Whitewashing Redskins Tour Gets Navajo Code Talkers Assoc. Endorsement
“The Navajo Code Talkers weren’t paid one cent to be there, nor were there any promises made about donations... ”
Reports of the NCTA endorsement showed up on Facebook late in the afternoon of February 28, and the news spread quickly. Here are a few typical posts. (Both the Facebook link and people’s names have not been used in order to protect their privacy.)
“People are crying. I almost threw up when I read it.”
“Sad day... so much for honor.”
“Rather give more attention to the medicine man association... code talkers have become nationalist puppets and fall for anything.”
Several Navajo descendants and other Navajo citizens expressed suspicion about MacDonald and his motives. Their common theme was, “He divided the Nation.” A former Navajo Nation president, MacDonald was removed from office by the Navajo Tribal Council in 1989 under suspicion of accepting kickbacks from contractors and corporations. The chaos that followed led, a few months later, to a riot in Window Rock in which two MacDonald supporters were shot to death and tribal police officers were injured. “It was an event that would forever change life for many people on the Navajo Nation,” the Navajo Times reported.
MacDonald was tried and sent to federal prison in 1992 for 107 violations of U.S. law, including charges of fraud, extortion, riot, bribery, and corruption. He served eight years of a 14-year sentence and was released in January 2001, when his sentence was commuted by then-President Bill Clinton on his last day in office.
MacDonald was voted president of the NCTA in January 2012.
In November, Navajo Nation Councilman Joshua Lavar Butler condemned what he called team officials’ “antics to use our beloved and cherished Navajo Heroes as pawns in their Public Relations battle to perpetuate this indignity and ignorance.”
Butler has drafted a legislative resolution opposing the Redskins name and distancing the Navajo government from the NCTA. He stressed that people should differentiate between the NCTA and the Nation’s government. “I must remind the public that the endorsement is not from the Navajo Nation government or the Navajo Nation as a whole,” he said.
You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page