Houston Councilman: Stop Apologizing to American Indians

Monday, April 02, 2007 at 01:53 PM

A Houston city council member said on his radio talk show that the U.S. should "stop the continuous apology for what was done to the American Indians" and drop federal programs and treaties that provide casino rights, educational support and welfare.

Houston City Councilman Michael BerryMichael Berry, a Republican councilman in his third term and mayor pro tempore who hosts a morning show on KPRC, said on the air March 27 that he opposes such benefits for the same reason he opposes paying slavery reparations. "If you're against apologizing for slavery, then you gotta be against giving welfare to the American Indians because of the fact that 200 years ago they were whipped in a war. ... We conquered them. That's history. Hello!"

Representatives of the American Indian Genocide Museum in Houston have been e-mailing Berry's remarks, urging people to contact the station and Houston mayor's office in protest.

Jim Roberts, a Sioux/Chippewa member of the PowWows.Com community, challenged Berry's premise that American Indians lost a war. "If American Indians were 'conquered,' why did the United States put peace treaties on the bargaining table to end the wars?" he posted. "A conquest is an unconditional defeat of an enemy, and many Indian tribes were never defeated (since they were never at war with the U.S. in the first place)."

Berry, who claimed to have "enough American Indian in me" to be justified in making his comments, actively courts controversy in a morning radio timeslot he began in early 2006.

"Our entire Department of the Interior, practically, is the Department of Indian Affairs. Why are we still giving Indians exclusive rights to gamble, exclusive rights to print money -- which is also known as a casino?" he asked listeners.

When a caller said that the programs result from treaties rather than an attempt to make reparations, Berry responded, "The treaty involved land and sovereignty. It did not require that we continue to pay for education. It did not require welfare programs. It did not necessarily mean we had to grant them casino licenses."

There are more than 1,000 casinos, bingo parlors and other gambling facilities operated by Indian tribes on tribal land or reservations. They grew from a $5.4 billion industry in 1995 to $19.4 billion a decade later, according to the Indian Gaming Commission.

This isn't the first time reparations have been an issue of emphasis for Berry. The Houston Chronicle reported in 2006 that he was originally elected to the council by "an unusual coalition of blacks and conservative whites," but when he voted against a study of reparations, black activists held a protest in front of his home and declared that his "ghetto pass" had been revoked.

Here's a transcript of his remarks from the 8 a.m. hour of the March 27 show, available as a download from KPRC's web site:

Now let's be consistent here. If you don't want them issuing an apology for slavery because this isn't, shouldn't be, which I feel -- if you believe with me that way then you should also believe with me that we need to undo, do away with, starting today, all this stuff for American Indians.

And if -- I dare you to call me up and give me your reasons why. If we're not going to apologize for slavery, then we need to stop the continuous apology for what was done to the American Indians. We need to stop that right now too. We need to stop apologizing to the American Indians, which we continue to do on an ongoing basis, day in, day out. We do it with incredible resources from our treasury. Our entire Department of the Interior, practically, is the Department of Indian Affairs.

We continue to give land -- you know, at the Grand Canyon this group that got a private developer to come in and put this $30 million dollar glass skywalk out over the Grand Canyon, which I will go and see, I admit it, as tacky as it is --- why are we still giving Indians exclusives rights to gamble, exclusive rights to print money, which is also known as a casino? Why are we still doing that?

If you believe that we should not issue an apology to the descendants of slaves for what happened 150 years ago, then it strikes me that you have to believe we need to stop apologizing to the American Indians, which we continue to do. And I got enough American Indian in me that I qualify for enough things that I can say that. And even if I didn't I'd still say it.

It is stupid and inconsistent to me that we don't want to apologize to the slaves, which I don't, but we do apparently want to continuously apologize to American Indians and give them money. You tell me why that's consistent. ...

[I]'ve read the treaties; I'm intimately familiar with the treaty. ... first of all, the treaty involved land and sovereignty. It did not require that we continue to pay for education. It did not require welfare programs. It did not necessarily mean we had to grant them casino licenses. We can argue over that, and by the way it's almost 200 years ago. ...

You'd be surprised how many Anglos out there that will say in one breath, "Stop kowtowing to this whole slavery issue; this is just ridiculous political correctness; they're trying to get the black vote," but then you say well what about the American Indians? "Now thats not right we did them people wrong."

It is funny how inconsistent and hypocritical people are. Do you know why that is? Because most Anglos in this country either identify with American Indians or think that they have some American Indian in them. And so as a result they want to help that. So let me tell you something. You know who impresses me: People that impress me are blacks who say, "You know what, Michael, don't send me my $40 reparation check. I don't want it. I want to live as a full citizen. I want my kids to be judged by the content of their character not the color of their skin." That's who impresses me.

If you are saying, "Well, you know, I'm really just if my group can be be benefited, if i got some American Indian in me then I'm for the whole American Indian thing," you know what? You don't impress me, 'cause that just means if your ox is being gored then your going to squeal, but otherwise you really couldn't care less. You really couldn't care less.

So you dont care about "the principle of the issue's 150 years old, we ought not be dealing with it." You just don't like those people that might benefit from it. And if that's your shtick, I cant go for that. I cant go for that. Have a principled philosophical reason for why you oppose it and not because you don't like rap music. That's, I sense that, I don't like it.

