August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, July 23, 2010

Racism, irony and censorship: Trademarks of the US media

By Brenda Norrell
Photo: Church Rock Uranium Spill Commemoration by Garrett Brennan Stewart, Navajo

The Los Angeles Times, while allowing one of its bloggers to ramble and speculate, has insulted the ancient language of the O'odham people, accused them of criminal behavior without any knowledge of the subject and exposed racism and ignorance at the Los Angeles Times.
"Mystery Language on a Border Sign," does not refer to a mystery language, but to the language of the O'odham people who have lived here in the Sonoran Desert since time immemorial. The O'odham live on both sides of what today is known as the US/Mexico border, with O'odham villages on both sides.
While suggesting that the O'odham are illegal border crossers, the author and Los Angeles Times expose their ignorance of the facts and set the stage for more racism and xenophobia at the border.
In a separate article with a twist, CNN has published an article that could be viewed as good comedy on the cozy relationship between the US and Britain, if it were not so tragic. The author, White House Producer Xuan Thai, exposes a dark cavity, using a clever style.
The article is about the "special relationship" -- no make that the "extraordinary special relationship" -- between the US and Britain. (No, the article doesn't refer to the couple's history of oppression, genocide and wars.)
The quotes in the article would be good fodder for Saturday Night Live, except for the tragedy of it.
While exchanging love morsels about their super-fantastic love relationship, US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron didn't even mention the Iroquois Lacrosse Nationals Team.
Days before tying the knot and renewing its vows with the US, Britain prevented the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team from playing in the world championships. Britain refused to honor the Haudenosaunee passports of the team. Britain refused to grant the team visas, which prevented the team from competing in the opening match against England or the games that followed. The US didn't do much better. The Secretary of State waited until the last minute to grant a one-time waiver.
CNN quoted Obama about this over-the-top special relationship.
"We can never say it enough, the United States and the United Kingdom enjoy a truly special relationship," Obama said, adding that it was a "brilliant start as partners who see eye-to-eye on virtually every challenge before us.'"
Of course the duo didn't mention the global warmongering, apartheid and genocide of Indigenous Peoples carried out by the US and Britain.
As for the leaders of the US and Britain, CNN states, "The two men appear serious about this commitment. In fact, Obama has used the term ‘special relationship' with only one other country, Israel."
Closer to home, two events in July signaled the true history of the US and its nuclear genocide, but few newspapers covered these events. In Tularosa, N.M., survivors of the first atomic bomb detonation in 1945 gathered on July 16, 2010, with survivors telling of the cancer that followed the atomic blast. However, online, the only newspaper coverage is at the Alamogordo Daily News.
On that same date 34 years later, on July 16, 1979, the United Nuclear Corporation's uranium tailing spill at Church Rock, N.M., contaminated the land and water, spilling into the Rio Puerco stream, and poisoning generations of Navajos and others downstream in New Mexico and Arizona. The spill left another trail of cancer.
Today, new uranium mining by Uranium Resources, Inc., parent company of Hydro Resources, Inc., and other corporations targets this same community, Church Rock, N.M., and the water supplies of Navajos in Church Rock and Crownpoint.
Native Americans targeted with uranium mining and planned nuclear dumps urge a halt to the Obama administration's funding for new nuclear power plants. Western Shoshone point out that there is no safe place to store nuclear waste. Navajos, Lakotas, Pueblos and other Native Americans expose the long and genocidal history of the nuclear industry in Indian country, and the trail of cancer and death it left behind.
Their story is also a story of the deceit and betrayal of the US government and its symbiotic corporations.
However, few newspapers choose to tell this story.

Photos of the Church Rock Commemoration by Garrett Brennan Stewart, Navajo, are online at Censored News:

Los Angeles Times: Mystery Language on a Border Sign:

CNN: Obama, Cameron say it again -- US, UK have 'special relationship'