Too often the media presents Indigenous opposition to fossil fuel megaprojects without the proper historical context. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell broke the mould, delivering a brutally accurate description of the United States’ “original sin.”
Here at Ricochet, we regularly dish out sharp critiques of the mainstream media. We believe media criticism and the development of independent and alternative outlets are crucial to the health of democracy and our collective ability to achieve social justice.
But we have to give credit where it’s due. On Friday, O’Donnell delivered what is arguably the most astonishingly honest segment ever broadcast on a U.S. cable news network, liking the contemporary struggle of Native American tribes against the Dakota Access Pipeline with the 500-year history of genocide and resistance.
"This country was founded on genocide," O'Donnell explains in the monologue. "When we finally stopped killing Native Americans for the crime of living her before us, we then proceeded to violate every treaty we made with the tribes."
This 4.5-minute segment is must-watch TV. Here’s hoping it becomes recommended viewing in journalism schools across North America.