The Ninth Week

Among other things, this week I finished a novel, Mornings in Jenin.

Sometimes I need to think of something besides coronavirus.

Sometimes the something else isn’t much better. There’s the Armaud Arbery incident. Make that video. The incident happened in February. Arbery, a black man, was shot by two white men while jogging. Although the video, taken by a third white man, was available, no one was charged till the video was made public last week. What makes it possible that a video showing two men with guns waiting for, then tussling with and shooting an unarmed black man be released in the expectation of exonerating them?

Perhaps it is the same thing that would make the South Dakota Governor try to stop virus checkpoints on a Sioux reservation. The Sioux Nation had determined that their 8-bed hospital could not handle an influx of patients, so they set up 9 checkpoints to screen people seeking to enter or pass through the reservation. The Sioux had estimated, based on Navajo Nation infection rates, that a disease spread could infect up to 1200 people, so their best bet was to try to keep it out (Democracy Now! May 14). I think they said it was a 2-3 hour drive to the nearest larger hospital, but I may be mixing up two stories. )

The governor demanded the checkpoints be discontinued; the Sioux refused, as is their right. I have not heard a follow up; I hope they have continued to prevail.

Perhaps it is the same thing that justifies closing US borders to keep the virus out while ICE deports people known to be infected.


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3 responses to “The Ninth Week

  1. On a different scale but with the same landmarks, NSW to the south of us is urging QLD to open its borders for economic reasons. However, our premier is not keen, NSW’s community transmission and overall infection rates are much higher than QLD’s. The Sioux Nation is sovereign, and can choose, surely? Any pressure on their borders is overt aggression and amounts to, yet again, invasion of indigenous lands.

  2. The Cherokee closed their borders here and nobody tried to challenge it. They are a sovereign nation for goodness sake.

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