A Right-Wing Influencer Claimed Native Americans Are Getting Extra Relief Aid. They Aren’t, But They Probably Should.Breaking News
tags: conservatism, Native Americans, media, COVID-19
Last Wednesday, Kaitlin Bennett, a far-right social media darling who’s made her name trolling progressive college students, released a Twitter video suggesting Native Americans would each get $3,000 from the coronavirus relief bill, compared to the $1,200-maximum checks most Americans will receive. “Isn’t it racist to benefit one group of people over others based on their race?” she asked.
Did you know that Native Americans will get $3 billion in aid from the coronavirus relief bill? That's $3k for every Native on a reservation, compared to the $1,200 you'll get. Isn't it racist to benefit one group of people over others based on their race? https://t.co/YTpSVTobzM pic.twitter.com/Vrlpu4n7V7— Kaitlin Bennett (@KaitMarieox) March 30, 2020
Bennett’s claims are doubly misleading. First, Native American taxpayers will receive the same stimulus check as anyone else. Bennett got $3,000 by dividing the CARES Act’s allocations for Indian health and housing programs among the estimated one million Native people who live on reservations. But she failed to include the four million Native Americans who don’t live on reservations, all of whom can benefit from the new funding.
Even if they were, there’s nothing racist about providing special services for Indigenous peoples. The needs of Native communities, which were brutally colonized through overt violence and smallpox, a pandemic, hold a particular place in US jurisprudence—one that has long been overlooked.
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