'Legitimate Rape' Todd Akin Comment Rekindles Trail of Tears Pain

Representative Todd Aikin's Sunday comment takes this blogger back to 175 year old bit of forgotten Missouri history.

drew a firestorm of reaction, as well it should. Rape is never "legitimate" and it is always a crime of violence. The concept takes this blogger back about 175 years to a bit of forgotten Missouri history: the Trail of Tears.

The Cherokee Nation became a victime when gold was discovered in northern Georgia in the 1830's. A minority of Cherokee signed a treaty with the U.S. government (led by President Andrew Jackson). Over the next two years (1838 and 1839), approximately 15,000 Cherokee were re-settled in the Oklahoma Territory. This forced march, also described as genocide, covered three routes from Georgia westward, including one through southern Missouri and Cape Gireardeau. Along the way, approximately 4,000 Cherokee died of exposure, hunger, and disease. Literally hundreds of Cherokee women were raped, abducted, and forced to marry or serve as wives to settlers along the way.

Hence the tie-in to Representative Akin's remark. The U.S. government "legitimately" stole the land of the Cherokee, a sovereign people. The resulting "forced march" resulted in the literal rape of their nation and its women.

The state of Missouri commemorates this travesty with the Trail of Tears State Park. Congressman Akin with his poor word choice rocks our present with his ignorance. Remember his words and our ancestors' shameful participation in the Trail of Tears as you make your way to the polls this November.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mark Cockson August 20, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Liz Goodwin of Yahoo! News is reporting that, as of two hours ago, Rep. Akin may drop out of the Senate race; he has until Tuesday to do so for the Republicans to nominate someone else to run against Senator Claire McCaskill, otherwise it will take a court order....Blogger Mark
Gina Veesaert August 20, 2012 at 11:06 PM
You think McCaskill will beat him because of this one bumbling word choice, after how many years? Even those of us women who don't want to vote for him and are irritated with his idiocy won't let that happen.
Mark Cockson August 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM
Hello, Gina: No, this was more than a "bumbling word choice" as his "embedded video" in my blog talks about the biological consequences he thinks happens. Nor am I necessarily "pro-McCaskill"---I would prefer that he step aside so Republicans can choose someone better informed....Blogger Mark
RDBet August 21, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Bumbling word choice...? Yesterday you were calling it the flat-out truth. http://maplewood-brentwood.patch.com/articles/rep-todd-akin-on-hot-seat-over-legitimate-rape-comment-in-fox2-interview#comments
Bryan Simmons August 23, 2012 at 12:42 PM
I would prefer that he stay in. It's not like the entire GOP is any less hostile to women's reproductive rights. Akin just revealed their mindset. Akin and Paul Ryan were co-sponsors of language added to the Hyde Amendment prohibiting any Federal funds be used to terminate pregnancy for any reason, including "legitimate" rape, which they define as forcible rape that can be substantiated. The legislative history of that provision includes the junk science from one Dr. John Willke. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/romney-endorsed-by-praised-dr-john-willke-leading-proponent-of-idea-that-rape-lowers-pregnancy-risk/261358/ --Bryan


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