US: Tribe constructs casino honoring racist author

CHITTENANGO, N.Y. — The American Indian tribe leading the movement to change the name of the Washington Redskins plans to open a $20 million casino that pays homage to the work of L. Frank Baum, who was born in this village outside Syracuse and later wrote “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

Just one problem with the Oneida Indian Nation’s Yellow Brick Road Casino: A decade before Baum wrote one of this country’s most celebrated children’s tales, he campaigned for an American Indian genocide…

…So why would the Oneida — a small tribe that has condemned the Redskins for a name they consider patently racist — embrace the legacy of a writer whose own descendants have apologized for his racism?

That apology is the reason, said Oneida leader Ray Halbritter, calling the tribe’s future casino the product of reconciliation…

Or more likely Halbritter is thinking along strictly commercial lines. Why build a casino in the first place? But opting for commercial gains is a honoured tradition itself.  

Still, the left seems to gaining ascendency and he might well end up caving in.