Whitewashing Redskins Tour Gets Navajo Code Talkers Assoc. Endorsement
The suggestion that most Native Americans and others see the name as a hateful racist word set MacDonald on an anti-media diatribe. “You press people! I don’t know what’s wrong with you! We have so many issues with Native American people – states, the federal government stealing our water, taking our land. There’s poverty and high unemployment on Indian reservations. Why don’t you go over there and report those things? Is the change of [the] name going to change poverty on Navajo? Will that create thousands of jobs?
“There’s the cancer rate, as well as diabetes, alcoholism, the suicide rate – all much higher than outside society. It’s a third-world nation in the back door of the United States. Report that! Forget about this name change business. We can talk about that after we put the Indian back on equal footing with the rest of the world.”
MacDonald brushed aside the fact that studies show the offensive name is emotionally and psychologically harmful to Indian children. “The children here at Navajo at Red Mesa don’t want to change their name, they want to remain redskins,” he said.
The NCTA endorsement of the Redskins name passed by a vote of 7-0-0, meaning only seven code talkers attended the meeting. MacDonald said there are currently around 40 code talker members and all of them were notified of the meeting, but several descendants said their fathers and grandfathers were not notified.
Ron Kinsel, son of Code Talker John Kinsel, added that his dad did not approve of the endorsement of the Redskins name or the way the vote was conducted. “It was done without the association’s awareness. They were trying to pass it without a quorum,” Kinsel said.
MacDonald told ICTMN that the association’s bylaws define a quorum as 10 percent of the total member and therefore the seven-member vote was legitimate. However, Section 13 of the NCTA bylaws says, “The greater of ten (10) voting members or ten (10) percent of the voting members” constitutes a quorum, meaning that 10 members were required for the vote. The bylaws also mandate that “Notice of any meeting shall be given by oral or written notice delivered to each member. . . not less than ten (10) days nor more than fifty (50) days before the date of the meeting.”
The NCTA endorsement has mobilized the code talkers’ descendants into action. A meeting for concerned descendants of Navajo Code Talkers has been scheduled for Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. at Cafe Iina at the Navajo Nation Museum. Duvonne Manuelito, whose late grandfather James Manuelito was one of the original 29 code talkers, said it’s an opportunity for all the code talkers’ descendants to come together and plan a strategy to protect their fathers’ and grandfather’s legacy. “We need to let people know there’s another side to what’s going on.”
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