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Even in Violence, Seek Revolution and Justice, Not Revenge and Anarchy

Last updated on 2014.12.15

What failures of our institutions of justice justify abandoning civic discourse and resorting to violent action to overthrow the powers that be?

That question consumed the founders of our nation. That question was not on the minds of most of the angry citizens out breaking and burning things last night. I see rage and riot tourism, but I don't see revolution.

I do wonder: do we face injustices so grave in a system with flaws so deep that we cannot rectify them by normal means? Is there any outrage in South Dakota or the United States of America that warrants an armed, organized revolt? How about...

  1. ...police turned into paramilitary squadrons?
  2. ...the feds and the Brits collaborating to spy on us through our computers?
  3. ...our Attorney General refusing to question, let alone bring charges against, a state employee who committed documented infractions of state law to cheat our state out of millions of dollars?
  4. ...the failure of the electoral process to prevent the consolidation of power in Pierre in the hands of one corrupt, pro-corporate party? (Sub-question: do we storm the Legislature or South Dakota Democratic Party headquarters?)
  5. ...the government seizure of private land and transfer of property rights to foreign corporations?
  6. ...state government handing millions to fat corporations while ignoring the economic plight of tens of thousands of Lakota citizens?
  7. ...state government handing millions to fat corporations while refusing to spend a fraction of that to prevent dozens of South Dakotans from dying?

Those issues don't have me calling on my neighbors to burn down the cop shop or steal some toilet paper. It's easy for us to effetely pontificate when it's not our kids the police are shooting, but then I've argued quite coldly on other issues that parents whose children have been killed aren't the best advocates for social action.

There is injustice in Ferguson, in Washington D.C., in Pierre, and in Pine Ridge. I don't think any injustice listed here or making today's headlines demands a violent uprising. I invite counterexamples from my fellow citizens of a nation founded in violent revolution.

If you can show me a valid counterexample, I will ask you more than the classic Grapes of Wrath question, "Who do we shoot?" (If you enlist English teachers in your revolution, that's "Whom do we shoot?") As we take up arms against our oppressors, I will ask you, "Once we've shot 'em, what will we replace 'em with? What better system will we create, and how will we ensure our system won't fall into the corruption we are uprooting now?"

If we're just smashing cars and shooting at cops, that's not revolution. That's revenge. That's anarchy. And that's not going to increase justice for anyone.


  1. Greg 2014.11.25

    Here in South Dakota if you get caught lying, our way of justice is electing you to a six year term in the US Senate.

  2. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.25

    A young Lakota friend of mine was shot and killed by Mitchel police a few weeks ago, Joy Sherman was a troubled young lady with addiction and mental health problems. This story was hardly reported, if at all, by local media. I learned of her death by the national media. I'm certain when Jackley completes his investigation he'll say the officers were in danger.
    Last night at dinner at one of my favorite Rapid City restaurants our waitress was a young black girl from Ferguson, the very tall and elegant young lady fled Ferguson with her 3 children because she knew the grand jury would not indict Wilson for the murder of Brown and wanted to protect herself and her children from the predictable violence that would ensue. The fear in her eyes and the heart ache she had for leaving her home was clearly visible.
    This is a case of only one of the many innocents caught in the middle when governments and citizens collide.
    It is difficult if not impossible to justify violence in any form, but this country was founded on violence and war so why should it change now? America has had wars against whites, wars against blacks, wars against Indians and wars against itself since those founding days.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.25

    Thank you for the Mitchell example, Roger. You're right: our media has been mostly silent about the Sherman shooting. But then so have activists, right? Is there a protest waiting to happen over that police shooting, our execution without trial?

    Roger rightly points to the tension a nation founded in violence must feel when it condemns violence.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.25

    P&R Miscellany calls the Ferguson riots "rebellion by suicide." He also argues that the evidence shows the Ferguson police officer shooting a "punk" who demonstrated "general antipathy for authority and law." This conversation won't be pretty.

  5. mike from iowa 2014.11.25

    Ferguson was gonna happen when you had whites openly soliciting defense funds for the white cop. Ever since Trayvon Martin's death people have been more openly angry at blacks seeking justice. You can see it,feel it,hear it.

