Many people living far away from Indian reservations express sympathy for the poverty and misery experienced by Native Americans, yet, Thomas Biolsi argues, the problems faced by Native Americans are the results of white privilege.
In Deadliest Enemies, Biolsi connects the origins of racial tension between Indians and non-Indians on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota to federal laws, showing how the courts have created opposing political interests along race lines. Biolsi demonstrates that the court’s definitions of legal rights—both constitutional and treaty rights—make solutions to racial tensions intractable.
This powerful work sheds much-needed light on racial conflicts in South Dakota and in the rest of the United States, and holds white people accountable for the benefits of their racial privilege that come at the expense of Native Americans.
Thomas Biolsi is professor of Native American studies at the University of California at Berkeley.