Leading from behind


The fact that Wal-Mart has many thousands of part-time employees and long ago amassed billions of dollars that will outlive them, is not a secret.  I shine a light on this to contrast Wal-Mart’s actions, to the actions of Henry Ford, who increased the wages of his employees to the displeasure of his fellow car makers.  Ford said this, “I want my employees to have the ability to purchase the cars that they are building.”

This part time employment, that continues, has existed since WalMart arrived in Gallup – many Navajo government administrations ago.

The Navajo government has long reneged on their promise to be a voice for the voiceless – part time WalMart employees cannot complain without fear of dismissal. The Navajo government’s silence is deafening.

Martin Luther King Jr. was assaulted many times by those that were sworn to “serve and protect.” His house was bombed.  He was bitten by police dogs.  He went to jail many times. He was stabbed, and finally he was assassinated.  He also led from the front.

The Navajo government could be leaders in fact, and not in name only, by leading a boycott that would result in full time employment for the people that continues to provide them with a living wage and a lifetime pension, by hiring them with their votes.

Taking up space is not the standard for leadership, results is.  One hundred percent of Indian jewelry is made by Native Americans; One hundred percent of the stores that sell this jewelry are owned by non-natives.  There are also 250 millionaires in “the Indian Capital,” not one Native among them.

One hundred percent of exposure deaths in this area are Native Americans, many veterans among them.  The majority of the people in the NCI, the jail, the homeless, the unemployed, the exploited Wal-Mart employees and customers are Native Americans.

The Navajo government leads from behind.

Louis Maldonado
Gallup, N.M.