| Craven: When I first read this, I could smell it coming: "Me a racist? Some of my best friends are Indians..." But it goes further than that. Let's assume he was indeed at Wounded Knee, that he did do all he claims and that he is proud of his contributions there. And did Watson, while he was supposedly at Wounded Knee, tell the Lakota that defending treaty rights, preserving sacred lands and survival of sacred culture, exactly what the Makah are fighting for, were insignificant imperatives to be summarily dismissed in favor of his pet self-professed missions if they conflicted with them?
Far from being allied with the interests of the people at Wounded Knee, Watson, in a recent interview with M.J. Milloy for Montreal's Hour Magazine, denied his ugly, credibility-damaging real alliance with open neo-fascists and racists dedicated to exactly what the warriors of Wounded Knee were fighting against. Asked about the neo-Nazi, skinhead and racist connections of his close supporter Willis Carto and the anti-treaty rights, anti-Indian and racist record of his supporter Jack Metcalf, Watson claimed ignorance, saying: "I haven't seen any evidence that he's anti-Indian at all .... You have to agree to disagree on certain things and take your support where you can get it."3
Let's deconstruct this. For the moment, let's assume this statement is true (it isn't) - that he only found out about his staunchest supporters during this interview. Talk about "long on arrogance and venom"; he is effectively saying that we have to "agree to disagree on certain things" which he later characterizes as "lesser issues," presumably "lesser" than saving a few gray whales. But these lesser things his allies are for are antisemitism, Holocaust denial, racism, sexism, homophobia, fascism, the KKK, anti-minority violence, genocide, and neo-nazism. He seems to have no notion here that in "taking support where you can," you tacitly, if not explicitly, support what your supporters support. Of course, he also has a poor notion of the Makah "taking support where they can."
But there is a difference between the Makah and Watson in where and on what basis they draw their support. Where Watson denies and has never publicly refuted his supporters' ugly "venom", the Makah have never supported wholesale whaling by the whaling superpowers, who may indeed be only be supporting in hopes of a "slippery slope" leading to the restoration of wholesale whaling Watson often threatens. This is the worst kind of narcissism and arrogance: only my cause and my little market niche matter - "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." But since Watson repeatedly points to the Makah's funding sources (never endorsed or solicited by the Makah), his own organizational connections and funding sources are fair game - especially since they demonstrate his proclivity for lying and embellishment.
But alas, Watson's feigned surprise at the organizational affiliations and proclivities of his main supporters Metcalf and Carto - is simply and provably not true. According to the Anti-Racist Emergency Action Network, Representative Jack Metcalf is well-known throughout Washington State as the second most influential long-time anti-Indian and anti-tribal activist. Metcalf is one of the founders of S/SPAWN which later became the United Property Owners of Washington and is linked to the Washington Property Rights Network and the Wise Use Movement, who "are further organizationally and actively connected with the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, a national anti-treaty rights organization. Activists recorded Metcalf opposing South Africa's apartheid regime in the Washington State Legislature in Olympia making "staggeringly racist comments about Africans being genetically incapable of governing themselves... in open committee meetings."
Further, Watson portrays his anti-whaling as an integral part of an overall environmentalism; yet the Sierra Club ranks Metcalf among the lowest in environmental legislation. He voted against bills for logging restrictions and clean air and water (presumably Watson doesn't care if the whales die of water pollution), and for bills weakening the Environmental Protection Agency. In the very interview in which he feigned ignorance of Metcalf's anti-Indian racism, Watson was confronted with the connections between Carto and Metcalf, and said he was not surprised: "Metcalf is floating on the edge of the extreme patriot right." Watson can't keep track of his lies. What exactly does he think the "extreme patriot right" is about if not racism, especially against Indians?4
Both Watson and Metcalf have been featured and praised in Willis Carto's publication "The Spotlight." Anyone who wants to find out what Carto is need only type any of these terms into any search engine: Willis Carto, The Institute for Historical Review, the Liberty Lobby, Aryan Nations, Holocaust denial, neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, KKK. Or you can consult the Simon Wiesenthal Center which has an extensive file on Carto as America's leading antisemite and Holocaust denier. This begs the question: What possible support could Metcalf and Carto give the "just cause" of saving whales that could ever justify support from and for open fascists, antisemites, and racists of their ilk?
It should be very clear who is long on arrogance, venom and very unrighteous indignation and short on truth and facts. It is not the Makah - it is this very selective "environmentalist" and savior of the whales. It should be noted that these forces allied with Metcalf and Carto are also avid gun nuts who love to kill and mount all sorts of animals; Watson's concern for life and the environment apparently stops at that which doesn't feed his trough directly.
Watson simply and summarily arrogates to himself the right to define and declare what cultures and practices are worth preserving, what treaties are worth respecting and defending, what Faustian bargains with the forces of evil are defensible and yes, even what forms of life are worth any sacrifice to protect. Apparently Indians are not on Watson's "close-to-extinction" list.