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RICH TRIBES, RICH JEWS : Comparing the New Anti-Indianism to Historic Anti-Semitism Dr. Zoltán Grossman Dr. Zoltán Grossman Member of the Faculty (Native.

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Presentation on theme: "RICH TRIBES, RICH JEWS : Comparing the New Anti-Indianism to Historic Anti-Semitism Dr. Zoltán Grossman Dr. Zoltán Grossman Member of the Faculty (Native."— Presentation transcript:

1 RICH TRIBES, RICH JEWS : Comparing the New Anti-Indianism to Historic Anti-Semitism Dr. Zoltán Grossman Dr. Zoltán Grossman Member of the Faculty (Native American Studies/Geography) The Evergreen State College Olympia, Washington German playing card depicting a Jew with yellow badge, moneybag & pig, 15th century Slate magazine cartoon of playing card next to article on Indian gaming, 1997

2 Historic Images: Indians as “Savage,” “allied with Devil”

3 When the contemporary movement against Native sovereignty began in the 1970s- 1980s, it attacked Native Americans as a “poor minority” Secular racialized image of Natives Anti-Indian movement used “Welfare Cadillac” myths previously used against African Americans Demeaned American Indians as “drunks” and dependent on welfare Historic Images: Indians as “Poor” or Degraded Wisconsin anti-treaty protester opposes welfare, 1991

4 Historic Images: Indians “Honored” as Mascots

5 Historic Images: Indians as “Noble Savages”

6 THE NEW ANTI-INDIANISM: Indians as “Rich” and “Powerful” Connecticut newspaper ridicules Schaghticoke tribal status and casino

7 With opening of tribal casinos in the 1990s-2000s, prejudice grows against Native Americans as a supposedly "rich" minority. Tribes criticized for getting themselves (and many neighbors) off of welfare. Gaming became an available economic development tool for some (not all) tribes. Tribes had few other economic options. Growth of Tribal Gaming Cartoon with Native cultural symbols on dice

8 Economic Benefits of Gaming for Tribes Social programs, higher incomes, housing, educationSocial programs, higher incomes, housing, education (Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, 2005) Enables environmental /cultural protection, land purchasesEnables environmental /cultural protection, land purchases Clout in state and local governments and courtsClout in state and local governments and courts Influence via contracts, hiring, investments, cultural eventsInfluence via contracts, hiring, investments, cultural events

9 Economic Drawbacks of Gaming for Tribes High initial debt to outside investorsHigh initial debt to outside investors –Layoffs, cutbacks in tribes Uneven distribution among tribesUneven distribution among tribes –Distance from cities, tourism –Half of reservation Indians not in gaming tribes Conflicts within tribesConflicts within tribes –But agree on sovereignty Public misperception of wealth leadsPublic misperception of wealth leads to federal withdrawal of aid to federal withdrawal of aid Time magazine series criticizing tribal gaming, 2002

10 Opponents of social costsOpponents of social costs –Churches, neighborhood associations –Often do not see motives of allies: Non-Indian gaming interestsNon-Indian gaming interests –Donald Trump, Tavern League Anti-sovereignty groupsAnti-sovereignty groups –Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA) – Anti-Indian Gaming Movement Native identity and sovereignty often reduced to gaming issue.

11 IndianCountryToday(10/20/93)

12 Critics of Indian casinos often exhibit a double standard by not challenging non-Indian or state gaming operations Tribes allowed same “Class” of games as states where located ( 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act) Only way to end Indian casinos is to ban lottery (both Class III) Yet Indian gaming singled out Double Standards

13 Tribal casinos dwarfed by non-Indian gaming in many states ( NV, MT, SD) Tribes are not supposed to play the political “game” (funds for lobbying/campaigns) Individual tribes’ profits treated as “Indian” profits (white profits not racially lumped) Tribes expected to spread the wealth to other Indians (same not expected of whites) Double Standards “"What is shocking to me is that if you had any other company that was going to employ 2,500 people and pay them $30,000 a year and up and generate millions of dollars in private investment, people would be falling all over them.” – Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello, New York Times (2/1/04)