    The first I heard about Michael Brown was from Fake Noise,I believe,yakking about his police record as though that was justification for shooting unarmed Blacks.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.25

    So is there a political solution here, Mike? Or do blacks live in constant fear of cop violence, and do communities live in constant fear of the exploited riot reaction?

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.25

    Can we even have a conversation about political solutions and institutions of justice?

  8. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.25

    R&R use of the term "punk" and increasingly use of the word "thug" are new age language N****G".

    Cory, I'm not aware of any protests of the Joy Sherman shooting since many activists are just now learning about the shooting.

  9. larry kurtz 2014.11.25

    PNR clearly doesn't know the Christopher Capps story.

    When Garrison Keillor opened A Prairie Home Campanion in the Rapid City Civic Center Theatre on November 20, 1999 he cited a statistic that Pennington County has the highest per capita gun ownership in the United States. A nervous chuckle rolled through the audience.

    The number of experiences that i have had in gun and pawn shops in Rapid City that have taken me aback are too numerous to count. Two are vivid: a fifteen year old with mother in tow pointing at a Glock in a case saying: "that one" and a man buying five AK-47s with cash.

    The people involved in this skirmish are not the first casualties of this war; nor are they the last.

  10. mike from iowa 2014.11.25

    I thought we were finding some sense of a solution with the last two Dem Presidents,at least the hope there would be some solution. It was a subject up and open for discussion. I'm guessing the Scotus and their decision on voting rights displayed the nation's true colors.

    Korporations were given the easy way to buy elections,disenfranchised voters have been handed more obstacles to overcome.

  11. leslie 2014.11.25

    start at the top.

    citizens united unlimited campaigns are not "legal".

    required reading-best article laying out the problem.

    shooting 16 year old punks? NEVER should civilized authorities let themselves believe this is legal. shoot 1st? ak47s in starbucks? obstruction. wow

    hyper-partisan, hyper-legal, hyper-religious; hyped out resources are only gonna last so long.

  12. Bill Fleming 2014.11.25

    Interesting topic. My heroes and leaders, Gandhi, MLK and Cesar Chavez were all non-violent activists I steadfastly subscribe to that philosophy. It comes down to deciding what kind of world you want to live in, and which hill you're willing to die on.

    Even so, I have empathy with those whose existential struggle is so desperate and their enemy so cruel and unconscionable that violence is there only final recourse.

    I don't think you and I and our families are even close to that kind of existence, Cory. Our challenge perhaps is to convince those among us who are consumed with irrational fear and loathing that the same is true for them as well.

    Words to live by:

    "Go beyond reason to love. It is safe. It is the only safety." — Thaddeus Golas

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.25

    Chavez opposed violence, too? Even amidst the poverty and oppression of workers? Those folks were in a pretty dire existential struggle, but Chavez still fought peacefully?

    Bill, do we have the following spectrum of action under consideration:

    (1) War by politics: action within the civic framework of laws and institutions.

    (2) War by conscience: civil disobedience conducted peacefully; passive resistance à la Gandhi.

    (3) War by violence: riot and armed revolution.

    If #1 is exhausted, do we have a moral obligation to try #2 first before resorting to #3? (Gandhi would say #1 and #2 are our only moral options, right, Bill?) That sounds like the paradigm your comment lays out: your struggle and your conditions must be desperate (#1 not working), and your enemy must be cruel and without conscience (#2 has no effect).

    I am not convinced that the "enemy" in Ferguson (that would be us, the public running the democracy) is cruel and without conscience beyond the reach of the methods in #2.

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.25

    Mike, good point about disenfranchisement. If we're going to stick with political solutions, we need universal access to the ballot, and we have to believe our ballots matter.

  15. Bill Dithmer 2014.11.25

    Roger, this young man was a punk and a thug. Unless you are willing to disregard his actions ten minutes before the shooting. He clearly was shown mistreating the store clerk and acting like a punk and a thug.

    If you have a problem with the cops go to the damn police station and have it out with the cop. Dont burn down someones business just because your mad.

    If you dont like the number of cops that dont reflect your color, try to recruit some you do like.

    I cant believe that a month ago I respected Rev, Sharpton, he is no better then the ones yelling to "burn it down."

