There is No American Exceptionalism for Genocide

Table of Contents:

  1. The Ongoing Tragedy of the Native Americans in the US (2015)
  2. Why are Registered Sex Offenders still allowed to enter Native American reservations to rape and murder Native American men, women, and children? (2023)
  3. There is No American Exceptionalism for Genocide (July 2023)

From enforcing genocidal Christian boarding schools from the 1870s, to the Termination Era causing Sex Trafficking and the sterilization of Indigenous women throughout the 1970s, and to the current legal policy imposed upon Native Americans of the US via the Oliphant vs Suquamish 1978 Supreme Court decision that allows sex offenders to rape and murder Indigenous people in reservations; the US should never ever have been called a defender of human rights. To devalue the human rights of one group, in order to claim that all others benefit, is obviously not in support of human rights.

I sent over ten emails to each of my Congresspeople and directly called their offices demanding to know why Oliphant vs Suquamish 1978 shouldn’t be considered State-sponsored genocide by the US government upon all Native American people. Blogging can only go so far. I directly messaged them and called their offices – with interns picking up – to make my demanding questions be heard. While some may feel bad for the interns, the fact is that being a Congressperson is a serious position with important responsibilities and the blame for any depressing calls ultimately lies with the employer who arranges that organizational structure. There is simply no “nice” or “polite” way to demand a government be held accountable for when its policies support or are complicit with the rape and murder of innocent people – including children; “being nice” is not a good enough reason to refrain from asking important questions when people’s very lives are harmed by genocidal legal policies within the US.

Speaking as a born and raised US citizen, the fact of the matter is that if this sort of legal policy occurred outside the US in any other non-Western European or non-oil allied country, then we would explicitly condemn it as genocide. The most recent contemporary comparison would probably be the policies against the Uygher Muslims in China. The US public spends more time censuring other countries for human rights abuses while deliberately ignoring our own human rights abuses. The US should arguably be condemned for doing worse, since this is a policy of legal genocide that has been supported by an over 250-year legal theory prior to the creation of the US and it is still currently justified by the Oliphant vs Suquamish 1978 Supreme Court decision. The most recent Supreme Court case regarding the Navajo nation just last month denied them basic water rights, and while the US government officially mentioned to the United Nations in a public statement in 2019 (only three years after the Flint, Michigan water crisis made national news after public outcry and for which, no officials were charged for willful neglect of duty) that they didn’t consider sanitary water a basic human right; this doesn’t change the fact that these should be added as further human rights violations upon Native Americans too. I appreciate the US Supreme Court decision of Haaland vs Brackeen going in favor of Indigenous communities and I hope to see more positive changes in the future. Fellow Americans have become more respectful and appreciative via support for Native American films, piecemeal policies to protect Native Americans like the Savannah act and Not Invisible act, and Supreme Court cases like United States vs Cooley have helped to bolster more safeguards; but this does not amount to substantial legal changes to prevent rape and murder of Native Americans by allowing them to prosecute rapists and murderers equivalent to if they happened outside of reservations. The US Congress still has unilateral rights to modify, remove, or ignore all the so-called “trust responsibility” without Native Americans having any rights to appeal or say no to their human rights being violated. Any anti-Indigenous political fervor could deny them basic human rights due to wholesale public ignorance and hate. For me, I’ve come to understand that no matter how much time and effort I give to this, it seems likely that the laws won’t change in my lifetime and the majority of rapes and murders committed by registered sex offenders upon Native Americans still hasn’t convinced the majority of Americans to simply impose bans on sex offenders or allow Indigenous “tribal” governments to impose their own legal system to prevent and stop registered sex offenders and even serial killers from being allowed to rape and murder Native Americans living in reservations. As with what happened in Minnesota from the 1970s to now, Native Americans who try to live outside reservations often get forced into sex trafficking and prostitution by registered sex offenders and that was before the Oliphant vs Suquamish 1978 legal decision by the US Supreme Court.

