling Stone magazine in 1977, “They are a conquered nation and when you are conquered, the people you are conquered by dictate your future…If I’m part of a conquered nation, I’ve got to yield to authority… (the FBI) must function as a colonial police force.”

That is largely what the FBI has functioned as for Native people as well as other communities of color: a colonial police force. The agency, and the federal government in general, has been the problem and not the solution and looking for solutions within organizations that have historically been the problem is kind of silly. History tells us that the only place we can look for solutions is within our communities. We have those answers ourselves.

But we’ll get there soon. First, lets talk about what’s going on.

Read More on the Story:
Gyasi Ross: Comey Had It Coming: The FBI and Its Destructive History With Native People (Indian Country Media Network 5/15)

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