    If you refuse to comply with a cop guess what, your going to get hurt. If you run from a cop when he tells you to stop, your going to get hurt. And if you make an aggressive move towards a cop without backup, you will be shot until you are stopped.

    When you find a bad cop, get them fired. Use real evidence and do it right. There are no shortcuts where justice is concerned.
    One more thing here. If you are protesting peacefully, and you see someone else shooting, or throwing at the police, you are just as guility as those doing those things if you dont turn them in.

    What in the hell does civil disobedience have to do with the shooting of guns?

    The Blindman

  16. Bill Fleming 2014.11.25

    Cory, yes, Cesar and the UFW was a non-violent human rights movement. That doesn't mean the people don't fight. On the contrary, they fight like hell! With words, actions, images, ideas, etc. etc.

    The circumstances under which those options are no longer effective are in situations like the plight of the political enemies of the 3rd Reich or Stalin and in today's world, perhaps people subject to oppression by groups like ISIL or certain dictators in Africa, North Korea, etc.

    Not really sure we have anything nearly like that here, where the oppressive force is unapproachable and unconquerable by non-violent means.

    Even so, to the degree small pockets of such oppression exist, we the people must stand in solidarity with those oppressed to defeat their oppressors, especially when they are too weak and powerless to do it themselves.

    And if our legal and political systems fail us in that regard, our leaders have to come from outside "the system." That's how MLK, Cesar and MLK did it. None of them ever held political office, but they greatly influenced the political systems of their day by being part of their nation's conscience.

  17. Jaka 2014.11.25

    Cory, without reading any of the comments, I first had to thank you for the post:: esp. the last couple paragraphs... Your questions are so right n and thought provoking. Thanks. Revengeful violence was expected by authority there and actually desired by some in authority I'm sure--so that perpetrators could be shown 'whose the most powerful" around here...

  18. larry kurtz 2014.11.25

    What are you people hiding from? Tim Giago compared Rapid City to Ferguson and has warned of a pending war originating in tribal nations for even longer than i have been doing it.

    In Amerika white cops kill people of color every day at rates far beyond those in other so-called developed countries. Albuquerque is a civil rights nightmare, too and tensions are at a fever pitch!

    At least the people in Ferguson are saying hell no.

  19. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.25

    I'm not certain what I said to earn Dithmer's wrath, other than that the terms "punk" and "thug" are New Age euphemism for N****R. I once respected Bill and his comments on Madville, that respect no longer exist because of his inflaming racial commentaries on Indians and other minorities.
    The people of Ferguson have an absolute right to be outraged, the violence will not solve anything, but using the violent history of this country to gain whatever they want may just be a good example, whites gained a country by violence, maybe Blacks may do so too.
    There is some disappointing news coming out of Ferguson after the failure of the grand to indict Wilson.
    When was the last time you heard of a defendant in a criminal matter given the opportunity to testify before a grand jury? Has anybody heard of this happening before?
    Will Mike Rounds be granted this courtesy if a federal grand convenes on the EB-5 investigation?
    The jury composition was 9 whites and 3 Blacks, although we won't know how they voted, the whites had the majority to return the no indictment bill which requires a vote of nine.
    In South Dakota Native Americans put their lives in jeopardy every time they go out in public, those with mental disorders more so than others. Natives don't need to do anything wrong to be confronted by law enforcement, they just need to be Indian.
    This is something I have in mind every time I go out, the possibility of a confrontation with law enforcement is an everyday concern. That is a freedom lost, to not have that threat occupy my mind would be a true feeling of freedom.
    Police shootings seem to be on the rise in this country or they are reported better, with South Dakota being the exception, the question that needs to be asked is what else can be done by trained law enforcement besides murder to contain a possible perp?

  20. Bill Dithmer 2014.11.25

    "that respect no longer exist because of his inflaming racial commentaries on Indians and other minorities."

    Lets see em Roger. I am not a racist! We have been down this road before you and I. It would seem that if you dont like my comments you yell racist. Well get over it because im not. How every your remarks concerning " priveliged white ranchers" sounds a lot like racism now doesnt it?

