If you read just a few lines into the article underneath the headline (which appears to be announcing - and holding up for our collective outrage - that a non-native guy has been run off the reservation because of the colour of his skin) you will see that there is more to this story than the headline quite carefully suggests. I'm no fan of a multi-tiered society (which the 'reservation' system actually enshrines), but I AM an ardent fan of the truth and fairness, and this headline is neither. Shame on our national broadcaster for producing it and having it as their lead story on their website!
The real story being badly reported here - interestingly unexplored to any real depth - would appear to be that a potentially divisive individual (i.e., someone released from prison into that particular small community) was being rejected by that community. Whether or not the colour of his skin or his heritage was in any way a factor is not being investigated in this published article. We are left to judge for ourselves - or in other words; apply our prejudices in the most comfortable way. I find this to be a rather disappointing cop-out on the journalist's behalf.
If the man's ethnic background is NOT a factor (ask around, please, oh honourable journalist!), then the story is not worthy of national coverage of this sort. If it IS, however, I would suggest that the story would be a useful tool to raise the much bigger issue of acceptance/non-acceptance of diversity in all kinds of communities across our self-proclaimed multi-cultural land, within which prejudice and discrimination is of course, alive and well. But, it would seem, this is not going to happen - unless of course, there is a hard-hitting 'update', by which time the damage will have been done.
However, lurking not very far below the surface is another equally disturbing issue on the same theme. It seems that the Mohawk reservation (essentially a self-governing community, as are all reserves), it is enshrined in law that blatant racism is to be formally practised by the community. Anyone marrying outside of that band (what we whiteys would call a tribe) is to be ejected from the community.
I was genuinely shocked to read that. It seems that our government is willing to allow the most overt kind of racism within these communities, by virtue of their cultural (and possibly genetic) uniqueness. Were the occupants of my little residential street to band together and decide that anyone who wasn't a whitey European wasn't welcome in our neighbourhood for example, we would of course be pilloried and be prosecuted - quite rightly - if we acted upon such a prejudicial approach to life. The law in this isolated community is no less obnoxious - and it shouldn't (to my European mind, at least) matter that this is an isolated community attempting to preserve their cultural heritage. The laws of the land are there to protect the individual, but it seems that here, in this context, mediaeval attitudes can be allowed to endure.
I hoped that we had all learned enough lessons from the bloody past of North America to understand that such attitudes are only ever destructive. It seems that I was wrong.