The membership of the Marilyn Buck Solidarity Organization would like to submit a Letter to the Editor in full support of the Shinnecock Indian Nation’s sovereignty and right to build their sign on their own land. Their actions pursuant of economic self-development, and their autonomous right to do so, must be respected.
MBSO is an organization associated with Third World People’s Alliance, and advocates for the sovereignty and autonomy of colonized and indigenous peoples, and for the abolition of white supremacy.
We must stand in solidarity with the Shinnecock Nation, which has a just and rightful claim to self-determination on their sovereign land. It is their right to develop and build on their land as they see fit for the benefit of their people. They have agreed to follow state and town traffic and light pollution-related laws, promising to dim the signs at night so they won’t bother anyone late at night.
The idea that the signs will be an “eyesore” when there is already a cellphone tower twice the size of the proposed signs on the same road just shows the lack of legitimate grounds or argument of those who oppose the sovereignty of the Shinnecock Nation.
Pushback from civic leadership and the state is just another attack in a long history of injustice to the Shinnecock Nation. Whether this even translates to the majority of local people opposing the development is unclear, given that 41 local companies have already expressed interested in advertising on the new signs.
The State of New York should be ashamed of their behavior short of anything but complete solidarity with this people’s struggle for total well-being.
In the present day, the Shinnecock Nation faces socioeconomic disadvantages due to the historical trauma of land loss and forced relocation, while the local white community has been able to profit off their dispossession and exploitation. Moreover, the majority of the white population of Long Island has historically and still remains indifferent to the concerns of the Shinnecock people. This indifference stems from the structural benefits of whiteness in the United States, which are embedded in the nation’s founding and are reactionary in nature.
Dealing with these facts, the Shinnecock Nation must have full control of their remaining lands and resources.
Kevin SalvatoreSag Harbor This letter is signed by fellow organization members Alyssa Cook, Bridget von Bevern, George Holzman and Joshua Comden—Ed.
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