KTTH OPINION

Rantz: Democrat Speaker pushes for harmful land acknowledgments at state house

Jan 10, 2023, 6:29 PM | Updated: 6:37 pm
democrat speaker...
Democrat House Speaker Laurie Jinkins at the House of Representatives 2023 Opening Ceremonies (KIRO Newsradio)
(KIRO Newsradio)

Democrat House Speaker Laurie Jinkins opened up the legislative session with a speech that included a land acknowledgment. She said she wants to make the pandering more official. Sane-minded lawmakers should reject the dangerous virtue signal.

“Thank you… for welcoming us all to the ancestral homeland of the sovereign tribes, starting what I hope to be a new tradition here,” Jinkins said. “We acknowledge tribal nations as the original stewards of this land and the history of dispossession that enabled the eventual construction of this very building we now gather in.”

Land acknowledgments are ways white progressives pander to Native Americans without improving their communities. It’s lazy virtue-signaling meant to signify faux guilt for something they took no part in and benefited from. But they’re also dangerous statements.

Land acknowledgments are meant to denigrate the US

After her land acknowledgment, Jinkins tokenized Native Americans in the room, asking them to stand “so we can recognize you.” They received applause as if they personally suffered from brutal white colonizers. It was remarkably condescending. And it’s why there’s a large population of Native Americans who reject land acknowledgments the way Latinos and Latinas reject “Latinx”; they know it’s a tool of white progressives to earn social currency.

But the subtext of these statements is that this country is something to be ashamed of. That it was founded by evil people who stole the land. But the land wasn’t “stolen” as defined by the context of the time. Native Americans waged war against different tribes well before European settlers.

When indigenous peoples attacked others for land, is that shameful theft, too? Or is that dismissed as how people operated at the time? Certainly, by contemporary standards, we’d label the Crow Creek massacre disturbing and criminal. But at the time, it wasn’t. There was no set of laws created by a society that established a government.

Land acknowledgments are political statements purposefully deriding this country’s founding in order to demonize it. That makes it easier to push equally disparaging points — like the country being founded on white supremacy — that ignorant, racist people espouse in order to pursue pieces of partisan legislation and hold on to power. It also teaches people not to be proud of this country or feel it’s worth fighting for.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Democrat Speaker pushes for harmful land acknowledgments at state house