Category Archives: racism

SURPRISING FACTS: 7 Things You Need To Know About Charlottesville White Supremacist Terror Attack

unite-white-supremacist-rally-charlottesville

In the aftermath of Saturday’s Charlottesville, Virginia chaos — a physically violent conflict between disgusting white supremacist alt-right thugs and repulsive Antifa thugs, which culminated in a murderous attack by an apparent alt-righter on the Antifa crowd and other miscellaneous counter-protesters, resulting in the death of one person and injuries to another 19 — the hot takes have been coming fast and furious.

Here are some of the things you need to know about the awful events of yesterday.

1. The Alt-Right Is Not Conservative. One of the hottest takes from the Left is that the alt-right represents the entire right — that what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia represented conservatives broadly. That’s factually incorrect, and intellectually dishonest. The alt-right is not just conservatives who like memes or who dislike Paul Ryan. The alt-right is a philosophy of white supremacy and white nationalism espoused by the likes of Vox Day, Richard Spencer, and Jared Taylor.

Here’s Jared Taylor explaining the alt-right:

They openly acknowledge their antipathy for the Constitution and conservatism; they believe that strong centralized government is necessary to preserve “white civilization.” They label all their enemies “cucks” — men in favor of “race-mixing.” Here’s a solid guide to what the alt-right actually thinks.

2. The Alt-Right Has Successfully Created The Impression There Are Lots Of Them. There Aren’t. Thanks to the hard work of alt-right apologists like Milo Yiannopoulos, the widespread perception has been created that the alt-right is a movement on the rise, with a fast-increasing number of devotees. The media have glommed onto the alt-right in order to smear the entire conservative movement with it. The alt-right is quite active online — according to the Anti-Defamation League, I was their top journalistic target in 2016, and I received nearly 8,000 anti-Semitic tweets during the election cycle — but they aren’t particularly large. They fill up comments sections at sites like Breitbart, and they email spam, and they prank call people, and they live on 4chan boards, but the vast majority of alt-right anti-Semitic tweets came from just 1,600 accounts.

Thanks, however, to their online vociferousness, they convinced members of the Trump campaign, apparently including the president, that it was important not to knock them.

3. The Alt-Right Has Been Tut-Tutted By President Trump And His Advisors For Over A Year. Yesterday Was Nothing New. President Trump’s initial response to the attack in Charlottesville made no mention of the alt-right or white supremacy or even of racism. He simply stated, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It has been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.” Trump, who has been fully willing to call out radical Islam, had nothing to say about the alt-right. Some Trump defenders point out that Barack Obama never condemned Black Lives Matter in the wake of riots and shootings of police officers, either. But Obama was wrong, and his wrongness is not an excuse for Trump to sit by and do nothing.

On Sunday morning, the White House used an unnamed spokesperson to release a statement:

Why didn’t Trump just come out himself and say the same? Because he tut-tutted the alt-right throughout his presidential campaign. He refused point-blank to condemn the KKK during an infamous exchange with CNN’s Jake Tapper in March 2016. He refused to condemn the alt-right targeting Jewish journalists like Julia Ioffe in May. His chief campaign strategist, Steve Bannon, was head of Breitbart when Yiannopoulos wrote his screed, and openly stated that the site had become “the platform for the alt-right.” Sadly, Trump has shown willingness to accept support from any source, no matter how despicable.

4. The Car Attack Was An Act of Terrorism. The alt-right piece of human debris James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, apparently deliberately drove his vehicle into counterprotesters and Antifa members. That’s an act of political violence no different from the car attacks of Nice, France or Jerusalem or London Bridge. That’s terror.

5. Trump’s Unwillingness To Fight The Alt-Right Tooth And Nail Grows The Alt-Right. President Trump’s milquetoast statement has emboldened members of the alt-right. Here’s the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer: “He outright refused to disavow. People saying he cucked are shills and kikes. He did the opposite of cuck. He refused to even mention anything to do with us. When reporters were screaming at him about White Nationalism he just walked out of the room.” That account may be unfair to Trump. But it’s what white nationalists are reading. They see Trump as a useful figure. David Duke said as much at the rally: “This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take this country back. We’re gonna fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump because he said he’s going to take our country back.”