14 State Demands for Revenue Sharing Governors demands more revenue in gaming compact talks with tribes Tribes already pay $4 billion to feds, $1 billion to states, $50 million to local governments Asked to pay more to states than corporations do (~8% tax rate) Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty (R): Tribes must share 25% or state will open its own casinos. His 2004 casino proposal also pit “poor” against “rich” tribes

15 Tribes largest employers in 8 counties; reversing dependency on “border towns” Ex-Gov. Thompson (R) demanded tribes limit treaty rights, environmental regs in return for compacts New Gov. Doyle (D) targeted for accepting tribal campaign donations Wisconsin Republican video of Wisconsin Republican video of tribes “scalping” taxpayer, 2003 Wisconsin Indian Gaming Conflicts Cartoon opposing Hudson casino

16 Madison liberals join conservatives against agreements for new Ho-Chunk casino Alliance did not oppose state lottery or non-Indian tavern gambling Referendum for agreements defeated, 2004 Conflict over Casino near Madison Native student attacked, leaves U.W.-Madison; Native students harassed in public schools “Satire” in Madison’s Isthmus weekly (12/26/03): “(The) Dane County Executive…announced today that she has reached an agreement with the Ho Chunk to open a number of 24-hour liquor stores on tribal land, including the recently acquired former City-County Building, now Ho-Chunk Hall. Under the deal, the county will get a 3.5% cut of the liquor stores' net revenues (on sales of schnapps ….)”

17 Lumbee Tribal Status in North Carolina

18 Washington state backlash Racist defacement of Stillaguamish casino signs near Arlington “The anti-casino message turned ugly on the back of one sign. A racist joke was scrawled in red marker next to a stick figure of an American Indian shooting a bow and arrow. A talking head was depicted speaking in mock Indian gibberish. ‘We want publicity or ransom... just joking,’ someone also wrote in red letters. ‘We want your casino the hell out!’ “ (Scott Morris, Everett Herald, 6/10/05)

19 California Indian Casino Conflicts 51 tribes with casinos; $4 billion revenue; Employ 40,000 + Calif. tribes compete with Nevada gaming interests

20 California Fiscal Crisis State demands more revenue sharing to offset huge deficit Voters backed tribal casinos, 2002

21 Criticisms of Gov. Davis Too “soft” on tribal sovereignty; not enough revenue concessions from tribes

22 Equating Native cultures & casinos Rationale for opposing bills banning school mascots or sacred site desecration

23 Criticized tribes involved in lobbying, campaign donations Attacked three opponents for accepting tribal contributions Attacked three opponents for accepting tribal contributions Schwarzenegger ads against Schwarzenegger ads against tribal campaign donations Schwarzenegger Campaign “We are sickened by the legislative clout tribes are deriving from huge money pots acquired through gaming, then poured into the coffers of elected officials.” – Citizens STAND-UP Committee (Washington anti-Indian group), 2001

24 “The Indians Are Ripping Us Off” “The Indians are ripping us off. We want them to negotiate and pay their fair share.” Gov. Schwarzenegger (10/14/04) Gov. reexamines some gaming compacts; reaches new compacts with other tribes Leads defeat of two propositions for Indian & non-Indian gaming, Nov. 2004 “We have the big tribes lobby up here, and they control the legislators.” Gov. Schwarzenegger (9/20/05) California Legislature paid large bounties for Native scalps starting in the 1849 Gold Rush

25 “Red Man’s Greed”



28 Parallels with past federal Indian policies Removal Era (1820s-60s): More prosperous Native nations (e.g. Cherokee) targeted for forced removal Termination Era (1950s-60s): More prosperous Native nations (e.g. Menominee) targeted for termination of federal status.

29 Ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia INDONESIA: Anti-Chinese riots kill more than 1,000 in 1998 UGANDA: Idi Amin expels Asian minority in 1972 East Indian merchants in ex-British colonies Othering of “wealthy” minority groups FIJI: Coups target ethnic Indians in 1987 & 2000

30 HISTORIC ANTI-SEMITISM: Jews as “Rich” and “Powerful” “Then……Now” A German anti-Semitic postcard before the Nazis came to power.

