Amnesty is not a Dirty Word

This rant has been coming on for some time. I started getting angry when Republicans began to co-opt words and phrases for their own use, usually giving them a negative twist. I became even angrier when the rest of us stood by and let it happen. What has finally set me off is the negative reaction I get when I use the word "amnesty" during discussions about undocumented workers and other people in this country illegally.

Amnesty is not a dirty word, however there are quite a few others used during this debate.

Xenophobe, protectionist, illegal, bigot, alien......and the list goes on.

The debate over the best way to approach the challenges presented by the massive number of people who are in our country illegally can get ugly. It's a debate I have rarely entered over the past few years because while I feel one way, I find it easy to put myself in the shoes of some of those folks on the other side of the debate. I personally have no problem offering a path to citizenship, but I understand the feelings of those who do have a problem with it. I put myself into the shoes of the unemployed in hard hit areas of North Carolina and I imagine their fear and frustration. Can you imagine what it feels like to have your job and the jobs of hundreds, sometimes thousands of friends, neighbors and family members taken to a factory in another country? Can you imagine the anger and frustration they must feel when people in this country are so concerned about what is fair to non-citizens who are here trying to live the American dream when that dream is so far out of reach for so many American citizens? I can imagine their fear, anger and frustration. I don't think that makes them protectionists or xenophobes. It makes them human and certainly worthy of as much compassion as those here illegally.

A lot of things about this issue bother me and most of them center around the use of words, or in some cases the misuse of words. Many of those who are outraged when an undocumented worker is called an "illegal" have absolutely no problem flinging words like xenophobe, protectionist or bigot about.

Witness the reaction when I asked John Autry, a candidate for congress, if he was pro amnesty during a live-blog here at BlueNC. I was told I was framing the question a certain way simply because I used the word amnesty. The fact is, I was using amnesty because it accurately describes the situation and it does so using only one word. In reading the comments of the linked diary it's clear that the only real objection is to the use of that one word. Autry, like so many other politicians refused to own the word. Instead he chose to equivocate. I have a problem with that because believe it or not, I am pro amnesty.

I like the word. I like it a lot. Why? Because it satisfies two important needs for me in this debate. First it recognizes the fact that people in this country illegally have broken the law. Second, amnesty offers them a pardon for having done so. To pardon someone is to forgive them. Why, why, why are Progressives running away from a word that basically means to forgive? It simply doesn't make sense to me. We should own this word.

The argument over how best to deal with undocumented workers and their families is not going to go away. It's going to get louder and uglier. I don't know if I'll get louder and uglier along with it. I do know that I'm tired of being criticized for using the word amnesty appropriately. There is no better word to use to describe the pardoning of those in this country illegally. I believe in protecting our borders, but I'm not a xenophobe or a protectionist. I believe that we can offer a path to citizenship that doesn't necessarily move these massive numbers of undocumented workers to the front of the line. I believe this path can be as punitive or as rewarding as we wish to make it and working together we could probably figure out something that's acceptable to almost everyone. I also believe that once we have offered this path to forgiveness - because it won't be unconditional - those who do not choose to follow the path then take responsibility for their own futures and what they might hold, even if that future is deportation or jail.

It isn't those of us using the word amnesty who give it a bad name, it is those who are running away from it doing that disservice. Embrace amnesty. Embrace forgiveness. Own the word. Control the debate.

Well, that's the end of the rant. If anyone's up to it, there are two phrases I want to take back. Maybe we can work on those later. They are "family values" and "personal responsibility".

Comments

I almost didn't post this

I'm not up to an argument today. I have two sick children and am expecting a house full of people this evening. Here it is anyway. I got sick of seeing it in one of my many open windows and I finally decided to post it.

This issue is a really tough one for me (immigration - not amnesty). I'm not 100% either way. I believe in border protection, but think the fence/wall is a huge waste of time and money. I believe in amnesty, but also believe that we have to draw a line in the sand at some point. I believe in the rule of law, but I also believe in forgiveness.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

My only complaint with your post

is the use of the word "rant." This is not a rant, it is an eloquent and compelling case for a human response to a human problem.

A few reactions:

1. I draw a distinction between amnesty and forgiveness. The latter, in my view, is always unconditional. I know others see it differently, but for me forgiveness is an act of generosity. That said, I'm comfortable having conditions for amnesty.