If you're against apologizing for slavery then you gotta be against giving welfare to the American Indians because of the fact that 200 years ago they were whipped in a war. And let's just call it what it is: They lost a war. Why don't we go hand the Germans a few million dollars and the Italians and the Japanese -- OK, so we did rebuild their country -- we don't continue to give them aid because they sit around whining about a war from 200 years ago. Are you kidding me? Seriously? And what's interesting is, it's one thing when we do stupid things as a government and we oppose it. Whats interesting is how many people out there believe thats a good idea -- "Oh, you gotta help the American Indians, what we did was so wrong." What'd we do? We conquered them. That's history. Hello!


We need more people like this.

Wow, sounds like someone needs to give him a small pox infested blanket.

This asshole needs to read Break my Heart at Wounded Knee.


This guy must have a lot of time on his hands! Time I don't have to waste on fools like him!

Enrolled Member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians!

I wonder why Michael Berry is not in Iraq making history himself? He seems young enough and patriotic enough. He even is a member of the same political party that has been the major proponent for the war.

Seems to me he has benefited much by being a citizen and probably has much to be grateful for.

Why isn't he leading the charge!

what a typical red meat right wing amerikan asshole

That means they can do with their land, and people on their land, what they want.

Which INCLUDES opening casinos to try and make money off the small piece of land they have left after our "conquering"
This guy really needs to get his head out of his a**.

what a fool!

This asshole needs to read Break my Heart at Wounded Knee.

Posted by visitor

Ah, I don't think that one has been published yet.

Wow, finally somebody stands up and says , they need to stop wallowing in self pity and do something constructive, instead of complaining about the "white man" That is what happens when youy bring bows and arrows to a gun fight..you lose!! so now, either get with the program or keep living in squallor

What a complete and utter head-up-his-a**, don't apologize for anything, flaming jack-a**! He should be thrown out of the Houston city Council, tarred & feathered & run out of town on a rail!

What a mixed up young man. If he only based his opinons on the truth. Makes one wonder, who does he approve of? God forgive him on judgement day, he knows not what he says.


Besides some minor typo's, the story is exactly what is happening. A few individuals from certain families call themselves "American Indian Tribes" and want "everything and the sun" handed to them. If they were actually living as tribes did 200 years ago, they would never survive. The government needs to quit tribal welfare, health services, tribal educational and all other bogus programs that only perpetuate the need for more government assistance, which is being funded directly by our federal tax dollars. I have yet to see any treaty with a foreign country that guarantees any future cash payments or exclusive rights such as operating casinos with full fledge gambling.

Oddy enuff this whole story reminds me of an old "Peanuts" cartoon.

In the first panel we see Linus sitting on the floor playing with a bunch of toys and an angry Lucy swooping in. In the second panel Lucy takes all the toys away from Linus and leaves. In the third panel she comes back, obviously feeling a little sorry for Linus, and she allows him one rubber band to play with. In the fourth panel we see Linus having a grand old time with his one remaining plaything and when Lucy comes back in and takes it from him declaring "I didn't want you to have THAT much fun with it".

Reperations to families of slaves is a completely seperate issue from honoring traties already in place and Mike Berry should know this. His attempt to falsely link the two issues and make them seem the same is disengenuous in the extreme. He's stoking the fires of intolerance for political gain. Unfortunately, that's an all too typical tactic of the right by this point.

The history of the first nations peoples of North America, viewed from the perspective of the eventual victors, is one of shame. From outright massacres to distribution of pox ridden blankets to the encouragement of alcoholism to Treaties signed and broken, it is a deep and enduring shame. Berry's attempts to ignore this history in order to further welch on one of the few gains made to date by the native indians is just more of the same old shame with a new name.

Berry says his Indian heritage allows him to voice these opinions.

When Micheal Berry says we don't need to "keep apologising" to either the descendants of slaves and native Americans it makes one wonder who exactly is doing all this non-stop apologising anyway? Minorities as well as the Poor rarely come up as topics in political circles these days unless it is some kind of negative context such as this. The Native peoples don't want anyone to "keep on apologising" they just want to keep what they've been given thus far without having it taken away abruptly. What? Is Micheal Berry an "Indian giver"? Sorry, couldn't resist that last one.

Be Well.

PS: I'm signed in but it still reads visitor wots up with that?

PPS: For the record, this is dethspuds first post at Watchers.

We should conquer them again if they have a problem with Berry's statements.

Berry is an idiot! He would like to see the rest of the Indians starve in poverty. And is he supporting the inflow of non us citizens, does he just want cheeper indiginous people. We should be impressed with he indians success. And Berry, ...should jump off a high bridge.

Mary Kay

I've fixed the bug that caused logged-in users to post comments as "visitor." Sorry about that.

Whadda tard!

Perhaps Mr. Berry is in need of a few "flaming arrows" directed towards his backside.