31 Historic Images: Jews in league with the Devil Religious anti-Judaism predated the Crusades, but Jews are later depicted as demons

32 Caricature of a Jewish peddler. Italy, c. 1700 Historic Images: Jews as Poor Itinerant Peddlers

33 Medieval Stereotype of Jews as Usurers A farmer and a Jewish moneylender Augsburg, 1531 It was the “uneasy lot” of many European Jews in the medieval period to find their “economic energies limited” to usury—lending money with interest (Trachtenberg). with interest (Trachtenberg). “…Credit was essential to the expanding economy that was a major product of the First Crusade, and through a combination of circumstances it became the uneasy lot of many Jews to find their economic energies limited to this field. The extinction of the comparatively large-scale Jewish trade with the Orient after the Crusades left them no other economic function, since agriculture and handicrafts were virtually closed to them…” (p. 188) The Devil and The Jews: The Medieval Conception of the Jew and Its Relation to Modern Antisemitism by Joshua Trachtenberg (Yale Univ. Press, 1943) by Joshua Trachtenberg (Yale Univ. Press, 1943)

34 Commercial Revolution needs credit for economic expansion High interest rates due to high risks and lack of capital Church critical of Christians who lend money with interest Moneylending, trade open to Jews Reasons for Usury, 1100s “The Church, while prohibiting Christian usury and thus restricting effective competition, acknowledged the right of Jews to engage in it, so that for a very short time they enjoyed an advantageous position as moneylenders.” (p. 188) The Devil and The Jews: The Medieval Conception of the Jew and Its Relation to Modern Antisemitism by Joshua Trachtenberg (Yale Univ. Press, 1943) by Joshua Trachtenberg (Yale Univ. Press, 1943) Warning against "Jewish usury" Moravia, c. 1475

35 First Crusade (1096) cut off trade with East, stimulated pogroms New artisan guilds required Christian oaths; Jews driven out of occupations & crafts Agriculture virtually closed to Jews; no access to land ownership Jews had few other Jews had few other economic options. economic options. Reasons for Jewish Usury "The Jurist, the Jew, and the woman drive the world insane." (The Jew has a moneybag & badge.) Germany, c. 1600

36 Jews were cut off from wealth & power from the “then basic activity of economic life— agriculture.”(Morais) Exclusion from Land Ownership “…There was no place for the Jew in the feudal system, either as master or serf. It became generally accepted practice, often incorporated into laws, that he could not own land. Admittedly, there were many exceptions and variations, but in time this became general in the Christian world. And so the Jews were excluded from the then basic activity of economic life—agriculture.” (p. 108) A Short History of Anti-Semitism by Vamberto Morais (WW Norton, 1976) Trachtenberg

37 “In the twelfth century…set into motion the process known as the self-fulfilling prophecy whereby a group already assumed to be inferior is forced by the majority to engage in conduct that seems further confirmation of the minority’s inferiority. By the middle of the twelfth century in northern Europe, Jews were becoming stereotyped as usurers… it was the pressure of anti-Judaism which had restricted Jews to a specific and degrading role.” Gavin I. Langmuir, Toward a Definition of Antisemitism (Univ. of California Press, 1990) The “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy” A minority “assumed to be inferior is forced…to engage in conduct that seems further confirmation” of inferiority (Langmuir). "Jewish Greed.” England, 1773

38 “…Jewish moneylending had its fiscal uses: rulers directly fostered it in order to be able to exact a steady flow of tribute, while the constant extortions to which they were subjected obliged Jews to keep a fund of ready cash on hand. Here was a vicious circle from which there was no escape for the Jew. Society conspired to make him a usurer—and usury exposed him to the cupidity of feudal overlords and to the embittered hatred of the people. So long as he was a source of profit, the state protected him, in a measure….But when Christian competition began to press him hard, as it did in the 13th century when Christians realized that easy profits were to be made from moneylending, and when non-Jewish commercial activity increased to such an extent that the Jew no longer counted for much in his field, his importance as a source of governmental revenue vanished” (Trachtenberg, pp. 189-190) Revenue Sharing and Competition Rulers fostered Jewish usury in order to exact tribute and extort cash Encouraged Christians to compete with Jews in moneylending Trachtenberg

