by William Skink
The latter plan entails employing one of Missoula’s favorite placation strategies, the good ‘ol money to study schtick.
To show you how popular this go-to strategy has become, after George Floyd was killed by a police officer over the summer, Missoula’s enlightened brain trust suggested ANOTHER STUDY to appease Missoula’s BIPOC community, but now that the timeframe of 12 weeks has come and gone, with nothing to show, there is some understandable frustration boiling up that I’m happy to see the Missoula Current reporting on. From the link:
Iko’tsimiskimaki “Ekoo” Beck, a lifelong Missoula resident and Blackfeet Nation member, works as a community organizer for Montana Women Vote.
Like Cox, Beck agreed that investing more time and money in research is not an effective strategy.
“I also think that doing research is the wrong step at this point. I’ve lived here my entire life. Our experiences, as previously stated, have been shared a ton of times,” she said.
Instead of more research, Beck directed council members to specific action and issues they could work on addressing.
“There is a large houselessness Indigenous population in Missoula. That’s ridiculous. We’re Indigenous to this land. We should not be houseless. We should not be homeless on our own lands, right? That’s a basic level racial justice issue that you guys should be solving,” she said.
Right on, Ekoo. And here’s more well-deserved criticism:
For Chloe Behan, an Indigenous community member and student at the University of Montana, the steps that City Council has taken so far to address these social justice issues feel inconsequential.
“They’re trying to use this very outward facing solution. It is a very surface level solution that focuses only on the appearance of the city,” she said.
“It won’t be effective for anybody’s actual life other than for city council members and the mayor to be like ‘Alright, we did that. We can stop feeling bad. We can feel better about what we’ve done for BIPOC people.’ When in reality, they haven’t done anything.”
It looks like THIS placation plan is running into some problems from a more discerning group of people than the general public in Missoula, who eagerly throw tax money at all kinds of things.