The Rocky Mountain News (RMN) began it’s annual defense of the Convoy of Conquest, on September 24, with an article that led all other stories in it’s print edition. The coverage started on page 4a(the page on which all RMN articles begin) with an above the fold article entitled“Columbus Parade could see less strife”
“Columbus Parade could see less strife” and was penned by Charlie Brennan. As is the case with the RMN in general, and Charlie Brennan in particular, the article contained omissions and distortions that expose their bias.
The slant that Brennan’s article takes is one in which our efforts to transform columbus day have been derailed due to the right wing attacks against CO AIM member Ward Churchill (led by Brennan and the RMN) and “many people” tiring of the arrests. Brennan also declares that “some American Indians and their sympathizers are determined this year to follow a less confrontational path..”
As proof of this, Brennan offers the opinion of only one American Indian, Darius Smith. Brennan describes Smith as the President of the Colorado Indian Education Association. What Brennan doesn’t reveal is that Darius Smith is also employed by the City of Denver as the director of the Denver Ant-Discrimination Office (DADO). In essence, Smith is a political appointee of the Mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper. CO AIM has repeatedly asked Mayor Hickenlooper to demonstrate moral courage by denouncing the celebration of an indian killer; a stand which he refuses to take.
This omission is important because it gives the impression that Smith has no personal, economic, or political interest in attempting to minimize the work of CO AIM, around the columbus day issue, that typically has revealed the progressive pronouncements of the city administration to be little more than lip service. Though Smith publicly denounces Ward Churchill and peceived chest thumping by CO AIM members, he remains conspicously silent about the celebration of an Indian Killer and the City Administrations fence straddling over the issue.
Another source in Brennan’s article is Darius’s boss, Lucia Guzman. Lucia Guzman is the Executive Director of the Human Rights and Community Relations department of the City of Denver. Like Smith, she is a mayoral political appointee. Also, like Smith, Guzman has nothing to say about the nature of the parade or the lack of a mayoral response but instead suggests that CO AIM and TCD members are exhausted. She doesn’t name a single person or organization as proof which is understandable since she hasn’t attending any TCD or CO AIM meetings. In fact, neither Smith nor Guzman have attended a CO AIM meeting within the past year and have no idea what strategies are being pursued, despite what they may be telling their supervisors.
A question that arises is this. Are these two city employees abusing their positions of power and attempting to marginalize a grassroots effort to transform Columbus Day or could they simply have exercised poor judgement in being duped by Charlie Brennan and the RMN?
The Brennan article is typical of the coverage the RMN gives to Columbus Day. Long time critics of TCD and CO AIM will be trotted out and presented as objective commentators. More follows here