By: Kendall Shanks
President Donald Trump issued an expedited review of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). After a year long protest at Standing Rock, the Sioux Indian reservation affected by the pipeline, President Trump has finally settled the churning, soon-to-be polluted waters. The DAPL will run through a Native American reserve, threaten clean drinking water, and disturb wildlife. The Trump Administration has repeatedly expressed their support for America first, not for the first Americans.
he newly elected president distracted the American people with headlines reading “Trump at National Prayer Breakfast: ‘Pray for Arnold’” (CNN) and “Does Donald Trump Think Frederick Douglass is Alive?” (Democracy Now). Trump has used these headlines to distract the American people from the real issue at hand: the threat of poisoned water in our heartland. Where is the “America First” attitude Trump promised?
This is not the first instance of the president’s disregard toward Native Americans. Trump’s board of advisors proposed a plan in December to privatize Native American lands in order to allow oil drilling, securing America’s fossil fuel independence.
According to the USDA, Native American land only accounts for 2% of American land. By drilling the solid ground and tainting the water, the administration is effectively destroying the few square feet of Native Reserve land left.
Between the president’s disregard for the Flint water crisis, the Muslim ban, the proposed wall, and the encroaching on Native American land, the Trump Administration is partaking in a passive aggressive ethnic cleansing.