On Tuesday, the President lent his John Hancock to an executive order creating a task force for American Indian women.
As reported by The Associated Press, it “will be overseen by Attorney General William Barr and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.”
The initiative’s in response to an epidemic of missing women from the nation’s tribes, and it’s “tasked with developing protocols to apply to new and unsolved cases and creating a multi-jurisdictional team to review cold cases.”
At a conference about the order, Trump called the ongoing problem “sobering and heartbreaking,” adding that such a division should’ve been created long before now:
“It has been going on a long time. We’re going to address it very strongly. The statistics are sobering and heartbreaking. Recently, more than 5,000 Native American women and girls were reported missing in a single year. While a majority returned home or were found, too many are still missing and their whereabouts are unknown.”
The force has a snappy name that adds to the puzzling nature of Trump’s penchant for helping, hiring, having, and marrying women — while we’re being told by the television that he absolutely hates them:
“The victims and their families deserve action and this should have happened many years ago. With my order today, we are launching operation Lady Justice, an inter-agency task force led by Attorney General Barr and Secretary Bernhardt to develop an aggressive government-wide strategy to end this terrible situation.”
Makes me think of this:
Back to the very serious and important issue of women going missing, Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians President Shannon Holsey praised the creation of the unit as an “important first step”:
“While there is so much that needs to be done to stop the violence perpetrated on Native women and girls, I appreciate the administration for taking an important first step in establishing this task force.”
As per CBS News, the launch with appropriate “$1.5 million in hiring specialized coordinators in the offices of 11 U.S. attorneys who will be responsible for coming up with protocols for a more coordinated response to violence against indigenous people.”
There’ll also be the allowance of tribal or local law enforcement to attain assistance from the FBI.
Furthermore, the DoJ will conduct a review of national databases in order to determine the most effective ways of tracking data on missing American Indian women.
Last Friday, AG Barr called the problem “unacceptable”:
“American Indian and Alaska Native people suffer from unacceptable and disproportionately high levels of violence, which can have lasting impacts on families and communities. Too many of these families have experienced the loss of loved ones who went missing or were murdered.”
As for it being long overdue, Trump appears to be right.
It is a problem so pervasive that, in some places, Native American women are more than 10 times more likely than the rest of the population to be murdered, according to a Department of Justice-funded study by researchers at the University of Delaware and the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
That stunning statistic is more than a decade old, but the issue of missing and murdered women is much older than that. One estimate from the National Crime Information Center shows 5,712 reports of missing Native American women in 2016 alone — yet reliable, comprehensive data on the problem is still almost impossible to come by.
Leaders from several tribes attended the ceremony and thanked the President for his part in spotlighting the issue.
We routinely see government doing stupid things with our money while more obvious needs go unattended. In my view, on Tuesday, the Washington got one right.
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