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Anonymous Quasi-Witness Says Indian Kids Drew Racist Attack by Sitting thru Anthem

According to multiple eyewitnesses who have gone on the record with their names, last Saturday, January 24, at least one person in a VIP box at a Rapid City Rush hockey game threw racial insults and beer at a group of 57 American Indian students from American Horse School in Allen. The racist bullying was so bad that the American Horse students' parents and chaperones took the kids out of the arena during the third period to protect the children.

Now an anonymous individual who claims to have been in the VIP box but sitting at the bar an not paying much attention to what was happening at the game tries tells the Rapid City Journal that the kids started it by not standing up for the National Anthem.

Notice that this anonymous source does not refute that the racist assault occurred. This anonymous source does not refute that grown-ups bullied children. This anonymous source attacks the victims with a weak charge that other eyewitnesses who use their names say is not true.

But most importantly, even if we took everyone at their word here, let's put the attack in personal context: Anonymous Individual, if your son or daughter did not stand up for the Star-Spangled Banner, would you call your child racist names and pour beer on your child? If you would, stay the heck away from my child. If you wouldn't, then how could you ever reach the conclusion that any adult could justify responding to someone else's anthem-reposed child in such a brutish fashion?

When I'm at public events where participants are invited to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, I omit "under God" (as well as all of those ill-placed grade-school commas). Anonymous Individual, if you hear me not uttering those two words, are you going to call me names and throw beverages at me?

Perhaps we need to invoke Charlie Hebdo: the speech acts of others do not justify violence.

We do not need to establish whether or not Anonymous Individual's attack on the American Horse students' patriotism is true; it does not matter in terms of adjudicating the possible hate crime in question. Nothing justifies calling children racist names and dumping alcoholic beverages on them. It matters only in seeing how racists rationalize their attacks on vulnerable children by further insulting those children.


  1. Flipper 2015.02.01

    Amen, Cory! Anonymous Individual probably also thinks that a woman is to blame for being raped if she wears short shorts.

  2. Eve Fisher 2015.02.01

    Whoever threw beer and insults from the VIP box SHOULD BE ARRESTED. NOW.

  3. Tim 2015.02.01

    As much as I wish it was different out here, RCPD has a pattern in dealing with this sort of thing. The investigation will drag on, eventually it will all die down and be forgotten by the public, then be swept under the rug. This is the way they deal with Native issues. The other way they deal, shoot first and ask questions later, at least nobody got shot.

  4. Nick Nemec 2015.02.01

    "Patriotism is the last refuge of to which a scoundrel clings." Samuel Johnson

  5. jerry 2015.02.01

    Anonymous got the Journal page though, thank God for right wing news. They made the while folks proud of what the drunks did to the kids there. I am quite sure that the Rapid City fathers will look at the headline and breathe a sigh of relief at Anonymous for the courage to change the direction of this trail to make it the fault of the children. What if it was the beer distributor that gets the press? Beer sales will go through the roof. Bud, the beer that shows patriotism against the evils of Native school children.

  6. Paul Seamans 2015.02.01

    The Rapid City Journal is really being taken to the woodshed on facebook for this article. I don't know if people are actually reading the article or if they are reacting to the headline.

  7. happy camper 2015.02.01

    It is best to wait before drawing conclusions and there may be more that comes out to alter the public understanding of the dynamics. I'm going to wait, but for the sake of an open mind one should consider this may not have been racially motivated. If the kids had been an identifiable group from Montana and wouldn't stand for the National Anthem it's conceivable they would have been bullied and told to go back to Montana. The racial element is unacceptable, but let's face it, when people drink they do stupid things.

    So you may say alcohol is not an excuse, but some think 80% of those on Pink Ridge are alcoholics. A correlation to an 80% unemployment rate? Most of the police reports on the reservation relate to alcohol.

    This is a minor event compared to the day in and day out of living in the poorest place in the United States. The stats reflect a long list of hopelessness which make even less sense considering SD brings foreign workers in to the state.

