Share burden equally

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, April 09, 2004

I am responding to an article regarding violence against Alaska Natives. Violence against any human is sad and unjust. However, one must look at why violence against Natives occurs, although unjustified.

In a time where state funds are slim, we are spending more on Natives and remote villages than other residents pay taxes. Is it fair that Natives receive free health care, get free college, attend fully funded schools in the bush, etc.? I would say no. I look at the fiscal crisis as a problem in spending, and excess amounts sent to villages and programs to "help" the Natives as a dividing line between two peoples of slightly different genetic backgrounds. I work with some outstanding people that are of Native Alaskan decent yet they don't try to tell me they deserve more from the government than anyone else. This is how it should be. I had to relocate to a different town for work to provide for my family (yes, this involved moving from family and friends), why shouldn't the Natives? Or anyone else for that matter?

Providing extra services targeted at persons of a certain genetic background only encourages racism, and increases the burden on the taxpayers. I pay a healthy sum in property taxes so my kids can attend school. Why shouldn't we all share this burden equally?

Chad Lewis

Palmer



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