Navajo Republican Leader Carlyle Begay Has a New Job at The White House | Politics, the Future of Energy Policy, the Envirnment, and What was Missed in the Process

Dine’ (Navajo) Nation officially supported Hillary Clinton during the elections. But was the sentiment of the majority of the Dine’ people equally clear? Let ‘s trace the dots.

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Donald Trump with Arizona tribal leaders and State Sen. Carlyle Begay (R), second from left, on June 18, 2016 | Photo by Francisco Valencia via The Navajo Post

Leaders of three Arizona tribes met with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on June 18, 2016, Indian Country Today and The Navajo Post reported. Representatives of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, the Cocopah Tribe, and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe spent about 30 minutes with the real estate mogul during a campaign stop in Phoenix on Saturday, ICT said. Carlyle Begay, a Republican state lawmaker who is a member of the Navajo Nation and is running for Congress, also took part.“It’s important to build bridges,” Begay told ICT of the encounter. “I don’t think we should turn down the opportunity to meet with any candidates and get them to understand the importance of federal trust responsibilities, about the history of tribes, which is replete with mistakes, tragic actions and lost opportunities. We can’t change that history, but we’re not condemned to repeat it.” (Read the full article here)

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Donald Trump Jr. speaking in Shiprock AZ at a Trump rally in Navajo Nation (November 4, 2016) | from the Instagram page of Donald Trump Jr.

Trump Jr. spoke for about 20 minutes. Although he was grateful for the support shown for his father on the reservation, he did not talk about any tribal issues.He used the word “sovereignty” at least once but did not elaborate on what it means to the candidate. He also didn’t discuss what Trump would do for Indian Country if he wins the election on November 8.Despite the warm welcome for candidate’s son, other tribal citizens were out in force to express their distaste for the man on top the Republican ticket. (Indianz.Com)

The event marked the Trump campaign’s second foray in Indian Country. Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence hosted a town hall at a venue at Sandia Pueblo in New Mexico in August although tribal issues did not play a role at all in the event.

After the elections, the top two leaders of the Navajo Nation encouraged unity, as they congratulated President elect, Donald Trump on his victory. Here is the official announcement:

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A significant issue the Navajo Nation faces is their energy sources. Overwhelmingly dependent on fossil fuel for the nation’s energy needs (which is provided for free to a large number of the reservation’s rural residents), the Navajo Nation also contributes to the largest methane concentration in the USA, at the Four Corners region.

  • Arizona’s Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, rated at 3,937 net megawatts, is the largest nuclear power plant and the second largest power plant of any kind in the nation.
  • Arizona’s only operating coal mine, Kayenta, on the Navajo and Hopi reservations, supplies the 7-to-8 million short tons burned annually by the Navajo Generating Station’s three 750-megawatt units.
  • Arizona’s Renewable Environmental Standard requires 15% of the state’s electricity consumed in 2025 to come from renewable energy resources; in 2014, 8.9% of Arizona’s net electricity generation came from renewable resources, primarily from the Glen Canyon and Hoover Dams.(US Energy Information Organization)

North Dakota Did Not Become Alabama – or the Deep North, as it is now called – Overnight

By Winona LaDuke
Special to News From Indian Country and Everybody Else

[Standing Rock is an unpredicted history lesson for all of us. More than any moment I recall since Wounded Knee, the Vietnam War, or the time of Martin Luther King, this moment stands as a crossroads in the battle for social justice. It is also an economic issue, in a time of economic system transformation, and profoundly a question of the future of this land. The world is watching.

For many who come, North Dakota is something unknown. Americans fly over the state, talk about how the movie Fargo was funny, and wonder sheepishly about how it’s working out in the Bakken. Very few visit, and there is almost no civil society to advocate for the environment or the people. Let me put it this way, until this year, the Sierra Club had one staff person in North Dakota, and the American Civil Liberties Union had one staff member covering both North and South Dakota. It is as if North Dakota is just too uncomfortable for a progressive movement to visit or work in. Instead, we have watched.

After all, the sex trafficking, violence, and corruption has overwhelmed most of the state’s capacity to address it, and a recent study by the National Academy of Sciences found widespread groundwater contamination in the fracking fields.   For North Dakotans it has become just how it isThat is to say: accommodating corporations is the North Dakota way.This last year, North Dakota health officials excused more oil spills without penalty, and increased the allowable levels of radiation in municipal and county dumps to accommodate the fracking industry. The corporations direct state policy.]

The Beginning is Near: The Deep North, Evictions and Pipeline Deadlines | Winona LaDuke, for Indian Country Today

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Does Whom you Vote for Correlate with the Type of Driver you Are?

Which state has the deadliest, least-skilled motorists on the road? The Daily Beast crunches new crash data, ranking all 50—and discovers a huge gap between how Republicans and Democrats drive.

There were more than 30,000 fatal crashes in the U.S. last year, including more than 5,000 deaths just from “distracted driving,” such as cellphone use, according to data released last week. In trying to get some definitive answers, The Daily Beast used crash data—because accidents provide an objective way to define someone as a bad driver, or not—and focused on fatal crashes, using the most recent available data (2009) since those are uniformly reported state-by-state. From there, we specifically measured fatal crashes where driver mistake was a key factor: DUI, blowing through stop signs, careless or inattentive driving and the like.

Read the full story here | The Daily Beast

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Getty Images

Analogies

Political cartoonist John Knott had little sympathy for the U.S. Congress’ indecision when it came to the Wagner-Rogers Child Refugee Bill, a piece of 1939 legislation that would have opened slots for 20,000 German refugee children to enter the United States. The bill was opposed by anti-immigrant organizations and never became a law. Tens of thousands of German Jewish children went on to die in concentration camps.

