Sunday, July 29, 2007

Stories Of Rape, Indifference, and Justice Denied

Can you imagine living in a place where law & order has broken down? Can you imagine a place where you call 911, but it takes hours, days…and sometimes months for someone to respond to your cry for help? What about a place where women are routinely raped and receive little help or support; where rape cases often go uninvestigated?

It is common knowledge in this community that offenders are seldom pursued, making women and girls in this society even more vulnerable to rapists. Offenders are safe from justice due to government indifference and ineptitude.

This sounds like life for women in a war zone or in a Third World Country. But the place that I have described is not in Iraq, not in Afghanistan, not in Pakistan, not in South Asia, not in Eastern Europe, or in any other part of the World where women are not as valued as men. The place that I described is a hidden community within the borders of these United States. A Third World Country existing right here in the USA.

The U.S. prides itself on its human rights record & constantly scolds other nations on their human rights conditions. Yet, the U.S. is hiding the poor human rights conditions within its own borders. This is yet another example of why the U.S. is losing what little moral authority that it may have had around the world.

Human Rights Crisis Persists Within The Worlds Beacon For Justice

NPR reports on the hidden crisis of rape on the nations Indian Reservations. A state of lawlessness has been allowed to fester due to a lack of support and funding from the Federal government, under both Democratic and Republican Administrations.

This is an extension of the U.S.’s rape, abuse, and neglect of Native Americans that took place during the colonial period & during the nations 19th Century westward migration. These abuses continue by way of the U.S. governments indifference about the conditions within Native American lands. We are at least able to see the neglect of poor White communities, poor Black communities, poor Latino Communities, the mistreatment of migrant workers, etc. But we rarely see or hear much about what is happening in the hidden Native American Reservations within this country.

These are the first Americans…and they deserve better. Yet it is as if much of the rest of the Country doesn’t want to recognize their existence… it is almost as if they are invisible. After taking (stealing) their land, the U.S. government has done little to fulfill its promises to provide the very basic support that these communities need.

Furthermore, what is happening to the women in the Native American community is a far cry from what happens in White America. When a white woman or a child comes up missing, the World stops spinning and all available resources are put into finding them. When one is raped, police often make finding the perpetrator a top priority (as they should). But the U.S. often fails to apply this same standard to all women and children in the Country. We know that there is a difference in T.V. coverage between missing White Women and missing African American women…the same holds true for some other minorities as well.

If the story you are about to hear involved White women, there would be a national outcry, and more resources would be directed towards the problem. In fact, the problem would not have even been allowed to get as bad as it has for Native American women…if those women were White. I cannot imagine that the American people would stand for communities where predators had safe haven to rape women and children…...not if those women and children were White. But since the victims are Native American, it is somehow acceptable.

Listen to a 2 part report from NPR’s Laura Sullivan, about the crisis of rape and lawlessness on Native American Reservations. Thanks to NPR for shining some light on this situation. We would most likely not have heard of such a story from the mainstream media.

It was NPR’s excellent coverage that caused one of the cases in the report to be reopened.

Listen Below

Part I

Part II

1 comment:

Jay Drai said...
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