What a disgrace.
There’s no other way to put it. If it isn’t bad enough that we celebrate the likes of Christopher Columbus, Andrew Jackson, and countless others to this day, it’s the fact that we’re so quick to ignore what’s going on to the indigenous people of this country and the struggles they face. The pipeline is just the cherry on top. Really. History is what it is, and we can’t change what our ancestors did 200 years ago, but we’ve had the power to make the living conditions better for those living on reservations for decades now, and yet we’ve allowed it to get to this: What little we’ve given the Native Americans, we’re now allowing a corporation to take it away. Make that corporations, actually.
But let’s forget about the pipeline, the corporations, and everything else for a second and chat about the living conditions that some of the people in our country are living in. Those who have been living on reservations have been subjected to poor education, alcoholism, and domestic violence for years. When they’ve asked for help, they’ve been shunned by the congressional hearings in their respective states. Hell, some of them are living in third world conditions without safe drinking water and this has been going on for decades. If it takes an unethical pipeline to draw attention to our people out there struggling, then so be it, but believe me when I say that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The point is that I’m elated that everyone is checking in up in Standing Rock on social media. The police forces have been nothing short of abusive to the peaceful protesters up there. In case the world forgot, it’s within our constitution that we’re allowed to peacefully assemble and protest something that we deem as unethical as citizens. We have a right to stand up for the downtrodden in this country. We have a right to finally set a course toward atonement for our ignorance to the suffering of the Native American people of this country, and it all starts by taking a stand at Standing Rock.