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Krebs = Gant: No Voting Centers for Fort Thompson, Wanblee, Eagle Butte

Last updated on 2013.09.30

Here's a concrete statement straight from Shantel Krebs showing she would work as hard as Secretary of State to suppress the Indian vote as current Disenfranchiser-in-Chief Jason Gant:

One subject that’s been disputed recently is the request by some Native Americans for special voting centers on reservations. The state runs early-voting programs in Todd and Shannon counties, reservation counties that don’t have courthouses, and Krebs promised to maintain them.

But she said she opposes calls to add early-voting sites to three other reservation counties that do have courthouses — but located away from the towns where most Native Americans live.

"Those voters have access, just like any other county voter," Krebs said [emphasis mine; David Montgomery, "Krebs Promises to Be Non-Partisan if Elected Secretary of State," Political Smokeout, 2013.09.21].

There's that white-privilege blind spot. On top of generations of Euro-conqueror discrimination, our neighbors on the reservation have more poverty and less access to reliable transportation than anyone else in South Dakota. The long drives folks in Fort Thompson, Eagle Butte, and Wanblee have to make to their county courthouses pose a significant obstacle to voting in those communities.

The Help America Vote Act, $9 million from which sits in the Secretary of State's checking account right now, waiting to be used to promote voter access, is predicated on exactly that idea that Indians and others need help to enjoy the same access as any other county voter. But Krebs says straight-faced that everything is fine and that doing what HAVA says to do somehow constitutes special treatment for Indian voters.

The Republicans have at least come to their senses in openly branding Gant as a destroyer of public trust and the integrity of the Secretary of State's office.

But on substantive voting-rights issues, Krebs = Gant. Dems, get someone on the ballot to bring real non-partisanship and fairness back to the Secretary of State's office.


  1. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.22

    How many miles are those "long drives" to vote?

    How many miles to White Clay to buy millions of bottles and cans of beer?

  2. Owen Reitzel 2013.09.22

    different person as SOS but nothing will change

  3. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.22

    Douglas Wiken,
    Your assumption that the entire tribal membership drives to White Clay to buy beer, but cannot drive to vote, is mean spirited and insulting.
    The distance from Wamblee to White Clay is well over a 100 miles. In many cases people have to walk or "hire a ride" the great distance just to get their mail. The U.S. Postal system does not provide rural delivery except for white ranchers.
    Many people on the reservation do not have adequate transportation and depend on a "family car" for their needs. The family car is often used by extended family and friends and operates on a "I'll buy the gas and give you a few bucks".
    Although I am not a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, my mother was, I lived for over 45 years on the reservation and have born witness to voter suppression by Fall River County and the state of South Dakota officials.
    At every state election there is always something to stop or deter tribal members from voting.
    On election day you could expect mixing polling places, this is not voting place, you are not registered, we never got your voter registration or even the "we show that you died".
    Mr. Wiken should be asking, how many miles are those "long WALKS" to vote?

  4. grudznick 2013.09.22

    Why don't these tribes as sovereign nations hire their own postal deliverers and create a few jobs of their own? Plus these new employees could be mobile voter registration employees, distribute voter information (not campaign materials) and maybe even give a few rides to polls or get trained to be mobile voting stations.

  5. Rorschach 2013.09.22

    You can be damn sure that if tribal members voted Republican Gant would have voting centers everywhere on the reservations. Krebs would be all about making sure tribal members have access.

    Now, if Gant and Krebs really believe that there's no need to Help Americans Vote in SD, then Gant ought to return the $9 million to the federal government with the message that everything is hunky dory here. Krebs ought to cry holy hell about Gant contributing to the federal deficit by stockpiling unneeded federal money and call on him to return it ASAP.

  6. Bill Dithmer 2013.09.22

    Roger Cornelius,

    "The U.S. Postal system does not provide rural delivery except for white ranchers."

    That is a lie, stop that.

    The Blindman

  7. Bill Dithmer 2013.09.22

    "Rural Delivery is established through the determination of local postal managers. A rural route should serve an average of at least one residential or business delivery per mile. In addition, roads should be public and must be well-maintained and passable year round. Extensions of rural delivery service should also serve at least one family for each additional mile of travel, including retrace. The requirements for road conditions are the same as those for establishment

    If you want me to I will drive around and take pictures of the mail boxes to prove what the truth is. I feel sorry for you that you have to stoop so low when talking about service on the reservation being prejudice.

    The Blindman

  8. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.22

    The small town of IDEAL a few miles from here had door to door mail delivery, but the theft of SS and other checks from the boxes required that mail be delivered to the small post office there with locking mail boxes. White mail patrons do not get door-to-door service unless there are several boxes per mile and the road is maintained and snow bladed in the winter. In 20 years, the township has bladed snow on this road twice. When I was a child in eastern South Dakota, our mailboxes were most often between 0.25 and 0.90 miles from our house.

