Steve Russell: Accepting Obama on tribalism
"There is a discussion going on here in Indiana on a list devoted to Indian education about the roaring problems of recruiting and retaining Indian students. I have been pretty silent even though I am a living example of who they are trying to reach. This is because I am at the other end of my life from the student years and I still have no answers.

While that discussion has been simmering, I’ve read a couple of things that might be pertinent, a report about current students’ attitudes toward college grades in the New York Times and a reaction to President Obama’s inaugural speech in Indian Country Today that was the dumbest political discourse I’ve heard since the civil rights establishment in the District of Columbia got up in arms over a public official using the word “niggardly” to mean what it means – “cheap.”

We have been governed for eight years by a man who got into Yale as a legacy and made it to Harvard Business School with a C average, something I assure you our children cannot do.

Now we are governed by a man who went from food stamps to Harvard Law based on what he did. He now tells us to forsake the part of tribalism that puts familiar idiots in charge of people with ability who may not be exactly like us. He is a tribal person, one generation removed from Kenya – where tribalism is still at the killing stage – and his remarks do not offer us harm but rather prosperity.

Will we choose to grow up enough to accept it?"

Get the Story:
Steve Russell: The dark side of tribalism (Indian Country Today 2/27)

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