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Individual rights or greater good?

Posted: Thursday, March 11, 2010

Regarding the Sealaska Corp. lands bill being discussed in the U.S. Senate:

Once again, the indigenous people of this land are being asked to put aside their rights under federal agreements, congressional acts and legally binding contracts. Once again, the agreements made in good faith are being questioned and second-guessed. Once again, indigenous people are being challenged, belittled and besieged by others who stand for the common good of the greater society.

Once again, minorities are being asked to take a backseat so certain individuals or communities can benefit equally. Once again, they are being accused of coveting what is best because they were a given a choice of sections of land that no one wanted, lived on or used, except by those who used its resources for survival.

Now this land is being used by individuals or communities for economic gain, physical activity and other personal activity. Once again, the greater economic and socially accepted society questions the rights granted because these agreements and processes do not - now - benefit the greater society equally.

I'm not saying these arguments don't have a valid foundations. Everyone agrees that standing up for an individual or community's equality, economic success and environmental protection is the highest road we can take. After all, it benefits everyone. Equality is one of the greatest ideals of our society. Right?

Once again, we as a good, equally minded society determine that the good of the majority should supersede the rights of the minority. I'm sure you can find many examples of this same type of argument documented throughout our great country's formation and history. The greater good for the accepted society always wins out over the minority. It's for the best! It's the most equal!

Right?

Kris Isakson

Juneau



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