How can someone at this level of public service say such harsh things? If someone were to go to Berry's house in the middle of the night, take all his belongings and his way of life, teach him to speak another language, how to dress, live, where to live etc...I'm quite sure those narrow shoulders would want some assistance too. I'm an American Indian that has contributed to this society by teaching natives and non-natives at the college level, and if I held a grudge like Berry (can't aknowledge the Mr.) then all "Anglos" would have failed my courses. If only he knew his history, the American Indian Treaties were broken on a regular basis (i.e Land west of the Miss. was Indian Territory), maybe he wouldn't mind paying back rent which would be a lot more than the govt shells out for poor health care. By the way, Indian Casino's pay revenue to the states. Be informed before you start bashing people!

So everyone in agreement with Berry can leave this country and live happily ever after in the land of their ancestors. Boy, Ireland would fill up fast!

what planet did this asshole fall off of

Councilman Berry has one hand in the air in a Nazi salute and the other on his penis materurbating.

The obvious question is how did this jerk get appointed to an office? Comparing what has and is still happening to the American Indian to slavery is no where close to an analogy. I'd like to point out that if all indegenous tribes would of united, it would of been an entirely different story. Unfortunately that didn't happen, our ancestors were way to trusting. Question: Can forgiveness ever come from a people who not to long ago had a standard policy of extermination? Here's a good deal, all land that was stolen since the 1700's be given back to the perspective tribes and all casinos get razed. I agree with reading "Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee", by Dee Brown as pointed out earlier. It will give him some of the knowledge that sorely is missing. This man is delusional if he believes he has any indian in him, it certainly dosen't show. If he wants some however, bend over. Mr. Berry, when you go visit that "skywalk" over the Grand Canyon, jump off!!
P.S. - We'll always have The Little Big Horn!


I will not pass judgement on persons I don't agree with, however, I must state my disagreement. This is an awakening for us Natives who have relied on the government for too long. At one end they want us to be self sufficient, but at the same time when we get an advantage they try and take it away. It's just another example of how Non-Natives will always look the other way and do whatever it takes to keep the less fortunate seated at the back of the bus. Shame on this person, may his views be the end of his political aspirations.

Wow, finally somebody stands up and says , they need to stop wallowing in self pity and do something constructive, instead of complaining about the "white man" That is what happens when youy bring bows and arrows to a gun fight..you lose!! so now, either get with the program or keep living in squallor

Posted by visitor at 2007-04-02 07:39 PM

This is replying to the dumb ass who posted this above.
what the hell is your probalem ass hole!!!
living in squallor?..you know what we were put on reservations, its not like we chose to go live on a reservation. You and this jack ass Berry need to pull your fucken heads out of your ass holes...YOU KNOW WHAT JUST GO TO HELL WHERE YOU BELONG JACK ASS..

I just got pointed to Mr berry's comments through myspace - just so you know that his outrageous comments are very quickly making their way round the globe as we speak! I am shocked that someone in his position is allowed to voice such archaic opinions! Is history taught so poorly over there that he truly doesn't understand how much work the native population has undertaken to dig themselves out of the hole they were put in after colonisation? Shame on him and the other compassionless posters here who are showing their ignorance and lack of respect for ancient culture.

I would recommend Berry read "Color-blind privilege: The social and political functions of erasing the color line in post race America" by Charles A. Gallagher. It doesn't seem as though he has clearly supported his argument for how slavery reparations and apologizing to Native Americans connect with each other. These two concepts are not the same. First off, he began his argument with a clear belief that there was a race war between whites and non-whites, and whites came out victorious, and this was not so. He has a law degree, so one would wonder why he doesn't know that it has been through the courts that the United States of America has been given the rights to this land, and that Congress was given plenary power over a race of people. Also, he asks that "we" stop apologizing to Native Americans: who is "we"? And how does providing services to Native Americans constitute an apology? It is sad that this man is in office. How can people look to this man as their leader, when it is clear that he is into promoting white superiority?

I wonder if this Berry guy is a CDIB carrying Indian? If you are not, you are not considered an American Indian, according to the government, be it BIA/ Congress.....which incidently these two combined entities made this law?

You know, I forgive your ignorance, God made you and he also made me...he does not see male nor female....color.....and we may not make it to heaven if we practice this on earth.....it is a S I N !!

My father was one of those children, forced to speak English....sent off to school back east.....He lived most of his life an alcoholic, trying to cope with what was done to him....and make sense of it?! However, he did raise God fearing children, thats what got him thru his 92 years of life here on earth! His last 8 years of life were sober and he never spoke ill of anyone or anything, where are those values that were instilled so long ago by those wise American Indians! There were 11 of us children, we have all gone on to lead productive lives, never depending on the government for anything. Own our own homes, worked hard, payed our taxes....we are all full blood also, my dad, he was orphaned at 5 years old.

Berry guy, put yourself in our shoes, (Oh yeah, I forgot, you are one of us) Sovernity according to Webster's means: supreme excellence or an example of it a: supreme power esp. over a body politic b: free-: one that is sovereign; esp: an autonomous state..

It appears that the US Government is working toward exactly what you are after, to stop honoring our treaties....we are struggling to become sovern, it is a shame we have to resort to casinos...but after all, Manhattan was traded for trinkets, if you remember that!

All our ancestors ever wanted was to live peaceably, off the buffalo and be happy, their children also. I am sure that is what you want too?

