Being an Indian means we don’t pay taxes, that is what they say. It also means we get free healthcare where ever we live and we go to college for free. We also take all the good jobs because of preference and we all have good money from our casinos. We drive nice cars and we think everyone should kiss our ass because we were here first.
Well maybe that last part is true. Haha.
Not the nice cars part. Not all of us. However there are so many myths and rumors about “Indians getting everything for free.”
I want to know where this free sign up thing is? Where do we go for this? The only place I knew you could stand in line and get something for free was at the commod house and if you were lucky it was cheese month. If you were even luckier, you had an uncle who if he wasn’t good for anything else, he was good for working magic with commods and could make them taste like they came from a five star restaurant.
So let’s look at the little myths
Indians don’t pay taxes.
Wrong, we pay just as much taxes as you. Are you talking about our land? We don’t pay taxes on our land? Well we also cannot get a loan on this land because of the way the system is set up. Our land is held in trust. I won’t even get into it. You can read it in this article from Forbes magazine. Why are Indian Reservations So Poor? A Look At The Bottom 1%.
Indians get free healthcare.
Believe me if we could, saw a chance we would try. It is certainly in our treaty rights. Which means in exchange for stealing everything from us we were promised free health care. However, that doesn’t mean if we move off the reservation we are covered. We have to be lucky enough to have a job that offers free health care. And the free healthcare we do get, lets just say my grandmother sued our hospital and received a huge settlement because that is the kind of free healthcare we get, she almost died before her time. Maybe she still did. I don’t know, we will probably never know.
Indians go to college for free.
When I am finally done paying off my student loans for the degree I don’t have I will let you know how free it is. Just kidding, but I am almost done. So much so that they don’t even call me and we don’t pretend and make fake payment arrangements anymore. There are a few schools (by few I mean like 3, give or take) who are tuition free for Native Americans and it usually has something to do with some horrible atrocity that happened there to someone’s relatives generations ago. Guilt ridden free tuition, but nothing else is free.
Indians get all the good jobs because of preference.
Can you show me where these jobs are? Because I want one.
Indians all get money from their casinos.
I wished! No actually I don’t. Because it would make me unmotivated. We don’t all get money from our casinos. Unless we win there. There are some tribes who give per cap payments to their members but I know more real people in my life who don’t get free money than people that do. We don’t get money for being Indian unless we work for it.
We drive nice cars.
Some people do, so what? If they do it is because they worked hard for it and are proud and take care of it. However some people will use a wire hanger to hold together the car they had for 2 generations and a shoelace to run the windshield wipers. Don’t start me on my infamous Indian car…which started with a knife.
Indians expect everyone to kiss their ass because they were here first.
Well no. Not exactly that. We do expect understanding. We would like people to realize we are human, we have our own stories, we have our own wonderful people out there telling our stories. And we are fed up with people telling us our own history.
We were here first. We have always been here. If that sounds arrogant it is because it is. We know we have been here, we can trace our family tree further back than you know. We can tell you which relatives fought in which wars even back to the “Indian wars.”
We are not a pack of lies and myths to be sold in a tourist shop next to a brightly colored chicken feather headband and rubber tomahawk.
Shoot, we’re the real deal Holyfield.
If you have a question for an Indian ask….even if they have a somewhat smart ass smile, it’s not a dumb question, they have just heard it a hunnert times.