My fellow Americans are more likely to protest issues about the economy, abortion vs pro-life, Climate Change, student debt, internet issues like SOPA, Israel – Palestine political conflict, the rights of Foreign-born Ukrainians, discuss how we’re giving “freedoms” to Iraq and Afghanistan through military force, and a plethora of other issues than the fact Native Americans living in US reservations and even those living in urban cities continue to be raped and murdered by predominately registered sex offenders due to the Supreme Court decision of Oliphant vs Suquamish of 1978 either giving them legal impunity or – in the case of outside reservations – a feeling of invulnerability and impunity. If fellow Americans really cared, there would be protests throughout major cities which would have caused the US Congress to amend the laws to protect the lives of Native Americans, but my fellow Americans do not care enough and I struggle to hope that change will come in my lifetime. Meanwhile, for every delay on this denial of justice, more Native American men, women, and children likely become targets of rape and murder by registered sex offenders. There was no updating the Major Crimes act by the US Congress to allow Tribal police to arrest registered sex offenders, there was no concern by the US public on how registered sex offenders are still allowed to freely enter Native American reservations with no legal rights for Native Americans to appeal or say no to that, and no concern whatsoever on the fact many victims undoubtedly happen to be the family members of Indigenous service members – not that it should matter who the victims are related to. Nevertheless, the fact this hasn’t convinced my fellow Americans is telling and the fact the institutional genocidal policies are still legally in place; despite the US public knowing that registered sex offenders keep getting away with rape and murder says so much about US society without me having to delve into any further words. Prior to another set of the Catholic Church scandals being revealed in late 2018, the US seemed more concerned with India’s rape crimes, up until it was discovered Christian Churches were often committing the rapes both in India and the US. Likewise, US Gen Zers on forums have told me how they grew-up hearing about the plight of Afghan women when the War in Afghanistan was still raging. After the fall of the Soviets in Afghanistan, Afghan women – majority Muslim themselves – were raped by the Mujahideen due to being seen as spoils of war, per the Islamic legal theory of Jihad in war. To share an old article from 2011 from the Guardian that I have shared before and has only become more relevant in the twelve years since it was published; “The 1980s mujahideen, the Taliban and the shifting idea of jihad” by Nushin Arbabzadah, a journalist and Professor at UCLA for Middle Eastern studies:

28 April marks the 19th anniversary of the mujahideen’s victory over the Red Army forces in Afghanistan. The original mujahideen of the 1980s and today’s Taliban may use the same language of holy war, but their understanding of jihad is worlds apart. The key difference between the original mujahideen and the Taliban is that the former waged a traditional type of jihad. In a traditional jihad, if waged locally, a contest over control of resources takes place between rival strongmen who each run their own private armies. In this scenario, the ultimate legitimacy to rule draws upon military strength, but the contest itself is called jihad simply because Islam is the sole language of political legitimacy.

Crucially, in a traditional jihad, the victorious party has an unspoken right to pillage, rape and loot the conquered population. This is because militia fighters are not paid soldiers in a regular army and hence looting is the material reward they receive for fighting. The original mujahideen followed this traditional pattern of jihad upon coming to power in 1992. Since competition over resources rather than ideology is key to traditional jihad, the mujahideen’s war focused on Kabul where the nation’s wealth and the foreign embassies, another potential source of funding, were to be found.

Judging by a historical account from the 1920s, back then the women and girls of the conquered populations also belonged to the pillage package offered to militia jihadis. Hence, in the diaries of court chronicler Katib Hazara on the siege of Kabul in 1929, we read that the victorious mujahideen of the time had demanded to see the list of girls registered at a Kabul school so as to allocate female students to militia fighters.

Katib’s account might be exaggerated, but the story still reveals that there was an unspoken rule that women and girls were part of the conquest package. As such, the mujahideen’s struggle over Kabul was a continuation of traditional jihad complete with internal rivalries, pillage and looting. The mujahideen were part of the realm of traditional politics in which a conquered region is a turf that can be exploited by strongmen, who call themselves mujahideen so as to appear respectable.

After the US withdrawal in August 2021, the think tank, Foreign Policy  – a generally pro-Saudi and pro-Qatari foreign policy magazine due to lush donations by Islamic dictators since approximately 2017 – admitted that there were credible reports of the Taliban taking Afghan civilian women captive as spoils of war to be raped as war trophies for Taliban fighters per the legal theory of jihad in war.

An excerpt from Lynne O’Donnell’s article, “In Taliban’s New Afghan Emirate, Women Are Invisible” which reads as follows:

Women are being married to Taliban fighters as spoils of war.

Since Aug. 15, when the militant group took over the capital, Taliban spokespeople have attempted to placate fears of a return to the pre-2001 strictures, saying women will live according to sharia law, though without elaborating what that might mean in practice. Women have said they fear their jobs will be taken from them and they will be forced to stay at home, only leaving in the company of a male relative and then only in the all-covering burqa, as happened during the Taliban’s 1996 to 2001 regime. 

Before 2001, girls could only be educated in secret schools. Women were beaten in the streets for such minor so-called “transgressions” as wearing the wrong shoes—the only clothing visible beneath their burqas. Since the U.S.-led intervention, schooling was massively expanded and opened up to girls, with more than 9 million students attending, more than one-third of them girls.

So far, the extremists have not permitted women to return to their jobs in government; some women television news presenters have either been forced into more modest clothing or off the air altogether. A senior editor at one private TV station said the Taliban were pressuring him to remove women from presenting positions.