2. Many people come to the debate around immigration with pure intentions, but many do not. Racists, bigots and xenophobes fan the fires of hate, aided and abetted by politicians who use the issue as an electoral strategy to mobilize their bases. You are right, though, to call for reining in the rhetoric. I will work harder to look for distinctions.

3. If amnesty was good enough for Scooter Libby, who truly put American lives at risk for nothing more than political gain, it's good enough for anyone. I applaud this post and I stand with you in calling for human beings everywhere to look into their hearts and embrace the possibility of forgiveness. It is the only path to peace.

It started off as a rant

Trust me. Then I edited out the language and this is what was left. :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

The forgiveness/pardon is or should be unconditional

The conditions placed should be to allow them to continue living in the country and work toward citizenship - not to keep them out of jail/deportation hearings. Should be two separate thangs. Should be....but might not be. That's just how I see it.

We should realize that some people might not want to be citizens. Whoa...imagine that. :) I'm not really up on how many foreign workers we need versus how many we have, but any amnesty program should have a reasonable way to deal with temporary workers.

Oh...and I do know there are racists, bigots and xenophobes.(Tancredo, anyone?) Trust me...some days I think I moved out here and went back in time. I live among them and that's why it was important for me to try to make the distinction. It's an ugly lot and we should make sure someone actually deserves that label before giving it to them.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Thank you Betsy

We spend a lot of time calculating the best argument to win a debate. Sometimes we just need to consider the most compassionate approach.

very well said, Betsy

Let me add a few thoughts...first, it is not a matter of amensty v. none, it is matter of CONDITIONAL amnesty v. doing nothing. What those conditions are would have to be determined, but it is important to emphasize is there WILL BE conditions.

While compassion for the people who have come here illegally (and they have), is important, it is more important to emphasize that we are allowing many to stay because we need workers. 80 million boomers will reach retirement age in tne next 25 years, who will replace them as workers? Subsequent generations are much smaller and the SSA has estimated that by 2050 there will be 2 workers for every retiree, not 3 as there are today. Not only does that mean we need people to do the work, it also means we need their taxes to shore up the social security system. We are not replacing our population, that means we need immigrants. If we limit them to fewer than 10 years work here (reasonable for us and them) they won't collect benefits. Unfair? Maybe, but I doubt many will care. So they have to pay 7.65% FICA, they still make far more than at home. I doubt if young guys in their 20s will care much that they won't get social security in 40 years, they want to earn money NOW and they can't make much back home where a day's minimum wage is less than an hour's minimum wage here. And, of course, if they are here legally, they will pay taxes (which many do already) and have all the protections of our labor laws.

Those immigrants SHOULD of course come legally, but unlike the previous mass waves of immigration from the Civil War to WWI, when just about everyone (who was a white European, that is, Hispanics from Mexico and Central America were never welcomed) was let in, most CAN'T come legally today. There is a limit of 66000 unskilled workers a year (no more than 7% from any one country) are allowed in now AND they must have jobs before they come. This is not real world when we need almost 1 million more workers a year than our natural population growth will provide in the next 25 years to help replace those who are leaving the workforce.

This doesn't mean all will become citizens. We need a tiered system, for example, seasonal ag workers, short-term workers, long-term workers, permanent resident workers, citizens. One would have to move up through the system, based primarily on OUR needs, not theirs. We need more workers, we don't necessarily need more citizens, although that chance should be given to at least some.

In short, we need a comprehesive new immigration policy that goes far beyond just border control. Yes, we need that too, I certainly believe a country has the right to control its borders, but the fence simply won't work (it only covers 1/3 of the border area), will cost billions, will cause environmental havoc, ranchers are up in arms, the TX border sheriffs don't want it, DHS doesn't want it, they know there are better, less costly ways to do it.

But if we had a policy that let many more in legally, those coming illegally would drop significantly, of course. This will allow us to concentrate on the real criminals, those who MUST come illegally, because they are doing something illegal, such as drug smuggling.

Finally, whatever you think about immigration, please don't demonize those coming here, whose "crime" is that they are poor and desperate. The vast majority are good people (and damn good workers, better than most Americans, I'm sorry to say) trying to make a better life. To demonize them as criminals, as many on the right wing are doing, is just wrong.