I think you are more angry with the illegal immigrants, since you are from Texas.....as a full blood American Indian, I say if you are not a card carrying Indian, your are a immigrant to this land also.

God Bless you and forgive you.....

Wow, finally somebody stands up and says , they need to stop wallowing in self pity and do something constructive, instead of complaining about the "white man" That is what happens when youy bring bows and arrows to a gun fight..you lose!! so now, either get with the program or keep living in squallor

Posted by visitor at 2007-04-02 07:39 PM

The Native people are doing something constructive--exercising our sovereign right, we opened Casinos; thanks to the "white man" showing us the ways of gambling. Unfortunately a percentage of the revenue goes to the State--standing there expecting his "hand-out" from our profits. Stop taking your share from our Casinos; anytime the Native population does good for themselves or finds a way to make money for their tribes, there is a non-Indian putting them down or wanting a piece of the profit. Berry talks about the skywalk at Grand Canyon being tacky--the only "thing" tacky is Berry himself.Who conquered the Native People?! We are still here, we survived--perhaps Berry's bloodline was conquered years ago in one of the foreign wars and he's angry that he has no family of honor to back him up. All Native people bond and stand together, regardless of what tribe they're from--who does Berry have, politicians that can't be trusted.


Thank you native american's for giving me a really Huge gambeling problem.

I am saddened for Mr. Berry, it is obvious he is uneducated, and has a very low self esteem of himself. Our Granddads and Grandmas all know more about life and the values that has sustained our people than he will ever know. When a young man makes statements like he has made, it is apparent he had a lack of proper guidance as a child. He does this for self gain and doesn't care who his comments may angry, because that is his intent, to get attention. I have been raised by elders who don't believe as he, we don't have to impress each other as natives by what our accomplishements are, it is enough that we are a native brother or sister raised to respect all. Pity, Pity, Mr. Berry, i'm sure your parents are so proud of you.

For a man who has such an education and political and law background, he is pretty stupid for what has been said. We look at the other countries and and protest about genocide that they are doing, yet look at what the U.S. did to the Native Americans because they were greedy. They committed Genocide of thier own. Wiping out whole tribes because they wanted that particular land or the things they had. Given them land that was not worth anything, so they could keep the rich land. All these years, it has been the Native Americans who been telling everyone to take care of the land and now they are realizing it. Your damn right the U.S. should keep apologizing! There are tribes now that no longer exist do the fact that greed killed them all! I don't see him struggling because he has been spoon fed all his life. And we as Native people always bond together for things. I don't see all the non Natives all bonding together, they just meerely fight themselves. And you can't marry your own kind because no one wants you? Hmmmm.....sounds a little contradictive there. I guess when they say ignorance is best, then it is best in you. Native Americans or Indians as you so have called us have not gone away. We are still here and continue to thrive. Your lack of judgement and knowledge is embarrassing to your own kind, but I am sure someone will forgive you.

And for the man who thanks the Indians for his gambling problem, well no one told you to go there. You did that on your own free will. Just like going to McDonalds, you go there and eat 20 Big Macs and now your obese! That was your doing not anyone elses. So get with the program and have will power.

In closing, I am really surprised Mr Bush our president has said nothing or unless he condones everything this person has said because he is from Texas. Well Mr Bush what you going to do?

Thank you native american's for giving me a really Huge gambeling problem.

Posted by visitor at 2007-04-04 03:11 PM

THANK YOU WHITE MAN FOR GIVING US ALCOHOLISM, DRUG ADDICTIONS, SMALL POX, PHEUMONIA, AND ALL OTHER DISEASES YOU BROUGHT WHEN YOU CAME TO OUR "HOME"--Gambling is not a racial or cultural problem; be responsible for your own actions and know your limits. I'm sure the next time you walk through that Casino door, there is a 1-800 number posted for help to stop Gambling problems--use it. The biggest gamble our ancestors made was trusting the treaties would be honored--so much for that.

And your not Indian.......your a wanabee from the whothehellarewe tribe!! And be for real dude! Your just one of many ignorant people here in the U.S.

And for the gambling person. Well the Casino's have doors......don't walk thru them unless you think you gamble responsible. And if you just like throwing money away, well I will give a self addressed stamped envelope address to me and just mail me a check!!

Stop stomping on Indian Rights and quit paying illegal aliens bills and we will all be better off-and unhappily-we all probably need to do more apologising to everyone just for being alive-no one on this earth is perfect but we can do a lot better without this kind of propaganda !A Visitor

Pray and forgive this young man:

I pray that your ignorance does not continue to blind you;
I pray that your bigotry does not continue to cripple you;
I pray that you find forgiveness from all those you have discrimintated against;
I pray that your arrogance does not take your life; and
I pray that when you go to meet your maker, he is
Native American because you probably will be
forgiven as many of us have had to forgive the atrocities
thrust upon our ancestors.

Remember "As long as the grass is green and the rivers run.."

