Friday, September 05, 2014

Murder, she wrote 

The "root cause" for why Indigenous women are murdered and missing?
Men are killing them. Usually, white men.
Really, its as simple as that.
Sarah Hunt asks why are we so hesitant to name white male violence as the reason for missing and murdered Indigenous women:
I fear that no amount of increased awareness and political organizing will actually end the violence if we continue along this current trajectory because we are still not shining a spotlight on the real causes of violence. No, I'm not talking about the drug use and street involvement that some journalists have drawn attention to in their portrayal of Tina Fontaine's final days. I'm also not talking about widespread poverty on reserve, or even the myriad factors that systematically marginalize Indigenous girls and women.
What this latest round of media coverage has failed to address is simply this: white male violence.
Indeed, the erasure of that violence as a topic of social and political concern is arguably a form of violence itself, as it serves to remove white men from the equation. White men get away with being unmarked by the violence they perpetrate, not at fault for carrying out a form of violation that is as old as colonialism itself.
She adds that the search for ways to blame First Nations for the problem, and the reluctance to ascribe responsibility for violence to its actual perpetrators, also serves to marginalize Indigenous women:
Maybe all those white male 'experts' who have weighed in on this issue during these past few weeks would make better use of their energy by turning their attention to the obvious: that serial killers like Legebokoff and Pickton are their peers. Where is the national action plan to address the violence that starts with them?

Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers | 8 comments


I find the suggestion that people like Pickton or Legebokoff are my "peers" to be, at best, inflammatory. I, and I hope many others of my demographic group, are nothing like those two except for what most on Rabble are quick to call "superficial differences" in other contexts.

This isn't to say there isn't a problem and that, yes, so far its been white males as the ones committing these crimes. That's a fact. But to group me in with them, that isn't exactly going to ingratiate me. That would drive more people away.

By Blogger Kyle H., at 4:42 pm  

"Peers" is being used in the demographic sense, white and male. Your defensive stance is precisely what the author refers to, so you've reinforced the point being made.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:07 pm  

I liked the post.

the men who murder First Nations women aren't looked at as murderers. when you look at Legebokoff, who would have thought he had killed 4 women. Probably no one. when his name was released the press reported he came from a "good family". Like who doesn't come from a "good family"?

His being arrested was more of a fluke. If those 2 officers hadn't seen him coming off of a road, they didn't think anyone would be on, and if the girl hadn't just gone missing, he might never have been caught.

Pickton might have gone on for years, if it were not for a new officer in the detachment who actually took him up on his challenge of, sure search the place. The officer did, and then things started. How many of the other officers might have not taken up the "challenge".

Murderers aren't caught because no one suspects them. If these "white men" are considered "nice guys", who would think......but the truth is, serial killers are usually white men.

I have never understood why government, police, the public think it is "o.k." to murder First Nations' women. The Winnipeg police Sgt. who did the press conference after they found the young girl's body, was one of the few cops who actually showed real concern about the crime. He pointed out society would be upset if this happened to a cat or dog. He really got it right, because if 1,200 pets had been killed like this, there would have been a huge out cry. We have only to remember the out cry when 6 dogs "disappeared" from the truck of a dog walker. It got more press coverage than if a First Nations woman went missing.

By Anonymous e.a.f., at 6:57 pm  

I call it more likely just race-baiting and lazy writing - its easy to lay problems on a specific demographic, rather than drill down and see what's going on. We see it all the time with conservative outfits, and these days I see it more and more with those on the other side of the spectrum.

And don't get me wrong, I am more sure than sure there is a racial aspect to these tragedies, and its one we need to address. But maybe vilifying me isn't the route to go down. I stand in opposition to these people - a lot of other "white males" do as well. Start recognizing that fact.

By Blogger Kyle H., at 10:16 pm  

The article misses a basic fact according to RCMP reports: 90% of native women who are murdered, are victims of family members or friends. To compare all of white males as peers of serial killers and vicious dogs of humanity, is as silly as painting all native men with the same brush as those who have committed these murders. That is not to diminish the responsibility of the non-Native people who make up the perpetrators in the other 10% of cases, but broad statements such as those in the article are the results of lazy journalism and/or race-baiting. The root cause seems to be the lack of respect for women within the Native community. I'm certainly not sure how we fix this, but turning outward to find someone to blame, when the problem is within your own house; will leave us with this issue still unsolved years from now. As a white male, I have lots of concern over the missing and murdered Native women. I also have concerns over crimes against children and youth on youth violence. But trying to blame a particular demographic of humans for something that is not necessarily of their doing, takes the steam out of the author's argument for me.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:51 am  

Interesting comments and perspectives. I agree that white men are not the only men killing Indigenous women, but in Canada as a group it seems Indigenous women have been targeted by serial killers because deaths and disappearances among this group have been particularly easy for society to ignore. We had one in Saskatoon who killed several Indigenous women before anybody realized what was happening, and the same thing has happened in many prairie cities in the last two decades.

By Blogger CathiefromCanada, at 1:21 am  

The article is complete crap. As has been pointed out, the implication that native women are being killed on mass by malicious white strangers is patently absurd. The vast majority of victims knew their killer. What should also be pointed out is the number of murdered native women has declined in absolute terms despite the increase in native population and the murder rate of native women has plummeted. Coyne correctly noted that the later it is down 40% since 1996. Something Coyne pointed out should be pointed out. 68% of murdered natives were male. Yet no one is calling for inquiry into their deaths and the sociological milieu contributing to their deaths.

By Blogger Koby, at 1:48 pm  

Ah well Pickton is white and so is the guy in Prince George. We don't know what race or sex of those who murdered the 1,200 First Nations Women. I really think its about time we did.

We know in B.C. a number of men were killed in gang violence and its usually other gangsters who do it. In the case of the 1,200 First Nations women, we don't know who did it.

A lot of this has to do with the victims. They are First Nations and society doesn't pay as much attention to them being killed. If its you're a white college woman or professional woman, etc. it gets way more press coverage and that puts pressure on the police.

By Anonymous e.a.f., at 10:42 pm  

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