‘Tis the season. The season of arm twisting, eye gouging, and power playing to have the maximum effect for the selections of the cabinet of the incoming Biden administration. Hispanics and African Americans played a pivotal part in Biden’s election, and now you have everybody from the National Urban League, the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Black Lives Matter movement, all queueing up for a chance to have their voices heard as to who will be the best nominee to provide proper ethnic representation in the new administration. Shhhhh. Hear me not argue. After all, to the victors go the spoils.
Biden himself has both spawned and welcomed this spectacle. In his victory speech, on the Saturday night after he crossed the threshold, Biden directly called out the groups that helped to put him over the top, and promised not to forget it. He specifically promised that his cabinet and administration would be the most representative of the vast mosaic of American life possible.
Look, far be it from me to even pretend to give sage advice to a professional, career politician like Biden, who will become the next President of the United States in 43 days. I have never run for anything in my life, and I don’t have a bowl of alphabet soup initials after my name from fancy degrees. But I’ve been alive for 64 years, and have managed to accumulate a small coffer of common sense, and if Biden is really serious about being as inclusive as possible in his incoming administration, I have a small suggestion.
Buried in the bowels of the federal government, there is an entity known as either the Bureau, or the Department of Indian Affairs. It isn’t a glamorous position. But for millions of native Americans, wedged into third rate, barren reservations, instead of their native tribal lands, that department is their only hope for support, and redress. In other words, for basic human dignity.
And so, as the Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, I respectfully submit for consideration the name of US Congresswoman Deb Haaland. She is an independent from the state of Mew Mexico, the co-chair of the Native American caucus, and on the sub committee of Indigenous People of the United States. And she’s native American. She came to Washington after the wave election of 2018, and was handily reelected in 2020.
Do you really want ethnic diversity in your administration, Mr. President? Well, here’s your chance. Let’s be honest. Native Americans have been shit on since day one. Treaty after treaty has been nullified or abrogated once the American government belatedly learned that the land that they ceded to the Native Americans was more valuable than they thought. As native Americans, Indians have always been exempt from the draft, but where would the war in the Pacific in World War Two have been without the Wind talkers. As badly as they’ve been treated, this has always been their land, and they have always rose to defend it.
You want diversity, President Biden? What better way to demonstrate it than to put a qualified Native American woman in charge of the department that is directly responsible for overseeing the needs and benefits of her own people? How much pride will it give the Sovereign Nations to know that there is finally someone in charge of the department that oversees their welfare, to whom they feel they can bring a problem with at least a chance for a fair hearing in the government.
This is what diversity looks like Mr. President. This is not a high profile position, and isn’t going to cause any controversy. What does it hurt you to go ahead and promote a native American woman to oversee the department that deals with native American affairs? Go ahead Mr. President, take the shot. The mainstream media may not even notice the appointment, but the native Tribes certainly will. And for once they’ll feel like a part of the process, instead of looking in from the outside.
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