6. The Left’s Malfeasance And Support For Violent Groups Like Antifa Grow The Alt-Right.Antifa was violent in Charlottesville. That’s not according to me; that’s according to Sheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times, who tweeted thusly:

She was forced to backtrack and suggest that the Antifa thugs weren’t “hate-filled” after online blowback. But Antifa has trafficked in hate and violence for over a year now — we all remember how they’ve been assaulting people asserting their free speech rights in Berkeley, and how they have been engaged in street fights with alt-righters in places like Sacramento.

This isn’t “whataboutism.” Nothing justifies the alt-right’s racist perspective or murderous violence by an alt-righter. But it would be factually incorrect to ignore Antifa’s continuing role in the violent incidents that have now spread across the country. Because the Marxists in Antifa try to shut down free speech, they drive foolish people into the morally incorrect binary decision of supporting the alt-right, rather than loudly rejecting the ideology and violence of both sides.

7. The Media’s Broad Misusage Of The Term Alt-Right Grows The Alt-Right. Some members of the Leftist media have attempted to term large swaths of the right “alt-right” — just last week, some idiots in the media attempted to lump me in with the alt-right because I thought Google was wrong to fire James Damore. I am, for the record, perhaps the loudest voice against the alt-right in America, and I openly and repeatedly criticized Trump for failing to condemn the alt-right. For some evidence, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. There’s a lot more where that came from. But the media seek to paint the entire right with the alt-right brush, even though the alt-right hates the Constitutional conservative right. That drives otherwise reasonable people into thinking that perhaps they are alt-right — and then they, in knee-jerk fashion, defend the actual alt-right because they’re confused about definitions. The Left needs to stop this nonsense immediately.

Charlottesville, Sacramento, Berkeley — we’re watching a microcosmic re-enactment of Weimar Republic brownshirt-vs.-reds violence in real-time, complete with the same flags being flown. Just as then, some leadership condemning the evil of alt-right white supremacy, the viciousness of hard-left Marxism, and the violence anyone commits in violation of basic rights should be unceasing and thunderous.

It’s not.

And so the problem is likely to metastasize.

by BEN SHAPIRO

OUTRAGEOUS! Dallas Co. Commissioner Votes Against Honoring Murdered Officers “They Brought It On Themselves”

Law enforcement agencies have condemned some recent remarks made by Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price.

At last week’s meeting, commissioners voted on a resolution to make July 7th a day to honor all fallen officers. Price voted no and said there is a framed narrative regarding people who have lost their lives at the hand of law enforcement.

He said any loss of life is bad. Mitch Slaymaker, with the Texas Municipal Police Association, said Price’s comments came at the wrong time.

“I believe that it was poor timing. I don’t believe that that’s the place to do it to bring those types of political discussions up,” he said.

Several associations have demanded an apology from Price.

“That’s going to be up to Mr. Price whether he does that and what he feels but we believe there was a time and a place for that dialogue. The time and place is not when you’re honoring five officers who died protecting the freedoms that those people were marching on,” he said.

Price stands by his comments.

(WBAP/KLIF News)

A DISGRACE! Brave Muslim Leaders Viciously Attacked For Fighting Against Honor Killings, Child Marriages, And Female Genital Mutilation

Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali

He’s a former Muslim extremist who speaks out against such extremism — yet he’s been labeled an extremist.

Last October, the Southern Poverty Law Center called British author and activist Maajid Nawaz, 39, “part of the ‘ex-radical’ circuit of former Islamists who use that experience to savage Islam.” During a recent appearance on Bill Maher’s show, Nawaz announced he’d be suing the SPLC for defamation.

Citing what he calls “the poverty of low expectations,” Nawaz argues that Islam, like any other religion, should not only field criticism but withstand it. Why, he asks, does the Western world — and liberals, in particular — refuse to condemn what they otherwise find abhorrent?

The SPLC, he says, fights against the oppressions of Christian fundamentalism, yet “the same causes they fight for within America are somehow deemed illegitimate for people like me to fight for within our own communities.”

To wit: The current case in Michigan — the first federal case of its kind — over female genital mutilation, practiced among a Shiite Muslim sect there. The New York Times, incredibly, has framed this as a potentially legitimate custom. “Michigan Case Adds US Dimension to Debate on Genital Mutilation,” ran a June 10 headline.

Debate? Really? An estimated 100 girls have been brutalized in this specific community since 2005 — yet because this barbarism is contextualized as Islamic, far too many liberals seek to justify what is plainly child abuse, a gross violation of human rights.