    Wanblee looks more like 60 miles from Whiteclay than a hundred. With a population over 600, there must be a few vehicles that aren't sitting on blocks there. In any case, it appears there is mail service there. Anybody can vote absentee by mail even if it might be difficult to get beer delivered by mail.

    I want to see as many Native Americans voting as possible, but I get very tired of whining about nearly non-existent problems always requiring aid from somebody other than Native Americans, but outraged cries of sovereignty when state, local, or federal government requires some minimum self-responsibility from tribes or members.

  9. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.22

    Like I said, I lived on the reservation for than 45 years, most of the time in a rural area off highway 18 and was repeatedly told I could not get rural delivery because the routes were already established.
    The ranchers a few miles down the road from had rural delivery. I finally gave up and made the daily ten mile drive to Pine Ridge.
    Bill, it is only a lie if you haven't experienced it.

  10. Larry Lucas 2013.09.22

    Many forget, or do not realize, that Native Americans have dual citizenship in their tribe and in the USA. This was granted to them after WWI when so many Native Americans volunteered to serve in the military. The issue should be - why so we have county seats in areas away from where the majority of the citizens of the county live? County seats can be moved and that may be a more sensible comprise to the issue/

  11. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.22

    "told I could not get rural delivery because the routes were already established." Don't feel too bad about that, we got the same line from our local post office for about ten years. Finally the postmaster changed and they decided they could alter the route after all. If you were closer to the White ranchers mailboxes than town, why not have picked up your mail there?

  12. interested party 2013.09.22

    Wow, Mr. Lucas: illiterate much? Halve the number of county seats in the state then pretend you're conservative.

  13. interested party 2013.09.22

    Wiken, you're an asshole.

  14. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.22

    Wanblee is more than 60 miles from White Clay, I have driven from Pine Ridge to Wanblee many times and it is close to a 100 miles, without question.
    Like I stated, there were white farmers and ranchers about a mile down the road from me and had rural delivery. Why didn't I get my mail there? They probably have shot me, thinking I was trying to steal their seed catalog. The real question is, why wasn't I afforded the same rights as those ranchers.
    I never realized that sparse mail delivery in Native American communities was like Mr. Wiken implied, those Indians steal checks. Now it makes sense.
    Those that want to suppress the Native American vote continually say they should just vote absentee. Maybe they should, or maybe they are like thousands of voters that haven't made up their minds until election day.
    Just as there those tired of Native Americans "whining" about non-existent problems, I am tired of this racist state doing everything within its power to keep or make it difficult for Native Americans to vote.
    The state was provided millions of dollars to improve rural voting, not just on reservations, and yet they refuse to use the money for it's intended purpose.

  15. interested party 2013.09.22

    Krebs can say whatever she wants to get elected: what state do you people think you're in?

  16. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.22

    Mr. Lucas,
    In answer to your comment about relocating county seats where the population is quite simple.
    In order to remain the sovereign nations they are, they have continually rejected state and county governments. Tribes and the state have mutual "compacts" where the state provides some necessary services.
    Before anybody claims Native Americans don't pay taxes, they do. Sales taxes, drivers license, automobile licenses, etc. are collected on the reservation
    Shannon County does have a county commission and a Fall River County Sheriff, both with limited authority and responsibility.

  17. grudznick 2013.09.22

    It seems insaner than most that the USPS will only deliver mail to white people on the reservations. That is very wrong if it is true. If people are stealing welfare checks from mailboxes that should be put on the welfare people and not the post office to fix. The welfare people should not mail checks to homes and should make people show up with copies of their job applications to get their welfare checks. That would solve a couple of problems.

  18. interested party 2013.09.22

    Grud: how was golf today? You should leave the cart at the clubhouse and walk for a change.

  19. grudznick 2013.09.22

    As you know my walking challenges, Larry, you should not mock them. But I still shot better than you.

  20. Bill Dithmer 2013.09.22

    "I lived for over 45 years on the reservation and have born witness to voter suppression by Fall River County and the state of South Dakota officials.
    At every state election there is always something to stop or deter tribal members from voting.
    On election day you could expect mixing polling places, this is not voting place, you are not registered, we never got your voter registration or even the "we show that you died".
    Mr. Wiken should be asking, how many miles are those "long WALKS" to vote?"

    Lets see some meat. Prove what you are saying. Ive lived here my whole sixty years and can tell you that in fact you are telling a lie. Like I said before, I can prove what I say.

