The ongoing scandal America ignores

If the United States ever thinks it needs something more to be outraged about, it always has the one thing it’s ignored for generations: the treatment of Native Americans.

Take South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation on the border of Nebraska and South Dakota, for example.

The unemployment rate among the 4,000 members is 80 percent. The per-capita income is $8,000 a year. The average adult will live to 50 years, the shortest life expectancy in the United States. The alcoholism rate is 75 percent. The federal government is cutting aid for housing, education, and health.

Scandalous enough for anyone to notice? Apparently not.

Can anything ever change this?

Mashable today has posted its extensive story on one man’s attempt to create a digital currency — MazaCoin — which he contends could lift the reservation out of poverty.

Perhaps in another place like Silicon Valley, Payu Harris might have more ups. On Pine Ridge, he is at best misunderstood; at worst, regarded as a snake oil salesman. In the cryptocurrency scene, his coin struggles to make its case. Without the support of either community, it’s all too possible that MazaCoin will join the other non-entities at the bottom of the altcoin graveyard.

“If the tribe’s going to sit around and not take advantage of the technology, that’s their choice,” Harris says. “But we’re going to see how far we can go with it, whether it’s going to be another tribe, country or continent.”

It’s a fine read.

  • Robert Moffitt

    Not everyone is ignoring this, as your blog post suggests.

    My organization has been working to reduce asthma in the Native American community for some time. We’ve been working in Pine Ridge, Cheyenne River, Standing Rock and closer to home, Little Earth.
    Some of the stories and pictures I have seen from these places breaks my heart.

  • joetron2030

    My parents’ church goes out to Pine Ridge as part of their mission work on an annual basis, too. I think it’s usually mix of high school aged kids and adults. At least that was the case the last time it came up in conversation with them about a year ago.