39 Christians also became usurers (Schatzmiller) - Many monasteries began to lend money Christian usury not as restricted - Competition with Jews encouraged Yet Jewish usurers singled out - Disproportionate role only in 1100s Stereotype of Jews as moneylenders persisted for centuries after their disproportionate role in usury ended Double Standard “Manifest by Catherine I” Russia, 1727 ”[Jews] are those who are not loved by anybody, who hate everything…are those who ruin the country and suck the people's blood." In the 12th century the words Jew and usurer had become almost synonymous….Thus the Jew was obliged to bear the brunt of popular feeling against the moneylender from the outset, and long after his short-lived prominence in the field had been pre-empted by others, he still remained the usurer in mass memory and had to suffer for the sins of his successors.” (Trachtenberg, p. 190)

40 Expulsions

41 Jews in Russian Empire circumscribed to the “Pale.” Often victims of pogroms; driven off land into towns The Jewish “Pale” in Russia Pogroms

42 Emancipation

43 Hungary France Racialized images of Jews in early 1900s Russia Religious “anti-Judaism” becomes racialized as secular “anti-Semitism” “Scientific racism” asserts “biological” inferiority of Jews & other groups

44 Nazi images of rich & powerful Jews

45 Modern Anti-Semitism


47 Christian majority intolerance of religious minorities Religious fear & hatred secularized as modern biological racism Common experience of genocide (Cook-Lynn) -Legacy in families today Parallel responses - Social cohesion / mutual aid - Political activism - Sense of humor (from marginality) Parallel Historical Oppression "Like Anti-Semitism in Europe, anti-Indianism in America raised its ugly head in specific places and in a variety of contexts but gained momentum as a fundamental element of American Christianity. Indigenous America was not Christian, therefore it was seen as an opposing force to be obliterated at any cost.... Anti-Indianism, like Anti-Semitism, displaces and excludes; thus, its distinguishing purposes have been to socially isolate, thus, its distinguishing purposes have been to socially isolate, to expunge or expel, to fear and menace, to defame, to expunge or expel, to fear and menace, to defame, and to repulse indigenous people...." Anti-Indianism in Modern America by Elizabeth Cook-Lynn (Champaign: Univ. of Illinois Press, 2001), pp 3-4. (Champaign: Univ. of Illinois Press, 2001), pp 3-4.

48 Jews Native Americans Expulsions Removals Parallel Historical Oppression Circumscribed to ghettosPlaced on reservations Pogroms Massacres Restricted to towns Urban relocation Itinerant peddlerDependent on welfare ShylockCasino Indian

49 Like the myth of the “Rich Jew,” the growing myth of the “Rich Tribes” implies that all Indians are wallowing in cash. are wallowing in cash. Damned if they’re poor, damned if they’re not Convenient scapegoats in times of economic crisis New Parallel Stereotypes France U.S. “The Natives are getting restless.” – Colorado Gov. Bill Owens at tribal gaming conference (3/31/05) “I have to meet with the monkeys.” – Attorney Jack Abramoff, representing Mississippi Choctaws on gaming issues

50 “White landowners are complaining that they are the victims of a ruthless land grab by greedy Indians ….” Washington Post (2/13/01) “The Indians are ripping us off.” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (10/14/04) Gov. Doyle… “doesn’t want to tee off Native Americans who put him into office by all the money….Am I crazy here or what?” Bill O’Reilly, FOX News (2/20/05) Allowed:

51 Not Allowed: “Christian landowners are complaining that they are the victims of a ruthless land grab by greedy Jews ….” “The Jews are ripping us off.” Gov. Doyle… “doesn’t want to tee off Jews who put him into office by all the money….Am I crazy here or what?”