There are plenty of Catholics and fundamentalist Christians who believe abortion is morally wrong, yet Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land. Why should Islam get special dispensation? Isn’t it a supercilious attitude to take — that a muscular religion of 1.6 billion people requires deference to the point of infantilization?

Also on the SPLC’s list is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born author and activist who herself survived female genital mutilation and a forced marriage. Ali and fellow activist Asra Q. Nomani recently appeared before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and were shocked that none of the four female Democrats on that panel — including Kamala Harris, who’d become a feminist cause célèbre the day before, after male colleagues interrupted her interrogation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions — asked a single question.

In a June 22 Times Op-Ed, Ali and Nomani called out Harris along with Sens. Maggie Hassan, Heidi Heitkamp and Claire McCaskill.

“What happened that day was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives when it comes to confronting the brutal reality of Islamic extremism and what it means for women in many Muslim communities here at home and around the world,” they wrote. “When it comes to the pay gap, abortion access and workplace discrimination, progressives have much to say. But we’re still waiting for a march against honor killings, child marriages, polygamy, sex slavery or female genital mutilation.”

These are horrors, misogyny masquerading as religion, and it’s a Jedi mind trick that works almost every time.

Sen. McCaskill, for example, said she was “worried” about Ali and Nomani’s testimony. “Anyone who twists or distorts religion is an exception to the rule,” she said. Tell that to women in Saudi Arabia, who cannot drive, work or travel alone, or to women in Pakistan, where a so-called “women’s rights bill” was passed last year allowing men to beat their wives, instructions included.

“These recommendations are, according to the Koran and Sunnah, the prophet’s teachings,” a state official told the BBC. “No one can dispute that.”

Reformers like Ali and Nawaz do, and they continually exhort those Muslims who disagree with such diktats — and those outside the religion — to speak up.

In her Op-Ed, Ali noted the false argument so often made, that to criticize Islam is bigotry. Her ideas, she writes, are often labeled backward and conservative, “as if opposition to violent jihad, sex slavery, genital mutilation or child marriage were a matter of left and right.”

Her critics would point to the success of Muslims in America, a deeply assimilated population that, according to multiple studies — including one published by the Cato Institute in October 2016 — is among the most educated and affluent. Their cultural views don’t deviate as much from non-Muslims either. It’s hard to quantify why, but our national DNA surely contributes; we are a county and a culture of immigrants. We don’t force newcomers to learn English, but life’s easier if you do. Nor do we grapple with dress codes, burqa bans and other such debates that have consumed Europe for years. According to the Cato Institute, American Muslims are the most religiously tolerant and socially liberal in the world and are becoming more so. Has this population self-selected to America, or are their views encouraged by our open society?

No one really knows, but Nawaz and others believe that Europe’s tendency to isolate Muslims — or allow them to isolate themselves — rather than integrate only fuels alienation and resentment. Such communities live parallel to society under their own rule of law, and rather than combat Islamic extremism and jihad, such neglect foments it.

Yet such fear of offending remains that Theresa May, upon becoming prime minister last year, said that England “could benefit a great deal” from the estimated 100 Sharia courts operating there.

“Ideas are more dangerous than people,” Nawaz writes, and a 2016 survey bears that out — 58 percent of British Muslims believe homosexuality should be outlawed and one-quarter said they’d support Sharia law replacing British law. A poll of Muslim immigrants and natives in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and Sweden, published in December 2013 by Professor Ruud Koopmans of the Berlin Social Science Center, found that 75 percent believe the Koran can be interpreted only one way, that 60 percent would not befriend someone who is gay and 54 percent think the West wants to destroy Islam.

In his new book, “The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam,” author Douglas Murray argues that Europe — Germany especially — has a tendency to overcorrect for past injustices and atrocities. He cites the left’s rejection, in 2015, of concerns raised by Angela Merkel, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy that Europe had erred in allowing some citizens to live in opposition to their nation’s own laws. In an interview with NPR on Tuesday, Murray raised the irony of liberals supporting illiberal beliefs.

“This is a big problem,” Murray said. “As well as speaking the language of inclusion, we have to speak the language of exclusion — what it is that we won’t tolerate as well as what it is that we do.”

Nawaz himself believes extremism is fertilized by three subsets: Islamist theocracies, hard-right populism and what he calls the regressive left — those who argue for genderless bathrooms but won’t acknowledge that honor killings happen in Europe and the United States. In compiling their list, he says, the SPLC has employed a tactic used by those they should condemn.

“Just imagine how ex-Muslim Islam-critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali must feel to be included in your list,” he wrote in October.

“Her friend Theo van Gogh was murdered on the streets of Amsterdam in 2004. And back then, there was another list pinned to Theo’s corpse with a knife: It, too, named Ayaan Hirsi Ali.”

Why I Left The Southern Poverty Law Center And Why You Should Too

Southern Poverty Law Center

FYI, I am not a conservative and from 1978 to 1980 I participated in 13 civil rights marches and was seriously injured four times. I bled for the cause.

I don’t share this information with you to brag but to justify what I am about to say.

For several decades, I was a member and ardent supporter of the SPLC. As a USDOJ instructor and adviser I would advise federal and state law enforcement agencies to use the SPLC data for investigations.

Then several years ago I noticed a disturbing trend, Southern Poverty Law Center was not covering leftist domestic terrorist organizations. And more importantly they began to move outside of white supremacy and adding other topics that were contrary to the focus of their original charter.

These topics aligned with the standard rhetoric of leftist groups in the U.S.

The foundational focus of the organization had blurred.

I made my concerns known to them and was politely responded to but nothing changed.

Several federal, state and regional police agencies that I work with also noticed the trend and mentioned their concerns to me.

SPLC was clearly not going to change.

Sadly, I had a similar experience in 1980 when I gave up my membership with the NAACP.

I have never been an arm-chair critic of racism, anti-government actions or extremist violence. I have been in the fight for decades personally and professionally and my body bears the scars of that fight.

I am sad.

Oliver Stone Says Blame The Jews!

Hard-left filmmaker Oliver Stone recently found himself at a loss for “a plausible response” when Stephen Colbert pressed his defense of Vladimir Putin over Russia’s election hacking, says Alan Dershowitz at the Gatestone Institute.

So Stone “resorted to an age-old bigotry: blame the Jews — or, in its current incarnation, shift the blame” to Israel. As Page Six reported, Stone replied: “Israel had far more involvement in the US election than Russia” — an “absurd” claim Dershowitz says would be “laughable” if it didn’t reflect “a growing anti-Semitism by the intolerant hard left, of which Stone is a charter member.”

Says Dershowitz: “The essence of anti-Semitism is the bigoted claim that if there is a problem, then Jews must be its cause. This is the exact canard peddled by Stone — and is extremely dangerous if unrebutted.”

New York Post June 19, 2017

Two Evil White Women & The Burrito

Kooks Burritos Portland, Oregon

And the prize for most offensive stealth Nazism goes to….. Portland’s social justice correctness warriors

May 24, 2017 by Carlos Eire Babalú Blog

Evil white women

“Cultural appropriation” is the latest sin to be invented by leftist social justice warriors.

The basic premise is this: “white” people can’t appropriate anything at all from any culture that isn’t their own, especially from third world cultures.

This aggressive new sort of reverse racism has a peculiarly nasty totalitarian stealth-Nazi feel to it, for it aims to control behavior in extreme ways, through prohibitions of all sorts based on race and nationality.

Of course, those who invented this sin call those who disagree with them “Nazis,” but the ironic twist here is that the inventors of this sin are much more similar to Nazis than any white supremacist.

Anyone who has lived in Castrogonia or any totalitarian state knows exactly where this crap is coming from and to where it is leading us all.

Take, for instance, this latest bit of insanity in Portland, Oregon, where two “white women” were forced to close their Burrito restaurant simply because they were “white” instead of Mexican.

Santa mierda!

I suppose this means that some time soon my “white” wife could get arrested for cooking Cuban food….

… and that would be only the tip of the iceberg… er….forgive the cultural appropriation lodged in that metaphor, please… I don’t mean to usurp anything from Eskimos…er, forgive me…the Innuit People….er… Inupiat, Yupik, and Alutiit peoples, forgive me please…

Now, as for all those so-called Cuban Sandwiches now available everywhere….. including those on pumpernickel bread….. well, eeeexxxxcccuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me!

As S.J. Perelman once said, “De gustibus ain’t what dey used to be.”

