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Journalist mocked for saying there were no jails, homelessness or anti-gay laws 'before white people came'

Visitors stand near a 1921 statue of the Wampanoag leader Massasoit, center, Wednesday, June 9, 2021, on Cole's Hill, in Plymouth, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Visitors stand near a 1921 statue of the Wampanoag leader Massasoit, center, Wednesday, June 9, 2021, on Cole's Hill, in Plymouth, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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Critics on Twitter are fiercely mocking a social media post from NBC News contributing journalist Simon Moya-Smith.

Moya-Smith, 39, is said to be an "Oglala Lakota writer and journalist," according to the National Press Foundation. He has reportedly contributed to NBC News, VICE, New York Magazine and other outlets. He is also a lecturer at the University of Colorado Denver.

On Friday, Moya-Smith claimed in a tweet that it was "white people" who introduced several perceived ailments to America when they arrived.

Before white people came to this land, there were no jails, no homelessness, no laws against homosexuality or abortion," Moya-Smith said in his tweet.
For thousands of years, Indigenous peoples emphasized health, housing, freedom to love who you love and the fact that we need Mother Earth," Moya-Smith added. "She doesn’t need us."

Critics were quick to push back against Moya-Smith's claims. The journalist's tweet, while receiving over five million views over the weekend, only has a little over 1,800 likes as of Monday afternoon.

Additionally, there are more quote tweets on Moya-Smith's Twitter posts than likes, which is often called a "ratio" and indicates more negative reception to a tweet than positive.

Many pointed out that, before white people ever arrived in the U.S., the indigenous tribes were often at war with each other. Some said Moya-Smith has "the understanding of history of a 5 year old," and others claimed "this is what happens when we don’t teach real history."

It's true that there were no jails before white people came here. Instead prisoners would be raped, scalped, tortured and murdered, or else forced into slavery," conservative political commentator and author Matt Walsh said in his tweet concerning Moya-Smith's claims. writer Scott Morefield told Moya-Smith that he was "in a cult" and should "seek help."

American conservative editorial magazine National Review called Moya-Smith's claims "Rainbow Revisionism."

Tribal lands are some of the last places in America where gay marriage isn't legal," National Review writer Nate Hochman pointed out. "Obergefell legalized it in the rest of the country, but less than 10% of the 500+ tribes have done the same."

Moya-Smith didn't directly respond to any of the online criticism throughout the day on Friday, but did post an apparent follow-up tweet on Saturday.

No matter where you live in North America, you are living on stolen Native land.," Moya-Smith said in that tweet.

Shortly after that tweet, Moya-Smith pushed back against a critic who said "yea they just scalped people and burned them alive" by claiming scalping was a white peoples' tradition that natives did back "to send a message."

Early Monday, Moya-Smith again pushed back against a critic who was pondering if his social media account was a "parody account."

I’m not a parody account. My name is Simon Moya-Smith. I am Oglala and Chicano. I’ll debate any of you in public. Send the invite," Moya-Smith responded.

About one hour later, Moya-Smith added that he was "still waiting for the invite." Since that tweet, Moya-Smith has not responded to or posted any other statements.

The National Desk has reached out to both the University of Colorado Denver and NBC News in an attempt to contact Moya-Smith. If a response is received, it will be added to this article.

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