Why protesters at the Supreme Court want you to boycott Dollar General.

In 2003, a teenage boy accused his manager at a Dollar General store of sexually assaulting him at work.

The boy, who is known as John Doe to protect his identity, is a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

After the U.S. attorney's office declined to press charges against Dollar General, John Doe and his family ended up suing Dollar General, as the Indian Country Today Media Network reports.


On Dec. 7, 2015, the case landed before the Supreme Court.

John Doe's supporters holding signs outside the Supreme Court. Photo by Rebecca Nagle/Force: Upsetting Rape Culture. Used with permission.

It's no secret the United States has a rather unjust legacy when it comes to Native Americans.

And, lest we think it's a legacy left in the past, John Doe's case of Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, heard by the Supreme Court today, is a reminder that it continues in the present.

Dollar General has argued that Native American tribes do not have civil jurisdiction over an outside corporation doing business on tribal land. Basically, this means that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Dollar General, outside businesses may be able to commit other crimes on tribal land without fear of a lawsuit.

Protesters holding a sign supporting John Doe outside the Supreme Court. Photo by Rebecca Nagle/Force: Upsetting Rape Culture. Used with permission.

For the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the SCOTUS ruling could undermine its ability to protect tribe members.

“For the United States Supreme Court to say, 'You know what? ... Your tribal lands don't matter. Your laws don't matter. You can't protect your people on your tribal land.' It's devastating," said Cherrah Giles, Cabinet Secretary of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

Sexual assault happens to native women at higher rates than any other racial group in the United States. According to the National Congress of American Indians, native women are at least two times as likely to be sexually assaulted or raped compared with all other races.

The Maynard Media Center on Structural Inequality discusses how such high rates show just how underserved native women are when it comes to sexual and domestic violence and how underreported these crimes are. The same is likely even more true for native men.

In 1978, the Supreme Court ruled in Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe that tribal courts did not have the authority to criminally prosecute non-Native Americans through tribal courts. The 1978 ruling has contributed to a culture of impunity of non-Native Americans who perpetrate violence against native women.

Supporters gathered outside the Supreme Court in December 2015 to show solidarity with John Doe and his tribe.

“When survivors have little to no access to justice, then sexual violence goes through the roof. And that's what's happening in Indian country," Rebecca Nagle, from the organization Force: Upsetting Rape Culture, told Upworthy.

As a result, 86% of Native American victims of sexual violence report their perpetrators as non-Native American, according to the National Congress of American Indians.

Along with other Native American tribes, Force: Upsetting Rape Culture is leading much of the activist effort supporting John Doe's case. The group demonstrated in front of the Supreme Court the morning the case was heard with The Monument Quilt, a project similar to the AIDS quilt, that spans the entire United States. Rape and abuse survivors and allies of any gender can contribute squares to the quilt.



The monument quilt stops in Baltimore in August 2014. Photo by Rebecca Eisenberg/Upworthy.

Giles and 75 other people added squares to the quilt in advance of the protest, she told Upworthy over the phone.

“It's healing. It's very cathartic to put it down there and say my story's being told and being carried along with all these other stories and all these other supporters of people who say, 'You know what? You're not alone, and we're here to support you,'" Giles said.

Monument Quilt squares from the Dollar General Supreme Court protest. Photo by Rebecca Nagle/Force: Upsetting Rape Culture. Used with permission.

"People need to know about [this case] and express outrage," Nagle said about the little media coverage that John Doe's case has gotten.

The fate of the country's Native American reservations is currently in the hands of Supreme Court, yet Nagle and Giles think the public at large can help.

Giles implores people to boycott Dollar General: "Don't give them the opportunity to continue to stay in business, basically paying for a perpetrator, for a child molester, to be protected by a big corporation."



Those wishing to express their support cand o so under the #shameondollargeneral hashtag on Twitter. Force: Upsetting Rape Culture has a guide on how to do that.

True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

Keep Reading Show less
True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

In a blog post published on Friday, DiMezzo explained how she had never tried to hide who she was and that anyone could have looked her up to see what she was about, in addition to pointing out that those who are angry with her have no one to blame but themselves:

Keep Reading Show less
Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

Keep Reading Show less