Forgiveness is a good way to look at this

Part of that healing process would require to know why these folks needed to leave their country? What is being done to correct the problem so others do not feel compelled to move also? If a country is so bad that 20 million + of their residence feel compelled to abandon it, why are we doing open borders with that government in the first place? That is a problem that must be corrected and brought to the forefront of any dialog.

What is being done to ensure these people accept our forgiveness and become partners with us? They are moving into our country after all.

Immigration laws and the thoughts behind these laws were developed to control who comes into this country and how.

Under the current conditions, we have 20 million plus people who are undocumented in our country. From a security point of view, that is unacceptable. We know nothing about them. From a sovereignty point of view, this is bad.

From a humanitarian point of view, we need to do something for these folks so we can help them if needed. We also need to know how much additional money local governments need to earmark to support the people living in their jurisdiction. These people also need to pay into the system so the local government can addiquitly support everyone.

I have a basic acceptance of my neighbor. I also have a basic belief that he shares my common values, one of which is love of this country over any other.

I do not want to deport every illegal, we do not need or want to. We need to review each person smartly and get rid of those that harm our country. Those that are left, ok, give them a method that honors the flavor of immigration.

If your in this country illegally, it should mean your here because you do not like your old country and are denouncing it. Thus you should be on a path to citizenship. Those that wish to become a citizen, should be required to follow the exact process those that immigrated before. Why give special treatments to anyone?

Make them legal immigrants under some strict method. I say it must be strict as they have already proven they will break laws to achieve their goals. One of an Americans beliefs is following rules and laws. They would have to prove they will follow laws to stay here.

Those that do not wish to become citizens and are here illegally should be deported because they have an agenda that does not support the American dream of pursuit of happiness. These folks are denouncing our way of life and are willingly taking on the role of parasite. We do not need them.

Another thing would be to penalize the hell out of anyone that enables or encourages hiring of illegals. These people that hire illegals are modern day sweat shop operators and "company store" operatives. They are using a person outside the established American norms of employment practices for personal gain. I despise this person over most illegals and this person is an American. These people are the true parasites of our society.

let me add....

Betsy wrote:"...I find it easy to put myself in the shoes of some of those folks on the other side of the debate. I personally have no problem offering a path to citizenship, but I understand the feelings of those who do have a problem with it. I put myself into the shoes of the unemployed in hard hit areas of North Carolina and I imagine their fear and frustration. Can you imagine what it feels like to have your job and the jobs of hundreds, sometimes thousands of friends, neighbors and family members taken to a factory in another country? Can you imagine the anger and frustration they must feel when people in this country are so concerned about what is fair to non-citizens who are here trying to live the American dream when that dream is so far out of reach for so many American citizens? I can imagine their fear, anger and frustration. I don't think that makes them protectionists or xenophobes. It makes them human and certainly worthy of as much compassion as those here illegally."

I couldn't agree more. Those being displaced by the globalized economy taking their jobs to low-wage countries will naturally resent people from those very countries (although ironically, most jobs are not going to the countries from which most of today's illegal immigrants come, which is, of course, a big reason they do come) who are employed when they are not. This doesn't necessarily make them racist or xenophobic, although some are.

But is important to tell them that the poor person from Mexico or Central America coming here to work didn't take their job away. I don't see many Mexican CEOs of multi-national companies. Capital went global, whether we like it or not and barring some type of plant-closing laws, which I don't see in the cards, it will only accelerate, I'm sorry to say. So now labor is going global too in a big way (I say a big way because illegal immigration is hardly a new phenomeon). That's not the fault of some 18-year Honduran kid with a 4th grade education who is on the edge of starvation back home, so he comes here.

But that begs the question: do we really NEED these low-wage, low-skill, often dangerous factory jobs any more? Well, yes, if that's all that is available and in America, if you lose your job, you're basically SOL after your unemployment benefits run out. So what is often our response? Save those jobs! But what if losing your job didn't mean losing your income?I've seen situations where the government has spent over $100,000 per job to save $20,000/yr. jobs and then the companies move anyway after a few years.

