Monday, August 3, 2015


Racial violence against Indigenous people reached a disturbing high during the month of July 2015. Our women and our spiritual leaders died under mysterious circumstances in the Colonizer’s prisons. Our children received no justice in the Colonizer’s courts of justice when drunken white men abused and dehumanized them. Our mentally ill brother in anguish was offered no comfort and slaughtered by police. Our homeless people were set on fire. Those seeking healing from the spiritual poison of alcohol were gunned down. And most horrifying of all, our gentle elders, following their original instructions to help strangers in need, were gunned down in exchange for their kindness.  All this cruelty and barbarity happened in one month. 

What is even more disturbing than all this violence and hatred aimed at indigenous peoples, is the media silence on the crimes of July. All of these hate crimes received very little attention in the mainstream media:

July 6, 2015:  Sarah Lee Circle Bear of Clairmont, South Dakota died While in police custody. Her complaints of extreme pain were met by jeers to “stop faking it” and later she was found unconscious in a holding cell in Brown County Jail in Aberdeen.

July 10, 2015: Choctaw Medicine Man and Native American activist, Rexdale W. Henry died mysteriously in his cell in the Neshoba County jail
July 11, 2015: Ruben Abeita, a homeless Native man, was asleep on the curb at about 8 p.m. on July 11 when a couple hurled fireworks at him, causing his clothing to catch fire. They brought their children with them to witness this abuse of another human being who never did anything to them.

July 12, 2015: Paul Castaway, a Rosebud Sioux tribal citizen, was fatally shot during an encounter with police. The police lied and claimed he ran at them officers armed with a 
knife. Later, video and eyewitnesseswhy  at the mobile-home park where the incident occurred contradicted the police account and revealed that Castaway was actually holding the knife to his own throat.

July 18, 2015:  A white man gunned down two Northern Arapaho men, James “Sonny” Goggles and Stallone Trosper in Riverton, WY.  Stallone was murdered after being shot in the head while he was sleeping in a detoxification center. Another Native man, James “Sonny” Goggles, Jr., is still in serious condition after also being shot in the head. The man used a common racial slur for Native Americans and claimed he was tired of "homeless" people causing problems in the city parks.

July 28, 2015: The residents of the Pine Ridge reservation found out there will basically no consequences for the 1% who poured beer on 7 Native children while hurling racist insults.

July 30, 2015: On the Crow Indian Reservation near Pryor, Montana, two elders, Jason Shane, and his wife Tana Shane were murdered for not having enough money to give to a man who tried to rob them. Their daughter, Jorah was shot in the head and the back when she tried to run away.

July was a month of staggering violence and racial hatred. We need to come together with others who understand this country’s history of brutality and institutionalized violence toward people of color. Our indigenous women face sexual assault at a higher rate than white women face. Our men face imprisonment and police brutality at a much higher rate than the white population. It only seems logical that indigenous people come together with Black Lives Matter movement who live the same daily Colonial oppression and have the same understandings of the Colonial context of violence that we do. #BlackLivesMatter and #NativeLivesMatter are the same movement, based on the same real life experiences of institutionalized racism and hatred. Maybe it’s time we acknowledge it and find creative ways to support our true allies in our common struggle to maintain our identity and our dignity under Colonial occupation.

No comments:

Post a Comment