Kevin Abourezk: When criticism borders on racism
"The first salvo of public criticism directed at tribes receiving federal stimulus came recently when a South Dakota newspaper blasted the Rosebud Sioux Tribe for receiving funding for an airport.

That tribes would be criticized for trying to pull themselves out of conditions most would describe as beyond those of a depression was inevitable.

That the criticism would be couched in language bordering on racist is shameful.

In a May 19 editorial, Madison (S.D.) Daily Leader Publisher Jon M. Hunter criticized $4.1 million of stimulus money that will pay for an airport for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Hunter didn't question that construction of the airport would fall under the provision of rebuilding infrastructure, one of the stated goals of the federal stimulus act. However, Hunter questioned whether a new airport was what was most needed on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, "where alcoholism and poverty are pervasive, education is substandard and healthcare quality is questioned."

While failing to support his assertions with facts or statistics, Hunter continued to rail on the horrendous conditions of the reservation."

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: Criticism Over Tribal Airport Borders On Racism (RezNet News 5/28)

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