Without evidence, Minnesota’s Democrat Lieutenant Governor suggested that opposition to the appointment of Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM-01) to be the United States Secretary of the Interior is rooted in anti-Native American bigotry.
“Boozhoo! This is Peggy Flanagan. I’m a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said in a video on Twitter, urging her followers to support Haaland.
— Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan (@LtGovFlanagan) February 24, 2021
Boozhoo is the Ojibwe word for “greetings,” or “hello.”
“When I was elected to this role in 2018, I became the highest-ranking Native woman elected to executive office, and only the the second Native woman in our nation’s history to be elected statewide,” she continued. “Native women have been leading since time immemorial, and it’s taken the rest of society a lot of time to catch up. The appointment of Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior is a powerful and deeply meaningful action by the Biden-Harris administration of their intent to truly partner with Indian country.”
Next, Flanagan launched into an attack of Haaland’s opponents, suggesting that they do not want her to lead the Department of the Interior because of her ethnicity and gender.
“She has the experience and qualifications we need at the helm of the Department of the Interior, despite underhanded attacks saying otherwise,” she said. “Too often, women of color and Native Women are held to a double standard when it comes to stepping into leadership roles.”
Flanagan did not mention Haaland’s qualifications, or exactly which “double standard” she was facing.
“I’m disappointed, but not surprised by the resistance to her appointment,” Flanagan said. “We need you to call email, and contact your Senator, and let them know you support Congresswoman Deb Halland for Secretary of the Interior. We deserve people in every corner of government that truly represent us. Let’s make it happen.”
Despite Flanagan’s claims, there is no evidence of bigotry holding up Haaland’s confirmation process. Her hearings in the Senate have been marked with typical partisan rancor, as many Republicans questioned her positions on fracking Tuesday.
Haaland has been outspokenly against fracking on public lands during her career as a congresswoman.
That issue in particular was highlighted during the 2020 presidential race, when then-candidate Joe Biden promised not to ban fracking. But at the very beginning of his administration, he did just that. At least temporarily, he has paused fracking on public land.
Now, he is appointing to his cabinet his ideological counterparts on that issue, which appears to concern Republican senators.
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