Another long-overdue reckoning for America

first_imgAfter a narrow 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling this month declaring that a large portion of eastern Oklahoma remains Native American land. The McGirt v. Oklahoma decision, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, upheld the rights of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation to govern its lands and affirmed tribal sovereignty and treaty rights. Days later, the NFL franchise in Washington, D.C., decided that it would drop the team name of Redskins, which Native Americans have long criticized as racially offensive and demeaning. We asked members of the Harvard community to reflect on the significance of these developments, which come amid the wider national reckoning on the historical mistreatment of communities of color.Shawon Kinew, A.M. ’12, Ph.D. ’16Citizen of the Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation, Treaty 3 Anishinaabe NationAssistant Professor of History of Art and ArchitectureShutzer Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study,This is a moment to reckon with the history of American land, how it was seized, how it was tilled, and the human toll of these practices.When George Floyd was murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin, this injustice was carried out in Minneapolis, on Ojibwe and Dakota land, not far from where President Lincoln hanged 38 Dakota men in 1862. This is a city that benefits daily from its most famous son, Prince, one of the great American artists of all time, a Black man. There is something of an allegory for America in Minneapolis. This is a place that could not be without stolen land, genocide, slavery, and without the contributions of Black and Indigenous Americans.In both the NFL and Oklahoma, Black and Indigenous presence and histories intersect. The Washington football team and Supreme Court decisions are the result of decades of activism, born of the American Civil Rights Movement that brought Black and Indigenous peoples together.In this confluence of events in 2020 is a call for greater historical consciousness, to understand North America’s violent history and its living legacy, from slurs that dehumanize to the ongoing denial of fundamental rights — human rights, treaty rights. It is a particularly important moment to honor and celebrate Black Natives, whose identities and histories are often erased.Tiya Miles ’92Professor of History, Harvard University, whose work explores the intersections of African American, Native American, and women’s historiesRadcliffe Alumnae Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study,Over the chaotic weeks of this summer, a monster convergence of societal betrayals propelled millions of Americans into the streets. Those betrayals included most prominently the graphic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many more African American victims of police and vigilante brutality. The truly multiracial nature of the protests has been a heartening element even amid a complicating public health crisis and a shocking reactive display of police and military force. Indeed, this moment has highlighted interconnections between the histories and experiences of people of color. Native Americans across the country were among those marching with Black Lives Matter signs. Calls for justice for Black people expanded into public outrage at the treatment of Indigenous people in the U.S. in a way that has finally produced a major reversal in the long battle to banish pejorative sports team mascots.Racism against African Americans and Native Americans often takes different forms, and stereotypes about each population have divergent histories and motivations. Yet, dehumanizing caricatures of the wild “savage” or dangerous “predator” surely affect the disproportionate rates of arrest, physical abuse by police, and incarceration faced by both African Americans and Native Americans.Open disparagement of Black people and Black culture has been so widespread, egregious, and ugly in this country, and the movement against it so broad and forceful, that cultural norms shifted over time to suppress practices like blackface. In contrast, the damaging romanticization of Native people, particularly in the 20th century, led to a mainstreaming of Native cultural appropriation and mischaracterization that many non-Native people refused to recognize as harmful. The intense pressure brought to bear on the Washington, D.C., sports team as part and parcel of an anti-racist message has exposed this practice as not only unethical, but also unacceptable to a vocal public.The incredible legal decision that we also saw this summer in McGirt v. Oklahoma unfolded in a distinct domain, and I leave it to future scholars with the benefit of hindsight to work out how this particular social movement might have affected governmental outcomes.The Supreme Court upheld Muscogee (Creek) tribal rights to govern their own lands within broad, legally stipulated boundaries previously ignored by the state of Oklahoma. In the 5-4 majority opinion written by Neil Gorsuch, the justices argued not only for upholding Native American territorial rights but also the rule of law. