Letters: Readers weigh in on issues of the day

Farmington Daily Times
Letters to the Editor

Fruitland Redskins fan refutes fight against using the name

Regarding the Navajo Nation Attorney filing an amicus curiae in the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Va., to affirm the cancellation of the trademark held by Pro-Football Inc.:

  1. The Name Redskins does not offend me, the name does not make me suffer or pain me, the psychological effect it has on me is that I am proud to be a Native American, a Warrior and a Navajo. 
  2. The briefs mentions Chairman Peter MacDonald Sr. only representing himself. So is Amanda Blackhorse (a Navajo woman who has championed the fight against the name). She does not represent me and those who support the Redskins. At least MacDonald was the Chairman of the most powerful Native American nation and he is still the pillar of the Navajo Nation, HTTR!
  3.  Not all 300,000 so mentioned members of the Navajo Nation are against the name REDSKINS. Be Real and do not lie to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court.
  4. Why is the Yei Bi Cheii colored red in the sacred sand painting during the ceremonials. Other gods are also painted red. The Navajo Nation attorneys and Blackhorse must be telling the Navajo Medicine men to change their beliefs in these ceremonials. Change all spiritual significances, chants and prayers while sand painting their gods.
  5. “Terms like these impact the psychological well-being of tribal members, especially the youth, and this concern is supported by the American Psychological Association, which has identified the use of Native American mascots as having a negative effect on self-esteem, the brief states.” The name Redskins does not drive me crazy, drive me to drug abuse, suicide or other effects. Can the Navajo legal department identify all those Navajo kids who went crazy or have low self-esteem specifically because of the name "Red Skins' and are they going to bus them to court as their exhibit "A"?
  6. You all mentioned, Red Mesa High School located on the Navajo Reservation using the name Redskins as their mascot. And this is said about them, “The brief does touch on the issue of the name “Redskins” being used as a mascot by Red Mesa High School in Red Mesa, Ariz., stating the school is public and is not created or sanctioned by the tribal government.”  So the Navajo Nation must be saying, "let Red Mesa High School students be psychologically affected because they are public and not of the Nation. What a position to take against our future generation! Love the chosen and stiff arm the others? "Red Skins" does not lower your self-esteem. Navajo kids who have graduated from Red Mesa High School Red Skins are not crazy or suffering from low self-esteem. They are proud to wear Red Skins T-shirts and many went on to college and university and earned college degrees.

Where are our true leaders, why not spend money defending our water, land, resources and our people. Protect our Rainbow instead of wasting money on trivial issues. I urge the leadership of our Navajo Nation to use our funds wisely and not let the lawyers go on wild goose chase with our funds.

Vern Lee


Seeing two sides of methane regulations

I attended the BLM (US Bureau of Land Management) meeting in Farmington due to concern regarding the methane hotspot over the Four Corners. Although arguments from two seemingly opposed sides advanced little, useful thoughts from both were voiced. My takeaways are, first, that energy workers (fossil fuel or solar/wind) cannot rest on expectations to perform the same jobs over and over. Our world is ever changing with fluctuating energy markets, evolving technology, and information on man’s relation to our climate. Old job loss, migration to new jobs and retraining will occur. Farmington, far from turning into a ghost town, could be ripe for an economy boosted by the manpower needed for change.

Ecology proponents might also accept that cessation of all fossil fuel use and misuse may not happen in this conflicted world as fast as we or our planets survival require or wish. It is true that some methane leakage is from livestock, coal mining, and mother Earth. However, for the leakage due to gas/oil operations our local industry and communities and broader planet would only benefit from smart action.

One speaker who performs professional infrared photo analysis of gas and oil wells nationwide, gave witness that the well operations in the Four Corners area have a much higher leakage rate than in all other areas. Four neighboring states are putting safeguards similar to the BLM proposals into place. Happily, they are all significantly reducing leakage while turning even more community and industry profit than before.

Via radio and satellite transponders, the gas industry does have access to feed instant real-time data on leakage beyond the periodic manual inspections modestly put forward by BLM after 40 years of no regulation upgrade. This could boost profits and avoid the vagaries of periodic manual inspections from a BLM that is already understaffed in this area.

We could all come together to work smarter, not harder for our collective future. Hope (whether for employment, local economy, human survival or personal health) is a terrible thing to waste.

David Rippey

Santa Fe