    The Blindman

  21. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.22

    Bill Dithmer,
    The "meat" is in experiences shared by Native Americans on South Dakota's reservations as well as myself. Journey to the reservation yourself and ask those that have been through those experiences.
    Just because you have lived here for 60 years with your head in the sand doesn't mean I am a liar. The experiences I share are real, whether you choose to believe them or not.
    A problem with Indian/White relations are people like you that won't believe what you have not personally experienced. As you continue to live in your world of denial and not recognize existing problems, it is you that perpetuate those problems.
    "The Blindman" is a fitting moniker.

  22. Donald Pay 2013.09.22

    I have a lot to say on this subject. First, voter suppression efforts can be beaten very easily. The best assurance against voter suppression in minority communities is for every minority person to be a regular voter. Vote in every election and you become known to the election officials. If you have the reputation of showing up at the polls in every possible election, there is no way the racists are going to screw with you. People who don't vote in every election are setting themselves up for voter suppression efforts.

    Second, organize yourselves. Don't expect Republican Party flunkies to help you get your people to the polls. Gant and Krebs will not make it easy for you, because you are an obstacle to the political machine they are a party of. They aren't there to assure your right to vote. They are there to elect themselves and their buddies. You want power, you got to take it, not ask for it from the modern Nazi Party.

    Third, once you gain power, take the power to run elections totally away from partisan elected officials. Any party has a vested interest in screwing people who vote for the other side. It's always been a problem, and Democrats have done it in the past. It's time to reform the entire election process. Wisconsin has a board of retired judges who organize elections and create the rules. Best thing that ever happened here.

    Fourth, I'm not a big fan of early voting. Early voting came into being to allow political machines to push top-of-the-ticket races. It screws the local races. Many of the local candidates and ballot measures don't get much media coverage until the last couple weeks before the election. If you want to be an informed voter and vote for all the races, it pays to wait.

  23. grudznick 2013.09.22

    Early voting is a good option for those people who really can't easily get to the polls on election day. When they go to town for other supplies they can vote. Early voting helps those people who just can't seem to make it on election day for whatever reason.

  24. Bill Dithmer 2013.09.22

    Now you know I never said there were no problems. What I did say was that you lied about mail delivery on the reservation. I have been on the road with to many mail carriers to listen to that BS.

    Dont ever call me out unless you are ready to back up what you write.

    "The Blindman" is a fitting moniker."

    More then you will ever know. But at least i dont bend the truth like you do.

    The Blindman

  25. Jerry 2013.09.22

    How much would this cost the state of South Dakota to have these voting places energized? I would say under a hundred bucks for each of the places. Fort Thompson and Eagle Butte are tribal headquarters and Wanblee has Crazy Horse School as a facility. The voting could be overseen by tribal officials selected by the tribes and approved by the Secretary of State. That would not be a burden for the taxpayers and the results could be taken to the country courthouses in each of the counties. This does not have to be so difficult, nor does it have to be expensive on the taxpayer either. The good news on what Krebs and Gnat have brought up is that by doing it the way I am suggesting, we could also get more voter registration. That would even bring in more voters to share in our democracy. A win win for all!

  26. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.22

    Bill Dithmer,
    I'll call you out anytime I please on any subject, you called me a liar. You have absolutely no concept what Native Americans on reservations have to endure just to gain their rights that people like you assume.
    You keep asking for meat or proof, I wouldn't have any idea of how to provide that some 20 years later, do you?
    Frankly, I don't care if you believe me or not, you are not worth spending time on. I've known your kind all my life, you are a dime a dozen in western South Dakota.
    Again, since you did not have the same experiences I did with the postal system, doesn't mean it didn't happen. Unless of course, you can absolutely prove otherwise.

    When you open your eyes blindman, you will see.

    Incidentally, my grandfather was a rural mail carrier for years.

  27. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.22

    Donald Pay, Jerry and other positive thinkers,

    You both offer viable solutions to voting problems concerning suppressed Native American votes.

    The catalyst here needs to be the South Dakota Democratic Party. Prior to elections Democratic headquarters need to be established on state reservations with adequate outreach programs of voter education and voter registration followed up by drivers to voters to the polls on election day.
    Republican Senator Jim Abnor polled well on reservations because he visited them as often as he could, as did Senator McGovern, Senator Abourezk and Governor Kneip.
    Voter apathy is a problem nationwide, but more so on reservations when it comes to state elections
    If the national and state Democratic Parties invested time and energy on reservations, we would at least see more competitive races.

  28. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.09.22

    I think the plain and simple point on this topic is that the state has money available expressly for the purpose of Helping Americans Vote. The state ought to use it to Help Americans Vote. That's not in the least complicated or controversial.

    The white people pretending knowledge of the American Indian life remind me of the well-intentioned men who tried to blame domestic violence on the woman. "Why doesn't she leave? That's what I'd do." Those men were clear about how it felt to them, and couldn't understand why a woman wouldn't respond like they would.