  8. larry kurtz 2015.02.01

    'happy camper' is just another concern troll denying white privilege and Rapid City's infamous history of racism.

  9. larry kurtz 2015.02.01

    Cory: have you compared camper with DD's ip address? Same, my bet.

  10. happy camper 2015.02.01

    No Larry, it's just best to let facts speak for themselves. It's too easy to make wrong assumptions. For how long did people assume Anna Mae Aquash was murdered by the FBI? Come to find out it was most likely caused by jealousy and suspicion within the American Indian Movement and approved from way up high.

    Be careful you're not full of white guilt. A lot of people seem to have it, or want to prove they are the most enlightened by hating everything the federal government has done. By most accounts there are a lot of mistakes still being made by the federal government but also tribal corruption and things that are just not "politically correct" to discuss candidly, but the people on the reservations are the ones living in these terrible conditions. It's a human stain.

  11. mike from iowa 2015.02.01

    I guess the real lesson to be learned is those pesky Indian kids should have precipitated the fight by pouring beer up into the skybox and telling whitey beer drinkers to go back to where-old Milwaukee,the land of sky blue waters,Germany?

  12. Owen 2015.02.01

    Your right happy camper. all the facts should be known. But witnesses (with names) have stated what happened. Looks like the facts are pretty much in.
    For arguments sake lets say the students didn't stand for the National Anthem. Does that give these people the right to cuss, use racial slurs and dump beer on them? I don't think so.
    You bring up many issues. Let's stick to this one.
    There is no excuse for what these people did.

  13. larry kurtz 2015.02.01

    "‏@_RuthHopkins 3 hours ago
    Word is the whitemen who assaulted 57 Native kids are business men, school board members & a SD state government employee. Shameful."

  14. Roger Elgersma 2015.02.01

    Anonymous would not stand up and give his name, kids from a sovereign nation do not stand for anthem of nation that decimated them. Kids were thinking clearer than drunks, well yeah.
    During Obama's first speech in congress a southern congressman yelled 'liar'. When asked his friends from back home said that he is not a racist. The same friends said that he never did that before. He had never been in a position with a black in position above him. Racism is subconscious so do not assume you yourself do not have a little on some level. So do not assume there is no racism when no kids ever got beer thrown on them before.

  15. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.01

    The Rapid City Journal has removed this story from its website along with the accompanying racial comments and excuses (i.e. happy camper).
    There is a report on Facebook of another beer throwing attack on Native Americans on Friday. I'm searching for details.
    As Ben Bradley once said, "when will people go on the record with this story?". The biggest anonymous I'm wondering about is the racist bar owner from Phillip. Why hasn't the Rapid City Journal and Rapid City Police Department identified this man? In cases of child abuse the Journal always reports the names of the abusers, why are they all protecting this man and others?

  16. Roger Elgersma 2015.02.01

    When the prejudice is so bad that adults blame kids for adults bad behavior, then why would anyone have respect for the Rapid City culture or lack thereof.

  17. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.01

    happy camper continues his attempts to minimize this racist act with repeated distractions, just as he did on previous related threads.
    happy camper wants to talk about alcoholism and poverty and not the child abuse, he obviously has not read the facts as they have been reported over this past week.
    He wants all the facts before making a judgment, so do I and the Lakota people. Yet the Rapid City Journal and the Rapid City Police Department are protecting the one man that can tell us the "other side of the story". Will this child abuse ever man up and give us the "facts"?

  18. Paul Seamans 2015.02.01

    While I think there is no excuse for the bullies that taunted the students I also agree with the Rapid City Journal for not releasing the names of any of the accused. Why should the RCJ set themselves up for a possible lawsuit? Patience people, what difference does it make if this information comes out today or if it doesn't come out until a couple of days from now.

  19. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.01

    Two points I would like to make:

    1. When there are reported child abuse cases covered by the Journal, the accusers names are always published. I don't know that lawsuit against the Journal for publishing the names of abusers would carry much weight, all the Journal has to do if they are wrong is quote from the state's attorney's office that charges were dismissed or the case was somehow settled.
    2. I usually don't do the "what if" thing, but this warrants it. If the child abusers were Native Americans, the Journal would have their names out their in a New York minute.

