Apr 2, 2017

NT Letter attacks Tlo'chi'in News - raises Lack of Education among our Dine

There was this NT letter to the editor "The dangers of Jini news", that was worth mentioning. Melvin Tso complains about Tl'oh Chin news spreading false news, despite the site's disclaimer, "Tlo'chi'iin News is fake and satirical news." He compares the online site to Ma'ii who spreads the fake word. He pleads to the Navajo leadership to do something about this fake.

I disagree with Tso. Tso's letter illustrates a big Navajo issue - the lack of western education among our Dine. Today, many of us Dine need western education to function in this society. Many Dine do not know that Navajo society is in the process of assimilating and is quickly transforming into a brown version of American society. In the process, we try to be as assimilated as possible, but some of us don't have the education to back us up. In this situation, Melvin Tso may have learned to read and write English, but it seems like he has not been educated of the different forms of English writing. One form of writing is called "satire" or "satirical writing". Some of the early satirical writers were European Victorian cartoonist. Today, our Navajo society is assimilating into American society, so we have Jack Ahasteen being the modern European Satirist, the Navajo version. Satire does not focus on factual accuracy which is the aim for general news. The satire provides a means to communicate perspectives that may otherwise be difficult to publish as regular news. Tl'oh Chin provides different perspectives about difficult issues that might be difficult to publish, such as accusing Senator McCain of Navajo witchcraft "Poll: 95% of Navajos are Sure this Photo shows that McCain is a Skinwalker". I find it thought-provoking. Therefore, I don't agree with Melvin Tso. Our People need more perspectives, more discussions on some of these difficult topics, more western education about topics such as European history and American Indian studies, and more Navajo education on topics such as the Navajo Fundamental Law.

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