Niagara Falls is Victim of Different Kind of Apartheid
With the death of Nelson Mandela earlier this month, we are reminded not only of the system of apartheid that once existed in South Africa, but also the present day apartheid in Niagara Falls.
In South Africa up until 1990, about eight percent of the people of South Africa -- those of European descent - had superior legal rights to the other 92 percent who were native Africans.
Mandela and others - with the help of the United States - ended the gruesome practice.
In Niagara Falls, people who are born of Seneca descent have greater legal rights than people born of European, African, Asian or any other land in this city of 49,000, with the world famous name.
Seneca natives operate in Niagara Falls on 50 acres of land that was once part of the USA for some 228 years. It was taken out of the heart of downtown by a trick of truth - that Senecas being an independent nation could operate gaming facilities while Americans could not - by transferring the land out of the USA.
The Senecas today live legally above Americans in the same city. They do not pay property, sales or state income tax, and have the exclusive right to operate gaming businesses.
They compete side by side with over-taxed Americans in the same city.
The once-proud Americans work at what is, in effect, the Seneca plantation, owned by a people who are farther above Americans legally and with more preferences and legal advantages than whites had over blacks more than 100 years ago.
Americans - white or black - in Niagara Falls are the blacks of South Africa 25 years ago.
We wish to end apartheid in Niagara Falls, but Nelson Mandela, alas, is dead.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
Dec 17, 2013