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I guess this is Part 1 of a short series on the upcoming elections and politics. These pieces will be kinda short, to-the-point, and not that artsy. The reason why? I hate politics. History shows us that both major political parties, Republicans AND Democrats, are generally filled with douchebags who couldn’ care less about Native people, poor white people, black people, Hispanics, etc. The folks at the top of those parties are generally rich white people who only care about non-rich, non-white people to the extent that those non-rich, non-white people help them get their way. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded and ignores history. Now, thank God that there are exceptions; individual elected officials who are actual human beings and not vampires that suck the blood of the masses. Those exceptions have nothing to do with whether they are Republican or Democrat, by the way. An obvious example of that is our current President, Barrack Obama. While very imperfect and prone to ginormous brain farts, Obama is one of those exceptions who actually tries to help real people; he has been, by far, the best President in history in regards to relations with Indian people and has hired some great real Natives during his four years.

Still, that’s a very low bar. Being the best president for Indian people is like being the most virtuous porn star: good job, but you’re still pretty dang nasty. But we’ll talk about Obama in a few weeks. This piece isn’t about him.

Still, I am interested in politics to the extent that they affect ordinary, everyday people. To wit, although I couldn’t care less about politics, I am very interested in the Violence Against Women Act, which some House Republicans oppose in its current form. Why am I interested? Well, there is a version of the new Act that would give tribal courts the power to prosecute non-Indians who perpetrate domestic or dating violence.

That’s a big deal. Of course Tribes should be able to protect their citizens, whether the perpetrators are Native or non-Native.

Another example is the recent, wretched and disgusting comments made by the piece of feces Republican Rep. (and Senatorial candidate) Todd Akin about the topic of “rape.” When this nasty, slimy dude was asked about his opposition to abortion, he replied with the following creepy caveman bile:

“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

Obviously there has been uproar. Of course, politics ensued and his Democratic opponent, Claire McCaskill, has taken full advantage of his idiocy. She isn’t an ideal candidate either, and just because Akin is a pig does not mean that she is a good candidate; just two years ago McCaskill wanted to kill certain Alaska Native economic development opportunities because of pressure from construction concerns. She’s a mess too.

But Akin is a bigger mess. And his mess, his Cro-Magnon understanding of biology is the perfect example, and thus segues, into why we have to pay attention to politics. Even when we do not want to. If this vile, rape-excuser got into the Senate—or even if he simply remained in the House of Representatives—his puke-inducing perspective will affect our lives. Sometimes, our lack of participation or lack of paying attention to politics will allow these filthy excuses for human beings to get into office and hurt our people. That is horrible. That is inexcusable.

But it is also our fault for not doing anything about it.

Therefore, I will be writing a bit about the upcoming elections and try to point where the intersection is between “real people” concerns and politics. Don’t worry—I’m an independent and won’t try to convince you either way. Still, as legitimate as I think it is to simply pull out, contraception-style, and say that “This system is not ours, and therefore I will not participate,” I think it is important that Native people participate and influence, to the extent possible, these elections.

True fact: This not our system. Also true fact: This non-Native system affects us every single day, for better or for worse.

When we can do something about this non-Native system, but choose not to, there is blood on our hands. That’s true whether we agree with the system or not.

That’s why we need to pay attention to these ugly, disgusting non-Native politics.

Gyasi Ross is a member of the Blackfeet Nation and his family also belongs to the Suquamish Nation. He wrote a book called Don’t Know Much About Indians (but i wrote a book about us anyways) which you can get at DKMAI.com. He is also co-authoring a new book with Robert Chanate coming out in the Summer of 2012 appropriately called The Thing About Skins, and the website and publishing company for that handy-dandy book is CutBankCreekPress.com (coming soon). He also semi-does the twitter thing at twitter.com/BigIndianGyasi

Originally posted to Indigenous Gumbo (The Thing About Skins) on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 12:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by Thursday Worst Diary Competition and Trolls.

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