    Cory you know better then to think I'm a racist but you let Roger continue to play that card, that sir is Bullshit.

  21. mike from iowa 2014.11.25

    Bill D-did the cop that shot Brown know he was in that convenience store 10 minutes before he killed Brown?

  22. jerry 2014.11.25

    We have read about murders in Rapid City along with the continued harassment of Natives by the police. One time they pushed the envelope to far and Darin Tiger could stand no more. He went down and took two officers with him. Of course, it was his fault that he did that, but to this day, no one knows why all those police surrounded him in the first place.

  23. jerry 2014.11.25

    The one about the drunk Native with a tree branch that was shot and killed is another. How is a twig a danger when you could have shot the guy in the foot or something other than out right killing him for being drunk and disorderly.

  24. Bill Dithmer 2014.11.25

    Mike no the officer did not know but the young mans actions clearly show that he was willing ti engage in criminal activity.

    Did any of you even look at the pictures that the grand jury saw of the injuries the officer had?

    It looks like out of all the true misscariges of justice that the community could have gotten behind they picked the one with all the evidence supporting the officer.

    The Blindman

  25. jerry 2014.11.25

    Correction, Daniel Tiger

  26. jerry 2014.11.25

    Christopher Capps, age 22, shot 5 times and killed while carrying a stick. Brown skin justice by

  27. Bill Dithmer 2014.11.25

    Defendents giving testamony in a grand jury happens all the time. Here is the procedure for that.

    The Blindman

  28. Taunia 2014.11.25

    With all due respect to Bill Dithmer (because up to this point you've been a reasoned voice on lots of things and mostly a joy to read) but on this issue: you're ignorant and offensive.

    I don't have time today to draw pictures for you how your institutionalized white privilege is flowing out of your pours, but I'm sure Kurtz, Fleming, et al can point out the basics. It's not just Ferguson, it's the overall learned hatred that's been drilled in you without you realizing it. 400+ years of learned hatred and fear.

    Think before you keep defending yourself on this.

  29. Bill Fleming 2014.11.25

    I've considered taking Dithmer's post and parsing it for him, but have decided not to. He's smart and he's pissed. Not uncommon around here.

    There are a few suggestions and in his post that are completely unrealistic. Things that he and I can do that others can't or won't.

    He knows that.

    I'll wait for him to make his own corrections.

    Because when he wants to, he knows how to write and tell the truth as well or better than any of the rest of us here.

    And as per Taunia, I love reading him when he does that.

  30. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.25

    R.I.P to my young friend and former neighbor, Joy Sherman was neither a punk or thug by any definition, she was a young beautiful woman that had mental problems and was murdered in Mitchell because police officers don't know how to contain those situations.

  31. Daniel Buresh 2014.11.25

    Roger, Your friend was not murdered. She pointed a gun at police and she was killed. When you point a gun at someone, expect one to be pointed back. She died by her own actions and no one elses. The officers need our condolences, not the suspect.

  32. bearcreekbat 2014.11.25

    Blindman, you are mistaken about defendants testifying before the grand jury "all the time." In South Dakota, for example, a target may testify only if given permission by a prosecutor or the grand jury itself, and then only if the target waives immunity.

    SDCL 23A-5-12 - "Testimony before grand jury by subject of investigation--Waiver of immunity. The subject of a grand jury investigation may, at the discretion of the grand jury or prosecuting attorney, be given the opportunity to testify before the grand jury, provided he waives immunity orally on the record or in writing."

    The current normal grand jury practice is for prosecutors to present inadmissible hearsay and double or even triple hearsay by calling an officer or two to repeat allegations of the most damning government witness, with no cross examination and no exculpatory evidence whatsoever. That is the foundation of the adage that any prosecutor worth his or her salt could obtain an indictment of a ham sandwich.