In my many years walking the earth, I never fail to be amazed at how consistently "ignorance" & "arrogance" always - but al-ways - occur together. Mike Berry is a case in point.
He claims to have 'enough' Indn in him to allow him to make bigoted remarks against us - but WE Indns don't do that... Hey no! WE Indns spend our time educating boneheads like him - or trying to, keeping firmly in mind that educating such as him is a lot like trying to teach a pig to sing opera. I'd like to see his DNA test to see if he carries any Indn blood.... Not that having any detectable amount would prove anything or give him any 'rights' to lip off as he has.
Only the U.S. Constitution, which is over 85% Indigenous Turtle Islander in its origins (ie, so-called "American Inds"..) confers that right to him. First Amendment, "freedom of expression" clause.
That clause doesn't give him the right to stir up hate crimes against us.. It doesn't give him the right to lip off with complete impunity.. His right to swing his lips, like his hands, stops precisely at the edge of our Indn world, in every regard. Food for thought, there....
He carries on at length & ad nauseum about 'giving' us Indns 'rights'. According to the Oxford Standard Dictionary of the English Language, "rights" are INHERENT, Mike. They CANNOT be 'given to' or 'given OR taken' away - BY DEFINITION.
And, not that it's needed, in 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court reinforced that definition with a decision to the same effect. Word for word.
Mike, my guess is, your eyes are brown. If they aren't, there is a blue-eyed bull out in your area somewhere....
I note here, English is my third language, after Dakota & Polish; so I spent a lot of time reading the OED when I was little. Unlike so many "whites", this Indn child learned to read when she was 3.5 years old. Partly because I've been a 'learning sponge' since my beginning on this earth, & partly because I learned reeeally early on that if I & other Indns were going to survive bigots like Mike Berry, I & others of us had better learn to read the majority culture's wowapi (talking leaves), & read them well.
Yes, I'm a prodigy. Was then, still am. At grandma age, now, & never an apology. It's (a) an Indn thing; he wouldn't understand; & (b) it's a necessity in order to preserve, protect, & promote our ancient Traditional Ways.
All the bombastic drivel of boneheads like Mike Berry is, is 'filler' for his radio program. It's nothing but diarrhea of a bigot's mouth. There's nothing of real substance to it.. He just wants attention, & this is his way of getting it.
As for us Indns being 'conquered' - I'm not now, nor have I ever been, 'acculturated', 'assimilated', or 'conquered'; & I never will be. 'By definition', so long as there's one Indn woman who refuses to give up, WE Indns are NOT 'conquered'. And I have DAUGHTERS, takoshja.... all a lot like me. My sons have WOMEN who are a lot like me.
Thus, WE & our 'attitude' aren't going away. Or for that matter, 'under'. So much for 'conquered'.
We didn't lose 'all' of the wars - we creamed Custer at the Greasy Grass.... guys like Mike Berry are still stinging from it; thus his mouthing off. He wants to abuse us because we didn't lose; we (still) have NATIONAL RIGHTS (not privileges); and he's of such a shrivelled, petty soul, he can't stand that.
Some sage once observed, 'it isn't entirely what goes into a man's mouth that defiles him; more, it's what comes out of it'.
I would paraphrase that to: "it isn't entirely what goes into a man's mouth that defiles AND DEFINES him; more, it's how badly he limps with his foot stuffed firmly in his mouth while his head is stuffed firmly up his duff". This truly defines Mike Berry.
So OK, now we've given him the attention he so greatly craves. His verbal temper tantrums prove this. Now we should treat him in the Traditional Way, & ignore him. We should consider the source, & rise above it. In his case, it will be very easy to do.
It's an ancient teaching that some remarks are so0o stupid, they don't deserve the dignity of a response. And Mike Berry's remarks are prime in that category. Nat'ahu Mike Berry cheshli hetawa ye. Hecehtu ye.
Auntie Carel Two-Eagle; D/Lakota k'unchi; Channunpa yuha wamani ye.

I "love" the Visitor who said we should get with the program -- what program, whose program? It doesn't look like "the program" is serving those who are getting with it. Look at the budget deficit, the health care crisis, the corruption in the goverment -- esp non bidding of goverment contracts and the wasteful spending of those who do have goverment contracts -- i.e. at Halliburton and the subsideraries of that program.

I am not asking for an apologie not from you or from the Houston Councilman what I want is for you to heal your darkness of your shadow and not visit them on us with your tirade of internalized shame and guilt. We have enough to handle without adding yours to the burden. We have only been on the reservations for a little over a century. The actions of the goverment and those who were carrying out the policies in a quest to gain more land for westward expansion as a "Manifest Destiny," perpetrated many atrocities and genocidal acts on the Indian populations. As late as the 1970's the US goverment had US troops on Reservation soil, against its own laws, to quell a protest by the People at Wounded Knee. So these acts are not something of the past, in fact land grabs are still going on today. The pain of the Reservation experience has many people coping with the pain through ways that are not helpful i.e. alcoholism, drugs, etc.

But I am hopeful and things are changing though those of you who look at us through the lens of racism would have everyone believe that the problems we are dealing with is who we are -- less than human. If you look carefully, these patterns of coping affect all races but especially evident the greater the poverty and lack of opportunity. Don't tell me this is not a problem because all you have to look at the way this the particular pattern plays out in the microcosm of High School Sports, i.e.Basketball -- observe any tournement and you are very likely to see as not the Native American team not only playing the opposing team but also the referees. This happened so much when I was in High School 40 years ago and still goes on today!

