Letters to the Editor

Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Only corporation, shareholders will benefit from private prison

I heard the radio ad that is promoting the private prison and Proposition No. 1. Even though I am against building any private prisons in Alaska, I told my wife that it was a good ad.

After thinking about what Don Gilman said in the ad, I was became quite angry. Don Gilman's statement that we have to bring our Native prisoners home reeked of racism and sophisticated bigotry.

Don Gilman, CCFRED (Concerned Citizens For Responsible Economic Development) and Cornell are not above exploiting the woes and troubles of the Native people of Alaska to bring a profit into their pockets. The underlying message in "We must bring our Natives home" is the same attitude that the Bureau of Indian Affairs has used for years to justify its existence.

If Don Gilman was so concerned about the welfare of the Alaska Natives, where was he when they were struggling to have their ancestral land declared an area where they could support themselves? I didn't see him standing beside my Native brothers and sisters then.

History has recorded time and time again the "we must save the Natives" exploitation of Natives and Indians to make a profit and line the pockets of a very few. Mike Gilliland, a Cornell mouthpiece, has been quoted as saying that he has talked to individual super voters, chambers of commerce and city council members to win support.

He makes a point of saying that he has even traveled to Native villages. Alaska Natives are not known to be super voters, nor do they hang out at the chambers of commerce meetings. The council meeting I attended did not have an audience of Natives.

Did anyone see him standing on an airstrip lately? So how many Alaska Natives has he really talked to?

News reports also have stated that Cornell is willing to weave relevant cultural programs and traditions into its treatment program. What does "relevant cultural programs" mean? Does it mean a program that will not cost anything and, therefore, not take away profits from its Houston, Texas, corporate office?

The exploitation of ethnic groups to line the pockets of corporations and a few individuals has to stop. No matter what your ethnic background, the money to line those pockets will come from the residents of this borough and, ultimately, the state.

Corporations exist to make money. Without it, they would go out of existence. Who benefits? You and I don't. The board of directors and its stockholders do. Corporations grow and become large not because of their benevolence but by their greed.

Put a stop to corporate greed and bigotry. Vote "No" on Proposition No. 1, the private prison issue.

Charles Hubbard

Sterling



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