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation that relocated to the plains during the period of Indian Removal predates the state of Oklahoma (which only came into being in 1907), and has a preexisting treaty with the United States that includes congressionally approved boundaries.The Supreme Court ruled that Oklahoma’s mere existence did not override that treaty. This is a tremendous victory for Indigenous rights to self-governance, and yet, as legal scholars and historians such as Stacy Leeds (Cherokee), Nick Estes (Lakota), and Matthew Fletcher (Anishinaabe) have pointed out, cautious optimism is warranted. Congress has the authority to create new legislation addressing this issue, and the federal government has been inconsistent at best when it comes to protecting the sovereignty of Indigenous nations within its borders.Philip J. DeloriaDakota descentProfessor of Native American and Indigenous Studies, Department of History,The decisions of the Washington NFL team and the U.S. Supreme Court (and, I would add, U.S. District Court shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipe Line pending environmental review) remind us of the important links between culture and politics, and the need to contest both.For centuries, Native people have insisted on the legal and contractual nature of treaties, and the Gorsuch opinion makes it clear that, even if inconvenient for white Americans, treaties are indeed the law of the land, and tribal governments are political sovereigns in their own right.For decades, Native people have insisted that demeaning stereotypes have negative effects on American Indian children and culture, that the function of a sports team is not to “honor” anyone, and that Native mascots enact a unique kind of damage that is unimaginable when applied to another other racial or ethnic groups. In the middle of a long-overdue awakening to the realities of systemic racism in the United States, these changes and decisions are reminders that there are multiple histories that require some kind of reckoning.Joseph P. Gone ’92Aaniiih-Gros Ventre, Fort Belknap, Mont.Professor of Anthropology and of Global Health and Social MedicineFaculty Director, Harvard University Native American Program,As a former doctoral student at the University of Illinois in Champaign, where the sports team mascot Chief Illiniwek danced at halftime throughout all my years on campus, I know the importance of retiring these harmful racial stereotypes.Now comes the welcome news that the granddaddy of them all, the Washington R*dsk*ns, exists no more. It has been a long battle, which I first became aware of when the Cheyenne-Muscogee activist Suzan Shown Harjo visited Harvard during my undergraduate years. In the ensuing decades, while painted and feathered fans whooped and chopped in stadiums across America, mascots like these have depressed American Indian student self-esteem and foreclosed on our imagined futures.And yet, robust visions of Indigenous futurity are even more in need now that half the state of Oklahoma has been re-recognized as tribal territory. The Harvard Charter of 1650 dedicates our University to the “education of the English and Indian youth of this Country.” Let us recommit campus-wide to promoting Native American and Indigenous education, community, scholarship, and inclusion.Sarah Sadlier, J.D. ’22, Ph.D. ’23Minneconjou LakotaCo-President of the Harvard Native American Law Students AssociationPhoto by Alex TobinIt is an exhilarating moment to be a Law School student working in Federal Indian Law. One of my favorite lines of the McGirt v. Oklahoma opinion is: “Unlawful acts, performed long enough and with sufficient vigor, are never enough to amend the law. To hold otherwise would be to elevate the most brazen and longstanding injustices over the law, both rewarding wrong and failing those in the right.” When you read this decision’s powerful language, you dare to hope that the United States will start following its own laws and honoring the treaties that it made with Native nations. This success energizes you to keep fighting to ensure that it does.I continue to be inspired by the Indigenous women like Suzan Shown Harjo and Amanda Blackhorse, who have dedicated decades of their lives to combating racist mascots through the court system and beyond.Anna Kate Cannon ’21Citizen of the Choctaw NationCo-president of Natives at Harvard CollegePhoto by Jillian CheneyI’ve never liked the Washington Redskins team because they have been using a racial slur as their team name and profiting off of it for years. What troubles me is that not only the team, but a lot of people didn’t consider it a racial slur. Many people don’t see it as derogatory to Native people because they don’t believe that Natives are still here and have valid political claims. You see this all the time in politics, in statistics, etc. Natives are just glossed over.Now many people recognize that the team was wrong, but the team has been wrong for so long, and what they did was extremely overdue. It’s kind of infuriating to see them being praised for something they should have done long ago. But we have to acknowledge that this change is a result of the pressure from the Black Lives Matter movement and the activism of Indigenous people, who have fought for years and years to remove the name. For me, this a clear representation of the fact that Black liberation and Indigenous sovereignty are always going to be tied together, and that we have to work together to demand equal treatment as people and as citizens.As far as the McGirt v. Oklahoma decision goes, on one hand, it is monumental. The U.S. has entered into over 500 treaties with Native tribes throughout the centuries and has broken every single one of them. Now we have a decision from a conservative justice saying that the U.S. needs to uphold treaties, and included an iconic line written by Justice Gorsuch, “At the end of trail of tears, there was a promise.” There were so many promises and the U.S. broke every single one of them.On the other hand, the Gorsuch decision has a caveat because it says that states do