52 Parallel Dispossession of Land Land as a source of power Majority population took territorial control over the land base Like European Jews of the past, Native nations have been denied control over land, frustrating their land-based economic development. Communities circumscribed to reduced areas - Ghettos/Pale or Reservations

53 Forced Removals Creation of Indigenous “Diasporas” Expulsions of Jews

54 Native Land Losses

55 “Checkerboarding” of Reservation Lands in the Allotment Era “How can we pull ourselves by our bootstraps if you have our boots?” – Winona LaDuke

56 Left with few other economic options, both Native nations and European Jews had to engage in unpopular financial practices to develop their communities. Jews: Moneylending, banking, etc. Tribes: Gaming, cigarette sales, etc. Parallel Limited Economic Options Leipzig 1901

57 The same majority society that had dispossessed the land base also objected to these financial industries, particularly when they could contribute to a recovery of land ownership. Jews: Post-Emancipation land purchases Tribes: Casino-funded land purchases; Lobbying/litigation for lands Parallel Objections to Land Recovery

58 Parallel Emphasis on Revenue Sharing Rulers allowed these financial practices, as long as they could be a source of profit for the State, to scale down deficits Jews: Paying “tribute,” subject to “extortions” Tribes: “Sharing” revenue or limiting rights as compact conditions Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson opposed treaty rights, backed revenue sharing

59 Parallel Emphasis on Economic Competition Viewing the success of these financial industries, rulers encouraged competition to extract concessions & profit Jews: Rulers encouraged Christian usury in 1200s Tribes: Pressure from State casino proposals; lawsuits by Trump, etc. State casino proposal backed by Minnesota House to compete with Indian casinos & extract tribal revenue concessions

60 Rulers need to identify enemies both below and above the majority. Win over “Middle Americans” by diverting animosity toward poor, but also by emphasizing economic threat from above to detract attention from ruling institutions. (Warren) White Christian citizens portrayed as underdogs; can mask historic theft of land by claiming new “theft” of their wealth. Successful gaming challenges “Noble Savage” myth (RDK Herman) Despite recent gains in economic relations with white neighbors, anti-Indianism can intensify as popular resentment & envy escalates. Parallel Need for Scapegoating

61 Jews (and Gypsies) historically portrayed as “rootless.” -Cosmopolitan or separated from land Some rightists romanticize Natives as “rooted” in “blood & soil.” -Warriors fighting to protect land from “Jewish” mining companies (Wickstrom) Jews direct world conspiracy. -Smart/crafty, manipulate others Natives are passive “pawns” in someone else’s conspiracy. - Tribes as “unknowing” participants in corporate/federal “land grab” (Lowman) Differences in Historical Contexts

62 Cook-Lynn, Elizabeth. Anti-Indianism in Modern America. (Champaign: Univ. of Illinois Press, 2001). Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. Cabazon, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, and the Socio-Economic Consequences of American Indian Governmental Gaming., Jan. 2005. Langmuir, Gavin I. Toward a Definition of Antisemitism (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1990). Lowman, Bill. Lowman, Bill. 220 Million Custers. (Anacortes, Wash.: Anacortes Printing & Publishing, 1978). Morais, Vamberto. A Short History of Anti-Semitism (New York: WW Norton, 1976). Peterson, Iver. “Resistance to Indian Casinos Grows Across U.S.” New York Times (Feb. 1, 2004) Schatzmiller, Joseph. Shylock Reconsidered: Jews, Moneylending, and Medieval Society (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1990). Time magazine. “Indian Casinos: Wheels of Misfortune.” Special Report, Dec. 16, 2002. Trachtenberg, Joshua. The Devil and The Jews: The Medieval Conception of the Jew and Its Relation to Modern Antisemitism (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1945). Warren, Donald I. The Radical Center: Middle Americans and the Politics of Alienation (Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1976). Wickstrom, James. Posse Noose Report (Posse Comitatus, Tigerton Dells, Wis., 1984). Anti-Indian gaming cartoons: (Collected by Robert Schmidt) Medieval prints: Medieval prints: 20th century anti-Semitic postcards:

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