Friday, December 21, 2012

Eric Cantor Kills the Violence Against Women Act

Other than perhaps Ken Cuccinelli and Del. Bob Marshall, few politicians in Virginia are more despicable than Congressman Eric Cantor who not only seems only too happy to allow the federal government to go over the fiscal cliff, but also holds animosity against women.  How else to explain his role in killing the Violence Against Women Act.  Indeed, Chloe Angyal, an editor of, went so far as to call Cantor “the patron saint of rapists.”  Sadly, Cantor's conduct is very much in keeping with the GOP's agenda of trample over anyone other than angry white men and, of course, theocratic Christofascists.   Jonathan Capehart has a piece in the Washington Post that looks at Cantor's disgusting actions.  Here are excerpts:

If you were watching “Melissa Harris Perry” last Sunday, you saw my head explode over the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Not over the bill itself but over the opposition of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to the tribal provision. This provision would give tribes limited authority to prosecute non-Native Americans accused of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes against Native American women on Indian reservations. But because of Cantor’s intransigence on this issue, VAWA reauthorization is almost dead in the 112th Congress.

I was so incredulous that I said the House Republicans were trying to protect white men from prosecution.
I think we need to ask why Eric Cantor is going to such efforts, to such extensive efforts to protect men who go onto reservations to rape women. We need to talk about it and frame it as violence against women, but we also need to flip it around and talk about it, this is about protecting rapists. That’s exactly what Eric Cantor and the House Republicans are doing when they are holding this up.
Basically, right now, if you are a non-Native American man who beats up, sexually assaults or even kills a Native American woman on tribal land, you’ll get away with it. That’s because tribal courts do not have jurisdiction to prosecute non-Indian defendants. In addition, federal and state law enforcement have limited resources and might be hours away from a reservation. And then there’s this: According to a General Accounting Office report on “Department of Justice Declinations of Indian Country Criminal Matters,” federal prosecutors declined to take action on 52 percent of violent crimes committed on tribal lands. Of those declined cases, 67 percent were sexual abuse and related cases.

Add the statistics above to those in the chilling congressional findings in the “Tribal Law & Order Act of 2010” and you’ll see why the tribal provision is needed in VAWA.
34 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women will be raped in their lifetimes
39 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women will be subject to domestic violence
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) co-authored the VAWA reauthorization, which includes a tribal provision that gave limited jurisdiction to tribal authorities to prosecute non-Indian defendants. The bill passed the Senate with 68 votes in April. Despite ongoing talks that intensified this week and included Vice President Biden, the bill is on life support.

“The only way to reauthorize VAWA this year is for the House to take up and pass the Senate-passed bill,” Leahy said in a statement. “If the House Republican leadership refuses to do that in the final days of this Congress, it is a shame.” And an outrage.

Cantor is indeed a vile individual and along with Ken Cuccinelli and Bob Marshall are representative of a political party that seems to be suffering from rabies or some mental disorder.  Women and every minority group need to work as a coalition to see that these men are removed from office.

No comments: