Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Colombus day: pretending to care

American Indians are "in" for the elite, so they protest the statue of Colombus.

Uh, he was trying to find a trade route to China and the Spice Islands, and is he hadn't done that, someone else would have. Heck, the Baque fishermen already knew about the place, so it wasn't exactly a secret.

But it's "IN", and so a lot of SJW will protest. It won't solve anything of course, but it will make them feel better about themselves. They are rich and feel guilty  about it, so hey, let's protest. It's cheaper than psychotherapy and a lot easier than actually doing something to help those in need.

Reminds me of when the elite joined the trendy protest against a ND pipeline (because...environment),
something FYI that I supported, because locals were involved in the original protest.

However, all those virtue signaling types seemed to overlook the fact that the pipeline could easily have been diverted from the tribe's land/burial ground.

Never mind. My problem: after the protest ended, did they bother to check back and see if the actual people were helped: i.e. given jobs, check if the IHS hospitals had proper up to date equipment and hired doctors who spoke English?

So although NPR lauds the North Dakota protest a year later., it is a bit telling that the tribal head who sponsored the protests was just voted out of office.

the guy who won the election said he opposed the pipeline, but noted that the protests caused a strain with local officials, and shut down the local highway, meaning folks couldn't come to the casino which provides a lot of the money for tribal development.

He said he personally opposes the pipeline but thinks the large-scale protest took focus away from other issues, including health care, education, elderly needs, suicide problems, illegal drugs and a poor economy. "We kind of neglected our own" by taking the lead on the pipeline protest, he said. "We did what we had to do, but we didn't realize we were going to hurt our economy that much."

But of course, like the protests against the names of sports teams, it is about them, not about their pet minority.

Did they pressure President Obama's EPA over the Gold King mine spill?

it is in litigation now, but the last article in the main press that I found was January 16th, 2017 where President Obama's EPA said they wouldn't pay because "sovereign immunity". And it says a lot that this article has a photo of white people kayaking, and says the spill turned the waters red and mainly discusses the local farmers problem.

Here are recent local articles about the problem.

NavajoHopi observer: Part one Part 2 

And it isn't just this one spill, but that there are many mines polluting water in the area. From the Eastern Arizona Courier:

Mining companies have extracted materials such as gold, uranium and coal on Native American lands for centuries. The contamination left behind, such as excess lead, selenium and chromium, remain long after the miners’ final paychecks.
Roughly 600,000 Native Americans live within six miles of an abandoned mine, according to the Center for Native American Environmental Health Equity.
Most of the uranium mines in the western United States are on federal and tribal lands, a government mining database shows. Public health researchers are especially concerned about these mines because the half-life of uranium is more than 4 billion years.
Chronic exposure is linked to cancer and kidney disease.
“You don’t have a lot of options if your water is contaminated with uranium,” said Debra MacKenzie, a researcher at the University of New Mexico. “It’s hard to take away a mountain. You can’t just move away.”
A recent U.S. Department of Justice Department report on environmental justice lists the legacy of Cold War-era mines in Navajo country as “one of the most severe environmental justice problems in Indian Country.”
excuse me for being cynical about this.

It's not just the Native Americans, of course: the stream near our house when I lived in the coal mining area of Pennsylvania was also polluted and ran red. Locals usually bought bottled water (or collected it from local springs upstream from the mine) because they simply did not trust the drinking water there.

But of course, the miners and their families were poor whites (actually mostly Polish or Italian, who up to the 1970's were not considered white, but never mind). So they don't count.

This is why I consider myself "green": not because of "mother gaia" but because money speaks, and it is easier for companies to pollute and harm poor people because they can get away with it. And if they can "get away with it" in Arizona or Pennsylvania, you know darn well that they can get away with it in the Philippines or in China...

On the other hand, I also realize that removing all mines or industry means poverty. Is there no middle way? Of course there is...

One does hope that pragmatists will win in the end, but in today's polarized world, I am less than optimistic.

The reason I dislike protests is that they are "all or nothing".

I also dislike them because often the protesters do it because they want to feel virtuous, and don't stick around for the hard work of fixing stuff.

The idea is get in the headlines and get your own two seconds of fame, not to actually change things.

Excuse me if I am a bit sarcastic about virtue signaling protests.

At least Colin Kaepernick gave 1million dollars to local groups to empower the black community...

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