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Response: St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Chief's letter to the Post

Here is the original letter that I submitted to the New York Post in response to their editorial. It was denied because they said it was too long. More importantly, they said that it was "race-baiting" and they would not print it because of that. I shortened it and removed all references to race before they would post it.

"Dear Editor:

"The New York Post's Feb. 21 editorial condemning the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe reads like a grade B western movie. You know, the kind where the logic is so flawed that one shot knocks 20 Indians off their horses. Fortunately, this isn't make-believe and the Post's pen doesn't have the power to take out all 12,000 members of our tribe with that one shot.

"Taking the darkest moment in our tribe's history, the Post tries to depict our community and, I think, an entire race of people as criminals, hoodlums, and undesirables. They twist some facts to support their claim and add some bold-faced lies to complete the picture. The only thing missing was they failed to say that the only good Indian is a dead Indian.

"It must be nice to write in the utopia that is the Big Apple, where no crime takes place, where there is no smuggling of contraband or people, where no one has ever shot at police and where elected leaders have never gone astray. Perhaps the editors need to take a real hard look out of their glass houses before they cast stones at others.

"As insulting as the editorial was trying to be, the most disheartening thing is its intellectual dishonesty. The Post tries to portray itself as the moral savior, saying that legalized gambling is socially corrosive on several levels. However, it then contradicts itself and says that what the heck -- it should be opened up to everyone. What they are really saying is that us damned Indians have no business doing legalized gambling in this state. Apparently, the Post, or perhaps the interests it represents, should be doing it instead.

"Attempting to justify a position that legalized gambling should be allowed throughout the state by condemning and vilifying an entire community and race of people that you know nothing about was despicable on the part of the Post. Who's the thug now?"

James W. Ransom

Tribal Chief, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe