Standing Rock and Malheur

Like many, I am distressed about recent events in North Dakota and Malheur. I agree with Bill McKibben that the pipeline’s original route, above Bismarck, N.D. was changed to a route away from the white power structure and to one that might endanger tribal people and others downstream who just maybe would not pay attention–or at least do not have the power that Bismarck, the oil companies, and the labor unions have.

I agree with those who wonder what the FBI was doing with the Malheur prosecution. Why the conspiracy charges, difficult to prove, when the plain view infractions–trespassing, destruction of federal property and destruction and desecration of Indian sites–were many?

I agree with those who say that white privilege prevails, and that the Indians are being used and abused once again.

I reread what I had written about Malheur and “ownership” of the land in January. Ownership of and responsibility for the land, the water, and all that lives on and is dependent on it–is at the heart of Pipeline and Refuge. Everything I wrote then is true now for both.

I think that we might embrace the Bundys’ calls for return of Federal Lands–TO THE INDIANS, TO WHOM IT WAS ALLOTTED BY THE GOVERNMENT, AND FROM WHOM IT WAS TAKEN.