In some parts of the country, women are being married to Taliban fighters as spoils of war. Some activists have disappeared from their homes as the Taliban go door-to-door looking for enemies. Perhaps one of the most ominous indications of what the future holds was the Taliban announcement that women should stay indoors to be safe from abuse by their young fighters, implying a lack of discipline and the potential for violence.

“All the women of Afghanistan have one fear, the Taliban,” said Munera Yousufzada, a former Afghan deputy minister of defense. “This is a highly traditional society largely without value for human rights. So the only guarantee and pressure on this society to enable women to work and be active in society has to come from the international community. Unfortunately, now that support has gone,” she said.

The US public cannot change what was already done, but we can change the policies imposed within our own borders instead of just ignoring our failures to become gung-ho about another foreign policy issue, while ignoring that our own legal system imposes upon Native Americans a state of affairs that is not all that different from what the Taliban has done and continues to do upon Afghan women. And if you believe for a moment that there aren’t parallels, go read Amnesty International’s 2007 report and updated reports by UK-based media, local US news, or independent US news coverage of these state of affairs. Here are two excerpts below on what Native Americans have been subjected to by the US Congress and the Supreme Court decision of Oliphant vs Suquamish of 1978 from Amnesty International’s “Maze of Injustice” special report:

From page 27 of the “Maze of Injustice” report:

Support workers told Amnesty International about the rapes of two
Native American women in 2005 in Oklahoma. In both cases the
women were raped by three non-Native men. Other similarities
between the crimes were reported: the alleged perpetrators, who wore
condoms, blindfolded the victims and made them take a bath. Because
the women were blindfolded, support workers were concerned that
the women would be unable to say whether the rapes took place on
federal, state or tribal land. There was concern that, because of the
jurisdictional complexities in Oklahoma, uncertainty about exactly
where these crimes took place might affect the ability of these women
to obtain justice.
Interviews with support workers (identity withheld), May 2005


From page 30 and 43 of the Amnesty International “Maze of Injustice” special report:

The mother of a survivor of sexual violence from the Standing Rock
Sioux Reservation told Amnesty International how she returned
home in September 2005 to find her 16-year-old daughter lying halfnaked and unconscious on the floor. She took her daughter to the
hospital in Mobridge, South Dakota, where a sexual assault forensic
examination was performed. She described how the suspected
perpetrator fled to Rapid City, South Dakota, which is outside the
jurisdiction of the Standing Rock Police Department (SRPD). He
returned to the Reservation in early 2006 and was held by police for
10 days, although both mother and daughter only discovered this when they rang the SRPD to ask about the status of the case. They found out that the suspect was to go before a tribal court, but the mother told Amnesty International that to get this information, she had to go to Fort Yates and ask them in person. She told Amnesty International that she hoped that the case would be referred to the federal authorities
because this would mean a lengthier sentence for the perpetrator. She
said that, months after the attack, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
officer and a BIA Special Investigator arrived unannounced. As the
daughter was not home at the time, the mother told them where to find
her. However, she never heard from them again. Federal prosecutors did
eventually pick up the case and in December 2006 the perpetrator
entered into a plea bargain and was awaiting sentencing at the time this
report was written.
Interview with mother of survivor (identity withheld) 

And if that isn’t enough, to repeat a previously shared snippet from page 27 of the Amnesty International updated 2022 “Never-ending Maze of Injustice” report:

“When you bring in large groups of men working
away from home with money in their pockets
and time on their hands you are going to see
an increase in sexual assault, sex trafficking,
domestic violence, and drug use… Standing Rock
wasn’t just about water; it was about the true
exploitation of Native people. 200 rape kits went
missing, so it didn’t do any good to file the report
when the evidence goes missing. There are still
26 women missing from Standing Rock. Women
would go to the store and not come back.”
Sheila Lamb, MN350 co-chair and Minnesota MMIW
Task Force and Steering Committee member, Extractive
Industries and Sex Trafficking of Native Women and Youth
Webinar, April 2021

And to repeat, it continues to happen in contemporary times too. To summarize the updated 2022, “Never-ending Maze of Injustice report of Amnesty International by quoting page eight of the report itself:

The USA’s failure to fulfill its human rights obligations towards
Indigenous women is informed and conditioned by a legacy of
widespread and egregious human rights violations and abuses
against Indigenous peoples, who face deeply entrenched
marginalization as a result of a long history of systemic and
pervasive abuse and persecution.

Available data shows a stark picture: more than half (56.1%) of AI/
AN women have experienced sexual violence. Nearly 1 in 3 AI/AN
women (29.5%) have experienced rape in their lifetime; they are
over twice as likely to be raped than non-Hispanic white women
in the USA. Yet rates of sexual violence are likely even higher as
the USA fails to collect adequate and consistent data on violence
against AI/AN women, which is intimately tied to the failed
response of authorities to prevent and respond to such violence.