    First, how the men might respond was irrelevant. It wasn't about them. The men had no framework to place an abuse experience in.

    Second, why in the world did they not ask, "Why the hell does that bastard hit her?!"

    The point I am making, dear white people, is that you ARE NOT THE GOLD STANDARD. Get that. Internalize it. Own it. Take it home.

    Just like the men thought they got it about abuse because they were around women, lived with women, etc.; white people think they know all about the American Indian experience because they know Indians, live on or near a rez, have Indian friends, etc.

    You don't know. I don't know. Those who live in proximity to Indians do have more knowledge than other white people.

    The way we succeeded best with men was telling them to listen to women and believe them. That is what white people need to do with the issue of what it's like to be an Indian in SD. Listen to Indians and believe them.

  29. Bill Dithmer 2013.09.23

    I called you a liar Roger because you lied about the mail service only delivering to white ranchers. That was a lie so you are in fact a liar.

    "You keep asking for meat or proof, I wouldn't have any idea of how to provide that some 20 years later, do you?"

    Are you reading what you wrote? Twenty years later. Read that again, twenty years later. And from that you said that only white ranchers get their mail delivered by the postal service. Now I dont give a hoot if you hate me or not you are a liar.

    "I've known your kind all my life, you are a dime a dozen in western South Dakota.
    Again, since you did not have the same experiences I did with the postal system, doesn't mean it didn't happen."

    Really? You have know idea of who I am or what I believe in so dont even go there. All you think you know is that I'm white and therefor know nothing about the natives problems on this reservation. If you knew so much you wouldnt have said that people on the reservation could get their car and drivers licenses on the reservation. Not in Jackson County they cant, you have to go to Kadoka to do that.

    Cory I'm through with this topic, when everyone grows up a little and does some reserach into what is really happening here they will understand.

    This is an open invitation to anyone that wants to find the truth. If you come down here to Pass Creek I will personallly take you around and show you what life is really like here on the Pine Ridge. Dithmer Ranch is listen in the phone book and my email address is on FB.

    How about it Roger will you promise to do the same?

    The Blindman

  30. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.09.23

    Senator Lucas, I think moving the Buffalo County seat from the Gann Valley to population center Fort Thompson would be an excellent idea. Roger, someone should persuade the tribe that having the county seat on their turf would not violate their sovereignty; having the levers of off-reservation power in their immediate grasp would enhance their sovereignty.

    And I like Donald's point that the tribes can't wait for Republicans to help them exercise their right to vote. Perhaps the tribes can organize some voting buses. The Hutterites do it; the tribes should pick everyone up for an Election Day road trip.

  31. Bob Mercer 2013.09.23

    Four Directions, the organization pushing for the tribal voting centers, works to get out the vote. This was much easier in the past decades when Tom Daschle was the U.S. senator. I was at Pine Ridge (and stopped through several other reservations) on election day in 2004. The GOTV operation at Pine Ridge was unlike anything I had seen or heard before as a reporter. KILI radio had interviews lined up with major national Democratic figures who urged people to go vote. There were banks of vehicles lined up with drivers waiting to pick up voters from their homes or other places. The defeat of Tom Daschle weakened the Democrats' GOTV in South Dakota. That election also marked the first serious, well-organized effort by Republicans (the John Thune campaign) at GOTV in South Dakota. GOTV had been the Democrats' not-so-secret weapon that helped push Tom Daschle past Jim Abdnor for the Senate seat in 1986 and truly pushed Tim Johnson past Larry Pressler for that Senate seat in 1996. Depending on who does the analysis, GOTV was the saving difference for Johnson in 2002 against Thune. With Johnson now retiring, and Democrats without any other statewide elected offices in South Dakota, the Democrats seem to lack the spirit and the resources and the leadership to succeed at GOTV in 2014. It makes sense strategically that Four Directions looks at ways to be more efficient financially at GOTV efforts in 2014. But until the Legislature and/or the state Board of Elections and/or the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) task force sets standards for satellite voting centers in counties that have courthouses, there will be disputes such as we're now seeing over Eagle Butte, Wanblee and Fort Thompson. There are many counties in South Dakota where relatively large communities don't have satellite voting centers either. Allowing private funding of satellite centers in any community seems fraught with claims of favoritism -- and especially dangerous for Democrats because they're in the minority position statewide regarding registered voters and campaign funding. It is my understanding Four Directions provided money to some counties in the past for satellite voting centers. This issue hasn't been addressed, to my knowledge, by the state Board of Elections or the Legislature.

  32. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.23

    A big thank you to Deb Geelsdoottir, I couldn't have said it better. I have no idea how you live your life and have not witnessed first hand your life experiences and therefore would only be able to comment by the words you write.