Why not just pay them two year wages and give them $20000 to get more education to get better jobs? I recently read in the WSJ that 90000 skilled, high-tech manufacturing jobs in Ohio alone are unfilled because they can't find workers with the needed skills. Let's get Americans these skills so they can find $40000/yr jobs and let the immigrants take the $20000/yr. jobs (which are mostly low-skill construction and service jobs today), which they are more than happy to do (let's ensure that we have safe workplaces for all, however).

to parmea

Since when do we have "open borders" with Mexico?

When you can

walk across many places bordering Mexico and the United States. Yes, some of those places might be a pain to get to. But there is not a fence or any other mechanism to keep someone from just walking across. That is the open border I am talking about.

We do not have an open door policy with Mexico to allow folks to freely without any kind of checks to wonder back and forth. People are suppose to cross at established points.

I realize that the government has quotas for immigrants etc.

also to parmea

why is it necessary for resident aliens here to work to "love America?" Obey the laws, fine, but "love America?" How would they prove that anyway, eat a Big Mac instead of a taco?

I'm sorry to make light of this as you seem to be trying to think this through in a fair way, but too often I things hear things such as immigrants need to "love America" and "adopt our culture" and I have no idea what the hell people mean by that. Is there even an "American culture" to begin with? Is it even possible in a nation where we are almost all decesdants of immigrants?

I think you also are wrong to say the choice is "illegal" or "citizen." Many who come here never intended to stay very long, many want to go back home after they earn some $$ to build a new home or start a business and who can blame them? Their families are there and the weather is great! Consider it is much easier for them to do that than for previous immigrant generations from Europe who had to cross by boat. But once again, we need them as workers, so let me stay as long as they obey our laws (and I'm not talking about throwing them out for a speeding ticket).

American culture...

you know, frankfurters, apple strudel, lasagna, Taco Bell, wine, beer, potatoes, vodka, tequila, scotch, pasta, pizza, kielbasa, knackwurst, rice, sushi, kiwi, mangoes, pineapple, golf, soccer.

You know, America.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

golf

I wish golf would have stayed in Scotland. Damn those little white balls and the sticks we try to hit them with. Think I am going to stay with Putt Putt

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

another post

mentioned that there is a quota system for those who wish to work in this country. I am not discussing those people. They are the ones you are mentioning who are coming here for the purpose of getting the money needed to go back home.

I am not discussing immigrants who are going through the legal process of requesting permission to come into this country to establish themselfs as Americans.

I am talking about the people who for what ever reason feel that they must leave their country. I assume it is because they feel that our country provides a better quality of life then where they are living now. Because they left their country for a reason that warrants them to pick up and go, it should also mean they do not belief in that country. That they belief in the country they are moving to. That they wish to become part of this country above their old country. That they are willing to spend the rest of their lives with the stigma of illegal (current system without a forgiveness aspect) just so their children who are born in this country can continue to be called American. These are the people I wish to forgive. I want these people as my neighbors. I am willing to help these people as they are not going to do anything to harm this country.

why is it necessary for resident aliens here to work to "love America?"

I am not talking about resident aliens. These folks have the required paperwork to be here. They have told us they intend to go back to their parent country. These folks I would not expect to love America. I expect they will get what they need from us and go back home. Nothing wrong with that. We both know what to expect from the beginning. I just expect them to respect our laws and do a good job for us.

but too often I hear things such as immigrants need to "love America" and "adopt our culture" and I have no idea what the hell people mean by that.

I also think you are mixing up groups of folks with your questions. I am discussing forgiving illegal immigrants who desire to stay in this country. Those individuals who came to my country illegally. If they do not wish to stay here, why are they here in the first place? Legal immigrants do not need my forgiveness as they have done nothing to necessitate forgiveness.

im·mi·grant = a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence

People who are immigrating to this country should love this country or why they are they coming here?

People that I am talking about are the folks that are here illegally. They broke many laws to get here. Some little laws, some big laws. Many of these people have SSN that belong to our children, etc, etc, etc. They would have to get legal paper work. I go back to the forgiveness aspect of this thread. A discussion on how to forgive and find a way to accept these people is in order. I am willing to forgive those who felt it necessary to leave everything they had to come to America because they felt this was the only place they would have a fighting chance at survival. Where they could go to live. With that in mind, they are coming here because they do not like their old country. That is the love of America that I am talking about. America comes first, not their old country. The traditions etc of their old country should come with these people. They should honor their ancestors etc. But their old country ignored them. Under the forgiveness aspect, America has accepted them. They should willingly accept America.

