Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 25, 2009

Censorship and the heroes of our generation

Along with the loss of their jobs, many people who provide information for Censored News have been hungry, homeless, sick, arrested, jailed and beaten over the past two years.

Article and photo by Brenda Norrell
Censored News

In today's column, Roberto Rodriquez describes the blatant racism by Lou Dobbs on CNN. In a slightly more subtle form of manipulation and control, Indian Country Today has a large ad for CIA Clandestine Services -- CIA spies -- on its website today. The ad has been revolving there for months. This means that ICT is funded by the CIA.
When I was a staff reporter for Indian Country Today, the managing editor in 2005 demanded that I not write about "grassroots people or the genocide of American Indians." I continued to do so and was terminated in 2006. But, before I was terminated, my articles were censored and the wording changed, over my objections. The non-Indian staff members responsible continued at the newspaper over the past years in various positions.
Today, unless one reads a great deal on the Internet, because of the censorship, it is possible to remain unaware of current events.
The most underreported news includes the Zapatistas Digna Rabia gatherings in Chiapas; American Indians support for Palestinians; the discovery of US-made white phosphorus munitions used by Israel on Palestinians; the digging up of the graves of O'odham ancestors, 69 at one site alone, in Arizona for the US/Mexico border wall and the secret removal of the remains of O'odham ancestors by Boeing while constructing the border wall on O'odham land.
The rapes, murders and drug smuggling carried out by US Border Agents on the US border are among the most concealed facts, even in the alternative media, because the crimes are concealed. (Although dozens of US military soldiers, with a police officer and prison guard were convicted and sentenced in Arizona for smuggling cocaine last year, border agents carried out the sting and were not exposed.)
The smuggling of weapons into Mexico, which fuels the current drug violence, is also censored. Ultimately, it is the people in the US who buy the drugs and provide the weapons for this wave of violence. The US even trained some of the most brutal murderers in this drug war, the Zetas, formerly as US Special Forces. The privatization of US prisons, and media fueled racism toward migrants, has resulted in profiteering for politicians and corporations like GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut) and resulted in abuse and murders in prisons.
The issues in Mohawk Nation News are widely censored, including land theft and oppression by a wide range of security forces. The exposure of mass graves of Indian children at Canadian residential schools was among the most censored articles. The hoax of carbon credits, to enrich the World Bank and corporations, is also censored.
Another censored fact was that Leonard Peltier was recently beaten by a gang in a Pennsylvania prison, and transferred. The question of why so many American Indians in some Indian Nations are living in poverty, while millions of dollars are pouring into their casinos, is largely censored. Peabody Coal, along with a long list of corporations in collusion with the Navajo Nation government, continues to produce disease and pollution, even in the area of the Navajos' place of origin, Dinetah, in what is now New Mexico. On Western Shoshone land, and around the world, Barrick Gold, and other coal, gold, silver and copper mining corporations, continue to oppress the people and destroy Indigenous lands and water. In Guatemala, there have been assassinations, and in New Guinea, rapes and murders of villagers.
To expose all of these issues, many people have lost their jobs and positions, including Kevin Annett, a minister in Vancouver who continues to expose the murders and mass graves in church residential schools. In the US, Native Americans have been removed from their positions on tribal councils for demanding justice at the US border, while others have been detained and threatened by border agents and tribal police.
Kahentinetha Horn, publisher of Mohawk Nation News, and Katenies, MNN editor, two Mohawk grandmothers, were beaten at the Canadian border by border agents and Kahentinetha suffered a heart attack. Others continue to struggle for justice, like Angelita Ramon, Tohono O'odham, whose 18-year-old son Bennett Patricio, Jr., was ran over and killed by the US Border Patrol in Arizona.
Along with the loss of their jobs, many people who provide information for Censored News have been hungry, homeless, sick, arrested, jailed and beaten over the past two years.
They don't receive a salary from CNN, but they remain the heroes of our generation.

Censored articles by Brenda Norrell, 2004 -- 2006:

Photo: At San Xavier on Tohono O'odham land, crosses in memory of migrants who died in the desert. Walkers from Tucson to San Xavier included supporters of Derechos Humanos, No More Deaths, Humane Borders and Samaritans. Photo Brenda Norrell

1 comment:

Ajijaak said...

The truly are the heroes and sheroes of our generation! Thank you for writing about this Brenda.