I have just finished reading the letter by Dean Allen Gale and I feel there should be a response to this letter.
First of all, I feel that the incidents which he described do suggest racism and should not have happened. As human beings we should all learn to treat each individual with decency and respect until that individual has shown us, by his actions, that he is no longer deserves it.
Let us look at the other side of this issue. Here are some personal observations, while shopping.
- Native American lady is shopping with two small children, maybe 5 or 6 years old. These two children, as they follow her, are looking at comic books. About the time I finish shopping, I see the same lady again, same two children, placing the comic books (which are now used) back in the magazine rack. What lesson have these children learn-ed here? Just exactly how honest is this?
- I see three native American young adults studying the shelf containing skin care products. One individual selects on one of the products from the shelf, unscrews the cap, apply the lotion to both hands and arms, replaces the cap and places the container back on the shelf. Where did these young adults learn to help themselves to property they had no right to? Just exactly how honest is this?
- Another item -- perhaps you should discuss this with those holding Red Lake leadership positions. Occasionally, I see in the Bemidji Pioneer what I assume is the Red Lake Nation logo; a circle surrounding the total of both lower and upper Red Lake and including the words Red Lake Nation. To my knowledge the eastern half of Upper Red Lake is not part of the reservation but this logo would lead one to believe otherwise. Is this the power of suggestion being used to sway public opinion; planting an idea to be used somewhere in the future? Just exactly how honest is this?
So you see, there are problems on both sides of this issue and finger pointing will not correct them. Trust and respect are not automatically added to your account, you have to earn them. You see Chief Bemidji, falling apart, covered in filth and fading. I see Chief Bemidji in agony, tormented by the actions of some of his people.