Every day liberals wake up dreaming of finding more racism to expose. Sometimes they have to travel farther to find the evil racism. And sometimes what they think is racism involves absurdly convoluted reasoning. So bring on the Red Privilege.
The Sauk-Suiattle is being targeted for disenrolling members who were mostly not Nooksack... and were involved in drugs. To a liberal this is the worst case of Red Privilege ever.
The suit stems from an attempt by tribal leaders to disenroll 306 members--allegedly because they are part-Filipino."This is ethnic cleansing pure and simple," says Moreno Peralta, a spokesperson for the four plaintiffs and their relatives, in a statement to Seattle Weekly. "Our Chairman and his faction are trying to wash the Filipino blood out of the Nooksack Tribe.
I don't want to get into all these racial issues, but isn't the whole point of a tribe that it's composed of a specific indigenous people, rather than of Filipinos. The whole premise of reservations and tribal authority allows indigenous peoples to safeguard their identity. That's what they're doing.
There's an entire country here where people who have all sorts of ancestry can live freely. A tribal territory isn't one of them. You either belong or you don't. And ethnicity is the determinant of that. If it stops being the determinant of that, then a tribal territory is no different than any other area or neighborhood in the country.
Peralta hints that the bad feelings toward his family members is related not only to race but to federal drug-smuggling charges brought against members of the clan more than a decade ago. Even then, there was a move to oust the family that some felt had inflitrated the tribe, bringing crime and corruption, according to a 2000 Los Angeles Times story.
"We are keenly aware of mistakes that a few of our family members made several years ago," Peralta says. But that does not make all of us guilty by blood relation." He adds: "We are not a 'Filipino Gang,'" apparently a reference to how some within the tribe continue to see family members.
But apparently the tribe has spoken. And it's a fairly small tribe.
In the 1970s, the federal government officially recognized the Sauk-Suiattle as a tribe and demarcated a small reservation. The tribe's numbers have since grown, but not much: The population now stands at about 200, only a fraction of whom (roughly 70, according to one estimate) live on the reservation.
At the time of the mass firing, the tribe maintained a staff of about 60, according to Pendergrass. They worked in departments devoted to, among other things, natural resources, cultural resources, health care, housing, and police. Retired Seattle homicide detective Steve O'Leary, who served as the tribe's police chief from 2007 to 2012, says his four-person department kept busy in part by giving rides to kids who missed the school bus into Darrington.
So this is a reservation of 70 people with 60 staff members. Sounds about right.