The MuaveSkins?

Should have known this was going to be a major issue this year when one of my “proto-dates” launched into a tirade about never taking her to a Redskins Game…

That was before I told her I wasn’t the owner of Seasons Tickets even.

Sometimes “it is written” when relationships will be unexpectedly (at least to some folks) short.

Now I see Dan Snyder is again courting disaster – pulling failure, yet once again out of a hot hand…

Its in the Bag, Dan!

Top Republican Messaging Firm To Hold Football Focus Group About Whether Redskins Should Change Name

“It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear,” Luntz Global, the premier strategy shop run by Republican messaging guru Frank Luntz, boasts at the top of its web site. And Luntz Global is interested in figuring out what National Football League fans are hearing.

Luntz Global, which has worked on behalf of the NFL and other sports leagues during labor disputes in recent years, is conducting a football focus group in Alexandria, Virginia, on June 13, where it will pay participants $100 to share their opinions about the current state of America’s most popular professional sports league and the Washington Redskins, the NFL franchise embroiled in controversy and a federal trademark lawsuit involving its name.

An email survey meant to judge the interest and eligibility of potential participants includes multiple questions about the NFL generally, including how many games they watch and attend. It also asks about their “overall opinion of the NFL right now,” their “overall opinion of the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell,” and what they perceive as the “greatest problem or challenge facing the NFL today.”

Excuse me…But isn’t that like the same folks who told Romney…”Its in the bag?”

The Washington Red Tails is beginning to look like a great fall back position.

The First Native American Saint

The Catholic Church is reaching out to previously unrecognized groups…

 

Pope names ‘Lily of the Mohawks’ first Native American saint

Pope Benedict created seven new saints on Sunday including the first Native American to be canonised, as the Roman Catholic Church reaches out to its global flock to rebuff encroaching secularism…

Thousands of pilgrims from around the world converged on St. Peter’s Square to witness the ceremony recognising the saints, who included Kateri Tekakwitha, a sixteenth-century convert known as “Lily of the Mohawks.”…

The crowd included hundreds of pilgrims from theUnited States‘ 2.5 million-strong Native American population, of whom 680,000 are estimated to be Catholic, a legacy of the success of early missionaries in converting indigenous people in America.

Portraits of the new saints, including French Jesuit Jacques Berthieu, Italian priest Giovanni Battista Piamarta, the Spanish nun Carmen Salles y Barangueras, and German laywoman Anna Schaffer hung from the marble facade of St. Peter’s Basilica, and the crowds cheered as each name was called.

“Saint Kateri, Protectress of Canada and the first Native American saint, we entrust to you the renewal of the faith in the first nations and in North America! May God bless the first nations!” Pope Benedict said in his homily, in which he alternated between French, English, German and Italian.

Saint Kateri, born in 1656 in what is now New York to a Mohawk father and an Algonquin mother, impressed missionaries with her devotion, taking a lifetime vow of chastity and punishing herself by placing hot coals between her toes and sleeping on a bed of thorns.

When she died at the age of 24, witnesses said smallpox scars on her face disappeared, and people reported seeing visions of her.

This began a centuries-old tradition of veneration culminating with her canonisation, bolstered by the survival of the Native American boy in 2006…

Dressed in fringed and beaded regalia with an arctic fox fur collar, Judy Arnouts of the Odawa tribe, whose native name is Bedaben, meaning Blessing of New Day, said the canonisation of Saint Kateri was a boost to the Native American community.

“Our cultural and spiritual history needs to be upheld, celebrated and taught to our younger generation,” said Arnouts, 68, who had travelled from Michigan to present Pope Benedict with a wood-burned cedar log she had made, a traditional craft…

Increasing Number of Latinos Identify as Native American

In some Latin American countries – being Native American is a definite negative. Discrimination, such as that experienced by Native American people in Southern Mexico is common. So historically, a lot of Hispanics have run away from their Native American background (Not unlike the disappeared black folks in Mexico). So this is interesting…

Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard, right, dances at the 2010 Taíno Day ceremony in Puerto Rico.

Taino Festival in Puerto Rico

More Latinos identify as Native American, census shows

When Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard filled out her census form last year, she checked the box for Latino, and for the first time, she also checked the box for Native American.

It had taken her more than 30 years — plus research and genetic testing — to discover her ties to the indigenous Taínos of Puerto Rico, to claim her identity and re-learn what she thought she knew of her history.

She’s not the only one. Since 2000, the number of Hispanics who identified themselves as Native American grew from 407,073 to 685,150, according to the 2010 census.

