Sunday, November 1, 2015

Department of Justice WILL Investigate ONE Young Girl's ARREST for Civil Rights Violations, BUT WILL NOT Investigate the BIA: Letter to Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch and The Civil Rights Department

We have all seen the horrendous video of a young girl's violent arrest in South Carolina, which resulted in the firing of the police officer involved.  The FBI and DOJ will be looking into the issue.  WHY THEN, does the DOJ REFUSE to look into the violations of over TEN THOUSAND Native American's Civil Rights?    Is the priority that which gets news coverage?   If so, we must increase our efforts to make news.....

It's time for AG Loretta Lynch to investigate the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  For failing to protect the rights of Native Americans, from abuse BY Native Americans.  Please fax a letter.
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch

The Honorable Loretta Lynch
United States Attorney General
Department of Justice Building
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530
Fax: (202) 514-0293

Dear Attorney General Loretta Lynch:

I respectfully submit this letter urging the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to commence a full-scale investigation into the gross civil and human rights violations which have infected Indian Country, including an investigation into wrongdoing or complicity by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Throughout Indian Country, tribal officials have taken actions which have denied and/or stripped ten thousand individual Indians of their citizenship rights and privileges as tribal members and denied them access to federal benefits and programs in the areas of housing, education, health, voting and public works assistance.  Your predecessor was disturbingly quiet when asked for help.

The most recent egregious example is the of the Federated Tribes of Grand Ronde, which just terminated 85 members, living AND dead from the tribe.      

Pechanga, Pala, Redding, Snoqualmie, Nooksack, Chukchansi, Enterprise, San Pasqual are just a few tribes which have terminated the rights of their people, but it's certainly enough to generate an inquiry.

In some instances, the illegal actions occurred decades ago, however, there has been a marked increase since Indian Gaming has evolved into a multi-billion dollar business. Tribal leaders justify their right to systematically deny and/or strip basic rights and privileges from their citizens under the guise of tribal sovereignty. Sovereignty was not meant to be a club to beat the weak and helpless.  A gentle reminder: The Republic of South Africa was a sovereign nation also, and the United States stood up to that oppression, thanks to the Congressional Black Caucus. The honorable Diane Watson spoke out against tribal disenrollment.

The time is right for your department's civil rights division to use it's full force on the corruption that has spread throughout Indian Country.  That includes the BIA not doing its duty to protect all native Americans.

Tribal leaders have routinely committed acts to deny Indian individuals due process; equal protection of tribal, state, and federal laws; property interest rights; and voting rights. Theses actions have been carried out in gross violation of tribal and federal laws, such as the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, which were specifically enacted to guarantee and protect the rights of the individual Indian.  If you will recall, in President Obama's State of the Union, he said this: but surely we can agree that the right to vote is sacred; that it's being denied to too many.   Well it certainly is TRUE in Indian Country, where many of us, who have been disenrolled can no longer vote in tribal elections or on an matter that will affect us.

Using sovereignty to oppress the weak and render them helpless is abhorrent. The federal government can no longer allow the offending tribes and tribal officials to claim that this is a sovereignty issue that rests solely within the domain of tribal courts and tribal law. Few Tribes actually have tribal courts. And, in most cases, the tribal government officials responsible for the violations of law are the very same people who pass judgment as to whether or not laws have been violated - they are the judge, jury and alleged criminal all rolled into one
The United States has a trust responsibility to the thousands of individual Indians whose basic rights have been infringed upon. Unfortunately, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has determined that their trust responsibility extends only to the tribal government and government officials and not to the thousands of individual Indian victims.  

Therefore, I believe that the DOJ has the legal and moral responsibility to investigate and prosecute such violations of basic rights.  There are clear violations of the First and 14th amendments.   “...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.  In my family's case, we were herded like cattle to the slaughter, with no representation, no right to question our accusers, we weren't even allowed writing implements.

I urge you to direct the DOJ Civil Rights Division to initiate an investigation into the growing number of human and civil rights violations described above.

In addition, I hope that any investigation would not be short-circuited by those who would claim tribal sovereignty as a justification for inaction.  Those two words should not be enough to deny the most basic rights to thousands.  

Nor should justice be denied as a result of political wrangling by politicians fighting to protect their tribal “clients” who funnel millions of dollars into their campaign coffers.  Lobbyists make the world go around in Washington DC, but I believe as should you, Madam Attorney General, that the United States Department of Justice would see that that "world" does NOT included the free power to abuse.
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