The majority of the oil wells live just an hour’s drive from the Fort Peck Reservation, and Adrian Spotted Bird Jr., the Fort Peck tribal injury prevention specialist, said crimes like disorderly conduct, driving under the influence and violent crimes—including homicide—have quadrupled in the Roosevelt County area since 2008. “Everybody knows everybody in this area, and [the oil fields are] bringing in a lot more people than we can handle,” Spotted Bird Jr. said.
In towns like Brockton, Montana (population 258), the only store is continually flooded with oil field workers. In the next few years, another 30,000 are expected to arrive.
The infrastructure in eastern Montana—roads, housing, sewers—is stretched perilously thin, and goods and services are getting scarce as well. With the flood of workers and oil money has also come an influx of undesirables. “The people who are coming in have no respect for womenfolk here,” Spotted Bird Jr. said. “They’re very rude, very belligerent. They have no qualms about walking up to our young girls and soliciting them, and they don’t care how old they are.”
Spotted Bird Jr. said the number of registered sex and violent offenders living in the area has risen sharply. Before the oil boom, locals could for the most part avoid convicted offenders because they knew who they were, but not anymore. Women and young people are now advised to travel in groups, even when running simple errands.
Spotted Bird Jr. cautions that problems related to the oil field explosion will only grow: “It’s not going to get any better; it’s going to get worse. We already have plenty of our own problems; it’s really going to devastate the community. It’s like the gold rush and Black Hills all over again.”
When white western men condemn muslim men for misogyny, they’re not doing it because they give a fuck about women, because if they did they’d start by addressing the sexism they perpetuate personally. They don’t give a fuck about women, they want an excuse to be racist.