As I have said before, too many of those who favor the Dakota Pipeline fail to acknowledge the sincere and deeply held beliefs of Native Americans who oppose the project. This article/post by Bronson Koenig, best known for playing basketball for the nationally ranked University of Wisconsin, offers another example of the too oft ignored viewpoints of native people.
My frustration is not that someone supports the pipeline, although I oppose it on a number of grounds. Afterall, people can support it for all sorts of reasons including the need for jobs, energy, and the very small likelihood that there would be leaks that could affect tribal water. But, none of those reasons hit my point, and that point being that too many supporters of the Pipeline paint this picture of those who oppose it as agitators, outside paid protestors, or worse. What these Dakota supporters do not seem to do is seriously listen to the deeply held beliefs of native people who do not want the pipeline, people who honestly feel betrayed. What is it about some people that makes them shut down their ears, to not want to even listen to other viewpoints, to demonize and/or discount the honest voices of Native Americans? You would think we would know better, that we know enough about our history to at least listen.
Again, one can still support the pipeline and not agree with Bronson Koenig and others who oppose it, but to do so without giving Native American viewpoints any credence, to paint all protesters with a broad brush, and to ignore the sincere beliefs of native people? It is just so close minded. Shame on those who do it. And I don’t think I’m wrong about that.