Please join us in sending a loud and clear message to promoters of the November 2004 California ballot initiative entitled the Gaming Revenue Act of 2004, who are trying to whip up voter racism against Native Americans! Add your voice to the message by signing this statement. When enough people have signed it, we will buy a newspaper ad and send out a news release. We will use only first names and last names in the ad, so your information will stay private. To Irving Moskowitz, owner of the Hawaiian Gardens Casino, and to the owners and principals of the following gambling enterprises: Artichoke Joe's Casino, Bay Meadows, the Bicycle Casino, California Grand Casino, the Commerce Club, Crystal Park Casino, Hollywood Park, Hustler Casino, Los Alamitos Race Course, Lucky Chances, Normandie Casino, Oceans Eleven Casino, Santa Anita Race Track.
We the undersigned call upon the above-named sponsors and backers of the "Fair Share for California" ballot initiative which would authorize urban casino slot machines to immediately remove the references to a purported Indian or tribal "fair share" from every place in their promotional materials where these phrases occur - including the initiative title. We also call on the sponsors and backers of the initiative to publicly renounce the use of any language implying, suggesting or announcing that their ballot measure will extract a "fair share" from Native American gambling enterprises.
The initiative backers should renounce and forswear use of the phrase because it is racist.
Why, after Europeans, ancestors of some of us, stole this continent from the Indians and decimated them many times over, would anything the Indians possess be our fair share?
As Jews, the initiators of this statement find the "fair share" phrase abhorrent for the memories it prompts. Less than a century after German Jews were "emancipated" -- permitted for the first time to engage in the occupations of their choice - the Nazis were whipping up public jealously of Jews' economic success.
Similarly, less than a decade after tribes achieved economic viability for their sovereignty, those who covet their wealth or want to distract aggrieved taxpayers are mischievously suggesting that Indian gambling profits are ill-gotten.
One of the ballot measure's donors and potential beneficiaries, casino owner Irving Moskowitz, who has been quoted in the press saying that 120 relatives perished in the Holocaust, should certainly know better.
All of the sponsors, however, are responsible for funding a campaign that is whipping up jealously of Indians, fanning racism against them in order to win a ballot measure that will give their casinos and race tracks slot machines and millions in personal profits. The "fair share" phrase is particularly unseemly when invoked by wealthy individuals who bear a minimal tax burden compared to middle-class taxpayers. Such stark self interest makes the need to banish the hateful term all the more urgent.