    The public has a right to know this information.

  20. Tim 2015.02.01

    RC agreed, the Journal has already started the spin machine, and the RCPD will be in no hurry, the longer they drag it out the better it will be for them and the perps. It will be up to people like us to not allow them to sweep it.

  21. Paul Seamans 2015.02.01

    Roger Cornelius, granted that the RCJ has been covering news stories differently when natives are involved versus when non-natives are involved. Does this mean that the RCJ should try to even things out by reporting a story that is unfair to non-natives or should the RCJ strive for fairness for everyone? Again I say, with the interest in this story the names of the people involved will surely come out. What difference does it make if their names are disclosed today or if they are disclosed tomorrow?

  22. Tim 2015.02.01

    Paul, what difference will it make if the names are disclosed tomorrow or not for another 6 months? I'll be shocked if we ever get the names. I personally would want the names, since these people were using Eagle Sales box I assume at this point some or most would be business owners, and I would reserve the right not to spend my money at their places.

  23. oldguy 2015.02.01

    Pouring beer and yelling at the kids is just plain wrong. These were kids and by all accounts good students. I wish we knew names but I did see where Eagle Sales was trying to apologize to anybody who would listen. This makes me sad>>>>

  24. Paul Seamans 2015.02.01

    If the names are not released soon (or before six months) I will join the chorus of the people demanding that we know who is responsible. If the wrong information is put out there to the public just because people are demanding to have names, and then this information turns out to be wrong how do you retract that erroneous information? A simple "excuse me, I was wrong, sorry" just doesn't cut it. I will be very surprised if the names of those involved doesn't come out within the next couple of days, if I am wrong then you can say "I told you so". Patience, until then just don't buy anything that Eagle Sales carries.

  25. Tim 2015.02.01

    Paul, I have no problem with making sure the correct info is put out, but I live out here and have seen this before, the longer it goes the more the chances we will never know. In the mean time Eagle Sales will see none of my business.

  26. Disgusted Dakotan 2015.02.01

    @Roger It is appropriate and proper courtesy to stand for a national anthem of another country. Our military troops play a foreign national anthem first with honors, then our own. Countless Native American heroes have died serving under the Stars & Stripes. Teaching any children to sit and be disrespectful to the collective sacrifices our flag represents, is wrong. While it was appropriate for those offended by such a display to voice their displeasure respectfully, it was not appropriate for them to throw beer or engage in the behavior reported.

  27. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.01

    You have fallen into the Journal's trap, the issue is not about standing or not standing for the anthem, if you noted, there are conflicting stories.
    I firmly stand by my comments that the child abusers should either come forward or be identified by law enforcement and the media.
    This story has been going on for over a week now, just when is the acceptable time to inform the public of what it has the right to know.
    If the Rapid City Journal followed or had a journalistic policy or standards this story would have been accurately from the beginning. The Journal is once again showing its double standard by not reporting the name of the child abusers.
    I'll say this again, they have no problem in reporting other cases of child abuse. whether the perp is guilty or not. They report with words like the accused, the alleged, followed by with what fines or prison time they face if found guilty.
    Tim is right, the longer the city and the Journal can drag this out the less public interest there will and the likelihood no criminal charges will ever be brought.
    There is a reason that the Journal removed this story from their homepage, what do you think it is?

  28. jerry 2015.02.01

    I think that most who would believe the anonymous tripe have never been to a pow wow. The American Flag, the flag of all of our people, is first and foremost at the head of the grand entry. The flags are carried by veterans, most, if not all, combat veterans. Children start going to these gatherings as babies and are familiar with the flags and their deep meanings to Native people. I call anonymous a liar and deceiver. Those words should have never been published as they mean about as much as the person speaking it, nothing.

