The place you will always long for but never be able to go.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
American Indians live amongst the rest of America but are mostly confined to the reservation system. These reservations have some traits that everyone can see in their mind's eye: 99% Indian, poor living mostly off federal government programs, alcohol and drug abuse, gang violence, rape problem, high rate of child abandonment, and the US law officials do not go there and are not sovereign. Reservations are generally sovereign entities so businesses are cautious about engaging in contracts with them. Reservations are found out West due to the Indian Wars and initial contact conflicts in the East, South and Midwest. Socially, being part of the tribe is strictly enforced and while they dress in blue jeans and Western clothes, there is still an Indian flair to it. Family structure is set up more along Indian custom. Everyday non-Indians generally do not got here, but white social workers do. These places are segregated from American society. There is a spirit of hope and ethnic pride mixed with depression. Discussion of oppression and a history of conflict and contrast with European society is part of the modern ethos.
Check out the NY Times 2010 census maps with the racial/ethnic distribution filter on. Is there another group with all of those same characteristics that is found with greater frequency in one region but when found elsewhere are practically cordoned off into areas where the cops do not go, sovereignty is in the community and racial composition is nearly homogeneous? These areas have high rate of alcohol and drug abuse, high utilization rate for government welfare programs, child abandonment, gangs, and rape problems. That group also dresses in jeans and Western clothing but with an ethnic flair. Their families are structured along with old ethnic customs. Outsiders rarely enter except for the police, random social workers and/or government officials for photo opportunities with armed escort. There is always talk of hope and ethnic pride but a steady dose of depressing news and life. There is plenty of talk of oppression, discrimination and the history of conflict and contrast with European society.
Difference beteen these groups goes back to how the two groups interacted with European society on the North American continent. One seems to want to self segregate while the other seems to want to confiscate engage with the society of European descent and heritage off the reservation. It my boil down to an indifference to being considered equal in stature vs. desperately seeking approval and validation even when vociferously shouting that they don't care about white approval. The greatest difference here is the proximity of concentrated blocs of citizens next to euroedescended groups and negative crime externalities. We talk of government created and subsidized Indian reservations, but no one ever mentions if we have financially created and government subsidized de facto black reservations.