United States Senator John McCain is finding it increasingly difficult to avoid his critics these days. On Feb. 19, Arizona State University graduate student Laura Medina called out the senator on his environmental policies during a lecture at the university’s downtown Phoenix campus.
In a video released on YouTube, Medina confronted McCain as he was leaving the lecture, asking him for a few minutes to address his track record on issues that affect Arizona’s Indigenous peoples. This included a question about the proposed open pit mining at Oak Flat campground near Superior. McCain, however, did not respond to her request and exited the building flanked by campus police.
Medina, who is Ojibwe and a graduate student in ASU’s American Indian Studies program, stated that she felt it is important to openly question and critique politicians despite how others may view the action as disrespectful.
“It’s about letting them and the people know they are doing something wrong,” Medina said in an interview with the Navajo Post. “I know a lot of people see [criticism] as just anger and that we should just mind our own business. No one likes the angry Indian. But for me, I feel that if we continue to do nothing, politicians will continue to do these things without consequences.”