One of the complaints I hear from time to time about our catalog of Native Hawaiian grants is that I must be wrong about the amount of money and number of grants involved since Native Hawaiians still have so many troubles (economic or otherwise). Well, yes and no.
Far be it from me to pass judgment on how much trouble anyone has, regardless of his or her ethnicity. Times are tough out there for (mostly) everyone, including Native Hawaiians. Though quite a few of them (the ones who benefited from the multi-million dollar federal contracting preferences leap to mind) who appear to be doing pretty well. But all that is beside the point. The question is how so much money can be put to use for so little (in the opinion of the complainer) result. And to that, I can only say . . . what else do you expect from government-based efforts to help? I bring up American Indian tribal affairs from time to time on this blog–not just because there can be some interesting parallels, but also because the drive for the Akaka Bill’s passage tells us that these examples are signs of things to come. So I think it might be worthwhile to look at Barry Farber’s recent column about John Stossel’s recent piece of investigative journalism (I’ve left a bit of a historical cliffhanger, so you’ll have to go the full article to finish the story):
Now here comes John Stossel, fellow WND columnist, over the weekend of March 26 with one of the best pieces in television history: “Freeloaders,” a Fox News special delivering stomp-down proof that Indian tribes that are not recognized as tribes by the government and get no federal handouts are more successful than those on the federal dole. Stossel visited the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina, whose members get nothing from the government. They’re generally successful in business. Many live in luxury mansions. In contrast, the Indians embraced by the feds live in what look like tar-paper shacks.
In boxing, John Stossel’s interview with Elizabeth Homer, who used to be the government nanny of the recognized tribes, would have been canceled as a mismatch or halted on a TKO early in Round 1. She was pitifully unable to defend government stewardship over Native Americans as anything but the failure of socialism.
I’ll never quit thanking Stossel for giving me Part 4 of my standard answer to the question, “How can you flat-out say that capitalism is better for the masses than socialism?” Up to now I’ve had three examples: free and prosperous Finland, which began its national life simultaneously with its dysfunctional Communist Russian neighbor; West Berlin, delivering mortal embarrassment to Communist East Berlin every day of the latter’s existence; and Hong Kong, when it was British and free right next to Communist China. Now I add: the Lumbees, up against all the tribes spoon-fed by Washington.
So, pleasure-wise, what’s in this for me? Unless Stossel over-Googled, I’ll bet you he didn’t know something real nice about the Lumbees, whose independent prosperity he covered so splendidly. It’s something I’ve known for years.
In January 1958, the Ku Klux Klan in Robeson County, N.C., staged a rally to put the allegedly uppity Lumbee Indians back in their “proper” racial place. The Lumbees are totally integrated Americans, but they bought some feathers and face-paint and, just as the Klansmen were about to torch the giant cross, able-bodied male Lumbees costumed like the “Indians” of our childhood stormed into the Klan clearing from all directions, war-whooping and putting the white-clad racists to rout.