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National Geographic Calls Itself ‘Racist’ For Years of Photographing Native Peoples

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National Geographic has issued a mea culpa for pretty much all of its coverage throughout its 130-year history.

The magazine, founded in 1888, has often featured cover photographs of Native peoples in their own dwellings and environments, illuminating their lives and allowing wide-eyed readers the world over to learn about different cultures and experience a sense of wonderment about the world we live in.

No longer.

In an apology reported on by the Washington Post, the Geographic is reckoning with its own “racist” past, because apparently it is stereotypical to report on Native peoples being naked or technologically primitive — even if that was the actual truth of the situation.

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The statement reads: “For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It…It hurts to share the appalling stories from the magazine’s past. But when we decided to devote our April magazine to the topic of race, we thought we should examine our own history before turning our reportorial gaze to others. Race is not a biological construct, as writer Elizabeth Kolbert explains in this issue, but a social one that can have devastating effects.”

The Post reports: “For much of its 130-year history, the magazine depicted people of color in crude stereotypes. Its archives are loaded with pictures of brown-skinned “natives” gazing in apparent awe at Western technology, articles referring to tribal peoples as “savages,” and of course many, many photos of bare-breasted Pacific island women striking vaguely seductive poses. Those glossy Geographics, stacked up in attics and basements, were favorites of more than a few curious young boys — with little interest in New Guinea or Polynesia.”

Why is “natives” in scare quotes?

Apparently it’s better to ignore the lives of tribal people or, maybe, dress them up in hipster clothes or something before you take photographs of them?

Or just stick to photographing white people in their natural habitat of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, foraging for nourishment at Whole Foods?

Ridiculous.

 

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Border Security

New Gallup Poll Shows Immigration Tops Most Important Problem List

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When Americans were asked what they feel is the most important problem facing the nation, immigration topped the list for just the second time in Gallup’s history. The top issue each month since January of 2017 has been the government, but immigration has just replaced its position according to a new Gallup poll.

When asked the same question in June, immigration ranked at 14% when Gallup asked Americans what’s the “most important problem” the nation faces. It jumped from 14% to 22% from June to July 2018.

Each month, Gallup asks the same question and the answer of immigration has always averaged 5% over the 17 years Gallup has included it in their polls. So why the sudden jump from 14% to 22%?

The past several weeks social media and news outlets alike have focused on the issue of separating families at the border with President Trump’s stance on immigration and his modified policy that would keep families detained together (if detainment must occur) continuing to be a hot button issue.

Just last month, TIME ran the cover story, “A Reckoning After Trump’s Border Separation Policy: What Kind of Country Are We,” with the cover photo that was proven to be fake news. The cover showed a 2-year-old little girl crying while President Trump towers above her looking on as she wails. The cover read simply “Welcome to America.” The claim made by Time was that the little girl had been separated from her family at the border, but Yanela, daughter to Sandra Sanchez had never been separated from her mother at all. Sanchez and her daughter were arrested by Border Patrol agents under the zero tolerance policy that criminally charges anyone attempting to cross the border illegally, but at no point were they separated.

Every week immigration has remained in the news cycle, and continues to be an issue that is important to Americans. The Washington Examiner reported on Monday that The National Guard’s deployment to the southwest border in mid-April has led to 10,805 “deportable alien arrests” of people who entered into the United States from Mexico illegally. The National Guard has also intercepted more than 3,300 others who were turned back at the border before crossing into the U.S., and have seized 11,686 pounds of marijuana.

In April of 2006, immigration reached 19% when Congress was working on passing a comprehensive immigration bill. During this time period, immigration protests popped up all across America and saturated the news cycle. The last spike, according to Gallup of immigration as the top problem was in 2014 when the news focused its attention on a large number of immigrants who were attempting to enter the U.S. from Central America.

The issue of immigration is important to Americans, but for starkly different reasons. Republicans are more concerned about potential crime, impacts on the nation’s economy, and jobs being taken away from native-born families. Democrats, in contrast, support a path to citizenship for the undocumented, but more over, they know that they need all the help they can get at the polls, with Trump’s base stronger than ever heading into the Midterms.

The Gallup poll is based on telephone interviews conducted July 1-11 with a random sample of 1,033 adults in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points and a 95 percent confidence level.

 

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