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Christopher Melendez
Professor Holly Batty
English 114A
13 December 2014
Native Americans Compensated With Casinos
Native Americans were the first people on American soil yet they are treated like
second-class citizens. Not only were they forced off their lands; they were not
compensated correctly for the vast amount of resources this country has. The political
cartoon “Quick, Give Them a Casino” by Zachary Kanin illustrates the ongoing
discrimination towards Native Americans. He envisions the American cowboy trying to
compensate the Indians by giving them a casino while they still seem to be savage
through their actions of using arrows. This political cartoon contributes to the lack of
knowledge Americans have over the discrimination towards Native Americans. Citizens
of the United States themselves discriminate, but believe all is right now because the
natives own some casinos.
Native Americans have gone through so much since they were forced to give up
their lands and still do not get the respect every person deserves. They are still treated
like second-class citizens even though Americans tore them apart from their land, which
was their original home. White Americans treat immigrants extremely hostile but in
reality they are the real immigrants who stole the lands of innocent people who did
nothing wrong. Citizens mistreat immigrants for doing the same thing their ancestors
did. Native Americans have yet to be compensated for giving up their lands unfairly and
unjustly. Most of society believes the debt has been repaid through the distribution of

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Indian Casinos, but little do many know that calculations by scientists have been made
and through all the resources US soil had to offer throughout the years, not even our
children’s children would be able to repay the debt.
The portrayal of the Indians as being savages in this cartoon is shown through the
arrows being shot at the cowboy in a very modernized office. The arrows represent the
savageness of Indians still existing today even after America has modernized quite an
amount but they continue to use these ancient weapons. This also discriminates Indians
because it portrays them as being ignorant to the world’s new technologies therefore
demeaning their knowledge of the America of today. These arrows represent the
continuing discrimination to this ethnic group even after they have suffered so much, just
like many other ethnic groups who have suffered, such as African Americans, Asian
Americans, and Hispanic Americans.
The title of the cartoon, “Quick, Give Them a Casino”, shows the ignorance
Americans have on the situation of discrimination dealt with Native Americans. As
stated before they believe their debt with Native Americans has been cleared through the
allowing of Indian Casinos, which of course is not true. They do not understand that they
left Native Americans with nothing, thus making them the poorest minority group of the
century. According to the American Community Survey in 2008, Native Americans have
the highest poverty rate in the country reach to almost 30 percent. More than a fourth of
Native Americans are in poverty. These reservations they live on don’t provide any of
the resources needed to survive. Sure some of the casino owners are wealthy but this still
does not add up to help the entire Native American community and take them out of
poverty. Most of the time these casino owners won’t share their wealth because of course

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they have adopted a White American lifestyle. The illustration of a cowboy giving orders
demonstrates that people still think like men did during this time period, as if they were
the enemy for trying to fight for their own land that belonged to them, for land that was
unlawfully taken away from them. The modernization of the room also shows how even
though times have changed physically the mentality of people are still the same as they
used to be; when cowboys of the West would fight off Indians as portrayed in movies.
Throughout the years people have been oppressed and discriminated against. Someone
who is no stranger to that is Brent Staples.
The essay “Black Men and Public Spaces” by Brent Staples shows the African
American ethnic group being discriminated just for being a different skin color. Native
Americans and African Americans both have a long history with suffering in the hands of
White Americans and receiving no compensation for the unjust cruelty they went
through. Brent Staples illustrates a story of a colleague of his who had a
misunderstanding with a police officer, “Mistaking the reporter for the killer, police
hauled him from his car at gunpoint and but for his press credentials would probably have
tried to book him” (Staples 185). Even though African Americans don’t have the same
problem directly as such of Native Americans both ethnic groups having gone through
cruelties that still follow them today, even now when America is seen as home of the
free. At the top of the list of most mistreated ethnic groups it would have to be African
Americans and Native Americans hand in hand. One group had their land stolen from
them and were forced to live in worst parts of it, while the other group was forced out
their land to work on foreign land that didn’t belong to these slave owners in the first
place. Both have had something valuable taken away from them and have not received

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the necessary compensations to even begin to think that these cruel deeds could be
forgotten and put behind oneself.
This political cartoon shows the increasing discrimination of all ethnic groups,
specifically targeted in this one, Native Americans. Each detail contributes to a certain
view Americans have on Native Americans that demean their ethnic group. Every
minority continues to be discriminated against in this country but the white folk of this
country believe that’s all in the past because of such things like that we have a black
president. Discrimination will never end whether we are in 1861 or in 2014.
Works Cited
Staples, Brent. "Black Men and Public Spaces." 75 Thematic Readings: An Anthology.
New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003. N. pag. Print.
Kanin, Zachary, and Deron Gabrel. "Quick, Give Them a Casino." New Yorker 13 Sept.
2010: n. pag. Print.
Macartney, Suzzane. "American Community Survey Briefs." Poverty Rates for Selected
Detailed Race and Hispanic Groups by State and Place: 2007–2011 (2013): n.
pag. Web.

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