Cancelled: Offensive “white” burrito

From the one and only Daily Mail, only a couple of headlines away from the Manchester terror bombing……

White women’s burrito shop is forced to close after being hounded with accusations it was ‘culturally appropriating Mexican food and jobs’

Two white women have been forced to close their pop-up burrito shop after they were accused of cultural appropriation.

Kali Wilgus and Liz ‘LC’ Connelly opened Kooks Burritos in Portland, Oregon, after taking a trip to Puerto Nuevo, Mexico, last December.

For the first few months, the weekend pop-up shop housed in an taco truck was a smash hit. It gained so much popularity, a local weekly newspaper decided to profile the entrepreneurial duo.

But that’s when the trouble started for Wilgus and Connelly, after quotes they gave to the Williamette Week led to them being accused of stealing their success.

Explaining their trip, Connelly told the newspaper: ‘I picked the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever, and they showed me a little of what they did.

‘In Puerto Nuevo, you can eat $5 lobster on the beach, which they give you with this bucket of tortillas. They are handmade flour tortillas that are stretchy and a little buttery, and best of all, unlimited.
‘They wouldn’t tell us too much about technique, but we were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look. We learned quickly it isn’t quite that easy.’

Those comments were latched onto by a food blog in the Portland Mercury, which accused Wilgus and Connelly of ‘preying’ on the women they met in Mexico.

Continue reading HERE for shock after shock…. more insane statements crammed into one news article than any sane person could ever imagine

 

 

 

Coachella, Cultural Appropriation, Micro-Aggression and You

Coachella Cultural Appropriation Microaggression

Everything is offensive nowadays

By Karol Markowicz

If you’re looking for something to get needlessly angry about this week, may I suggest salad names?

That’s what got Bonnie Tsui in a tizzy last week in the New York Times after she saw an “Asian salad” on a menu and felt micro-aggressed by the micro greens. She writes that the “Greek salad has some integrity” and can be found in Greece, but the Asian salad is a wholly American creation.

Six hundred words in, Tsui asks, “So what’s my problem with Asian salad?” The next line is not, as you may imagine, “I have too much time on my hands.”

Tsui also asks, “Am I taking this too seriously?” Uh, yes, ma’am, you are taking the name of a dish that exists in chain restaurants far too seriously.

That’s the nature of our current “everything is offensive” cultural moment. The week before that piece appeared, the music festival Coachella spawned dozens of think pieces, as it does every year, on whether various outfits at the show constituted “cultural appropriation.”

A girl who had posted a photo of herself in a Native American headdress actually felt forced to issue a public apology.

In a world where such a thing as “festival wear” exists (and the many emails I get from fashion houses trying to sell the ridiculous style to me suggests that it does), it’s not surprising that people may take things too far.

Then again, while teenage girls are shamed for such things on the internet, Elizabeth Warren literally, actually appropriated Native American heritage for herself, and benefited from this appropriation — yet remains a liberal star.

Culture is fluid, especially in a country like America. But what is American culture? It has long been a collection of other cultures. Some pieces of those cultures get co-opted, and others get discarded.

Yes, we take beautiful things from elsewhere without necessarily knowing the full weight of their significance. But it should be taken more as a sign of appreciation than appropriation. When Beyoncé wears a henna tattoo, she’s not discounting India’s rich history or proclaiming herself Indian; she’s just saying this is a pretty henna tattoo and I like it on my hands.

Everything we wear and eat began somewhere. Americans should consider if they still want the country to be a melting pot or if we’re going to go down this segregated, “everything is appropriation” path.

Critics are quick to make assumptions in judging cultural appropriators. Jessica Andrews in Teen Vogue, for example, urged people to avoid the “cultural appropriating epidemic at Coachella.” Andrews wrote, “For South Asian women, bindis are a cultural symbol that represents the third eye, a sacred site of wisdom and spiritual development. For some Coachella attendees, it’s just a pretty forehead accessory.”

Of course, Andrews has no way of knowing what the Coachella attendee with a bindi is thinking. Maybe she was raised in South Asia. Maybe she is South Asian.

When Kylie Jenner displayed cornrows in her hair, “Hunger Games” star Amandla Stenberg criticized her in a tweet for appropriating “black features and culture” but failing “to use ur position of power to help black Americans” and “directing attention towards ur wigs instead of [toward] police brutality or racism.”

