By: Tim Pearce
A state university professor suggested Friday that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke favors Americans based race, religion and the potential to increase fuel consumption.
Zinke posted a gym photo on Twitter Friday of him exercising on an elliptical. In the photo, he is wearing a shirt that says, “I stand for the flag. I kneel for the cross.” The caption read, “I’d rather run on the @NationalMallNPS but the @Interior gym’s elliptical is better on the old knees.”
Michael Leroy Oberg teaches History at the State University of New York at Geneseo (SUNY Geneseo). He runs a blog and wrote “Native America: A History,” a textbook on the history of America’s indigenous people. He responded to Zinke in a later-deleted tweet suggesting that the Interior secretary may be the next to leave the administration after former-Environmental Protections Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday.
“@SecretaryZinke stands for white people, Christianity and his corporate overlords. He would dig for coal in his mother’s spleen if he thought he could extract something he could burn for fuel. Pruitt’s gone. Will Zinke be next?” Oberg’s tweet stated.
Oberg has a criticized the Trump administration over environmental issues before. In a January 2017 blog post, Oberg said President Donald Trump “has told America’s Native Peoples, in essence, to go to hell. Damn your protests. Damn your water. Damn you and your quality of life,” referring to Trump’s approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Oberg also referred to Energy Secretary Rick Perry as a “fool.”
Environmentalists and Native Americans camped out and protested the pipeline to hold up construction. Dakota Access would trample historical tribal land and pollute necessary resources such as water, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said.
The tribe had previously turned down multiple offers to join the Army Corps of Engineers in an initial consulting process to discuss the route of the pipeline. The pipeline also never crosses over tribal lands.
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