Sunday, March 28, 2010

Narragansett Indian Tribe wants naval base

NEWPORT, R.I. – Hundreds of prime acres are up for grabs in this waterfront city and its neighboring towns, valuable commodity on an island known for prized beaches, lavish homes and natural beauty.

The 260 acres on Aquidneck Island were for decades owned by the U.S. Navy, which says it no longer needs the land and is moving to unload it. The island communities envision the property as untapped economic potential for sweeping new development.

But another suitor — the Narragansett Indian Tribe — says the land falls under its ancestral footprint and is mounting a bid that may conflict with local development plans.
The Narragansett, Rhode Island's only federally recognized American Indian tribe, say getting the land would allow it to expand far beyond its existing reservation and would create room for a hotel complex, shopping, a cultural center, park space and public housing.

The tribe and its supporters see an unprecedented opportunity for a population that's grappled with poverty and whose past efforts at development, including a tax-free smoke shop and proposed casino, have been rejected by the state. "The tribe's current land has been extremely limited. This would help boost the tribe's ability to success," said John Brown, the tribe's historic preservation officer. "We shouldn't have a chance for economic self-sufficiency?"

The tribe's bid has rankled some local officials, who say it was submitted after they had done years or work and planning in anticipation of using the land.

"It's delaying the process, and I don't think it's benefiting the city of Newport," said Paige Bronk, Newport's director of planning, zoning, development and inspections. "Their involvement, I would consider to be detrimental to our efforts."

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George Carlin speaking on the topic "Indians"

"Now the Indians...I call them Indians because that's what they are. They're Indians. There's nothing wrong with the word Indian.
First of all, it's important to know that the word Indian does not derive from Columbus mistakenly believing he had reached ' India .' India was not even called by that name in 1492; it was known as Hindustan. More likely, the word Indian comes from Columbus 's description of the people he found here. He was an Italian, and did not speak or write very good Spanish, so in his written accounts he called the Indians, 'Una gente in Dios.' A people in God. In God. In Dios. Indians. It's a perfectly noble and respectable word.
As far as calling them 'Americans' is concerned, do I even have to point out what an insult this is? ----- We steal their hemisphere, kill twenty or so million of them, destroy five hundred separate cultures, herd the survivors onto the worst land we can find, and now we want to name them after ourselves? It's appalling.
Haven't we done enough damage? Do we have to further degrade them by tagging them with the repulsive name of their conquerors? You know, you'd think it would be a fairly simple thing to come over to this continent, commit genocide, eliminate the forests, dam up the rivers, build our malls and massage parlors, sell our blenders and whoopee cushions, poison ourselves with chemicals, and let it go at that.... But no! We have to compound the insult.'...
I'm glad the Indians have gambling casinos now. It makes me happy that dimwitted white people are losing their rent money to the Indians. Maybe the Indians will get lucky and win their country back. Probably wouldn't want it. Look at what we did to it."