Monday, May 05, 2008

Dennis Banks: A Plastic Hero for the Plastic Press

Dennis Banks, a self-described American Indian activist, is leading another public-relations exercise called the Longest Walk II.

The exclusively white press that bothers to cover this non-event all wax poetic about the virtues of this great American Indian leader. He is a great leader only in the eyes of these white reporters, perhaps because he is the only tribal person they know how to write about and spell his name correctly.

Tribal people are drowning in a gigantic ocean of bad information. Bad and incorrect information offered by the journalists and reporters of the main stream media. As the MSM has failed to find any reason to explain the lies and thefts of the Bush Administration, they remain the same MSM that does not care to know anything real about tribal people. The only time you hear about tribes in the MSM is when they drag out these tired and aging “heroes” for yet another round of being unable to tell fact from imagination.

Dennis banks has done nothing for anyone except Dennis Banks. He was recently named in the criminal murder trial of an Indian man convicted of killing Ana Mae Aquash. Not one “reporter”who writes the fairy tale about his goodness and light have asked him about this as the miles have gone by. He is specifically named as the one AIM officer who most likely gave the order for her torture and execution. If Banks were any ordinary man attempting to flim-flam the public about his life, the press would be all over him. Like white on rice, as my mother used to say. His greatest trick, and only real talent, seems to be in getting white people to do him these favors.

Why does Banks continue to get this free ride? He has had zero influence on American Indian life. Zero. Yet when the press talks about him it is with the breathless accolades offered up to heroes who have done so much to elevate not only their own people, but all of humanity. Has the journalistic community any credibility left on any subject?

Even a little research and a few conversation with tribal leaders would reveal a very different interpretation of the life of this man, this hero who left his pregnant wife standing in the middle of the road while he ran and hid in the forest. There are no Native Americans anywhere who hold this man up as a hero of any kind. Why does the white MSM say these things? Based upon what known facts do they make these declarations?

When reporters cannot get even little stories like this one right, how can we believe anything they say or write? We seem to be in a most dangerous moment when the watchdogs of truth have just gone to sleep and write and talk about their drunken dreams rather than any events in the real world.

There are so many Native Americans working to bring a better life to their families and communities. It is an insult to the 400 years of suffering of tribal people to manufacture heroes in this way, and to be forced to believe that this kind of fairy tale is the best you can over hope to get from the journalistic traditions of 2008.

Many of the actual American Indians who know who Banks is are waiting for his eventual indictment on murder charges. More than 95% of all tribal communities and reservations have banned Dennis Banks and all of the other AIM gangsters from setting foot on their tribal lands. If he is such a hero to Native Americans, why is this so?

So far, in the many many press accounts of this Longest Walk II, not one reporter has asked a single question about the Ana Mae Aquash Pictu murder case. Most of them have probably never heard of it. Where, then, does the press get its information about who is who and what is what? Apparently, when it comes to Native Americans, you can just make it up as you go along.
If one were to look closely and honestly at the “Wounded Knee” takeover, for which this little hero is so famous, one would see only the destroyed homes and lives of over 200 actual, real, enrolled, honest to God Indian people who were robbed of their personal possessions, whose homes and jobs were destroyed and how a whole community of real Indian people were wiped out by this so-called hero and his gangster friends. People who watch white hollywood trash movies and think they know what Wounded Knee was about know nothing. It is embarrassing how few people know what really happened, or how few who even want to know what really happened when this tribal gangster came to their town.

It has always seemed to me that people who are genuinely interested in history would want to have at least a passing acquaintance with the truth. The most notable accomplishment of AIM and Dennis Banks at Wounded Knee was the establishment of the first FBI SWAT team being formed to combat armed terrorism by Americans on American soil.

Native Americans today face a national press that has zero interest in fairly representing the issues of Native peoples. When people struggle against poverty, racism and government genocide, it sure makes it a lot harder when no one even wants to hear your side, the Indian side of the story. It seems easier for mainstream reporters to just make things up. How many have been exposed for fake stories in the national press this year alone? This absence of awareness, this willful ignorance, only compounds the tragedy of those Native Americans who struggle every day to actually try and get something done, find real answers. Ironically, these naive little writers who are covering this Longest Walk, rub salt into the open wounds by making phony heroes of plastic people like Dennis Banks and just as ironically, by writing about his phony heroism, they will have that “good feeling” of having “helped the indians” yet again.

I wish I could line all these reporters up and slap their faces with a big wet fish. Shame on these reporters and shame on their readers.

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