    Unfortunately the ability of prosecutors to manipulate grand juries has undermined the reason we even have a grand jury system. While early English grand juries were designed to be accusatory, American grand juries were adopted as a buffer against unreasonable prosecutions. "The Founders' motivation for adding this provision to the Constitution was principally to protect those accused of crimes from prosecutorial overreach."!/amendments/5/essays/146/grand-jury-requirement

    Thus, to some extent the evidence presented to the Ferguson grand jury seems more consistent with the Founder's intent by including exculpatory evidence. The sad part is that it appears this was done as a sham in Ferguson. It is apparent that prosecutors did not want an indictment returned against the officer or they would not have permitted him to testify, nor introduced exculpatory physical evidence. They appear to have simply used the grand jury as cover for not charging Wilson. Unfortunately for Ferguson, this tactic completely backfired and resulted in an unnecessary development of community tension which exploded into violence.

  33. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.25

    Thanks for the information bear, I have been searching for that explanation off and on all day.
    I've been hearing over and over today that the prosecutor was more intent on clearing Wilson than seeking the truth.
    Tonight is looking at more unrest in Ferguson as we learn more of what the grand jury actually did and more importantly what they didn't do.

  34. Owen 2014.11.25

    I have mixed emotions on this. My son is a cop and I'd want him to use his training and make sure he keeps himself safe. On the other hand I can understand where African-Americans are coming from. They view the system as unfair and its hard to argue with them. But rioting is not the answer.
    I've seen some people bring up the OJ trial and point out that the whites didn't riot when he was found not guilty. That is like comparing apples to oranges. White people haven't been screwed by the system like the black people.
    Roger I'll try to find the link fro the MDR on that shooting for you.

  35. Lynn 2014.11.25

    Roger I remember reading about what happened to Joy in Mitchell and again that was a terrible loss. We don't know what exactly happened in their efforts to try to diffuse the situation other than it was reported that she was in danger of harming herself with a gun and threatened and pointed it at police officers. She was obviously in a great deal of pain at the time and there are situations where it's called "suicide by cop."

    Here is probably a young police officer in Mitchell that is there to help others and protect yet be able to protect themselves also. If I were a police officer and I was in a situation where I took a life I would be devastated and I can only imagine they are trying to deal with it now. Life is so sacred!

    When something like that happens there is a ripple effect and those that are left are feeling the pain.

  36. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.25

    Our President addresses the topic:

    ""I've never seen a civil rights law or a health care bill or an immigration bill result because a car got burned. It happened because people vote, it happened because people mobilize, it happened because people organize, it happens because people look at what are the best policies to solve a problem. That's how you actually move something forward" [President Barack Obama, speech in Chicago, quoted in Stephanie Condon and Rebecca Kaplan, "Obama: 'No Sympathy' for Violent Acts in Ferguson,", 2014.11.25"].

  37. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.25

    Cory, over on the FOX "News" network they are contending that the president's last night and today are actually causing the riots in Ferguson, additionally they are blaming President Obama's private army of agitators for keeping things stirred up down there.
    Lynn, I have only seen a minimum of reporting on Joy's death so I'm somewhat in the dark, except to assume. There was a time in our history what law enforcement shot perps to disable or maim them, it now appears that with more and bigger guns, destructive ammunition, and other weapons of mass destruction, they no longer want to save lives.
    Owen, I can appreciate the position that you and your son are in, I hope he is always safe and serves the public. It must be extremely difficult to have to balance the betrayal of Wilson and the work your son does. My best to both of you.

  38. jerry 2014.11.25

    The media loves them some riots and unrest. Violence sells. Who the hell wants to watch news without exploding cars and fires and mayhem? Old guys like that stuff. Here is a meeting with the KKK

    If you keep the old guys spooked, they go to the voting booth. Young guys have not figured that out yet and soon it may be to late.

  39. Tim 2014.11.25

    RC, you could accidentally fart and fill your underwear and Fox News would blame the president.

  40. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.25

    Roger, I'd love to see Fox's evidence of the President's shadow army. Good grief. Civil discourse is impossible with people like that who operate on the assumption that the President is really engaged in evil plots against America. It's too bad they can't apply a similar skepticism to their corporate sponsors. Civil discourse is also hard to sustain with people kept in fear.

    I'd like Fox viewers and Ferguson rioters to sit down and talk to each other about the proper means of political change.

