What Happens When the Colonizer Loses Interest in the Colony

Nine months after devastating Hurricane Maria made landfall, the island of Puerto Rico is entering this year’s hurricane season without ever having recovered from the last one.

The record-breaking hurricane hit the island on September 20, 2017 and officially killed 64 people. Other estimates put the death toll much higher, and the continued lack of power and other necessities means that Puerto Ricans are still dying because of the hurricane.

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the U.S., so while it isn’t a state, and its citizens don’t have quite the same rights as mainlanders, the federal government is still responsible for assisting in the disaster relief process.

In November 2017, two months after the hurricane hit, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded $30 million in contracts to a company that had been newly created in St. Cloud, Florida.

The company, Bronze Star LLC, which lists only $150K in annual revenue and a measly 15 employees, was tasked with delivering emergency plastic sheeting and tarps to Puerto Rico.

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When Colonizers Dismantle First-Nation Sovereignty

In a fight over access to Medicare & Medicaid between the federal government and sovereign tribes, the president has challenged Natives’ standing as separate governments and has expressed interest in reclassifying them as a ‘race’ instead.

The announcement comes as the president seeks to require proof of employment for those receiving Medicare/Medicaid.

The legal standing of indigenous peoples in the United States has always been obscure and unsteady to say the least.

Only a select handful of native tribes have received federal designation as sovereign governments, which is a classification that provides legal standing for accommodations to be made for equal rights protection.

And while some tribes may be recognized by the authority of the state in which they live, they may not necessarily have the recognition of the federal government, which means that individuals can be part of a tribal nation without benefiting from federal protections.

To further complicate the whole issue, membership requirements are determined by each individual tribal nation, and can range from simply being descended from a current tribal member to having a specific “blood quantum.”

This disconnect can result in people being recognized by the federal government as a tribal member even when their tribe no longer counts them among their numbers.

If the president were to repeal Natives’ standing as sovereign tribes and reclassify them as a ‘race’ instead, millions of indigenous Americans will lose what little protection they have left.

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Taking The Knee for Justice

Colin Kaepernick was honored with the Ambassador of Conscience Award by Amnesty International this weekend in recognition of his ongoing protests against police violence and racial injustice.

Former San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid presented Kaepernick with the award on Saturday in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands.

The award can be given to both individuals as well as organizations, and all are recognized for their contributions to the fight against injustice.

Reid has knelt beside Kaepernick and has pledged to carry on the protest in his absence, though he has said that he will take a different approach in the 2018 season.

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