The ignorance expressed by the Houston councilman is just that ignorance, obviously he did not research his topic but just acted from his own bigotry.

As for the visitor who thanks us for getting hooked on gambling -- obviously you have an addictive personality -- I bet you are fat and don't exercise either or eat right either, I guess you can blame us for that also, since we certainly can't make you accountable for your own actions.

I am not pro casino, but hey this is in compliance with the treaties signed by your goverment, as is the health and education -- bought and paid for by the many acres of land now in non Native hands. So what was given to us? Also the Tribes had to sign compacts with the local States, which is not in compliance with the treaties, but has resulted in huge income for the state goverment and the citizens of the state. BTW the amount of Native Americans who actually benefit in a huge way by Casinos is relatively small compared to the overall Native American Population, again research by the councilman would have informed his comments.

I also have tons of nieces and nephews who have served in both gulf wars -- it was the only opportunity they had upon graduation. This is true for most of our youth.

P.S. My nieces and nephews sure could have benefitted by those scholarships the councilman laments giving to us -- maybe he can inform where the heck they are and how to access them.

Its "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," not "Break my Heart..."


Michael Berry apparently hit a nerve.

Human history is full of people who "lost" because a stronger and/or smarter group displaced them. The bottom line is that Berry is indeed correct. The American indians alive at the time were overrun by outsiders and beaten. Why after all of this time do taxpayers subsidize the decendants of those folks? I guess a deal is a deal. And it looks like a good deal too. It never ends.

I've been on Indian reservations in Arizona and I was shocked at the poverty. Slum like conditions. Now who's fault is that? It's not mine or Michael Berry's. It's the fault of the people themselves and those that govern them.

You might agree with Berry or you might not. The best some here can do is call him names. But he indeed hit a nerve and it sure looks like the truth hurts.

Nobody ever gave me anything. I had to go out and work for what little I have. It never occured to me that someone was required provide me with welfare. If you wait around for others to give you the solutions in life you need you won't amount to much.

I wonder how many "Native Americans", "Indians" or whoever that are bitching about Berry have done anything to help those of the same ancestry?

Seems to me some of you will never solve a damn problem today if all you can do is bitch about the past. Did you know you can't change the past? Some people don't seem to be able to grasp that.

I live in the Houston area and have listened to Michael Berry for some time. He's not a bad guy....

I'm sure Mr. Berry is grinning right now from all our comments. We should listen to our sister Carel Two-Eagel's words of wisdom and let it be. There is nothing more that could be said. Rememer, silence doesn't mean agreement.

We know who we are, where we come from and what is important to us. We don't need to justify this to anyone. This is why we couldn't be enslaved, because of our strong spirit and faith. We are from the holy people.

Walk in beauty my friends & May you be blessed with God's grace..


With democratic nations there is a cycle. First you have tyranny and slavery. Then hope. Then struggle. Then freedom. Then abundance. Then apathy. Then dependance. Then slavery again.

Our free nation is on its way down the tubes. Most democratic governments last ~200 yrs before gluttons feast and those with apathy give away their rights. We have made our way to apathy and about 40% have made it all the way to depending on govenment support. We're at 231 yrs and counting our way back to tyranny, turmoil, and slavery.

I too have indian blood, my grandmother (God rest her soul) made the journey on the trail of tears. I know that she would have been disgusted by those simply trying to milk the system instead of standing up and making a life by their own means. I pity them too.

Smarter, stronger, give me a break. If you "is" smarter why "is" we in such a mess, LOL -- environmentally, economically, heathcare, etc and why did we lose the Vietnam War and we are now the virge of losing the Iraq War. Might does not equal intelligence, nor does arrogance that you two Texans are full of -- Mr Berry and the visitor who boasted posted about being stronger and smarter.

The US of A could not afford the Indian Wars so treaties were signed and of course not honored -- so even then being stronger was not the factor, not to even talk about being smarter since this particular visitor and Mr Berry probably need a history lesson and not on the lies Our Teachers told us, but on what really happened in this country.

and yes dear Visitor, this particularly non silent person who is "bitching" has helped and will continue to help my people, but I am tired of being silent in the face of such arrogance and ignorance and I refuse to do so and Berry can laugh all he wants about the comments made here but that still will not change the truth!

As a native and I play in a little well known rock band called, "Lynyrd Skynyrd," I challenge this guy Berry to a one on one sit down conversation with myself and let's discuss this that he is talking. Mr. Berry, let's see if you have the balls to meet...

Rickey Medlocke (Lead Guitarist of Lynyrd Skynyrd)

A few comments to this guy "Dingle" Berry, if the US is so smart and important, why do we look like a bunch of schmucks to the rest of the world, people speak of experience (Obama) in Washington, just how much experience does it take to make as huge a mess of the so-called war in Iraq, Oh Yeah this is a Texan.

If you are of the Christian faith, does not your Bible say "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone?" And if you're not of the Christian faith, then you're one of the many problems that we in this country have, the term "Educated fool" comes to mind. I think Jeff Foxworthy has some questions as to who you might be.

Do all Texans lack common sense? My guess is yes! Do you recall the TV ad that says that Texas is like a whole 'nother country? Well, it should be,with nuts like this.