Is there even an "American culture" to begin with? Is it even possible in a nation where we are almost all decesdants of immigrants?

Hell yes, there is an American Culture. It is a culture steeped in tolerance, forgiveness, pride, honor. A culture founded on God with the acceptance to allow an individual the freedom of choice to not believe in a god or even turn away from their God if they so desire. The ability to write these blogs with no fear of reprisals. The pride to know that we can do anything when we put our minds to it. To know we can do things no other country in the world could do. The ability to have for the most part people of different backgrounds living and working in the same small town, city, etc. The ability to accept the culture of others and not oppress those cultural celebrations.

I want people to stay in this country who wish to love this country. What is wrong with saying I love this Country? If I am going to forgive someone I would at least expect them to accept my country and to be a proper guest of this country. If they do not wish to become citizens, then they are here just for a work visa. What other reason do they have for being here? Either to live, get an education (education visa) or work (work visa). Those that wish to live in this great country should be willing to love this great country.

If all they want is a work visa, then get in line and take your chances. It is not the responsibility of the USA to support other countries over our own countrymen.

But once again, we need them as workers

Just how much do we pay them to work the way they do? I have seen many people doing the work typically "reserved" for the typical illegal immigrant. Their working hours are horrible as well as their working conditions. The way we treat them is more criminal then the fact they are illegally in those fields or doing the job they are doing in the first place. A holistic approach to this problem would also require looking into the working and living conditions of these people, something no one wants to do.

"Cut and Run" and "Amnesty" are Republican incitement phrases

They have worked well for the republican Party in trying to frame the argument so as to ensure "them" and "Us" parameters.

These words are intended for incitment and division and actually have nothing to do with the actual matter of border security , or immigration.

As they (Neocons) expected, we Democrats fell right into it.

Millions of the undocumented workers from Mexico were welcomed here with open arms by industry and agrigulture interests. So many seem to forget that. A path to permanent residency , or citizenship is the only "American" thing to do.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

A bumper sticker Party of Greed cannot and will not continue to

win the debate in MY country. I cannot and will not sit still while the next bumper sticker slogan hits the public squarely between the eyes and goes undiscussed. There is no more framing the subject that will be allowed.

Betsy, you said a lot here that makes complete sense.

Marshall, you backed that sense up with a real non-bumper sticker slogan.

It's not amnesty dammit. It's the American thing to do.

By the way, Robert. I love all of the things you listed above. But, you forgot cornbread. Just thought that might complete your culinary/boozeinary trip around America. ;-)

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

yeah, but corn actually is american!

One of the few truly American foods, rather than an Americanized foreign food. Granted, it isn't WASP food, it's Ancient Americans' food.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

'Return on Success"

seems to be the current phrase their using to counter the Democrats' "Cut and Run."

I saw that Dana Perino used it twice when getting bitch-slapped by Helen Thomas the other day. "Return on Success" will be how they "withdraw" enough troops to placate their kool-aid drinkers before election time.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

I think that part of the

I think that part of the problem here in NC is that many people, especially in rural areas, have no experience with recent immigrants.

Having grown up in an Italian neighborhood in Kenosha, WI, to me America has always been about immigrants. Just as today, I saw that the immigrant generation itself may have tenuous ties to the "new country" and identify more with the "old country" as they used to call it. They usually don't learn much English, keep their customs and traditions, but obey the law and that's what is important. My great-grandfather came here in 1902 at age 20, lived here until he died almost 70 years later and raised 6 kids. He worked for 40+ years for Simmons Mattress, worked and recreated with other Italians and never learned English.
Did he "love America?" I don't know, I guess he did, but I never thought that was important.
I know he obeyed the laws.

But his kids learned English and spoke it just fine; in fact my grandfather pretty much had forgotton much of his Italian by the time I came along because he rarely spoke it except to his father. Many of the second generation fought in WWII against the Italians, that sure shows love for America. In fact, I often heard from the immigrants that the "younger generation" had assimilated so well they forgot their Italian heritage. So I don't worry too much about assimilation.

