Saturday evening I watched the game four World Series loss of the Chicago Cubs to the Cleveland team while racists shouted fake “war whoops” across the restaurant to root for the most racist team in MLB. Did they care that real Native Americans were in the restaurant? Did they think they “honored” us? Anger arose within me as I realized it is 2016 and society still accepts this behavior. Recently the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) called for ethical reporting on the World Series, asking journalists to refer to the team as Cleveland, and to remove the racist mascot Wahoo from reporting. A request ignored by the lame stream media.

“What's the harm?” some say. One only need look to occupied Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation) territory to find it.

Illegal foreign occupation of Sioux Nation territory

Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation) patriots and allied indigenous nations stand against the Dakota Access pipeline defending the environment against climate change to protect safe drinking water for 10 million North Americans. For their peaceful stance against the the fossil fuel industry they are subjected to the worst police brutality the US has witnessed since the Civil Rights and Red Power Eras of the 1960s and '70s. North Dakota Gov. Dalrymple created a police state in illegally occupied Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation) treaty territory. He declared a state of emergency to activate the National Guard. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has created a “no fly zone” to prevent drone pilots from filming militarized police violating the human rights of indigenous water protectors.

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Police brutality and white vigilante violence

Water protectors are attacked by dogs used by private security hired by Dakota Access. Their sacred sites are destroyed. They are deliberately hit by vehicles. Police routinely mace them with high pressure canons of pepper spray. Police violence toward water protectors increases daily. Most recently with the use of so-called “non-lethal” (meaning only slightly less lethal) rubber bullets and explosive devices for crowd dispersal. Mass media is used to whip up anti-indigenous hysteria among white North Dakotans. Water protectors are subjected to white vigilante violence. They are arrested on their own land for “rioting” or “trespassing.” They are subjected to psychological torture. They are strip searched, forced to squat naked proving they have nothing in their rectums, thrown into cells naked overnight, and locked into dog kennels. #Obama's response? Silence and inaction.

The real scandal is inaction on civil rights

While many are discussing the reopening of the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's email, the real scandal is President Obama's inaction on the egregious human rights violations of indigenous water protectors.

In 2008 Obama aggressively campaigned in Indian Country courting our vote. Indigenous peoples turned out in huge numbers to elect Obama. Obama was also elected with the help of the leaders of the Black Civil Rights Movement, many of whom were present during his historic inauguration. With the first Black President of the US whose refrain was “hope and change” we all hoped things would change. They have changed, for the worst.

Why we cannot wait

Dr. Martin Luther King often asserted “why we cannot wait” and “justice delayed is justice denied” on the question of civil rights for African Americans. Obama's failure to exercise his executive authority as commander in chief of the armed forces to remove all federal military personnel from sovereign Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation) treaty territory is a slap in the face to every indigenous person who voted for him in 2008 and 2012. If Obama intends to pass the buck to the next administration, he might do well to remember Dr. King's words about the civil rights of his own people. We cannot wait. Justice delayed is justice denied. Stand with Standing Rock. #Climate Change #Police Brutality