Have a great day...........All but "Dingle".

im just waiting for a crap load of Karma to dump on these people!! racist hick...wheres the american indian movement when you need them...we need A.I.M.!!

Why address this individual with Mr. Either this is a cold blooded smart ass educuated KKK redneck. Or maybe this idiot is the dumbest SOB God ever put behind two shoes. I'm inclined to believe he is a lot of both. This white supremacy attitude is pure BS.

You know, it's just scary how folks like this who do not even have their information correct, history correct, and going on stereotypes and passed down generational prejudices get voted into high ranking offices in the United States.

I'd like to see him name one Native Nation who was GIVEN a casino.
I'd like to see him look at how the largest ethnic group on welfare are caucasians.
I'd like to know who's been making these apologies because I've yet to see one for my people who were among the first native nations in contact, and were enslaved and driven from their homes. In fact, I don't believe we've even asked for an apology, much less seen or heard one.

And Mr. Berry, please... even if you feel you have "enough indian in you" to make these comments, you apparently don't have enough EDUCATION on the matters or you would'nt be making these comments.


For the Native American woman who is telling other Natives about getting our heads out of our butts---there is no problem saying Native people ought to be more self-sufficient and it's to our benefit going to college--but when you get a person like Berry saying we were "conquered" and "stop apologizing" and "giving welfare to Indians"--comments like that would offend us. What profession are you in--are you in any position to help your Native community, to up-lift those who need it and helping to keep our people from being the poster-group for DWI's or alcoholics? In some communities Native American Preference is stated because some jobs require the "Native language" to be spoken--like talking to our Elders who wish to speak Native instead of English. It is important to preserve our Native language--at least on our reservation it is. I don't recall in any Native history that things were given to us on a Gold Platter--what exactly did you receive on a Gold Platter? The Black people went through similar trials we did; what are you impressed about? I commend any cultural group that is proud of who they are, that stand up for what they believe in, and don't demean or bash other groups so they feel "superior" to others. It is sad to see folks who are alcoholics or hooked on drugs--but receiving per capita doesn't cause that and it is proven that the Caucasian population rates higher for those who receive "welfare". Our Native race is strong, don't be ashamed of your history or who you are...

I think Berry is saying, "stop giving Indians all these benefits and free services". Well, it is not free, it came with a cost. And our different Nations are in contracts with the US Government, and part of these legally binding contracts are that the Government agreed in exchange for lands, for health, education and other services. Berry just sounds ignorant when he makes unfounded comments such as these.

I can't believe this guy is educated!! Everyone should clean their hands of him.

People will say or do anything to get recognized nationally (and internationally). Well Berry, you have your 30 seconds of fame, knock yourself out!

Berry I Feel sorry for you! Just to think how you treat people will come back on you. When you die you will have to come to terms with a lot of things. How can such an educated man how be so dumb and have no common sense. Remember this....
It was perfect here on OUR LAND before your people came here to try to take our land away from us!!! We had no taxes, we had no poverty, we had no polution, we had plenty of food, we had respect (which we still have, not like you), we had our native pride (which we still have, & you have nothing to be proud of). So I hope you enjoy living in your big house on our land that you got from us....

Berry are you sure that your not related to Hitler or the devil, you shure look and act like them. May god bless you, you shure need it...

Mr. Berry is very negative in his response to Apologizing to the American Indian. Perhaps, he should do some soul-searching of sorts for he is mocking the words of the_ LAWS OF GOD_that all men are created EQUAL!! Didn't he review these and other laws during Law School? Selective memory is very convienient when Euro-Americans have to explain why GENOCIDE IS THE SAME AS LOST BATTLES!! How repulsive and condescending. I am an Indigenous Native of this soil we all walk upon and secondly, American Citizen,for why should I as a descendant represent or share any ideals that are a SIN TO GOD--THOU SHALL NOT KILL>>> Mr. Berry's comment I would consider mental-terrorism and the continuation of genocide.

those are extremely harsh and negative words.
they show no understanding of US history or current relations.
and I cant help wonder if it isn't motivated by greed.
I think Berry wants a cut of the casino revenue.

He needs to get his lies straight. First he says he understands treaties, then in his apology he claims he doesn't know about treaties. Makes me wonder who passed his law school exams for him!

It is apparent, how some of our Native American sisters are confused about the great spirit's purpose, which is to live in harmony with everything living. I am not one to pass judgement, and I am not of the christian faith, but one thing is clear, we have given bigger contributions to humanity than any other people in the world, is it perhaps, because we don't force our beliefs, but show our strenght through acts of charity? The answer is easy; we are united by family, not by greed, competition, and other self-fulfilling prophesies. Who can say, that we have not government or accomplishments, we do not whine nor waver, for we are self-dependent not by equal rights that fail American citizens, but through our nationalist social collective. What befalls American society is its assumption of equality; God did not make man all equal, some are worst than others. I am reminded of the civil rights movement that begged for assimilation and the right to seperate themselves. I am a pocomam Maya of El Salvador(Land of the frog).

