Everybody remembers Nick Martin from his career around here, but I admit I lost track of him when he moved. Until I found this article at The New Republic.
I always found Martin’s articles on Native people illuminating, particularly since I don’t have much of any contact with anyone Native and I’m thus never exposed to their stories. But this piece in particular really disturbed me.
Five thousand, four hundred and sixty-four Native women were reported missing in the United States in 2017. 5,464. That number just stunned me. Martin’s article talks about pipelines and “man camps,” work camps that are associated with sexual violence and sex trafficking. But that number — holy shit. Where are they? I’m scared I know the answer.
It also reminded me of Samuel Little, who confessed to 93 murders, specifically marginalized women of color, because he thought “no one was accounting for his victims.” He was right.
That led me in turn to Black & Missing in America (www.bamfi.org) which puts things in even starker contrast. In 2018, 612,846 people went missing. Of that, 38% were people of color. even though African-Americans only make up 13% of the population. Why? What happened to them?
I think Samuel Little has a big part of the answer. No one is accounting for these people.
I know there are non-sinister reasons that people disappear. But I don’t think the vast majority of these people disappeared on their own.
Honestly, I don’t have a solution to propose. I’m mostly just sickened that this goes on, has gone on for years, and I never knew. You’re not going to find a solution unless people realize there’s a problem. No one accounted for these people, and we’re still not accounting for them.