Steve Melendez: Liberty and justice for everyone except Indians

Tribal members and supporters staged a protest in Houston, Texas, to call attention to treaties, Idle No More and other indigenous issues. Photo from American Indian Genocide Museum / Facebook

Liberty and justice for all except Indians
By Steve Melendez

I once had a conversation with my brother about how it seemed like every time the Indians try to go into court against the government, they lose. I mentioned that I had read a book by Bob Woodward called The Brethren where he said, “Rehnquist had nothing but contempt for Indian cases…Never to let an opportunity pass, Rehnquist turned an opinion that was in favor of the Indians into an opinion that indicated that in most cases they would lose. It wiped away decades of Douglas’s opinions.” Justice William H. Rehnquist would later become Chief Justice Rehnquist of the Supreme Court.

It makes you wonder if there is a culture in America that seems to condone racial discrimination against Indians. Surprisingly, this culture of injustice is in fact written into the law! Black’s Law Dictionary gives the definition, “Discovery---International law: As the foundation for a claim of national ownership or sovereignty, discovery is the finding of a country, continent, or island previously unknown, or previously known only to its uncivilized inhabitants.”

Everyone can see how ridiculous and unjust such a mindset can be. On September 24, 1992, Chippewa, Adam Nordwall stepped off a plane in Rome, and took possession of Italy by right of discovery. “What right had Columbus to discover America when it was already inhabited for thousands of years?” he asked.

This “Doctrine of Discovery” says that when he stuck his flag in the ground, the white man owns everything. If you want to know why the Indians will always lose in the American courts, it is because when it is done to the Indians, it is not called fraud or theft, it is called the Doctrine of Discovery. In order to see how intricate and fine-tuned it has become, you have to know history.

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: Liberty and justice for all except Indians

(Contact Steve Melendez, the president of the American Indian Genocide Museum, at Indmuseum@yahoo.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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