A Savage "Free Press"
A few weeks after arriving in Indio and setting up shop, Dr. Nichols received a visitor. After he and Joann welcomed this stranger, a portentous dialogue took place.
As Dr. Nichols remembers the conversation, the stranger opened his remarks with a question and the brief discussion went something like this:
"Do you remember me?" the guest asked.
"No, I'm afraid that I don't," replied Nichols.
"Well, I remember you. My name is Lycette. I'm editor of the Indio Daily News. You led a strike against my company several years ago in Detroit and you almost put us out of business.
"Well, I'm here to tell you that I'm going to do all I can to make sure you don't succeed here. We don't need your kind here stirring up our Aborigines."
"Aborigines?" Nichols queried.
"Yes, our Aborigines. They don't need a union organizer stirring them up and causing problems. Our Aborigines are hard-working, responsible citizens and we intend to keep things that way. So I just want to put you on notice that we'll be watching you and I promise you I will stop you."
So much for a free press and balanced, fair reporting. Eventually James Lycette became editor of The Desert Sun, today a Gannett daily. Among his protégés was Keith Carter, currently the editorial-page editor of The Desert Sun, from which he has repeatedly launched disinformation-filled attacks and smears on the Tribe and the Nichols family.
Lycette apparently tried to keep his word. But there is something inexorably powerful about an idea, when it is developed by courageous, determined human beings. Whomever the "Aborigines" were that Lycette thought he knew, they did