USA Race Inequality

Violence against Native American women and children is finally being taken seriously

Oh, Trump, President Trump. You know, the orange racist who just so happens to be president of the United States?

Yeah, that guy.

I honestly still can’t believe that he is president some days, but hey… could he possibly have tried to do some good during his time as president?

It would seem so.

Recently President Trump signed into action an executive order that will establish a task force that will address the violence against missing and murdered Native American and Alaskan natives. This issue is one that the administration has actually been focusing on for the last few months. 

The White House official website even has a quote from President Donald Trump himself that states that “We remain committed to preserving and protecting Native American cultures, languages, and history while ensuring prosperity and opportunity for all Native Americans.” 

This task force will be overseen by the attorney general, William Barr, and interior secretary David Bernhardt. Specifically, this task force is tasked with developing protocols that will apply to new and old unsolved cases. This task force will also create a multi-jurisdictional team that will review cold cases. 

For years, Native American women have faced abuse on reservations by non-Indians without there being any negative repercussions to the non-Indians that inflict such abuse. 

Missing and murdered indigenous women and girls have been an epidemic in the United States for years. This epidemic is particularly bad in Alaska, which is one of the most dangerous states for women in the U.S. For, nearly 60 percent of women in Alaska have experienced intimate partner or sexual violence. Often times these women have experience both intimate partner violence and sexual violence. 

Rape in Alaska also takes place at 2.5 times the national average. 

In addition to this information, The National Institute of Justice estimates that 1.5 million Native American women have experienced violence in their lifetime. This includes the many of them who experience sexual violence during their lifetime. 

Native American women face this type of violence at higher rates than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States. 

This problem is particularly prevalent in native villages in rural Alaska. These villages are incredibly remote and lack access to necessary law enforcement. Alaska also lacks a uniform 911 emergency call system. This makes it very hard for residents of this area to access the necessary law enforcement resources, particularly in remote villages. 

Thankfully, Iowa senator, Joni Ernst introduced the Senate Republican’s version of the Violence Against Women Act. This was a reauthorization bill. This legislation includes provisions that address this epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women. 

Unfortunately, there is a bit of a catch to all of this supposed good news. 

If Ernst’s proposal were to be put into action it would give non-Native abusers who won’t comply a way out. So, this law essentially makes it easier for abusers facing prosecution to skip the appeal to federal court and process as a whole. 

The bill by Ernst also weakens sovereign immunity for tribes. The bill does this by allowing for these convicted abusers to sue if they feel that their civil rights are being violated. 

For, this move comes with the Republicans making an attempt to make it harder for these Native Americans to put non-Native abusers behind bars. 

The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center stated that this type of legislation aims to destabilize tribal systems. This is done by putting “undue burdens and restrictions on tribal courts far beyond those imposed on federal and state courts.”

Does this come as a surprise to anyone at all? 

Considering the fact that this comes from the Trump administration, this comes as absolutely no surprise at all. 

Press Pop Culture

Best of The Tempest 2018: 9 Stories from Pop Culture

It’s been a peculiar year in the realm of entertainment. We’ve had such big, progressive victories and such big setbacks and anachronisms in terms of representation, transparency, and inclusivity. Many LGBTQ+ artists thrived, and 2018 was dubbed 20GAYTEEN by singer Hayley Kiyoko. It was the year of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, and yet big name studios are still out there producing films that are imbued with racism, sexism, homophobia, and fatphobia as well as often promoting rape and hate.

We’re still light years away from consuming the egalitarian entertainment we deserve. I knew that very well when I became Pop Culture Editor at The Tempest. I understood that I would have to look closely at many media products that would make me mad, which I would rather ignore and avoid at all costs, but I gladly accepted the challenge. I believe our mission is to shed light on everything that is going on, and that includes denouncing the many injustices that occur in the entertainment industry. We can’t possibly stay silent about the things we deem wrong, because silence is complicity.

But we also don’t like to only see the glass half empty, and we love to admit that there are many things to praise and to celebrate. Without further ado, I present to you 9 of my favorite Pop Culture stories we published in 2018, a mix of the good and the bad.

1. Why are blockbuster films pretending that lesbians and bisexuals don’t exist?

Why are blockbuster films pretending that lesbians and bisexuals don’t exist?

Despite the good representation that television and the music industry gifted us with this year, blockbusters are still actively promoting the erasure of female queerness as well as employing queer bait. This is a trend that needs to stay in 2018.

2. What time is it, Hollywood?

What time is it, Hollywood?

What about what happens behind the camera? This article explores some trends of the entertainment industry from the inside out, because actresses are not the only people we need to protect. Let’s say #TimesUp to all kinds of discrimination.

3. Dislikeable female characters aren’t inherently feminist – but that’s okay

Dislikeable female characters aren’t inherently feminist – but that’s okay

There is a big misconception in fiction and in critique: that a female character who dares be different and dislikable is automatically a great feminist heroine. She’s not, and that’s okay.

4. Why I’m boycotting J.K. Rowling and her “Fantastic Beasts”

Why I’m boycotting J.K. Rowling and her “Fantastic Beasts”

We are tired of people giving J.K. Rowling a free pass for everything just because she wrote a beautiful book series 20 years ago. For a while now, she has been twisting things to appear “woke” instead of honestly admitting that as the times progressed, she also wants to be more inclusive. There is no need to say that she was planning plot twists all along when in reality the implications of that make her way more problematic. Read why in this piece!

5. Bollywood item numbers are more dangerous than we think

Bollywood item numbers are more dangerous than we think

If you don’t know what an item number is, you need to read this piece. If you do know, you need to read this piece. It’s eye-opening and I will never look at a Bollywood film the same way again.

6. This director’s approach to diverse female characters completely changed my movie-watching experience

This director’s approach to diverse female characters completely changed my movie-watching experience

Contrary to what some haters will have you believe about feminists, we do celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of men, when they deserve it. This article is a clap on the back of an Oscar-winning director for an amazing film that contributed to making 2018 better.

7. Yes, The Bold Type is unrealistic… just not for the reasons you think

Yes, The Bold Type is unrealistic… just not for the reasons you think 

You may or may not know this show, which was a true revelation for its honest representation of working (and woke!) millennial women. However, the show has been accused of portraying a utopistic world of equality (but it really doesn’t, the protagonists deal with misogyny, racism and homophobia every day). This article cleverly responds to that claim, contextualizing it particularly within the journalism world (where the main characters spend most of their time) that we know too well.

8. Karma has finally come for Chris Brown, and we can thank women for that

Karma has finally come for Chris Brown, and we can thank women for that

Abusers deserve to be held accountable for their actions. After the tidal wave that was the #MeToo movement, it’s good to see that celebrities are still being taken down after abusive behavior.

9. My mind tells me to read, but my body is overwhelmed and overworked

My mind tells me to read, but my body is overwhelmed and overworked

A constant struggle in the transition to adulthood is that we are burdened with too many responsibilities and we have too little time to do the things we actually want to do out of sheer pleasure, like reading. It does not help that books have gained a very strong competitor for our time and attention, the “monster” that are streaming services.

We’re ready to kiss 2018 goodbye. In the hope that 2019 will be a more satisfying year for women, people of color, and all oppressed minorities, happy new year from the staff of The Tempest!