not have the rights to infringe upon or disestablish a reservation within their state boundaries, but that Congress still has the right to do both of those things. That is very scary especially because there are a lot of economic interests, oil and mining interests, in Oklahoma, and in Indian country, in general. But overall, this ruling is very encouraging because the history of federal Indian policy is just blow after blow to tribal sovereignty. Maybe there will be some turning point because Native sovereignty has definitely entered the national conversation.Madison Esposito, M.P.H. ’21Citizen of the Tyme Maidu NationPhoto by Ernesto Del AguilaAllyship is imperative to the longevity and effectiveness of any social movement. The allyship seen between Black and Native peoples living in what is now known as the United States of America has played no small part in building the social pressure necessary to cause the D.C. football team to finally change their team name. The name has always been seen as a slur and has been connected with real mental health impacts among Native peoples.This is not to say that the social momentum we are seeing and experiencing in Indian Country is completely due to the support and attention we have amassed in our allyship to the Black Lives Matter movement. Each and every bit of progress and victory seen in Indian country, from the return of stolen land to the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw Nations, to a Native person living a fulfilled, healthy, and happy life, has been built on generations of Indigenous resilience, resistance, and resourcefulness.We are here because our ancestors never stopped believing in the next generation. Continuing to move forward and improving Native lives requires following the practices of our ancestors and holding [that] relations are powerful and sacred. We do this by empowering ourselves and empowering the peoples we share this land with.Eric Henson, M.P.P. ’98Citizen of the Chickasaw NationAdjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of GovernmentCourtesy of Eric HensonBoth are important symbolic developments. But I’d like to temper the positive symbolism of these developments with the following caveats: Both decisions leave a lot on the ground unaddressed.In the case of the Washington Redskins, the name change is in some ways diminished because it was done because the team’s ownership felt they were boxed in by changing tides and changing events. That’s pretty disappointing, because maintaining racist stereotypes should be undone on the principle of the matter and because it’s the right thing to do for the good of humanity.Secondly, if a team wants to actually engage in a meaningful change, it could do much more than just change its logo. Sports teams, and not only in the NFL, could start engaging their legal counsel to issue cease-and-desist orders for people selling racist paraphernalia. They could begin mandating that their fans who come to their stadium don’t engage in racist chants, or racist activity such as the “Tomahawk chop” and whatnot. That, to me, would be putting some actual muscle behind this symbolic change of the team’s logo and mascot.I have a similar set of caveats on the Supreme Court decision. Treaties that tribes have entered into have been ignored in many instances, and this wonderful legal development may mean that they will be less ignored going forward. My caveat is this: On the ground, how is it going to play out? The ruling itself is very narrow, and it might imply the shift to federal prosecution of major crimes committed by Indians, which could be worrisome. Just because the federal government has the right to prosecute major crimes in Indian country, it often does not. Some significant proportion, 39 or 40 percent, of possible prosecutions referred to the federal government in Indian country are not followed up on at all, and 25 percent of those have to do with violence against women.It would be a real shame if specific action such as protecting Indian women who are assaulted, or are disappearing, or are being killed and murdered, actually gets worse in half of Oklahoma because now the prosecution of some of those crimes is much more in the ballpark of the federal government instead of local and state authorities. While it is definitely true that this Supreme Court ruling is a great development in Indian history, we all need to be diligent and make sure that the prosecutorial powers of the federal government are brought to bear to protect vulnerable people of all sorts; in the example we have been talking about, Native women who are victims of major crimes, in particular.Megan HillCitizen of the Oneida Nation of WisconsinProgram Director, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development,The Black Lives Matter movement has awakened a new momentum across Indian Country. Last week, not only was the decades-long fight to remove the racist mascot from the Washington football team successful, but, in a landmark decision, the Supreme Court affirmed the treaty rights of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, profoundly impacting law and policy for tribal nations across the U.S.In different ways, both instances recognize Native peoples as contemporary peoples with contemporary governments, not as stereotypes or relics of the past. While these are important victories, the need to dismantle systemic racism and the erasure of Indigenous voices in institutions, like Harvard, continues. I stand in solidarity with my Black Lives Matter allies to address this racism and build new and inclusive systems that realize a collective, equitable future.last_img read more

