In our coverage of the upcoming “The Response” prayer rally that Gov. Rick Perry is organizing, one of the points we have been trying to hammer home is that Perry reached out to the American Family Association as his partner of choice in organizing the event and that the AFA will be paying for the event.
Today Warren Throckmorton wrote a good post asking why Gov. Sam Brownback had been the only governor who has agreed to attend, especially since Brownback has played a leading role in apologizing for the treatment of Native Americans … whereas the AFA’s chief spokesman believes that Native Americans deserved to have been wiped out:
In my view, the AFA has earned their designation as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Critics point to outrageous statements from the AFA’s Bryan Fischer regarding gays, Muslims and African-Americans as reason to question why a prominent elected official would partner with the AFA.
While all of the insults and stereotypes identified by critics are serious and disqualifying, I don’t want us to forget Bryan Fischer’s views of Native Americans. Early in 2011, Fischer wrote that “Native Americans morally disqualified themselves from the land,” saying that Native Americans were so savage and immoral that they were displaced for their evil. In other words, they got what was coming to them. Even though that article was removed from the AFA website, the AFA was silent on the issue, allowing Fischer to remove it without an apology saying he removed it because his critics were not “mature enough” for the subject. Then Fischer followed up that article with one that stated Native American assimilation into the new America would have been “seamless and bloodless” if only they had converted to Christianity. One Native American writer called Fischer’s writing “ugly” and said he advocated “thinly veiled race-purity arguments.”
In my view, the AFA should not be leading a prayer event claiming to call America to their view of righteousness. I am surprised and sad that Governor Perry would partner with them.
I was even more surprised that Governor Sam Brownback (R-KS) would agree to take part. Brownback was a prime mover of the Native American Apology Resolution which I called the AFA in March to endorse. I do agree that at times it can be productive to join together with various groups to accomplish an objective. However, it is beyond me how these two Governors can partner with a organization that regularly slanders and maligns entire groups of people, not individuals mind you, entire groups. In the case of Brownback, he stands for confession to Native Americans, and yet he will stand with the AFA who could not even publicly acknowledge how they had offended an entire group of people.
Swallow became a Christian in 1961, so perhaps Fischer would not consider him to be one of those Native Americans who “resisted the appeal of Christian Europeans to leave behind their superstition and occult practices for the light of Christianity and civilization” and therefore deserved to be wiped out. But it would still be interesting to know just how Swallow feels about endorsing and participating in an event being paid for by an organization that has, as its public face, a man who not only believes Native Americans got what was coming to them but attacks anyone who disagrees with his bigoted views as “not mature enough” to handle the truth.