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American Indian Movement of Colorado

Spirituality • Self-determination • Solidarity • Sobriety
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Thursday, October 14, 2004

CO AIM member responds to Letter to Editor

This letter to the editor was submitted to the Rocky Mountain News, in response to the LTTE by Tom Ross, "Wanting it both ways." Anyone want to lay odds on whether or not they will print it?

Re: Wanting it both ways

I would like to thank Tom Ross for sharing his ignorance with the rest of us and for the RM News for printing it so that we can expose the ignorance of some people in the absurdity of his comments. I cannot discuss the full complexity of the tax laws that apply to Indian reservations I can say that generally speaking American Indian people do not pay state income taxes when that money is earned on reservations, and that federal income taxes are not paid on money made from land held in trust by the Federal Government. Outside of that many Indian communities have negotiated some other tax relief with individual states.

Many American Indians refuse to assimilate for two reasons. First, people of color are consistently not allowed to participate in American society because of racial prejudice. Second, American Indians do not assimilate because American culture does not provide any promise of living a satisfying life. Consumerism, the acquisition of money, and living
vicariously through others on television only draws the ignorant.

Lastly, your analogy of going to Mexico to protest cinco de mayo doesn't hold up. American Indians were here first. Non-Indigenous people are colonial occupiers of this land, in the Denver area it is Arapaho and Cheyenne land, don't forget that. But an analogy that does hold up is that celebrating Columbus Day in the Americas is like going to Mexico to celebrate the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, or going to Israel to celebrate Hitler Day.
Mark Freeland, Aurora CO

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