  41. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.25

    Cory, that is exactly what needs to happen, the FOX viewers, peaceful demonstrators and the violent demonstrators need to start communicating with each other, but will they?
    Since we elected a Black President it seems that racial tensions have been heightened and perhaps to the point where civil discourse maybe impossible. When the Republican opposition party leaders cannot tolerate sitting in the same the same room as the president, let alone shake his hand, what message does that send?
    That message of racial hatred has trickled down to the streets of Ferguson and other cities tonight where protests are being held.
    America the land of immigrants and diversity has a major problem, when laws don't apply and reason goes out the door, what should we expect the oppressed to do? Do sit and talk about it or do make changes and laws so that they do affect all people regardless of color.
    Civil discourse is good, meaningful change is better.

  42. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.25

    The Ferguson prosecutor blamed the Ferguson unrest on the media, it is not the media's fault that a young black man was killed by a white police officer, it is the not the fault of the media that it took months to convene a grand jury, and it is not the fault of the media that the grand jury returned a no indictment bill.

  43. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.25

    I'm with Bill on non violent protests.

    That being said, I find the reactions of black/brown people very understandable. How many of them argoing to be murdered with impunity before those in power suddenly Get It and change their ways?

    Frankly, I am dumbfounded by their restraint. The horror of systemic racism has gone on for so many generations at the cost of hopes, dreams, sanity, health, even lives, and here are white people telling them to be patient?! Are you out of your minds?!

    Really. Our arrogance is sickening. Try to put yourself into the others shoes. How many friends and relatives' unjust, unprovoked deaths do you accept before doing something about it?

    In fairness to those here who have urged patience and trust in the law, a word from one who has endured basic unfairness from public officials:

    As a woman born in 1953, I know some things about unfairness with no recourse. The rationality, the soundness, the wisdom of my arguments for fair treatment were irrelevant. I was a joke, silly, childish, unimportant, trivial. What did Roger call it? Historical trauma? That's what it is that the non white, male population doesn't truly comprehend.

    Blindman, I continue to have a high opinion of you, and this is one that you just don't get. You are wrong. A few police are sometimes bad guys. There are racist and sexist cops.

  44. mike from iowa 2014.11.26

    What's the point of having mis-educated(propagandized) fake noise viewers repeat every talking point going back to the 60s about coloreds not knowing their place,or the "liberal media" deliberately inflaming masses to riot against the white establishment? Been there,done that-over and over and over ....well,you get the picture. The media cost us VietNam. Blacks cost us Detroit. Dems ruined New York,Chicago etc. Damn hippies destroyed our morals with grugs and free love.

  45. leslie 2014.11.26

    dispatch: robbery of 7-11 ($48 box cigs, assault of clerk), description-large black man. cop (28 years old) shouts at him, backs up, they struggle thru window, cop shoots, kid runs, cop chases, kills (12 shots) slightly larger, unarmed, younger black man (90 lbs., 18 years old).

    elapsed time -90 seconds

    police default-kill suspect

  46. barry freed 2014.11.26

    Some believe #1, War by Politics, is over and the People lost.
    Not true at the State level. We still have Initiated Measures here in SD and it is through "The Peoples" control of our States that Washington might be rescued from the corporations.
    Cory, I would like to request a topic for your Blog readers:
    "If you could put any law on the Books, what would it be?"
    First for me: No Initiated Measure may be overturned or modified by the Legislature, but only by another vote of the People.
    Second: : Anyone of legal age residing in SD may vote." (that means everyone, including inmates, felons, and elected officials) Excluding and discouraging participation adds to the despair and hopelessness.
    Third: All votes will be counted by human beings.

  47. jerry 2014.11.26

    As I was preparing to leave the military in 1970-1971, there were several racial disturbances in the US. The US military had made preparations for active duty Vietnam returnees, along with others, to now prepare to fight the people in the street. The training consisted of close formation with bayonets sheathed, but at the ready, along with gas masks and live ammunition to quell the riots. I remember about this time in November 1970, the trucks came to load us to take us to an Air Force Base to go and do just that. Fortunately, the national guard wherever that was, managed to take control and we were able to stand down. Many of those one those trucks, questioned the authority of the United States Government to declare war on the citizens for protesting. The code name for all of this was called Garden Plot and as far as I know, has never been ordered to stand down.

