To the editor:
In the bowels of affluence and among members of the ``old boys'' network, there must be great rejoicing with the news that a provision in the new federal highway bill will counter the whisper of legal justice the Indigenous people of this community have fought so valiantly for during the past eight years. Placing our faith in a system, based on a democracy, promising liberty and justice for all, we are reminded once more, that democracy in America is reserved for those who have access to the decision makers and the wealth to line the campaign pockets of their messengers, no matter the cost. The message is clear, in America, if you can't win by following the rules, change the rules to your advantage.
We have witnessed on both a local and national level, the influence of the powerful special interests of this nation as policies are developed and laws crafted which will affect each and every one of us. Corporate monopolies, the credit card and banking industries and tobacco are a few examples of those who have lined up to benefit from a Congress willing to throw the mass crumbs, while the rich and powerful become more so. We stand witnesses to the rebirth of hatred, environmental destruction and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction while politicians neutered by special interests and PAC's, promote an agenda for the ``haves'' of this nation.
With each toll of the bell, each seemingly insignificant battle crushed by the oppression of a system which thrives on greed, profit, hypocrisy and destruction, there can be no winners. A community or a Congress willing to benefit the few, without oversight hearings, without full disclosure of its intent, without the consensus of the people, is a far more dangerous beast than many would care to admit.
I am proud of the many battles Indigenous people have mounted against insurmountable odds. And no, this battle of democracy has not been lost....the baton has just been passed.
V. Ahquapko Chenault,