Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights
Thursday, February 6, 2014
USA: After 38 years, time to release indigenous leader Leonard Peltier
By Amnesty International
February 6, 2014
It is time for the USA authorities to release Leonard Peltier, an Anishinabe-Lakota Native American and leading member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), who has been imprisoned for 38 years despite serious concerns about the fairness of proceedings leading to his conviction.
Leonard Peltier was arrested 38 years ago today in connection with the murders of two FBI agents, Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, during a confrontation involving AIM members on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in June 1975. While he admits to having been present during the incident, Leonard Peltier, who in 1977 was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murders, has always denied killing the agents as alleged by the prosecution at his trial.
Latent Racism and Blatant Racism
I am never quite sure if there is a real difference. "Latent" is defined as not visible or dormant. Well, to those of us who feel the effects of this sentiment, almost nothing is missed or 'not visible.’ Even the dormant talk in their sleep.
There is probably a third category that is simply ignorance. Of course, all racism is borne out of ignorance and when ignorance continues to feed racism, it is deplorable and condemnable. But the ignorance I am talking about is almost innocent. It is not meant as an insult or to be demeaning but is, rather, a function of not knowing or being oblivious to embracing racist ideas or practices with no ill intent. That being said, someone who is not racist certainly can do and say racist things. The difference is that when it is pointed out, they can see it, recognize it and make the proper adjustments.