Thursday, December 8, 2011

Please Start Fighting to Ensure Native Americans are Educated, Not Better Casino Workers

There were two stories in the Buffalo News that caught my interest on December 6th. New York has decided to deal with its debt problem partly by seeking more tax dollars from rich folks. New York will also drastically expand the presence of casinos throughout the state in order to pull in more funds. It seems there has been support for these proposals by both republicans and democrats.

Not everyone is happy with New York State’s plans. For instance, Native American Nations who own casinos are upset that the government is planning to expand casinos because the state “promised” they would not allow non-Native casinos to compete with current Native American casino businesses. The government is not keeping its promise with Native Americans – that’s a new one.

Anyway, Governor Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos justified expanding casinos because the “…economic slowdown has created the need to generate additional revenues to help fund health care and education spending commitments made earlier this year for 2012.” So basically, the state needs health care and education funds. The state will raise the taxes of rich people and break a promise made to Native Americans in order to improve the health and education opportunities of its people.

Native American leaders have decided to “fight vigorously to protect the promises that were made…” to them. In order to protect their own businesses, the Native American leader said that their casino workers would “…out-compete, out-hustle anyone…” who tries to start a competing casino anywhere in New York State.   

I greatly support the rights that Native Americans have to improve their lives by operating their own businesses. If you have read any of my past posts, you will discover a strong stance supporting Native Americans.

Let get real…the elected officials are going to break their promises made to Native Americans and they are going to allow wide spread gaming in New York State. Although this will take two years and require changing the constitution – they will get it done. They will work to ensure that more money will come into the state and redirected to fund educational services.

Native American leaders should, for the next two years during the time it will take to change the constitution and for the few more years it will take to get casinos going, immediately begin redirecting funds for Native American children to attend college. Stop funding attorneys and start funding children’s education.

Please fight vigorously to ensure Native American children receive college degrees rather than focusing on how casino worker will out-compete or out-hustle other casino workers. For the next few years, please focus on educating Native Americans.

In my humble opinion, Native Americans should out-compete others in the classroom – not hustle to get a casino gamer a drink.

Peace, DAP

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