When I ventured onto the Al Jazeera site for the first time, I found myself unaffected and unresponsive to any news related article about ISIS or Ebola, etc. Call me heartless, but after a while of hearing the same sad stories, I get kind of desensitized to it all. However, one picture caught my eye and I thought “Ooh! How pretty!” and then I read the title and thought “screeeeech! Nevermind, it’s another sad story.” But somehow the seemingly happy and serene photo caught my attention anyways, and I decided to read the article.
It was about a Native American veteran of the Korean war who had returned home only to have his land and home taken from him. To prove that they were “competent” in owning land, many native americans had to enroll in the army to prove their competency. “When many returned from war, they found that they had lost their land because of nonpayment of taxes.” Mark Soldier Wolf is just one of many “Native veteran[s] [to be] treated in a less-than-honorable manner after service.”
The process by which the land was taken did not at all seem “legal”. Soldier Wolf has no recollection of signing any documents to have his land sold (for $580). “Nearly every landowner involved lacked the education or legal representation to make an informed decision on the sale. Soldier Wolf, for instance, despite his years in the Army, couldn’t read well enough to understand the papers.”
Today the land is occupied by a former uranium mill that has polluted the area so badly that the water is rendered useless and the federal government has to monitor it.
I think this article caught my attention because it showed the happiness that once existed, rather than the sorrow and turmoil that has taken over. The ideology this article is trying to refute here is that Native Americans are living happily on their reservations. When in reality, Native Americans are actually the most undereducated and have the lowest income on average in comparison to other racial groups.