February 10, 2013

Republicans fear VAWA's tribal jurisdiction

Congress is again debating the Violence Against Women Act. Here's a posting on the subject:

Measure to Protect Women Stuck on Tribal Land Issue

By Jonathan WeismanObscure as it might be, the issue of tribal court powers and Ms. Millich’s jurisdictional black hole has become the last remaining controversy holding up Congress’s broad reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. The Senate on Monday is expected to approve the 218-page bill with broad, bipartisan support.

But in the House, Republican negotiators are still struggling over a 10-page section that would, for the first time, allow Native American police and courts to pursue non-Indians who attack women on tribal land. Supporters and opponents of the language acknowledge the plight of women like Ms. Millich. Native American women are two and a half times more likely to be raped. One in three will be assaulted, and three out of five will encounter domestic violence, said Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico.
What's behind the Republican opposition to VAWA. Here's a revealing passage:Jacqueline Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, said the tribes have tried to assuage Congressional misgivings, expanding financing and capacity, bolstering indigent legal representation, and changing rules to ensure that non-Indian defendants would face a jury of their peers, Indian and non-Indian alike.

At this point, said Ms. Pata, an Alaska Native, the opposition smacks of bias.

“When you see these amendments that give more rights to perpetrators than Native women, you start to wonder where the balance is,” she said. “We would give any other community in this country the resources and tools they need for justice, but we won’t give them to the Indians.”

Mr. Cole, whose state has one of the largest Indian populations in the country, agreed, to a point. He said some of his colleagues seem to “fear Indians are going to take out 500 years of mistreatment on us through this.”

“It’s that kind of fear, veiled in constitutional theories,” he said.
Comment:  We have a bingo, people! A perfect example of how stereotypes of Natives as savage and uncivilized affect real-world issues such as passing legislation and saving lives.

For anyone who denies the importance of fighting stereotypes...you lose.

This is also a perfect example of how conservatives fear minorities. They can make up all the reasons they want for opposing tribal jurisdiction, but they all come down to fear of the "other." Deep down, these people think Indians hate the white man and will automatically lock him up--if not kill and scalp him.

This irrational fear of an entire race is also known as racism. Conservatives tend to be racist toward minorities because they fear minorities.

For more on conservative racism, see Young Conservative Slams "Freeloading Indians" and Limbaugh Calls Warren "Squaw Indian Giver."


Anonymous said...

It also has to do with "If you're a little loony, you have to go all-in. There's no in-between in politics." So if you say Obama's a secret Muslim, you naturally have to think raping an Indian woman's okay.

Rob said...

Finally, one conservative says what they're all probably thinking:


Top GOP Senator: Native American Juries Are Incapable Of Trying White People Fairly

Because the Constitution guarantees citizens the right to a trial among a jury of peers, he reasoned that white men would be deprived of their rights if those who were accused of violence against Native American women had to appear in a tribal court. “On an Indian reservation, it’s going to be made up of Indians, right?” Grassley said. “So the non-Indian doesn’t get a fair trial.”