Leaders of the Blackfeet Nation with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Mark Zuckerberg
Opinion

Gyasi Ross: Wealthy white man perpetuates poverty porn in Indian Country





One of the wealthiest individuals in the world visited the Blackfeet Nation and Blackfeet territory last week. But as he thanked the tribe for hosting him, Mark Zuckerberg, a co-founder of Facebook, focused largely on the negative side of life on the reservation, notes Gyasi Ross, the editor at large for Indian Country Media Network:
Last week Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook and also the subject of the 2010 movie The Social Network, joined millions and millions of other white people and visited the most beautiful place in the world, the Blackfeet (Amskapipikuni) Homelands. Those homelands include the so-called “Glacier National Park.” Of course, Glacier National Park is a new name for this incredible and glorious place where one can literally see millions and millions (cue: Donald Trump) of years of history.

It’s special. I recommend that every single person in the world (except R. Kelly and/or Donald Trump) experience it at least once in their lives.

Mark Zuckerberg also met with various members of the Amskapikuni, including the elected leaders, to discuss life on the Amskapipikuni Homelands. That is an admirable thing—this young man, Mark Zuckerberg, is literally one of the wealthiest men in the world. He doesn’t have to do any of this. He could literally seclude himself on his 700 acres on Kauai, eat lychees and fish that he speared like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Island. He really doesn’t have to ever talk to anyone else again and he would still be able to walk into the Democratic Republic of Congo and buy its entire GDP in any particular year.

Meth and heroin addiction are big issues in Browning. In this picture, family members are leaving a condemned house that local police say is home to meth users.

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday, July 16, 2017
Seriously. He’s that rich.

He doesn’t have to meet with anyone. He definitely does not need to meet with a group of Natives from a couple of remote communities in Montana. I hear that he’s visited with a couple of other Native communities as well. That’s good that he did that; I think it would be hard to find any bad intent from those actions. In fact, I think one could only find good intent.

Read More on the Story:
Gyasi Ross: Intent v. Impact: Of Mark Zuckerberg, Poverty Porn and Native People (Indian Country Media Network 7/20)

More on Mark Zuckerberg in Montana:
Interior Dept. ordered Glacier park chief, other climate expert pulled from Zuckerberg tour (The Washington Post 7/20)
Glacier chief pulled from Facebook founder’s tour of park (AP 7/20)