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University of Texas

We Imprint on What a Story Ought to Be

A preliminary reflection on the sad grandeur of my after-election shock allowed me the license to draw an analogy from the structure of stories: native American stories vs western fairy tales, African tales vs western didactic myths, Indian folklore, Japanese stories… The structure of these “other” stories is different than most western ones -saturated with conquest and blissful, or not so blissful, unions-. They do not consist of a single layer of reality. A structure which, disturbingly distorted on so many levels, fits our current post-election narrative -as do the plans for our future- of the “conquerors.”

An eloquent and clear comparison I just found in this article, about Japanese story structure:

Our Fairy Tales Ourselves: Storytelling
From East to West

[Kawai addressed the idea that reality is in fact slippery, in the Yubaba-Zeniba way. He writes: “Reality consists of countless layers. Only in daily life does it appear as a unity with a single layer, which will never threaten us. However, deep layers can break through to the surface before our eyes. Fairy tales have much to tell us in this regard.” What lies behind this layer of reality?

Kawai also introduces the concept of “the aesthetic solution.” In western fairy tales, Kawai notes, stories often resolve with a conquest, or with a wedding. Examples are numerous: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, etc. But in Japanese fairy tales, Kawai says, there is rarely this kind of union. Frequently, stories resolve with “an aesthetic solution.” And by aesthetic, Kawai specifically means images from nature.]

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Voters’ Perceptions of Crime Continue to Conflict with Reality

Despite double-digit percentage decreases in U.S. violent and property crime rates since 2008, most voters say crime has gotten worse during that span, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The disconnect is nothing new, though: Americans’ perceptions of crime are often at odds with the data.crime

Leading up to Election Day, a majority (57%) of those who had voted or planned to vote said crime has gotten worse in this country since 2008. Almost eight-in-ten voters who supported President-elect Donald Trump (78%) said this, as did 37% of backers of Democrat Hillary Clinton. Just 5% of pro-Trump voters and a quarter of Clinton supporters said crime has gotten better since 2008, according to the survey of 3,788 adults conducted Oct. 25-Nov. 8.

Official government crime statistics paint a strikingly different picture. Between 2008 and 2015 (the most recent year for which data are available), U.S. violent crime and property crime rates fell 19% and 23%, respectively, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which tallies serious crimes reported to police in more than 18,000 jurisdictions around the nation.

Another Justice Department agency, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, produces its own annual crime report, based on a survey of more than 90,000 households that counts crimes that aren’t reported to police in addition to those that are. BJS data show that violent crime and property crime rates fell 26% and 22%, respectively, between 2008 and 2015 (again, the most recent year available).

So what explains the gap between perceptions of crime and the data?

Voters’ perceptions of crime continue to conflict with reality

Little White Womin… | Another Strange Fruit

Ain’t no sisters here: A long history of white feminism consistently excluding women of color and embracing white supremacism

White women voted for Trump in 2016 because they still believe white men are their saviors

[White women have a history of betraying their sisters. The 2016 election was no exception. The pattern of white women choosing white men over women of color underscores some of the more insidious machinations of patriarchy and the racism ingrained in the feminist movement. White women’s modus operandi for gaining power—economic, political, and otherwise—is simple: acquire power from those who have it. And those who have historically have had it are white men. This has resulted in white women’s historic abandonment of their black and brown sisters, as well as their more heinous adoption of white supremacist rhetoric to advance their own status.

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These ethically unjustifiable strategies are evident in some of the feminist movement’s darkest days, beginning with the fight for suffrage. After the decision was made to exclude women from the 15th Amendment, which gave free black men the right to vote, leading suffragists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton adopted blatantly racist rhetoric. Frustrated with the stonewalling of women’s suffrage, they actively courted and collaborated with white supremacists in exchange for financial assistance to advance their cause. By aligning themselves with white men, these early feminists turned their back on black women and even black suffragists. White male supremacists welcomed the coalition, as Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote in a piece at the Atlantic, because it would shore up white nationalism at the voting booths.
During the next wave of feminism in the 1960s and 1970s, a similar strategy played out, this time on a structural level. The organizations fighting for women’s rights deliberately excluded their black and brown sisters so as to appear more acceptable to the white male legislators who held the power.
The ethical failures of white women resulted in black women creating their own feminism—womanism—as well as their own groups such as the Combahee River Collective, which argued that ending the systemic oppression of all women was a political imperative. “[W]e are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression and see as our particular task the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking,” they wrote in their mission statement.
White feminism, by contrast, is the calculated rejection of intersectional sisterhood in favor of the acceptance and appreciation of white men. In its most destructive form, it is racism masquerading as self-empowerment. This is apparent in Elle magazine interviews with a handful of female Trump supporters after the election, who claim that they are “absolutely not racist” and they really just care about the “economy” and “get[ting] a good job.”
White women account for 37% of the American voting population, which means the votes of black and brown women, no matter how impressively they turned out for Hillary Clinton (94% of black women; 68% of Hispanic and Latino women), were countered by the large swath of white women who supported Trump.

Instead of turning to men for political coalition and social acceptance, white women need to turn toward women of color. This is the message of the late Harvard lesbian-feminist Barbara Johnson, who wrote in her conclusion to The Feminist Difference that “conflicts among feminists require women to pay attention to each other, to take each other’s reality seriously, to face each other.” Only by doing this will we be able to eradicate women’s internalized misogyny. Johnson continued, “feminists have to take the risk of confronting and negotiating differences among women if we are ever to transform such differences into positive rather than negative forces in women’s lives.”

While racism is undoubtedly a significant factor in white feminists’ failure to engage in intersectional activism, history also suggests that white women have been largely risk-averse when it comes to building coalitions with their black and brown sisters. This is near-sighted and unambitious logic. As Audre Lorde famously wrote in 1984: “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” because “[t]hey may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.”]