Newcomb: Anti-Indian rhetoric persists in 2008
"In October 2007, a letter appeared in The Wall Street Journal titled, ''Tribal 'Nations' Within U.S. Aren't Justified.'' The letter exemplifies an anti-Indian nationhood sentiment still prevalent in the United States.

The letter was written in response to a Wall Street Journal article about non-Indians attempting to sue Indian nations: ''Plaintiffs Suing U.S. Tribes Can't Get Their Day in Court.'' In response, Andreas Danckers of Libertyville, Ill., said the story told in the article ''provides yet another reason to reconsider the privileged legal status of so-called Native Americans.'' In one sense of the term, a privilege is ''a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage or favor: special enjoyment of a good or exemption from an evil or burden.''

Danckers did not choose to focus on the original independence of Indian nations. Such a view would make it clear that the independent existence of Indian nations was never ''granted'' to them as a ''special privilege,'' but was an attribute of the free life that all Indian nations lived in North America prior to the Christian European invasion. Nor did he focus on the recognition of Indian nations by the United States in hundreds of treaties, treaties classified by the U.S. Constitution as the ''supreme law of the land.''

Instead, the author chose to employ certain key metaphors that have always been used by anti-Indian writers. One of the most effective of these metaphors is ''inside is under the jurisdiction of,'' or, ''inside is under the control of.'' This method of argumentation employs a container image to make the argument that Indians exist ''within'' a socially constructed political container made by the United States, and are therefore subject to the authority and jurisdiction of the United States. Danckers employed a container image-based argument to contend that ''the costs to U.S. society of the aberration of a sovereign 'nation' within our borders are neither justified nor sustainable.'' (emphasis added)

Another metaphor used by Danckers to build his case against Indian nationhood is COLONIZATION IS WAR, which is related to the metaphor ARGUMENT IS WAR. On the basis of these two conceptualizations, he wrote: ''The sad fact is that American Indians were displaced by the successive pressures of the colonization, settlement and economic exploitation of North America.''"

Get the Story:
Steven Newcomb: Anti-Indian sentiment persists (Indian Country Today 5/2)

This story is tagged under:
Share this Story!

You are enjoying stories from the Indianz.Com Archive, a collection dating back to 2000. Some outgoing links may no longer work due to age.

All stories in the Indianz.Com Archive are available for publishing via Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)