If there is one news story that his suffered the most amidst America’s Trump obsession, it is the protests that have been raging for months at the Standing Rock Native American Reservation over the Dakota Access Pipeline. “Nobody’s talking about this,” Chelsea Handler said in this clip from her Netflix talk show that will start streaming Friday morning. “And I feel like this is a major issue in our country and a lot of people don’t really understand what’s going on.”
On hand to educate Handler and her audience was CNN’s Van Jones, who explained it this way: “They were going to put the pipeline through a white town, and the white people said, ‘Hell no!’” So instead, the Dakota Access company decided to route it through a Native American reservation. “And it turns out that the land that they’re putting it on is some of the most sacred land for Native Americans in the world,” he continued.
Now, despite the fact that thousands of people are out there in the freezing cold protesting, with police turning cold water hoses and tear gas on them, Jones said, “For some reason, the mainstream media really hasn’t talked about it as much.”
“To me, this is Selma, this is Birmingham, this is as big a civil rights movement and as big a civil rights moment as you’re ever going to see,” Jones added.
Handler, who said she wants to travel to the site, asked Jones what ordinary people can do to help. He urged viewers to use social media to raise awareness and send money or supplies to the effort if they can. But his real message was to the president of the United States who still has more than a month left in office.
“President Obama is still the president of the United States right now,” he said. “And I think he should tell the Army Corps of Engineers to cancel this whole project. If Trump wants to do it, we’ll deal with that later, but President Obama should stand up and say this has gone far enough and needs to stop and needs to stop right now.”
Thus far, President Obama has remained silent on the issue, as has Donald Trump. Over the summer, Trump reportedly sold his stock in Dakota Access owner Energy Transfer Powers, but his campaign did receive generous donations from that company’s CEO Kelcy Warren.