(This was written December 2016)
Finally, a win for Native Americans with the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) being rerouted from polluting their water supply. However, why do we see credit being given to the wrong people?
NPR reports that the DAPL construction going through the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Reservation has been denied by the Army Corps of Engineers. Of course, this does not mean that the project has been canceled. The fight is not over, and will not be since people still fail to realize that the pipeline will pollute the water.
Even after all this, I do not see the Native Americans receiving praise for their hard work. This country has always treated them like dirt. CNN reports that the Sioux Tribe along with allies have been the ones protesting the pipeline since the end of the summer. They have not once ever backed down.
However, they have been harassed by the corps. Unarmed protesters have been teargassed, hosed down in freezing temperatures, and shot by rubber bullets, according to PBS. The corps have even called their water cannon use “crowd control” and are demonizing protesters. Yet the media has victimized the corps and dehumanize the opposition to the DAPL. Are not the activists the ones getting arrested and hospitalized?
Do not credit the corps for their “bravery,” and do not credit President Barack Obama and his administration. Do not even send to love to the big media corporations for using their time to focus on an indigenous group. They never marched in the snow or stared into the eyes of law enforcement.
The people in office have picked the side they support by sitting in silence in the offices the voters let them have. Nothing much is being said. Despite this route change, I doubt that the corps will make life easier for the protesters, especially for Native American tribes like the Sioux Tribe who are directly affected.
Besides the protests, we never focus on Native Americans in general. We never hear about their issues on our TVs or in the classroom. Why is the only time I usually hear about Native Americans are on Columbus Day and Thanksgiving? Then again, this is the same country that decides justice based on skin color and positions of power.