Some attribute the increase to immigration from parts of North and South America where there are large indigenous populations. In some cases, it’s because of recently discovered ties to native cultures.

Growing up in the Bronx, New York, and spending summers in Puerto Rico, Maynard said she had no words to identify who she was. She just felt “different.”

“It is one thing to know that you have indigenous blood,” Maynard said. “And I have always known it. I look at the faces of my mother and grandmother, and that reality is undeniable.”

But Maynard had long been taught that Taíno Indians, the indigenous people of Puerto Rico, were “gone, dead and buried” for centuries, decimated by Spaniards who arrived on the island in the 16th century.

“Why would you question what you have always been taught and what was considered as common knowledge?” she asked.

Still, 14 years ago, Maynard founded the Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance & Cultural Center in Austin, Texas, to preserve the culture of indiginous Puerto Ricans. Today, Maynard gives dance and singing classes as a volunteer at the center, in addition to her full-time job as an engineer with IBM.

Four years ago, Maynard heard about the work of Dr. Juan Carlos Martinez Cruzado, a geneticist from the University of Puerto Rico. In an island-wide genetic study, he found that at least 61.1% of those surveyed had mitochondrial DNA of indigenous origin.

Cruzado’s findings eventually cast doubt upon the notion that the Taínos of Puerto Rico had been completely extinguished but suggested that they assimilated.

“When I learned about (Cruzado’s) work, my life changed,” Maynard said. “It was an awakening that the Taíno heritage was not extinct.”

 

Not Just Black Folks – Native American Unemployment Pain

Some things never seem to change in this here “post-racial” America…

Different race, Different recession – American Indian Unemployment in 2010

From the first half of 2007 to the first half of 2010, the American Indian unemployment rate nationally increased 7.7 percentage points to 15.2%. This increase was 1.6 times the size of the white increase.

• By the first half of 2010, the unemployment rate for Alaska Natives jumped 6.3 percentage points to 21.3%—the highest regional unemployment rate for American Indians.

• Since the start of the recession, American Indians in the Midwest (see Table 1 for the states within each region) experienced the greatest increase in unemployment, growing by 10.3 percentage points to 19.3%.

• By the first half of this year, slightly more than half—51.5%—of American Indians nationally were working, down from 58.3% in the first half of 2007.

• In the first half of this year, only 44% of American Indians in the Northern Plains were working, the worst employment rate for Native Americans regionally.

• The employment situation is the worst for American Indians in some of the same regions where it is best for whites: Alaska and the Northern Plains.

Obama Signs Law To Protect Native American Women From Rape

This is one of those where you ask – WTF took so long? Why have previous Presidents ignored this?

We have “basic human rights” in this country – EXCEPT for Native American women?

Hat Tip to Blue Wave on this one!

Obama Signs Tribal Law & Order Act, Empowers Native American Rape Victims

President Obama today signed into law something that will bring the mechanism of our justice system more within the reach of Native American victims of rape – the Tribal Law and Order Act. Why is such a law necessary? Well, for one thing, one in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime.

Native American blogger and activist Ajijaakwe - whom you may know as Aji – has published an informative article on Ms. Magazine’s blog that explains the issue thoroughly:

But in Indian Country, rape survivors bear additional burdens. They must report their crimes to federal law enforcement authorities, whom long and hard experience has told them to distrust. Cultural sensitivity is often nonexistent. Often, the law enforcement officers, investigators, prosecutors and health examiners are white men, and for many Native women cultural traditions may militate against talking to them about such intimate matters. So when you read that one in three Native women will be raped at least once in her lifetime, you can be assured that those numbers are underreported at even greater rates than in the general population.

Aji provides many additional shocking statistics, such as the fact that Native women are more than twice as likely as all other ethnic groups, to fall prey to rapists, but perhaps the most searing – and telling – stat is this one:

While most rapes occur within racial groups, this is not true for Native women. More than 86 percent of the offenders are non-Indians, and more than 70 percent are white.

Why is this fact so important?

Because until today, Native women raped by a non-Indian assailant had virtually no recourse. With rare exceptions, only federal law enforcement authorities have had jurisdiction to arrest and prosecute non-Native offenders on tribal lands. And historically, federal authorities have cared little about such cases: Federal authorities routinely decline to prosecute more than 50 percent of all violent crimes committed in Indian Country; the rate of declination is much higher for sexual assault cases.

Now, at least Native women can be a little more certain that their assailants will face prosecution for their crimes.

Much more info is available in Aji’s article. I encourage you to read the whole thing.

Another facet of the problem is explained in this article – sex slavery. Without this law in place, traffickers aren’t prosecuted.

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