    I find it interesting that Americans applauded the "Arab Spring" as a just protest and we encouraged that. If I may, the Arab Spring was all about the inequality of people in Tunisia as well as other countries in the Mid East that have such a chasm between the haves and the have nots. In short, the uprising in Tunisia was about hunger. Here in the United States, we are seeing the winter solstice of discontent that has been bubbling like the cauldron of a volcano. Will we support the Garden Plot of active military and militarized police in the street dictating movement? Will we continue to stand and watch the ugly grip of poverty continue to eat away all sense of dignity for the poor and working poor? Make no mistake, the murder of this young man is the catalyst that started this movement that has been a long time in the making. While governors and the power brokers dither and count their riches, cities are burning. Will they have the sense to start to make things better in this country or will they continue wasting treasure and blood on some forsaken place far far away, bringing the same American capitalistic cancer to their countries? Here in South Dakota, we have a governor and his legislature that refuse to help the people under their care. So while we discuss the plight of Ferguson and her people, lets be clear about what we have right here. We have the same hunger, the same poverty and the same sense of despair. If you do not give the people something to believe in, then all is lost.

  48. larry kurtz 2014.11.26

    Rev. Hickey is at DWC calling for a 'truth and reconciliation' commission to address South Dakota's history of extirpating American Indians.

  49. larry kurtz 2014.11.26

    It's time for executive clemency for Leonard Peltier.

  50. larry kurtz 2014.11.26

    Troy's apology for selective enforcement is hardly surprising because white privilege.

  51. larry kurtz 2014.11.26

    It's likely you and i have more Neanderthal genes than American Indians do, Sib.

  52. mike from iowa 2014.11.26

    Africans only want curable cases. No,wait.Psychiatrists only want curable cases. We're stuck with the Sibster.

  53. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.26

    Larry, I'll paraphrase what President Obama said yesterday, "Native Americans are the only one that have a right to object to immigration". Naturally the comment caused FOX "News" to go crazy.
    I bring this up because immigration and racism are interwoven and both are hot button issues today. Your comment about Neanderthal genes caught my attention because for most of Americans, we really don't know who we are.
    By custom and tradition most Americans will say I'm Italian, American, Africa, Jewish, etc. Until you have a DNA test identifying your try ancestry, you really don't know who you are.
    It wouldn't be any surprise that you hate or contempt for a race that you may well be part of.
    We know that racial mixing started the day slaves were brought to America, we know that racial mixing started at Plymouth Rock, and we know that racial mixing was also part of the history of Ellis Island.
    We may identify with a particular race because that is what we were told, but do you know for certain that you are not part Mexican, Jewish, Indian, or Black. Many Americans may actually hate who they really are.
    America is called a melting for a reason, it is not always by social groups, ethnic groups or religious groups.
    In today's America, you really don't who in the hell you are!

  54. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    Thanks JeniW! Happy Thanksgiving.

  55. larry kurtz 2014.11.26

    Sibby, text me the number of your dealer: 605-484-7288.

  56. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    He uses Ziggurat rolling papers, Kurtz. LOL

  57. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26


  58. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.26

    I understand the concept of statehood for Mexico but really don't see it happening anytime soon. Mexico is like South Dakota where select groups of people in control make a living from unchecked political corruption. It is a way of life and those in power will fight against any change. Even though Mexico has a long history with America there exist a strong racial barrier, America would likely fight against Mexico statehood as much as corrupt leaders in Mexico would fight it.
    You have called for statehood for the tribes for a long time but I'm not sure if there is any kind of solution. Tribes are more and more calling themselves nations and have not asked for statehood, at least that I know of.
    The threat to South Dakota is that tribes are nations within the U.S. and within the boundaries of South Dakota, they have unique government to government relationships with the state and the U.S.
    Tribes are already recognized as sovereign and independent nations with the U.S. government with some caveats like jurisdiction over major crimes.
    What tribes need to do is challenge their relationships with the states in every aspects of what governs them. Ignore the state and have our own liquor laws and licenses, establish our tax codes and collections, etc.
    No Native American should have to submit themselves to state jurisdiction, submitting to state jurisdiction is not sovereignty.