Half of FTSE 100 companies could buy out DB funds in 10 years: report

first_imgMore than half of the top 100 listed firms in the UK will be able to secure an insurance buyout for their defined benefit (DB) schemes within 10 years, according to a report by consultancy Barnett Waddingham.The firm’s research paper – FTSE 100 dividends vs deficit contributions – showed that 55% of FTSE 100 company DB schemes could secure a buyout by 2029. This figure increased to 70% if companies diverted an extra 6% of profits into these pension schemes, Barnett Waddingham said.If 7% more of current shareholder payouts were put into contributions, then 30% of FTSE 100 schemes would be in a position to conduct a buyout in the next five years, the consultancy reported.Combined post-tax profits of FTSE 100 companies with DB schemes rose from to £134bn (€149bn) in 2018, from £57bn in 2009, it said. However, as profits have risen, payments to shareholders – through dividends or share buybacks – have risen even faster. In contrast, deficit contributions to DB schemes fell by 10% over the same period to £8.3bn per year, Barnett Waddingham said.Putting a bigger share of profits into pension schemes would drastically accelerate the endgame journey, the consultancy said, and allow companies to de-risk much sooner.Stepping up contributions was also the best way to keep potential regulatory action at bay, the group added. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has been scrutinising the balance between dividends paid to shareholders and contributions to pension funds.Nick Griggs, head of corporate consulting at Barnett Waddingham, said: “Political instability and economic uncertainty is growing, and has the potential to disrupt both pension scheme deficits and companies’ abilities to pay them down.“And following record dividends, and recovering profits, many companies will also be coming under increasing pressure from TPR to adequately fund their DB pension schemes and strike a more even balance between payments to shareholders and those to plug scheme deficits.“Having a robust, coherent plan in place for the DB endgame journey will be the best defence against any intervention from TPR, as it will take comfort from the framework that has been put in place.”Griggs said tackling pension liabilities had been a key challenge for FTSE 100 companies since the financial crisis.“Thankfully, the total pension deficit has been slowly shrinking on the back of recovering asset prices and the contributions paid by companies,” he said. “The DB endgame is increasingly a realistic short-term focus for many companies and the dividend versus deficit contribution balance is a key lever for those nearing the end of their journey.”last_img read more

Hart has 34 saves in Flyers’ 4-1 win over Bruins

first_imgHart has 34 saves in Flyers’ 4-1 win over Bruins After leading the NHL with 44 wins and 100 points and allowing a league-low 167 goals, the Bruins have endured their share of hiccups following the 4 1/2-month break.First leading scorer David Pastrnak and defenseman Ondrej Kase were pictured on social media enjoying themselves in Boston’s North End before the start of training camp. Kase still isn’t ready to play.Then Rask broke his finger working out.Though guaranteed a spot in the first round, the Bruins looked nothing like a team with a “Stay Hungry” tagline, in reference to losing the Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final to St. Louis last year.The game lacked the intensity and chippiness of the elimination-round series games that preceded it, and reflective of two teams easing their way into action, already assured of advancing. ___For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Associated Press Chris Wagner scored for the Bruins, who came out flat and were without starting goalie Tuukka Rask, who was deemed unfit to play.Jaroslav Halak stopped 25 shots starting in place of the Vezina Trophy finalist, who broke a finger on his left hand before the start of training camp. Rask was healthy enough to start in Boston’s 4-1 exhibition game loss to Columbus on Wednesday. He allowed three goals on 23 shots over 30 minutes, before giving way to Halak.Hart closed the season going 9-2 and allowing 21 goals, and surpassed Pete Peeters, who was nearly 23 in winning Game 1 of Philadelphia’s preliminary series over Edmonton in 1980.The Flyers were among the NHL’s hottest teams before the season was paused in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Philadelphia had won nine straight before a 2-0 loss to Boston on March 10, the two teams’ final game before play was stopped. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditTORONTO (AP) — Carter Hart stopped 34 shots, and the Philadelphia Flyers opened the NHL expanded playoffs seeding round with a 4-1 win over the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston Bruins on Sunday.Hart is 11 days shy of his 22nd birthday in becoming the youngest goalie in Flyers history to win a playoff game. Michael Raffl had a goal and assist, while Nate Thompson, Philippe Myers and Scott Laughton also scored for the Flyers.With 16 teams competing in best-of-five elimination series, the top four teams in each conference are playing a round-robin series to determine seeding entering the first round of the playoffs. Philadelphia finished fourth in the Eastern Conference standings, and the Bruins first. On Sunday, the Flyers were the more physical and opportunistic team in capitalizing on the Bruins’ sloppiness.Raffl opened the scoring 5:33 into the second period when he was set up alone driving to the net by Travis Sandheim, who kept the puck in at the blueline. Thompson scored 3:58 later with a snap shot from the left circle on a play that began with teammate Ivan Provorov pouncing on a Bruins’ turnover in the neutral zone.And even when the Bruins scored on Wagner’s wrap-around goal with 1:09 left in the second period, they allowed the Flyers to regain the two-goal edge on Myers’ goal 8 seconds later.Boston’s Anders Bjork appeared to misplay the puck in the neutral zone, allowing Myers to drive up the left wing and snap a 40-footer inside the far post.Laughton then sealed the win 4:07 into the third period, when he drove in alone after teammate Kevin Hayes forced Brandon Carlo to turn over the puck at the right point of the Flyers’ zone. One of the better checks was delivered by Philadelphia’s Nicolas Aube-Kubel, who stood up Carlo along the boards in the Bruins’ zone four minutes into the second period NOTES: The Bruins have four players with 100-plus career playoff appearances: Zdeno Chara (182), Patrice Bergeron (137), David Krejci (132) and Brad Marchand (108). … The Flyers have one player with 100 or more career playoff appearances, D Matt Niskanen (125), none with Philadelphia, and 70 during his tenure with the Washington Capitals. … Bruins players stood arm in arm at their blue line for the anthems, while coach Bruce Cassidy linked arms with his staff on the bench.UP NEXTFlyers: Face third-seeded Washington Capitals on Thursday.Bruins: Face second-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday. August 2, 2020last_img read more

