The media remains silent about the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota–where the Dakota Access, LLC pipeline company wants to build on Native American land, and is trying to push the people off of their territory. So far I’ve heard allegations from the native community in Detroit and in coverage from various online sources that the company has:
>failed to conduct a proper Environmental Impact Assessment (the pipeline puts the air, water, and food sources of the Dakota at risk in addition to encroaching on their land)
>hired local police to try pushing Native People off of a Native land reservation
>cut the native reservation’s water source
>summoned police in an attempt redirected traffic away from the defending Native camp
Now Dakota Access LLC’s hired private “security” contractors to unleash attack dogs and use pepper spray on people who continue to peaceably halt the company from getting onto sovereign native territory.
This is a human rights issue–the people living at Standing Rock deserve to keep their water and live in a place that’s not at risk to oil spills and other kinds of excavation pollution. The people standing with Standing Rock deserve to be respected as people, not as meat for attack dogs, not as a fringe group of non-Americans.
Oppression happens when people are denied their fundamental right to exist, and genocide happens when an oppressing group does everything from trying to eliminating the existence and voice of an oppressed people, even by denying that they are being oppressed.
When the 49er’s Colin Kaepernick sits down during the national anthem at each game, he chooses to peaceably protest how too many parts of our country dehumanizes, even kills, its own people–and often denies responsibility by giving officers who abused their authority paid administrative leave, dismissing charges, and by not addressing the root causes to injustice. If you know anything about genocides in the U.S., what’s happening at Standing Rock is another form of the oppression Kaepernick protests.
As U.S. citizens, many of us have the opportunity to speak out. I’m proud and grateful to live here and contribute to the country and I maintain my right to hold criticism about the country I live in because I know that injustice and oppression happens to more than just some group of people in the news. It often happens to my neighbors, friends, even my family and I experience it. We can celebrate who we are as a country, we can withstand slights and poor decorum to who we are, but we should never tolerate abuse in any form.
You can donate directly to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe:
Call on the media to cover what’s happening and support organizations which are working to cover what’s happening too.
You can also donate directly to one of the defending camps, Sacred Stone Camp: https://www.gofundme.com/sacredstonecamp