    For those that would accept Bill Dithmer's challenge to see what he sees, would you accept a tour by Native Americans that have those experiences or would you accept what a white rancher experiences? At any rate, you would see two vastly different worlds.
    Bill Dithmer, are you serious? Do you really think I would go down to Pass Creek and ride around with you while you taught me about Native Americans. Do you have any idea how patronizing that is?
    White's should know by now that you never use "promise" in the same sentence as Native American.

  33. Bill Dithmer 2013.09.23

    How about if I got a native to drive and tell the truth would that help John?

    IF you are looking for the truth come on down. If you just wont to believe in something that's another story. I'm at the end of my life but there are those that need to be shown to understand what is really happening out here.

    My offer still stand John, how about you doing the same thing.

    The Blindman

  34. Bill Dithmer 2013.09.23

    Looking back John I never used the word promise until I asked you to do the same. Pony up or shut up I dont care which one it is. Talk is cheap but action is where it's at.

    The Blindman

  35. Bill Dithmer 2013.09.23

    "White's should know by now that you never use "promise" in the same sentence as Native American.

    John you sound like you are the one that is prejudice to me. I on the other hand just want everyone to be treated the same. I am not the man you think I am.

    The Blindman

  36. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.23

    Today on Bill Dithmer's 8:16 post he said "Cory I am through with this topic............". By his continued postings he just made himself a liar.
    Once again Bill's assumptions make him right because he says so.
    I'll be the first to tell you that I am prejudice. My prejudice is toward the ignorant and stupid. I am more forgiving on stupid because that can't be fixed. Ignorance , like racism can be repaired if one chooses.
    When conversations degrade to childish phrases like"put up or shut up" they have no intellectual value and I quickly lose interest.
    Quite frankly Bill, I'd rather have my butt rubbed with a pineapple than being seen with you.
    How about it Bill, are you going to keep your "promise" to Cory and quit posting on this topic?

    By the way, my name is Roger not John.

    I am not a blindman, thank God.

  37. Bill Dithmer 2013.09.23



    The Blindman

  38. Bill Dithmer 2013.09.23

    I will definitely quite after this post ROGER.

    I have a question for you and only you. What could I possibly have to gain by saying the things I have said? If they are lies, someone will find them out. If they are the truth, someone will find them out.

    What I have done is give people the opportunity to see for themselves what has been talked about on this blog, nothing more, nothing less. If you are worried about the truth I can see why you wouldn't want anyone to see for themselves. Otherwise why the animosity towards me?

    I'm not a rich white rancher. I have been legally blind my whole life, hence The Blindman. This ranch has never received a subsidy from the government, you can look that up on the governments web site. I am the same person that I was sixty years ago with no preconceived prejudices other then that towards individuals, never races, my family wouldn't tolerate anything different.

    Where is all of this hate coming from anyway? Believe me your personal axe that you are trying to grind isn't with me. For the life of me I cant think of a single reason that I wouldn't want my native friends to survive and prosper. Can You?

    The Blindman

  39. Jana 2013.09.23

    Mr. Mercer, can you think of any privately funded GOTV efforts designed to aid the majority? As far as the satellite centers go, is there a reason you would like voting to be more difficult for those not in a country club zip code? Do you really think that a one party rule state would go out of their way to change something that wouldn't be in their favor, no matter how small that favor might be?

  40. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.23

    Voting has gotten more difficult for voters of any race in rural areas. Rural schools get closed and sold and they are no longer useable for voting, etc. Precincts get combined as rural population drops.

    I have said for years that Native Americans and rural whites need to form political coalitions because much of what appears to be discrimination is not racial, but rather urban versus rural. This gets worse every legislative session as Sioux Falls, Rapid City, etc all try to figure out ways to get rural South Dakota to pay for the city amenities.

    Deb G., argument by analogy is a favorite tool of preachers, but is also a very weak form of logic and argument even if interesting-- as was yours.

  41. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.23

    My apologies to Cory and other posters here for burglarizing the vote discussion with an inane spat with the blindman.
    Bill, you ask me about my animosity toward you and that you really can't understand why.
    You have repeatedly called me a liar and said I lied about a dispute with the postal system nearly 30 years ago. That is my truth, simply because you dislike it or disagree with it doesn't make me a liar, it makes you close minded.
    it would be simple to fill notebooks with disputes with white people and your government, because there was not a ledger documentation of these incidents does not mean they did happen.
    The truth about people does have a way of coming out, more so in the printed word than by deed. I have nothing to hide or protect regarding the Pine Ridge Reservation, The truth is visible to the world and does not require a tour.
    The truth I advocate is the why. On the other hand I know the truth about South Dakota and why they don't want Native Americans to vote. Been there, done that.

  42. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.09.23

    There is a historical memory working here that is very little understood and almost totally unacknowledged. Jews have it, Romany (Gypsies) have it. Black, brown, yellow, people have it. Women have it. White men do not.

    It's a memory of decades, generations, centuries of oppression and persecution. To a large extent it's not a conscious historical memory. In some ways that makes it all the more pernicious.

    White men are excluded because they, as a group, have not been the victims of these kinds of diminishing acts. White men have been the actors as a universal group.

    White men have never been enslaved as a universal group. There have been no nationwide discussions about whether white men are capable of enough intelligent thinking that they ought to have the right to vote. No major religion has fought over "allowing" men in positions of church leadership. No white men have ever been declared 3/5 of a human being. No one with institutional government power has ever said the only good white man is a dead white man. No white men have ever been ripped out of their homes, children sent away, men forced to learn and use only a new language and never use their best skills as a provider again.

    These are institutional memories based on gender, ethnicity and other bogus categories. These things matter.This inborn knowledge affects one's outlook, one's perception of the world today. Therefore Doug thinks that the way he sees and experiences life is universal. For him and his white male group - it is.

    I believe Blindman is sincere in his efforts to understand, and I think he does quite well. He probably comes about as close as any white male can in his understanding of what it means to be an American Indian.

    All that being said, it is important to note that there is not one monolithic response on the part of those in each group. While they have a similar set of historical memories, each person is an individual too.

    All that is a big part of why I say, believe what people in that group tell you. Be open. Realize that you white men do not have to play an active role as part of the dominant culture. You simply are. Humble yourselves.

  43. grudznick 2013.09.23

    I am.
    I have also been called less than human although I do not know the percentage attached. Probably less than half so that's about three fifths or so.

  44. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.23

    We finally found the villains..all those ignorant socially blind white guys who can't see a mailbox, who are ignorant of actual history, never faced any unfairness in their whole lives, and haven't sat through meetings on education where the specialists of ethnic superiority ranted about their treaty rights and then found the only question asked by a Native American about actual school was his trying to make sure his kid got to play basketball.
    I am not going to filter reality through rose-colored glasses.

    For 12 years here in Tripp County we drove over a mile on a dirt (gumbo mud)road which was bladed of snow once in those 12 years to get our mail. Now it is just 1/4 mile, but my new neighbor to the east of us drives a mile for their mail.

    I am do not quite understand why a white male should get mail delivery based on rules and Native Americans should be given special exemptions to those rules.

    Perhaps what is needed on the reservations are mobile voting buses that drive to the communities so voters there need only walk a few feet instead of all the way to their mailboxes.

    As was indicated by another poster here, if we Democrats white or red want to have influence, we must take responsibility ourselves. We can't wait for white or red knights to save us or make our whole lives just peachy keen.

  45. John Hess 2013.09.23

    Hey man, if I go to Madville Times, I get redirected to the old web site but it shows these new comments. If I hit home on this site I go back to the old web site. I'm stuck reading comments: An unhappy infinite loop.

  46. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.09.23

    Doug, you are consistent at deliberately distorting my comments. As I've said to you before, read my comment again. What you read is not what I write.

    Grud, I'm pretty sure you know the difference between a derogatory comment directed at you as an individual and the historical memory I wrote about. I'm also sure you know that I didn't write about blame.

    I appreciate your ability to listen and hear. Thanks.

  47. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.09.23

    I'll try one more thing Doug, because I am persistent.

    What I wrote was descriptive, not about blame. It was about the milieu we live in, and how it got that way. You personally Doug, did not create this milieu. In fact, you may not even like it. If you remain conscious of the dominant white male standard, it will probably help you, and everyone else, understand people who have historically never been a part of it. Your experience of yourself and the world around you is different because of your white male history. That's why it's important to listen to and believe people outside the white male norm.

    Do you understand what I'm saying? Descriptive, not blame.

  48. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.23

    When all else fails, say "accept responsibility" as if it is a term relative to white men only. It is a consistent theme when whites talk about Indians while never looking at their own irresponsible lifestyles. In other words, be like me, warts and all.

    I have never asked for any special rules for mail delivery, I just asked that they be applied equally

    Am so so so sorry Douglas had to drive over those gumbo roads for 12 years, many Native Americans have to walk through those gumbo roads.

    It eludes me why someone that has such contempt for Native Americans chooses to live in their midst. Actually I know why.

  49. grudznick 2013.09.23

    Mr. Wiken, that was my idea: mobile mail carriers who actually deliver the mail but can also be a voting center. If Krebs makes a lot of money off this idea I want it to be known I came up with it.

