Let’s talk about the insurrection at the United States Capitol. Although we can sympathize with the trauma of the event, it is difficult for us to be completely shocked. For years Trump has instigated, fueled and motivated his white supremacist followers to take physical action against those deemed as enemies. He openly incited these white supremacists to attack the US Capital, causing the death of numerous people. Trump needs to be held accountable for those deaths.
We were also not surprised to watch law enforcement accommodate these white insurrectionists to swarm the building. Rather, we saw it as a reminder that white anger is always justified, no matter the cause, and our policing system will not only side with white supremacy but will protect it. This is the blatant hypocrisy of America.
To speak up in America as a Black, Indigenous, queer or person of color has dire consequences — ask the many water protectors that endured police violence at Standing Rock. Indigenous peoples peacefully defending sacred lands were met with tear gas, flash grenades, water cannons, dog attacks and rubber bullets. Black relatives & allies were attacked and beaten for merely advocating that Black Lives Matter. Meanwhile, those who wish to harm elected officials and stage a coup were openly welcomed into the United States Capitol.
As Indigenous Nations and Peoples in what is so-called North America, we have a long history with this settler-state, a history ripe with genocidal attacks against our respective nations, political systems, lands, languages and families. Anyone paying attention can no longer deny the hypocrisy of how the settler-states address white supremacists vs how they address Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples.
Trump will soon no longer be America’s President but the hatred and racism he fed has long been embedded in our society. We can no longer allow these racial and social inequities to continue to diminish Black, Brown and Indigenous lives. Trump must be arrested for treason and the Senators and Representatives that supported him arrested for aiding and abetting.
Our foundations as warriors for Indigenous environmental justice will continue in the face of white supremacy, and will not be deterred. Our prayers and thoughts go out for those traumatized by this attempted insurrection and the families of those who died and were injured.
Established in 1990, The Indigenous Environmental Network is an international environmental justice nonprofit that works with tribal grassroots organizations to build the capacity of Indigenous communities. I EN’s activities include empowering Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, the health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.