So if Jenner were also using her celebrity to speak out, say, for #BlackLivesMatter, her white-girl cornrows would be OK? Is someone going to eventually write a manual to keep track of all this?

It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t. In Tsui’s salad piece, she writes that “the casual racism of the Asian salad stems from the idea of the exotic — who is and isn’t American is caught up wholesale in its creation.” The joke, of course, is if someone presented this salad, with soy sauce, ginger and sesame, as an “American salad,” that would be cultural appropriation, too.

How dare we use traditionally Asian ingredients without at least a nod to the culture they came from.

I came to America as a child, born in a city that has since been renamed, and in a country that no longer exists. Even when the Soviet Union was around, my Jewish family wasn’t considered Russian or Ukrainian or Belarussian, despite having lived in those countries for generations.

Yet in America, I’m shorthanded to “Russian.” This doesn’t cause an existential crisis for me, and it doesn’t detract from my actual identity in any way. If you want to eat pelmeni (Russian meat dumplings) and have your kids play with matryoshkas (Russian nesting dolls), that’s fine by me.

Oh, and no one in Russia has ever heard of “Russian salad dressing.”

 

On This Date We Remember…

Armenian Genocide

On this date in 1915, hundreds of Armenian intellectuals – Christians, for the most part – were forcibly deported from the Turkish capital of Constantinople. The number soon escalated into the thousands, and most were eventually murdered.

So kicked off the Armenian Genocide, the persecution of Christian Armenians by the Muslim Young Turks, who wanted to cleanse the country of the troublesome non-coreligionists in preparation for the new Turkey in the aftermath of the collapse of the Ottoman regime, and supposedly in order to ensure against the possibility of the Armenians siding against the Central Powers in World War I. By the time the genocide was over – and it lasted from 1915 to 1923 – hundreds of thousands of Armenians had been killed, with top-range estimates putting the total number at 1.5 million. Massive atrocities, from forced death marches to placing women and children aboard ships and then deliberately sinking them, were carried out by Turkish government-backed forces.

As CNN reports:

While the death toll is in dispute, photographs from the era document some mass killings. Some show Ottoman soldiers posing with severed heads, others with them standing amid skulls in the dirt. The victims are reported to have died in mass burnings and by drowning, torture, gas, poison, disease and starvation. Children were reported to have been loaded into boats, taken out to sea and thrown overboard. Rape, too, was frequently reported.

Politico’s ‘Elders of Zion’ anti-Semitic Rant

Politico’s ‘Elders of Zion’

Politico last weekend published “a diatribe” against what it suggests were “a secret web of shadowy Jews” involved in a “highly funded conspiracy to put Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin in power and keep them there,” reports Bethany Mandel at The Federalist.

The group is the well-known Chabad-Lubavitch, which is falsely portrayed as “a large, rich, tightly woven organization, a depiction straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Maybe the alt-right really is as powerful as some contend, she notes, if it can “convince a mainstream American publication to publish 4,000 words of anti-Semitic garbage on the eve of a major Jewish holiday.”

Why is violence against American Indian women so high?

American Indian Women

When you hear about violence against women, the commonly used statistics are 1 in 2 have experienced physical violence in their lifetime while 1 in 6 have experienced rape or attempted rape, according to the Department of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For indigenous women, the numbers are even more staggering. More than 60% of American Indian and Alaska Native women have been physically assaulted and 1 in 3 have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. Nearly all (97%) of these women have experienced at least one act of violence committed by a non-Indian, according to the DoJ’s National Institute of Justice.

Yet for decades, tribes did not have jurisdiction to punish non-Indians due to the 1978 Supreme Court case Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe.

“You had this void where women were victims of rape and violence by non-Indian men,” said Chrissi Nimmo, assistant attorney general for the Cherokee Nation. “No one was willing or able to prosecute them, leading to very high crime rates.”

In an attempt to fight this, the Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction Statute was added to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) when it was renewed in 2013. The statute grants tribes jurisdiction over non-Indians in instances of domestic violence, dating violence or violations of protection orders that occur within Indian Country if the victim identifies as American Indian and the non-Indian perpetrator works, lives or has an intimate relationship on tribal lands.

The U.S. Department of Justice, which oversees VAWA, said the tribal provisions addressed “significant legal gaps.” But it hasn’t been a silver bullet for justice.