As a Native American veteran, I felt this ignorant man had no right to demean me. Because of our socioeconomic background many of us join the military as a means to get ahead like other generations of Americans in the past. We serve in greater numbers compared to our population size than other ethnic groups in this country. Many of our tribes made treaties with the United States to lay down arms forever but in many wars the U.S. government has looked the other way when it comes to us serving our country and picking up arms again.

Now that I'm retired from the military, I'm pursuing my Masters Degree using the Montgomery GI Bill. Most white "Indians" like Berry, are always making claims to being Native American so they can apply for the "free education" supposedly given to us. Most, I think confuse scholarships for all minority students as this free education for Indians.

I grew up without the modern conveniences in a rural area on the Navajo reservation and we had to be self sufficient in order to make a living off the land. But I don't need an apology for the way I grew up because it was those circumstances and the teachings of my people that made me successful. It was my childhood experiences that taught me to be independent, self-disciplined, work hard, be self-motivated and do more with less.

It should be worrisome for Americans when we have a supposed leader use hateful and ill-informed propaganda tactics of gang bangers and terrorists to perpetuate distrust among the groups of citizens. What is he trying to accomplish? I don't think the terrorists have to do much to destroy the American culture when our own half-witted leaders use the same hateful and violent language to incite division among us.

I served on behalf of the "United" States not the "Divided" States, I say lets stay united and get rid of these types of "leaders."

A retired Chief Master Sergeant

You did not conquer the Indians. First of all dumb ass, we are not Indians, that was the name a stupid white guy gave us. Secondly, we should have KILLED all of you when you got off the boat instead of helping you survive here on Turtle Island. White People are nothing but a plaque you have NO CULTURE AND NO TRUE HISTORY of your own. You should be thanking us for allowing your immigrant relatives to live with us. White people have always been back stabbing and lying. Your race takes credit for things they never did. What is your value system? Do you have one?

Berry is an uneducated simpleton.

Tribal sovereignty has predominantly been a smokescreen for the government's constant theft of native lands and/or ill-gotten profits from it. The federal courts found that the U.S. Gov. owes Native peoples more than $1.5 BILLION for profits made from grazing/mineral/oil rights to native lands held in trust by the gov. Let's not forget the politicians granting their "friends" huge discounts or fee waivers in violation of law as the land is not owned by the U.S. Gov. More than 4,000 more laws apply to Native Americans than to anyone else. Full human rights/American rights are regularly denied as registered Natives are not full 14th amendment citizens of the U.S.

Attempts at self-sufficiency have often been thwarted by the BIA, Dept. of Interior, ATF, DEA, FBI, etc. Ask the Lakota what happened when they attempted to plant industrial hemp, having given up on getting the NECESSARY approval from the feds. Federal agencies burned the crop to the ground and chemically seeded the land so that no crops could ever be grown there again. Attempts at self-sufficience are moot when a tribe has to wait months or even years for approval that may not come at all.

There's so much more it's not even funny. This isn't about constantly apologizing for something that happened 200 years ago, but recognizing what is STILL happening today.

Mixed-blood Choctaw who refuses to allow a card to tell me what I am. My grandparents did that well enough, thank you.

Hey Michael Berry! Pull your head out of where the sun don't shine! Thank God that people like you are far and few between. I hope that WHEN your time comes, your organs are donated to a Native American so that some good can come of what's left of you. YOU are a waste of a good human body.

I am a proud member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe which some people call a 1/2 breed, and I will claim my Native blood before I claim my caucasian blood because it is narrow minded people like him which makes me feel shame...he is VERY shameful....

It is ashamed to hear that there are still so many people in this world that have little to No minds. This councilman's attempt was only to have his name out in the public eye. Is it time to start to run for office? Us NATIVES, do not need to deal with him or people like him. The CREATOR is watching and listening!! That is the only judging he should worry about. (GOOD LUCK WITH THAT MR. COUNCILMAN)

Christine Duckworth
Culture Director of the
Baltimore American Indian Center

welfare is only given to those who quilify inside & outside the reservation the only reason a tribal memeber would get welfare is because they are poor like everyone else who receives it, the only thing we get is teh so called free healthcare which isn't free to me because i am employeed, then theres the free housing which isn't free just cheaper than normal rental rates still only given to the poor or your placed on a waiting list for about 5-10 years before you make it to the top of the list and only to be dropped back to the bottom because you make to much money, the 1868 treaty stated we would have free health care, schooling & land so long as the rivers flowed, the stars were in the sky & all that forever meaning stuff, because they couldn't get rid of us through the government lead genocide, and even held ppl hostage so the scattered warriors would come in peacefully instead of fighting..which would have been just like iraq, we were winning and in 10-20 years maybe would have won but the government used tactics that played on the peacefull tribes fears of killing women & children so the wiser leaders came in and let the government heard them into lands that they couldn't grow food or hunt animals for food, land that was unusable to them and then there was the black hills before that it was given to us then as soon as gold was found "oops we need that back because its now valuable land" go starve some place else.

It is truely sad to think there are actually people like this troubled man still out there. It is obvious that he too has his own problems.. to compensate for his misfortunes and his own miseries he must say things such as this. Such a very sad man..

Listen to him for a few days and you will gain an appreciation for his honesty. Might not agree with all his opinions, but a significant majority of the time he is you will.

He is now on KTRH 740 AM, podcast on ktrh.com.