  50. Jerry 2013.09.23

    As the state has been given money, 9 million buckaroos to be more accurate, they need to spend it for what it was allocated for. They need to pony it up to those whose vote is being denied. We can rant and rave about the white man all we want, please spare me the gumbo roads though. The only thing that made gravel roads out of gumbo roads where I come from was the Ruskies. Without those boys, we would not have had the missiles and that brought good roads.

    I think that in our state, we just do not have the folks from the republican party (they are who govern us here) that are smart enough to actually help folks do anything. All they want to do is take, except for giving farmers the keys to the Caddy. So to me, much like the fact that they could not manage the ACA, they cannot manage this moolah either. What we need are the Feds to come here, take that 9 million, and work with the tribes to make this happen. Otherwise, it will be election time and actual, legitimate voters will once again be denied their American right to vote. When that happens, it means that all of the gravel roads that we now have will have been for nothing, because democracy has lost.

  51. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.23

    Cornelius, you seem remarkably adept at missing the point. I was not looking for sympathy for our years of muddy ungraveled roads and crappy mail service, I was suggesting that the reason for such rotten service was not all due to racism.

    I understand Deb's perspective on white male supremacy, but I really don't think such exists in the way she claims. It is equally appropriate to suggest that females and minorities view the world through the convenient eyes of victim-hood when all other excuses fail.

    Roger, you might also note I said all of us, White, Red whatever must accept responsibility for political activity or success if we want to change anything. Expecting special privileges is a road to failure and disaster. There is no free lunch except for the very, very rich who have a view that makes white male perspective seem like a piker's dream.

    If Native Americans and their friends want to know why there is poor turnout on the reservations, perhaps they should find out. If it is a matter of them demanding somebody begging for their vote and providing meat for a powwow, they are selling themselves short and the dear Republicans in Pierre have now made it a crime to even have pie and coffee at a voting site.

  52. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.09.23

    Oh Doug. You illustrate my point perfectly.

  53. grudznick 2013.09.23

    My friend Doug says it well: Quit whining and take some personal responsibility.

  54. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.23

    Thanks for the clarification, as I slip into my twilight years I often miss sarcasm.
    Deb has made so excellent points in that you have to be in her shoes and walk that mile.
    What needs to be made clear when talking Native Americans and their issues is that for centuries we have lived in tribal system with our own customs and traditions. It is to Native Americans as religion is to non-Natives. Until you understand tribalism, most will never understand Native Americans.
    Much of the conflict in the middle east is based on tribal culture and America has never made an attempt to understand that, thus the centuries old wars.
    Like the tribal people in the middle east, there are still Native Americans that have not accepted the Indian Reorganization Act that established tribal governments and will not accept the U.S. Government and in particular state government.

  55. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.09.23

    Good parallels Roger.

  56. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.24

    By now it should be apparent, not just from South Dakota, but from the rest of the world that tribalism is fraught with problems and unsuited for modern world governance or society. It is a dead end.

  57. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.24

    Yes Wiken,

    Tribalism does has a multitude of problems, but is hardly a dead end. By now, it should be apparent to the rest of the world that it is here and it is here to stay beyond yours or my life.
    Given that the American government is also fraught with problems, and getting worse by the day, maybe, just maybe tribalism is right.
    Any and all societies have the good, the bad, and the ugly, including American democracy.

  58. interested party 2013.09.24

    Statehood for the tribes and Mexico.

  59. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.24

    Interested Party, are you talking individual tribes creating their own states or you talking assimilation by states?

  60. interested party 2013.09.24

    The reading of the Declaration of Independence by members of the reporting staff at NPR on the 4th of July gets me every time. Past on-air personalities, some now correspondents at the pearly gates, also read for this decades-old feature. The tears stream down my face right up to the line that begins:

    "He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare…"

    That’s when it hits me right between the eyes.

    When those words were being written, thousands of cultures inhabited a continent that seemed to keep growing huge ripe plums just waiting for Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton and the rest to pick and pick and pick and pick. Already, the Chesapeake Bay estuary had been mostly denuded of native vegetation, not to mention of its former human inhabitants.

    Slaves tilled the fields and built the infrastructure, the ancestors of the Lakota and other Siouan groups that had been forced westward out of North Carolina generations earlier, traded with the Spanish and French while forging their own alliances (and marriages) with other indigenous peoples.

    So, we’ve come a long way, init? Hey America: it's time to wake up and smell the Tsingtao.

    The United States Constitution is the finest instrument ever created by the human hand. The Preamble is the body, the Bill of Rights is the neck, the Amendments are the strings. It is a fluid universal execution of human and civil rights.

    While the Palestinian homeland looks like holes in the slice of Swiss cheese analogous to the illegal Israeli state, progress toward resolutions of Native trust disputes would have far more political traction after tribes secede from the States in which they reside and then be ratified to form one State, the 51st, sans contiguous borders with two Senators and two House members as there are an estimated 2.5 million indigenous.