Argentina Unleashes Aguero, Dybala, Pavon on Nigeria

first_imgArgentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has hinted his desire to sustain the South American nation’s superiority over their African adversaries by opting for an all-out attacking formation.The two-time World Cup winners are a shade ahead of Nigeria on the balance of previous meetings as they have five wins relative to Nigeria’s sole victory.Dybala and Pavon, according to El- Clarin, the Buenos Aires-based newspaper, are the only changes Sampaoli is contemplating for the friendly, and from the team that beat Russia 1-0 on Saturday, after Lionel Messi pulled out to join Barcelona.Messi, a recurrent thorn in Nigeria’s flesh in the previous engagements, will not play through the Eagles defence today, having been excused from international duty by Sampaoli.The coach felt the inspirational forward and Argentina captain, deserved a break from international match load.In his absence will be Boca striker, Pavon, who has earned the adulation of Messi for his impressive performance against Russia.The 21- year- old played a key role in a play that set up Aguero’s goal against Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.It is also expected that Agustín Marchesín will be handed his debut in the goal ahead of Sergio Romero and Nahuel Guzman, who was on duty in the match against Singapore.The Argentina likely starting XI in the match to kick off at 5.30 pm Nigerian time would be Marchesín; Javier Mascherano, Germán Pezzella, Otamendi; Banega, Kranevitter, Giovanni Lo Celso; Dybala; Pavón, Agüero and Ángel Di María.The Krasnodar stadium has a capacity for 34,291 spectators. The stadium was one of the venue proposed by the Russian federation for the next year’s World Cup before it was dropped.However, it was used as venue for two friendlies by Russia against Costa Rica and Cote d’Ivoire.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Olawale Ajimotokan in AbujaNigeria’s defensive resolve will be tested as Argentina intends to parade the strike force of Sergio Kun Aguero, Paulo Dybala and Cristian Pavón in today’s international friendly tie in Russia.The match will be played at a warm temperature of 16 degrees in Krasnodar, a city located about 1,300 kilometres to the south of Moscow.last_img read more

Eagles Not Taking Egypt Friendly Lightly, Says Rohr

first_imgNigeria’s Franco-German Coach, Gernot Rohr, has revealed that his wards will not be taking their international friendly against Egypt lightly.The Super Eagles and the Pharaohs will meet in a friendly game at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on March 26.The fixture is expected to be played four days after the two teams are scheduled to wrap up their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign: Nigeria will be at home to the Seychelles in Group E, while Egypt is away to Niger in Group J. Gernot Rohr The qualifying matches are both dead rubbers, as the West and North Africa heavyweights have already secured their berths at this year’s AFCON.In addition, Egypt was on Tuesday confirmed as the hosts for the tournament (following the Confederation of African Football’s decision to strip Cameroon of the rights in November last year). The country defeated South Africa in the Executive Committee voting process 16-1 on Tuesday morning.Both Nigeria and Egypt can be considered genuine contenders for the 2019 AFCON title and the meeting on March 26 will be a key part of both camps’ preparations – something Rohr has already alluded to.“I and my assistants are not taking the friendly match against Egypt lightly,” Rohr told Nigeria’s Football Live.“In fact we are planning to win the friendly match in preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations this year.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more