Posts Tagged ‘Black Lives Matter’

What are democrats doing to earn NATIVE AMERICAN votes?

February 18, 2016

So it seems Native American’s aren’t exactly pleased with election choices and representation of their issues in the national discourse, either.

This topic is new to me, introduced to me from an interaction on twitter, and I have a few links to share. I’m not proud about it, but the first one rubbed me the wrong way in the beginning, where it mentions the groups, including Afro-Americans that get more attention from candidates, as Black Lives Matter activists had to crash stages and raise all sorts of hell to get black issues heard this election cycle, and we still don’t have a plan and timeline (how, when) from candidates. In the past there have been prominent black organizations using their political might, and progress has been made,  but there has also been a history of broken promises since the civil rights movement, and even now our voting rights are under attack.

Thinking back over the polls that I’ve seen recently though, many only poll black and white voters. Sometimes Latino. Sometimes Asian if they aren’t grouped in with “others”. I’ve never seen polling that includes categories for Native Americans, Muslims, etc. Other than vaguely recalling President Obama signing a few bills, and the Redskins uproar, I don’t recall any national attention to their issues, though Dailykos does food and fuel drives every year for Native Americans struggling through harsh winters. Also with the dominance of the Black Lives Matter movement the last two years, I can see why it seems every other minority group is sucking all the oxygen out the room, so I got over myself real quick.

This is the piece:

It mentions attempts to put pressure on Bernie Sanders, and efforts they are making to be disruptive in order to be heard. I like Bernie, and at one time sought to have him run for President. I am still undecided at this point, but I have concerns because his solution, economic prosperity, won’t solve racial issues that minorities face in this country. He seems a bit dismissive of racial issues and I’m not convinced he would be a better advocate than Hillary Clinton, if elected. Hillary on the other hand, has been problematic in the past, with racial dog whistles, etc., when running against Barack Obama among other things.

I asked if there was a list of Native American issues the general public needs to know about and someone graciously supplied me with a huffpo link:

Another person recommended this book:

The list of issues affecting Native Americans that I got in my twitter mentions mirrors almost exactly what black citizens are complaining about:

Racism
Erasure
Housing
Healthcare
Education
Un/under employment
Environmental Racism (including drinking water)
Violence against women
Over-incarceration
Police abuse
Cultural genocide
Racist stereotypes
Refusing to respect sovereignty of Native Nations
Refusal to honor treaties

National holiday for the genocidal monster Christopher Columbus

Now, what are candidates doing to solve these issues for Native Americans? Just as Afro-Americans do not automatically benefit from mainstream American initiatives, addressing these issues in black communities, does not necessarily mean that Native Americans will get trickle over effects. They need programs implemented and direct action in their communities as well.

I also learned about Dollar General being problematic. A child was sexually assaulted on tribal lands by a non Native American, and the tribe is being denied the right they are supposed to have to prosecute in their own courts. It was recommended to boycott Dollar General:

Now, one thing that stood out for me in the huffpo piece:

Native Americans have the right to vote… but that’s not always enough.

Native Americans and Alaska Natives are often unable to vote because there are no polling places anywhere near them. Some communities, such as the Duck Valley Reservation in Nevada and the Goshute Reservation in Utah, are located more than 100 miles from the nearest polling place.

These problems are compounded by high rates of illiteracy in some rural Native communities, such as the Yup’ik in Alaska, who primarily speak and read their native language because public education was not available in their region until the 1980s.

This is a SERIOUS voting rights issue. One that had never even crossed my mind. The closing of DMV’s in Alabama, after passing their voter ID laws has made national news, but it never even occurred to me there were other places in the United States where voting was near impossible for other Americans. Even if our candidates do manage to earn the vote of Native American’s, there is no place for many to cast it, and they also face issues of suppression. This means the first Americans have little to no representation, at the local or national level, and the tribal rights they should have are being disrespected and eroded. With the amount of attention that has been given to the erosion of the voting rights act, and how it affects Afro-Americans, being in the midst of an election cycle, this has left me totally stunned.This is a VERY new topic to me, so this is just an overview of what I’ve learned today.

I just wanted to share the lists of issues and grievances presented to me, as many of them intersect with issues other minorities are facing in the United States. I figure if I haven’t heard about them, being a social media junkie, the rest of the general population hasn’t either.


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