Opinion

Opinion: House GOP protects white men from tribal prosecution





"If you were watching “Melissa Harris Perry” last Sunday, you saw my head explode over the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Not over the bill itself but over the opposition of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to the tribal provision. This provision would give tribes limited authority to prosecute non-Native Americans accused of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes against Native American women on Indian reservations. But because of Cantor’s intransigence on this issue, VAWA reauthorization is almost dead in the 112th Congress.

I was so incredulous that I said the House Republicans were trying to protect white men from prosecution. “It’s not ‘as if.’ That is what they are doing,” interjected Chloe Angyal, an editor of Feministing.com. I made an erroneous accusation there. I don’t know if all perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault against Native American women are white. But they are men, nonetheless, which is why during a commercial break, Angyal went even further by calling Cantor “the patron saint of rapists.”

Basically, right now, if you are a non-Native American man who beats up, sexually assaults or even kills a Native American woman on tribal land, you’ll get away with it."

Get the Story:
Jonathan Capehart: Protecting rapists, murderers by killing VAWA (The Washington Post 12/20)

Related Stories:
Lise Balk King: Indian women need protections with VAWA bill (12/19)
Anderson Law: Republican VAWA bill a deal breaker for tribes (12/19)
Brian Paterson: Indian women need protections from violence (12/14)
NCAI remains hopeful on legislation to protect Indian women (12/13)
Salon: Abusers get away with violence against Indian women (12/13)
Opinion: Native women still waiting on Congress to take action (12/12)
Rep. Darrell Issa introduces Violence Against Indian Women Act (12/4)
NCAI optimistic on a land-into-trust fix, VAWA during lame-duck (11/09)