They’re just constantly told “you’re worthless.”

Mr. Childs talks about discrimination and a poignant personal experience.

Audio Chapters

MC: I happened to go to an AIM meeting, American Indian Movement, up in Minneapolis when I lived up there, and this was during the time that we had the Wounded Knee conflict. I heard some of the stories how the reason so many people had alcohol abuse and stuff is because they were just constantly oppressed. They just barely got something and somebody else comes around and either takes the job away or they’re just constantly told “you’re worthless.”

I gotta tell ya this from back at Sears and about Earl Poletticca. One day I had this customer, and unbeknownst to me he went down and talked to Mr. Poletticca and he says, “You know that Mike, your service manager, he’s a very good mechanic,” he says, “But it’s too bad he’s drinking on the job.”

MC: Earl Poletticca says, “I know Mike Childs personally. He’s a teetotaler.” He accompanies the man back to the sales floor and gets the sales checks and he refunds him his money and he says, “I want you to be my competitor’s customer. I do not want you in my store.” [Emotional] When you get backing like that…

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Michael Childs Interviewer Deborah Locke made at Welch, Prairie Island Indian Community, MN | Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. They’re just constantly told “you’re worthless.” May 21, 2024.

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