    It’s time for all Americans to enjoy the protection of law by being part of one nation: erase the artificial borders and grant Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness to all the people of North America…Mexico, Central America, Canada, even the Caribbean if they’ll have us.

    ip is not a New World Order guy, does not support the North American Union (god bless you. please, mr. roddenberry) and believes that the US Constitution is a big enough canvas in order to paint a more perfect masterpiece, a big enough score for all to sing. No violence. No more drug wars.

    Read Alaska’s constitution some time. The last states ratified are the most egalitarian. Let’s debate it then draft a dream referendum to be delivered by and for the people of Mexico to dissolve their constitution and petition for Statehood as our 52nd State. Quebec could be the 53rd and Cuba, the 54th.

    Sí, se puede.

  61. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.24

    The idea of an indigenous "nation" or separate state will not work simply because of tribalism and familial connections, old wars between tribes, old Native Americans held as slaves by tribes, old Native American tribes slaughtered by other tribes, tribal corruption, etc.

    More likely to work is the US declaring war on the tribes and then declaring victory and eliminating all reservations.

    I see the Bureau of Indian Affairs has built a new center in northern South Dakota to funnel aid to the 7,000 tribal members there. The building system cost $31 Million. That is something like $4,500 per Native American. There must be better uses of money.

  62. grudznick 2013.09.24

    Mexican statehood for the Tribes, indeed!!

  63. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.24

    I still haven't seen any economic data on the GNP of such an independent sovereign state or nation.

  64. Roger Cornelius 2013.09.24

    The thing about simple solutions is that they are just that, for the most part they make a person feel knowledgeable about a topic they don't really have a clue to.
    The centuries of "declaration of war" on Indians has not ended, it has merely shifted in its direction.
    Tribes are no longer in an active physical war with America, but they are indeed still at war. The shift is now how the government can evade treaty obligations and not meet its financial obligations. Tribes have to wage war for every single dollar they receive.
    For centuries America has committed nearly every act of genocide known to man against Native Americans and we are still here and actually growing in population in many tribes.
    If America should declare war on tribes, bring it on! We may not win the war, but we will win plenty of battles with international support from other tribal countries.
    The concept of a "One Indian Nation" is not realistic for some the reasons Doug points out.
    Interested Party,
    The next time you hear the reading of the Declaration of Independence, remember that it was written by and for white men. The tears you shed should be for the people that had to fight for inclusion and why they have fought and in some cases still fighting for representation and equality.

  65. interested party 2013.09.24

    A thirty five hundred mile figure eight just proved to this blogger that the Coteau des Prairies, the Black Hills, the Front Range, and the myriad watersheds that give life to the Missouri River Basin, are at grave risk to the Anthropocene.

    The root of the decimation may be best described by this paragraph from Jim Robbins in the New York Times:
    Former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat who fought for the transfer of bison to Indian reservation land, believes the battle comes down to a competition for grass. “These cattlemen make a great part of their living off subsidized grazing,” he said. While the federal government charges $1.38 to graze a cow and calf for a month, private landowners charge $22. “Buffalo are a large animal that could become active competition” for cheap grazing on federal land, Mr. Schweitzer said.

    Even Illinois seems to understand.

    On the central and southern portions, wildlife corridors tying the Buffalo Gap, Oglala, Pawnee, and Comanche National Grasslands with the Thunder Basin by leasing private and tribal lands might be the easiest to pull off.

    The solution to connecting it to the northern expanse and the upper Missouri Basin has yet to appear in this tortured mind.

    Rocky Mountain juniper, yucca and ponderosa pine share the habitat in which bison thrive.

    The relatively small distance between the Canadian River and the Rio Grande reminded me again how the earliest humans, thwarted by glaciers, the dire wolf, and Smilodon on everything north of the Sangre de Cristos terminating at Santa Fe, blazed the Pecos Trail from west to east into The Great Plains to find an inland paradise teeming with prey. Human successes likely contributed to the extinction of those two species and most camelids some 11,000 years ago.

    President Obama: it's time to rewild the West: tear out the main stem dams, extend the CM Russell Wildlife Refuge to Oacoma, South Dakota along the Missouri River and to Yellowstone then to the Yukon.

    It’s time for cougars to enjoy Endangered Species protection and for you, Mr. President, to dissolve the Black Hills National Forest; and, in cooperation with BIA Forestry and Wildfire Management, rename it Okawita Paha National Monument then make it part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge.

    Urge Governor Steve Bullock to veto a bill supported by the earth hating Heartland Institute in the Montana legislature seeking to create the illusion that Big Hydro is sustainable: be very afraid.

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