Anti-Indian Groups Deserve Hate Group Designation

Published July 21, 2018
Report by Montana Human Rights Network Makes the Case 
HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Human Rights Network has issued a briefing paper making the case for categorizing anti-Indian groups as hate groups. As one of the few non-Indian organizations around the country that tracks and studies the organized effort to terminate American Indian sovereignty, the Network is frequently asked if national watchdog organizations, the media, and advocacy groups should consider anti-Indian groups to be hate groups. The Network believes that is the case, and its report describes why.
“Too many people consider the anti-Indian movement to be just another mainstream conservative movement,” says the Montana Human Rights Network’s Travis McAdam. “The reality is that anti-Indian groups belong on the right-wing fringe, which is exactly where their ideology originates. They deserve the hate group designation, because they seek to deny legally-established rights to American Indians by terminating tribal sovereignty.”
In its groundbreaking report  Drumming Up Resentment: The Anti-Indian Movement in Montana, the Network declared the anti-Indian movement was racist due to its systematic effort to deny legally-established rights to a group of people identified by their shared culture, history, religion, and tradition. The new issue brief expands on the research from Drumming Up Resentment and examines the anti-Indian movement’s targeting of American Indian sovereignty within both the “hate frame” and the definitions used by national experts to designate hate groups. The issue brief makes the case that anti-Indian groups, like the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, fit squarely within these types of criteria.
The issue brief discusses how anti-Indian groups cloak themselves in names and arguments that co-opt traditional civil rights rhetoric. This helps them capitalize on the lack of knowledge most community members have when it comes to American Indian sovereignty and treaty rights. The brief also examines how the anti-Indian movement exploits the derogatory stereotypes and institutionalized racism directed towards American Indians.
“The issue brief explores how the anti-Indian movement works with other extreme right-wing movements while portraying itself as mainstream and moderate,” says McAdam. “Additionally, for those people who view anti-Indian groups as garden-variety conservatives, we show how their ideology overlaps with militia and white nationalist groups.”
Along with many quotes from anti-Indian groups and activists throughout the brief, a section titled “In Their Own Words” is included at the end of the report. It helps demonstrate how these groups and activists will not be satisfied until American Indian sovereignty is terminated and Native culture is forcibly abandoned.
The full issue brief, The Case for Categorizing Anti-Indian Groups as Hate Groups: Exploiting Historical Bigotry and Trying to Terminate American Indian Sovereignty, can be accessed online here. A PDF version of the report can be found here.

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