I am firmly on Peter d’Errico’s side of the argument and, if it were up to me, I’d make all lawyers adherent to the status quo regarding the rights of Indians line up rightfully beside the likes of Justice Scalia and Thomas, neither of which has ever claimed to be Indian.
The notion that one can be a professional advocate in the fight between those advocating Indian rights and the status quo is as absurd as the argument between devout Christians and Atheists. We might be passionate and reasonably objective, but the argument that the U.S. Judiciary has “protected Indian interests” as subservient to the plenary power of Congress is like the story about the starving chicken hawk which convinced the fat chicken it should be allowed in to protect it in its roost.
How can today’s illustrious professors of law reconcile the fact that Americans ruling all Indian people in the U.S. have unalienable fundamental rights to self-govern while we Indians must be glad for what exercise of sovereignty permitted us?
All the major themes of what is now called international law sprout from the developments of the European colonizers, primarily as they developed their interests in our hemisphere. They had no blueprint for doing this and what they must be given credit for is the brilliant exercise of human ingenuity and spin doctoring to this very day.
The entire U.S. Judiciary has been one of the foremost architects of this development, and that of every “scout” that ever historically crossed over to the prevailing side, sprouts primarily from members of our own people who, rather than go to the reservation, adopted American arguments in place to this very day. No one, regardless of identity, in the U.S. today can accept existence of Indian reservations except through a belief that Americans are superior to Indians. They are not!
– Rodolfo Rivera Munoz
San Antonio, Texas