White Privilege and Native Women Going Missing
~Maureen Brucker

From the glorification of the sorted history of

Pocahontas to today's headlines about

representative Steve King saying that rape and

incest are important parts of developing our

family history, we are a nation and a people

who are unwilling to take a look that history

that has caused serious problems on Turtle Island.

We all were taught in school the charming little history of Pocahontas. What we didn't understand and was never spoken what's the fact that this was a 15 year old or so young woman who was ripped from her home and her heritage and hauled across the ocean to be a trophy wife and entertain European High Society. White Privilege at its cruelest. By the time she was 30 she had long since died of diseases she had never been exposed to in her Homeland.

Today we have Steve King representative from Iowa glorifying rape and incest as a means a family continuation. And we all know that that rape and incest is perpetrated upon women either of lower classes or of different colors then that of the perpetrator.

And we wonder why white boys and men no matter their class feel like they have a right to force themselves on women of color. It got so bad in the 70s and the 80s in British Columbia that women were disappearing at phenomenal rates off the streets of Vancouver. There was a lot of quote this is terrible unquote but not a whole lot was done because they were Native American women and it was felt that they were loose. They weren't the good Christian women who would not quote unquote discourage such behavior.

Today we see the problems wherever the oil and gas industry is going as they set up they're all man camps. These are designed for the convenient of getting the job done but provide nothing in the way of support or reasonable entertainment. As a result, the entertainment occurs with roving bands picking up young women as they come out of grocery stores, as they walk the highway back to their house and other relatively lonely and untraceable situations. Such women are raped and sometimes trafficked or killed and thrown in the ditch. Because they're not white they're considered expendable by those who use them.

Something has to be done about this. These are our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, our granddaughters, and our great-granddaughters. They are our future. By destroying them, these men are destroying everyone's future.

I'm not sure how you remedy the situation quickly. There's a lot of talking out of both sides of people's mouths when it comes to right to life, respect of others, all people being equal. We must make some of this a reality very quickly or this sorted behavior is going to continue to sweep through our entire culture.

We need a two-pronged approach to this whole situation. The first part is that we must have extremely tight laws for those who are caught in these roving bands or caught in any way abusing women. This is not simple. This means a whole turn around as far as the view of domestic violence and what goes on within the household is concerned so that not only the perpetrator but the young boys in the household see that there is a need for respecting the women in the household. We don't have that now. We need to provide extra mentoring and guidance for young boys who have been exposed to violence within the home so that they learn to respect women in general and their family in particular.

We also need to work on how we raise our sons generally. A kind and peaceful father is an excellent start. But unless that start becomes an education for his son, that son becomes open to learning from others who are less sensitive and less honorable. It needs to be the responsibility of everyone to teach both men and women to be kind, to be gentle and to respect others in all situations.

Perhaps with the each one teach one model, we can begin to make a start in this enormous cultural change that will lead to everyone being valued and treated respectfully. While women have different gifts than men, those gifts are no less important. It is the lack of balance of gifts by the disrespecting of women that has caused the situation that we are in today. We must do all we can to turn this around.