So things aren't so much different today, just different ethnic groups, different languages, different customs. The new immigrants learn from those of us already here and we learn from them. "Assimilation" works both ways.

to parmea

YOU forgive them? Well, isn't that nice of you. I'm sure they will be thrilled to know that.

Yes I would

Why do you make it sound so dirty that I do?

who died and left you boss?

I don't think it is "dirty" but I have to ask why you believe it is up to you to decide who is "forgiven" and who is not?

I do not pretend to be boss.....

What did I do that was so offensive to you that we are down this road? Please reread the start of this thread, it is based on a way for all to accept illegal immigrants. A way to let those who are in our country to stay. You stated that we need these people because we need the work they provide. It seems like you also wish to have them here.

I am stating a way that I would accept.

Why is up to me to decide who stays and who is required to leave? It is up to all of us to come up with a plan that will allow illegals to stay or go if that is the will of the people. Those that are to stay would have to be "forgiven" or they will always be looked at skeptically by others. Part of forgiveness is washing away transgressions. Without being forgiven, they will always be guilty of breaking those big and little laws.

I am advocating a method where someone who illegally gained entrance to our country, and in many cases performed other crimes to stay here (forging documents, lying to authorities, etc) to stay or try to stay in this country. They are not "hardened" criminals, druggies, etc. They just want to live.

Do you agree that it would be near impossible to deport every person that is here illegally? While I do not advocate a "free ride", I do acknowledge that anyone who we say can stay would have to be forgiven or granted some form of amnesty.

This is our country, not theirs. We determine the laws, correct? So why is it up to me to decide who is forgiven and who is not? This country is founded on the premise that the people make the decisions. Through consensus and discussion, we the people determine who would be forgiven. This is my input to that discussion. If enough people accept my ideas, then yes, folks give me the right to determine who is forgiven by accepting my ideas. If to many folks come up with another idea and the people go with that idea, then my ideas are not fully implemented. Yet I still have the opportunity to provide input into this discussion. Is my way the only correct way? That is for the people to decide. To discus the pros and cons. To provide input to the discussion.

I also believe that once we have offered this path to forgiveness - because it won't be unconditional - those who do not choose to follow the path then take responsibility for their own futures and what they might hold, even if that future is deportation or jail.

It isn't those of us using the word amnesty who give it a bad name, it is those who are running away from it doing that disservice. Embrace amnesty. Embrace forgiveness.

From the beginning thread. Forgiveness was introduced to be afforded those that are here illegally. I am working within that premise. Embracing forgiveness.

My grandmother was a full-blooded Native American

I met her only a few times before she died. I don't know if she forgave European settlers for nearly destroying the tribe she was born into.

I'm pretty sure I haven't.

You have made my point Anglico......

It is not really about forgiveness...It is about doing the right and "American" thing.

We do need to first secure our borders through conventional, commercial and Diplomatic means. Then we need to assess the dynamics of assisting those undocumented who are already here,

The human and other costs of executing a "round-up" of 12 million people is incalcuable.
We tend to dimiss the human suffering that would be the consequence of such actions in so many ways.

The fact is that for almost 100 years, agricultural and industrial interest have invited and welcomed Mexican and other undocumented workers into America while our government simply looked the other way because of economic interest and political pressure. Now we seek to blame those who came.

The scorched earth policy, so many seek, will result in problems and crisis far greater than the one they percieve is hurting America.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

I think forgiveness can only be real if the media and our gov't

would come clean and admit to current wrongdoings. Like the billions of dollars we are have stolen via the Bureau of Indian affairs from the oil, gas, timber and mining leases ostensibly being "managed" for the supposedly "ignorant savages" all these years.

Check out the Cobell lawsuit (here's the best overview from Mother Jones) and how it has yet to be settled why? Because to come up with a settlement, the industries involved would have to give up the records of their wrong-doings. (The government long ago got caught tossing our records into the dumpster at the National Archives, I kid you not.) Since oil and gas and mining interests run Congress and Congress has continuously interfered in the Justice Department, nothing is going to happen.

And, btw, this is an Abramoff scandal that dwarfs all the rest that has yet to be investigated properly. Again: I wonder why?

Hard to forgive people who are still fucking you over. In that overview you can read about people practically starving because of this.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,