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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

What does this say about our country?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38942points) September 16th, 2010

I just read this article and am sitting here completely unsurprised but, then again, I never for a moment think people of authority like cops or feds or the government are do-gooders and are, of course, as corrupt and disgraceful as they can be (aside from being racist and sexist, which this case indicates). What does it signal to you, though, when you read about it? I’m asking people who hold some kind of faith in these institutions for reactions.

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25 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It is an indictment of the bureaucracy.

tinyfaery's avatar

I am 100% in agreement with you. It does not shock me in any way. It’s just further proof of how corrupt and ineffectual most of our institutions really are.

josie's avatar

There’s (at least) one in every crowd…
But that sad fact has nothing to do with our country. It is universal. This one just happened to be in the US.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@josie Right and it’s the US I’m asking about
@tinyfaery Perhaps no one does think that FEDS or cops or what have you are on the good side.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think it says anything in particular about our country. It says that some people who should, don’t care about doing their jobs when a voiceless minority is suffering. It says that other people, upon finding out this problem, work to fix it. Some people care and some don’t. What else is new?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

It says that our country, and its institutions, are made up of human beings. Human beings always have the potential to be self serving creatures.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@wundayatta Feels a little disheartening to me, that’s all to know just how much things are fucked up even at the highest levels.

josie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir But no matter where you go, you will find this-like I said, there’s always a depraved human being somewhere, anywhere you go. So, I guess it says the following about the US-The US is populated by people, and, as it is with people, some of them are capable of terrible things. Better?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It is discouraging. The system that should hold the law enforcement officers to a higher standard broke down. These officers have more authority because of the job they are given. I’m still working out the rest of it.

majorrich's avatar

We must remember that reservations are, by law sovreign countries and are responsible for their own law enforcement. When Federal or law enforcement outside reservation personnel become involved, it is at the reservation’s request. Sometimes these crimes are under-reported or less because of lack of or insufficient training or resources. No excuses, just the way it is., and I believe the way it is all over the world.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@majorrich That’s true, but it was the federal officers with supposedly all the resources behind them that lied, and worse yet, three of them. One bad apple happens, but three on one team?

wundayatta's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir And that’s why you are an activist. You care. Things like this make you angry enough to be willing to fight to fix them. Maybe not this particular thing, but the damage of oppression and neglect where you can do something about it.

It is disheartening. Some people can fight against it for their whole lives, and others only have so many years in them before they go on to something a little more rewarding.

I’m just amazed you found this article in the Arizona Republic. How the hell did that happen?

majorrich's avatar

The bottom line probably was nobody wanted to do all the paperwork.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@wundayatta :) – I follow Ms. Magazine and they found it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Maybe we’re getting too many slackers and not enough activists? Are we possibly expecting so little of politicians and others in positions to run these institutions that they are not functioning as they should? The they could be either one, the people or the institutions.

zophu's avatar

The institutions are intrinsically flawed but villainizing them only empowers them. It’s pathetic. People are driven to react with either condemnation, or devotion. It’s how people deal with being owned. There’s less friction in one’s daily life if they give in, so most end up leaning towards that. But complete condemnation is too destructive and so is ultimately pointless as well. If people could generally achieve truly objective points-of-views for the institutions that “own” them, things would greatly improve.

Ben_Dover's avatar

The US Government has not spoken a word of truth when it comes to Native American peoples ever in the history of dealing with them. This is not news. This is historic fact.

Expecting the US to suddenly begin to treat the Native Americans as if they are human beings is like waiting for the sun to stop shining.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@zophu I suppose I’m guilty as charged.

iamthemob's avatar

Rape is actually a ridiculously common occurrence on American reservations…this Vanguard episode is a disturbing revelation.

Thankfully, this news comes at a time when there is reform regarding criminal jurisdiction on reservation land. Major crimes were actually under the jurisdiction of the federal enforcement authorities by default (not at the request of the Native inhabitants) until this reform, and now tribal councils are allowed to prosecute and sentence individuals for certain violent crimes.

The problem has been coordination in the past. There are few reservation law enforcement personnel, and because the land is so spread out, domestic and sexual assault calls were almost never answered in time. And because of a fear of family retaliation against a reporting victim, many initial reports were withdrawn (and often never made). Add onto that a masculine culture which has recently deemed manhood be demonstrated through violence, a tendency towards alcoholism, and a bunch of abandoned houses, and you get teens getting gang raped nearly every weekend.

Thanks for bringing this up.

free_fallin's avatar

I agree with @wundayatta. It’s a testament of the people not our country, in my opinion. These things are happening in every city to multiple groups of individuals. People are corrupt; this is nothing new. We just have to keep fighting against them. We make it known to the public and help guide the public to gather together to change things. I still see more positive than negative in people and so I fight daily to help others see that. I fight to help it become true for the majority.

zophu's avatar

“It’s just human nature,” is an obsolete copout. Genetics are almost trivial compared to Environment as far as influencing a human’s behavior. Government is more or less responsible for Environment.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I couldn’t trust anyone who isn’t. Just thinking over-idealistically.

jca's avatar

not surprising. i’m sure coverups that are similar occur all the time, by all agencies, all over the US. The other side of the coin: The jails are full of people that are not guilty, that, before DNA, had no way of proving their innocence.

Brian1946's avatar

Perhaps this would be much less of a problem if the Native Americans had implemented their own immigration controls to stop the flow of illegal immigrants to this hemisphere that began over 400 years ago.

rooeytoo's avatar

I can’t think of a case in NT that exactly parallels this one, but here, often crime among Aboriginal groups is not reported at all. They are excused by the Aboriginals themselves as being a cultural thing. Old men with 12 year old wives. Very few women make it to adulthood without losing most of their teeth by violence. Rape is commonplace as is child abuse, sexual and otherwise, also child neglect. So the government cannot always be blamed. If it is a Native American committing these crimes, he may be protected by the community. I have been in too many situations where I saw with my own eyes what happened and then didn’t recognize the same event when I read about it later.

I am not dismissing or excusing, just saying that things are not always as they appear.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Another reason why I don’t care to salute or hang the colors outside of my house. People think it is about hating America, which I don’t, but Uncle Sam is always getting caught with his pants down (no pun intended). The things this nations as systemically over the decades that was de facto against certain people usually those not connected or rich, and buried the impropriety of just plain lied about it is sickening given how America tried to pass its self off as the bastion of liberty and fair play.

From the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Democrats sell out of the late 1800s ushering stronger Jim Crow laws, the using of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as labs to test the effects of the A-bomb, the Iran/Contra deals, and so forth. Uncle Sam seem to outwardly to the world say “see how great and fair I am”, but behind the scenes is no better than Saddam, Kaddafi, Amine, Pinochet, etc.

In this case it was like telling anyone ”you want to be a rapist and go Scot free, do it on Indian land, we don’t care”. One could only imagine how many teen Native American girls were raped and nothing done. I discovered many non-Native American girls won’t tell and law enforcement more than Native American lands would care. I find what happens on Native American lands un-excusable. Then the US has long had a history of ignoring those of darker skin in areas of injustice, as in the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943.

I think most all of those girls and women deserve reparation for the justice they did not get and that the Native Americans should be allowed to police their own areas and be given the means to do it if they do not have casinos to fund it themselves.

I won’t hold my breath, seeing every time you shake Uncle Sam’s cherry tree a whole bunch of rotten fruit falls out.

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