  59. Les 2014.11.26

    """"No Native American should have to submit themselves to state jurisdiction, submitting to state jurisdiction is not sovereignty."""" I agree, Roger. You are also not sovereign if submitting to federal jurisdiction either, in my opinion.
    I see a whole layer of beaurocracy coming to devour most if not all of the gains from independence. My friend Tom Iron was no happier with tribal government than I am with our state government. Corruption comes in all colors.

  60. grudznick 2014.11.26

    I presume my good friend Mr. C means that American Indians shouldn't have to submit themselves to state jurisdiction while in Indian Country. That would then be true for everybody, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Hungarians, Lutherans, etc. Regardless of race or nationality, one is accountable to the laws of the land they are in. Ft. Thompson, follow the Crow Creek laws. Ft. Pierre, follow the South Dakota laws. Ft. Nelson, follow the Canadian Code of Conduct.

  61. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    Roger is exactly right. The relationship between the US Government and the Lakota nation predates South Dakota's very existence by several decades. All things considered, I think his people have been extremely patient with us illegal South Dakota immigrants. Thank you brother Roger. :-)

  62. bearcreekbat 2014.11.27

    Bill is right, our South Dakota ancestors became "illegal immigrants" when they came to the Black Hills in violation of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty looking for gold. Lucky for them that the US gov't decided to grant amnesty by violating the Treaty (and the US Constitution) a few years later.

  63. Les 2014.11.27

    Now Roger knows where to start counting coup, bcb. You and Bf probably be the sum total here of having ancestors in state in 68.

  64. Les 2014.11.27

    Now Roger knows where to start counting coup, bcb. You and Bf probably be the sum total here of having ancestors in the Black Hills in 68.

  65. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.27

    John Stewart said he had a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner today, he invited them to eat with him, murdered them, and stole their land.

  66. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.27

    Let me try that again. Les, John Stewart said he had a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner today, he invited all his neighbors to eat with, murdered them, and then stole their land.

  67. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.27

    bear, the U.S. government violated the 1868 treaty and violated the Constitutional as well as granting amnesty to the invaders? The devil you say, the government doesn't do crap like that, do they?

  68. Les 2014.11.27

    Watch our government do that again to anyone standing up to protect their land from XL. We are all expendable when the time is right. I'm sorry for your past. In the legacy of man, few lineages haven't faced attempted annihilation.

  69. grudznick 2014.11.27

    The Spaniards did a job in South America.

  70. bearcreekbat 2014.11.28

    Roger, I mis-spoke when I said the US gov't violated the Fort Laramie Treaty and Constitution. What I should have said was that the people in power at that time violated the Fort Laramie Treaty and Constitution. Our government, as established by our Constitution, was designed to protect the rights granted under the treaty.

    I only say this because blaming "government" when describing the unlawful actions of people in power denigrates the term "government," fails to put the blame on the actual people responsible for the unlawful actions, and suckers people into believing "big government" is the problem rather than the people in power that fail to honor what our government was designed to do.

    In other words, our government is not designed to cause harm, it is designed to protect all of us. The problem comes when unscrupulous folks manage to get into powerful positions within that government that enables them to disregard the goals and promises of our government.

  71. bearcreekbat 2014.11.28

    It appears that the 1868 Treaty was unlawfully abrogated in 1877, during the administration of Republican President Rutherford B. Hayes. Looking back, Hayes obtained his office through a back door deal with Congress in which he agreed to end Reconstruction in the South, abandon any federal protection for newly freed slaves, and focus on monetary policy instead.

    Democrats and Republicans agreed to name Hayes President in the disputed election of 1876 "if Hayes' cabinet consisted of at least one Southerner and he withdrew all Union troups from the South . . . . [This] became known as the second “Corrupt Bargain.' When Hayes' followed through with these promises by removing federal troops from the South as President, he effectively ended Reconstruction."

    In other words, whites were now free to commit violent acts against non-whites whenever and whereever they wanted to and the powers in the Hayes administration would no longer object nor enforce our government's laws against such behavior. Thus, in retrospect it is no surprise that the 1868 Treaty promising to protect the rights on Indians was unlawfully abrogated. And it wasn't the "government" that was to blame, it was the Hayes administration and corrupt members of Congress.

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