I’m standing by the microwave scrolling through my phone–because for some reason the outlet by the microwave is the only one in my apartment that will charge the stupid thing– and I get a text from my friend: “wtf is happening at standing rock” I swipe right to open my news app. Some shit about Trump cabinet picks from Wash. Post. Something about Melania from CNN. Something about the Alt-Right using ‘Heil Victory’ salute (WTF…gonna go back to this one, or not since something worse is bound to come out by tomorrow) and something about voting in Milwaukee from New York Times. Where’s Standing Rock?
I log onto Twitter, which is where I should’ve started, anyway. But Standing Rock isn’t trending. Justin Bieber is, and oh, Green Day? I thought they’d disappeared in a cloud of Axe and teen angst. I keep thumbing down and realize that tonight must be the American Music Awards. I keep looking for something related and then I see that the #17 trending topic is Redskins with 54.6K tweets. Are you fucking kidding? I realize, finally, that I’m not going to figure out what’s going on in North Dakota based on trending topics, so I search the term. And then I see wtf is happening at standing rock:
From various folks on the ground and from groups retweeting the news, I learn the following: It’s 25 degrees Fahrenheit in North Dakota. Protectors are occupying a site that has been blockaded for several weeks. Law enforcement from Morton County have begun to deploy tear gas and water cannons on the protectors. Facebook user Kevin Gillbertt started a live feed which shows the site from a distance. A Google search of the current situation yields a lot of threads on Twitter, and one developing story on Fader. I just discovered an MSNBC article posted 30 minutes ago…But the assaults have been happening for hours. Protectors have been battling human rights violations and the possibility of hypothermia for hours, and no major news source has provided any reports or updates.
No major news companies reporting on the American Indians battling in sub-zero temps for the sanctity of their land, for the rights of water and of life. But, Washington Post displayed this headline this morning: “Redskins vs. Packers weather forecast: Cold and windy under the lights.” The report goes on to read: “An early taste of winter with a whipping wind to boot. Being in prime-time at night only makes the chill worse.” Even more chilling: the irony. The Green Bay Packers, named after a region with a long indigenous history, and Washington’s football team, named still, somehow, in 2016 after a slur against American Indians, played this evening (the latter won, if you’re interested) in cold weather and fifty thousand people tweeted about it. But as the players ran across a well lit field, cameras on them at every angle, hundreds of protectors were unable to get coverage as they were brutalized with rubber bullets and tear gas. At the game, there was a zero percent chance of rain. At Standing Rock, chance of rain didn’t seem to matter to those in the range of water cannons. At Standing Rock, where were the public officials? Where were the cameras? Where was the coverage?
And for another ironic moment, here’s a little song I guarantee wasn’t featured at tonight’s AMAs. Sad fucking message, but that’s where we’re at right now. I’m praying tonight and always, that this too shan’t pass and end the same. Praying tonight and always that we find a way to make some fucking change.