The statute went into effect two years ago this month, yet only 13 of the 562 federally recognized tribes in the U.S. have become voluntarily compliant with its federal regulations, according to the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).

The slow adoption rate can be attributed in part to regulations, such as providing court appointed council to defendants who cannot afford it at the tribe’s expense, a challenge for tribes with little money. The VAWA reauthorization appropriated $5 million annually to be distributed to assist tribes from 2014 to 2018; in fiscal year 2016, $2.5 million was appropriated.

Tribes must also have juries that are selected from a “fair cross-section” of the public, meaning they cannot exclude non-Indians. While this was practiced by some tribes even prior to the VAWA reauthorization, for others it means changing tribal law. The latter is the case for Cherokee Nation, which has otherwise met the regulations.

“We still have to pass legislation to include non-Indians on our jury,” Nimmo said. “How do we, as an Indian tribe, want to open up our court system to non-Indians? It’s always been Cherokees. How do we carve out this special seating? I don’t have a timeline but to say that we are working on it.”

Many in the tribal community cite the federal government’s concern over whether non-Indians will receive a fair trial in Indian Country as a barrier to full jurisdiction, though legal professionals like Nimmo believe the statute could ease those concerns before it again comes up for reauthorization in 2018.

“If tribes can show through VAWA that they do have a fair court system and non-Indian defendants can get fair trials in tribal court, the hope is that one day tribes can prosecute any non-Indian defendant that commits any crime on Indian Country.”

Though the statute gives participating tribes more jurisdictional authority, that power remains limited in cases of sexual assault against an Indian woman by a non-Indian that occurs outside of an intimate partner relationship.

According to The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation tribal attorney Brent Leonhard, the statute also does not allow tribes to prosecute some crimes seen in conjunction with domestic violence, including when children are victimized.

“Governments have a moral obligation to ensure the safety of their citizens and residents,” Leonhard said. “Tribal nations are no different. However, a government cannot ensure public safety if it is forced to be dependent on foreign governments to prosecute crimes.”

These major crimes would be handled predominantly by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s offices.

“The law was tailored specifically to address issues of domestic violence involving spouses or intimate partners, giving the ability to local tribal law enforcement to address acts violence before they escalate to more serious crimes,” said DoJ spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle. “Under the Major Crimes Act and other federal statutes, rape, sexual assault, child molestation, and human trafficking involving non-Indians and Indians alike are prosecutable in federal court.”

“U.S. Attorney’s offices often work in partnership with tribal prosecutors and investigators to determine the best path for prosecuting and deterring crime on reservations,” he said.

According to a 2010 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, tribal governments referred 2,594 sexual abuse related cases to U.S. Attorneys’ offices between 2005 and 2009. Approximately 67% were declined for prosecution. Tribes also referred 2,922 assault-related cases, in which 46% were declined for prosecution. The report states that this may be the result of “weak or insufficient admissible evidence, no federal offense evidence and witness problems.”

Some tribal members point to these numbers as evidence that greater justice is needed for American Indian victims.

“The federal government doesn’t have to take cases,” said Sharon Jones Hayden, a tribal prosecutor that has worked closely with the Tulalip Tribes, one of those that has complied with the statute’s regulations since its initial pilot testing. “It’s up to their discretion. The choice may not be between tribal court, state court or federal court. The choice may be between tribal court and no court at all.”

For Umatilla member Taryn Minthorn, it was tribal court that brought her a sense of closure.

After months of verbal abuse, things turned physical at the hands of her former boyfriend in September 2016. Minthorn said that tribal police responded  and the case was referred to the federal government, which ultimately declined it.

“I felt like I was seriously let down,” Minthorn said. “I felt like he could do all the crime in the world, and it was just a slap on the hand. I just wanted to give up.”

She chose to pursue the case in tribal court.

Earlier this month, her former boyfriend pleaded guilty. His sentence includes two years of incarceration, three years of probation, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, submitting to “anger management/batterers intervention” treatment and obeying a no contact order, according to court documents.

Though Minthorn and her children, who were witnesses, still suffer from anxiety and attend counseling, they are moving on.

“To hear him saying that he was pleading to these charges, I literally felt the load come off of me, off my shoulders, off my mind, off my heart,” Minthorn said. “It’s important for future generations to know that eventually there is justice.”

Brittney Bennett , USA TODAY