Embarrassed to be an American today

The House Republican leadership allowed the Violence Against Women Act to die without reauthorizing it, for the first time since 1994. This, even though it had passed the Senate last April will bipartisan support. This, after many GOP House members said they would support it, as well.

There have been other times I’ve been embarrassed to be an American, most certainly. But this inaction by the House has instilled such a deep sense of shame in me, I don’t even know how to express it to you.

Apparently House leader Eric Cantor didn’t like the protections afforded Native American women in the Senate-approved bill. In the news stories I’ve read so far, I haven’t been able to read WHY he didn’t like that provision.

I’ve seen some really nasty comments already on news stories about this situation, and it’s clear to me that the people posting them don’t understand what the VAWA actually does. While I don’t normally recommend Wikipedia as a reliable source, their article does a fairly good job of explaining its provisions.

I wonder how many Americans really know how little we have in the way of protections and services for women who have been victims of violent crime, like rape and domestic violence. As we watch our reproductive rights erode in this country, now we also have to see more of our basic human rights wash out to sea.

I’m embarrassed to be an American today. And I’ll continue to feel this way until the VAWA is approved, with all the provisions included. Even then, I’m not sure I will ever get past the deep resentment I feel toward our “leadership.”

It’s a sad day for all Americans.

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