Amnesty International first reported on the crisis of sexual violence
against AI/AN women in 2007, with the publication of a report
entitled Maze of Injustice: The failure to protect Indigenous women
from sexual violence in the USA. Nearly 15 years later, there has
been no significant decrease in sexual violence against AI/AN

Yet, some Youtuber making anecdotes about specifically violent exchanges and who morally equates the violent slave-owning side of a slave rebellion with the slaves rising in opposition, will probably receive more viewers in support of vilifying Native Americans living today because of events that happened over two-hundred years ago while categorically ignoring events like the Long Walk and the Chivington Massacre. Due to the current laws and abusive power structure of the US Congress, all it takes is ignorant hate to violate and reduce the rights of Native Americans living in the US today, because they’ve never been given any legal safeguards to say no or to say stop to any abuses inflicted upon them by the US government. The US government prioritizes protecting registered sex offenders above the wellbeing of Native Americans living in reservations. I say this, because I’m judging based solely on the policies and power structures that the US government imposes; the US government clearly and unequivocally prioritizes allowing non-Native, majority White registered sex offenders to have the power to murder and rape Indigenous people above granting genuine equal rights for Indigenous people living in Native American reservations. That is not some extreme paranoid theory; that is a fact based upon the current legal framework that the US government imposed upon Native Americans. What else can I do in this situation, after trying so much to appeal to my Congresspeople, but ridicule these policies as idiotic and view the Western cultural norms that cause these legal policies to be kept in place as an example of Western barbarism? I’m genuinely asking, because I already sent emails to the UN and they seem to be ignoring me or considering my criticisms insignificant too. I don’t understand what else I can do to grapple with my years-long depression about this social injustice other than to ridicule it as barbaric regardless of if I’m thought of as stupid, or insane, or whatever. I only seem to be part of some subculture that is irregular or outside the norm. I would never advocate for violence; I strongly believe in Free Speech. Yet, it seems no one listens or cares when I directly ask: why are registered sex offenders still allowed to rape and murder Indigenous people and why can’t Indigenous court systems impose harsh legal penalties for violations related to rape and murder? We’re not talking about some economic issue. We’re talking about the lives of our fellow Americans who give, and give, and give and just ask for equal rights in return. Yet, Indigenous families of Indigenous service members likely get raped and murdered because of the US’s historic, current, and ongoing genocidal policies imposed upon them and the compassionate appeals to recognize their human rights by fellow Americans has not changed the overall genocidal structure of the US legal system as it exists today nor given them the legal rights to say no to any governmental abuse of power. As far as I’m concerned, the only way to correct this is to recognize the current US legal policy as genocide and empower Native Americans by allowing reservations to have the right to set their own legal policies on issues of rape and murder that happen in Indigenous reservations including rapes and murders conducted by non-Native offenders, because the only ones benefitting from the current legal policy are registered sex offenders and the US government has proven too stupid, incapable, and worthless to handle such a basic issue. The US government still refuses to do the most straightforward policy of simply banning registered sex offenders from being allowed to enter Native American reservations. Behind this façade of compassion is not simply racism, but purposeful genocidal intent to commit harm and the unfettered narcissism that Americans have re-contextualized “American Exceptionalism” to be. That is, the reason my fellow Americans are genuinely stupid is because they now use “American Exceptionalism” to mean that the cause and effect of reality itself somehow no longer applies to US society. It doesn’t matter if hurricanes are destroying Florida; or if there’s a water crisis in Flint, Michigan; mass shootings; the COVID outbreak in 2020; or if people are forced into sex trafficking or being raped and murdered by sex offenders; because the majority of Americans literally believe in this bizarre magical thinking that the impacts of reality are either temporary for some unspecified, ill-defined future utopia or that all these negative consequences don’t matter because the US has some god-given protection magic that makes it “unique” and incapable of being harmed unlike other countries. Instead of adapting to circumstances and upgrading policies, American exceptionalism has become an excuse to do absolutely nothing even as innocent human lives continue to be lost. The sheer stupidity has become an ugly parody of itself. There can never be any US exceptionalism for genocide.

*Correction: The statement by Brian Kelly to the UN was in 2019, not 2018. 

2 thoughts on “There is No American Exceptionalism for Genocide

  1. Pingback: Why are registered sex offenders allowed to enter Native American reservations to rape and kill Native Americans with impunity? | Jarin Jove's Blog

  2. Pingback: The ongoing tragedy of the Native Americans; a history of institutional sex crimes, mass murder, and racism | Jarin Jove's Blog

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