  29. Joan Brown 2015.02.01

    I know this will tick some people off, but at my age I don't care. I really can't see what the big deal is about the the National Anthem being played at sporting events or even the Pledge to the Flag.

  30. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.01

    Standing Strong Against Racism Rally

    Tuesday Feb. 10, 2015 starting at 5:30pm

    East side of the Civic Center at the Band Shell coinciding with the Rush game.

    This Rally is being supported and sponsored by numerous organizations.

  31. mike from iowa 2015.02.01

    One would certainly like to believe that after all these years,racism would be a thing of the past-where it belongs. One would be wrong. Who to blame? Christian's idea of god for making whitey so hard to get along with? How about making so many different hues for whitey to contend with?
    What's that? Whitey wasn't the first made? Oops. Nevermind.

  32. Jon Dougherty 2015.02.01

    Attempting to throw up the smokescreen of jingoistic conservative false patriotism doesn't make this obscene behavior better. It makes it a thousand times worse.

  33. CLCJM 2015.02.01

    I can see no purpose in even mentioning an accusation let alone printing it as a headline that the kids might not have stood for the anthem other than giving the abusers an excuse for what they did, especially when the person making said accusation gets to remain anonymous. Other witnesses were willing to give their name. Anybody else who wants to be taken seriously, should, too.

  34. happy camper 2015.02.01

    Scary to see how many have already made up their minds. When people do they then only seek to reinforce their decision rather then letting all the information be the guide. It's no wonder people would want to remain anonymous around this sort of prejudice.

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.01

    Larry, does Ruth have substantiation for her claim?

    Paul, thanks for that NAJA link. They note that the RCJ's irresponsible Saturday print headline is a departure from what they praise as solid, fair coverage throughout the week. I notice they have changed their online headline to "Source: authorities focus in on one man in racism at Rush game." They have also changed the leading lines of the article to reflect the headline focus on the perpetrator, not on casting doubt on the victims.

  36. larry kurtz 2015.02.01

    Rapid Cify, you have been outed: now prepare to be boarded.

  37. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.01

    Thanks for pointing out the change and lead in on the Journal story, I thought they had deleted it.

    Given how erroneous the story was, they should have apologized for it and their poor journalistic standards when using anonymous sources.

  38. Craig 2015.02.02

    So let me get this straight... some ADULTS tossed beer on children while shoulting racial slurs towards them, and the ADULTS are claiming the kids started it?


    Aparantly these people don't understand what it means to be an adult, and if they aren't able to handle a disagreement with a child in a manner that doesn't involve racial slurs or assault, then it would seem they most certainly aren't mature enough to occupy a VIP box or consume alcohol.

    I do hope the names are made public soon - but only after ensuring they have the names confirmed. The last thing I want is any innocent person (child or adult) brought into this when they had nothing to do with it. If that requires a few extra days or even weeks to ensure they have done their due dilligence to ensure they have the right people then it is worth it. If it was your friend or family member named incorrectly I'm sure you would feel the same way.

    By the way, I'd say the same for anyone accused of a crime against children - because I've seen the damage that can be done to a person falsely accused of child abuse. Nobody deserves that... and the public's right to know as quickly as possible does not trump the innocent's right to not have their name drug through the mud.

    I'm confident those involved won't let this story disappear just because it takes a few extra days to ensure the facts are correct. Justice demands accuracy... let's not forget that.

  39. leslie 2015.02.02

    i have been trying to get an apology from rcj's 7.01.12 editorial saying that dems SHUT OUT the repubs in the creation of the new ACA health care law.

    On October 12, 2013, Zach Crago said rcj misled the public reporting the house republican's government SHUTDOWN was a good-faith negotiation.

    Saturday's outragous headline blaming the "Allen 57" was no surprise, as we glanced at COLONIAL HOUSE, a mixed table of Indians and Whites; but am now very surprised by the retraction.

    thankyou rcj.

  40. Jane 2015.02.03

    Those people that were in the VIP box should publically apologize. Attacking kids is the act of a coward. Best thing is to own your mistake. You will be exposed eventually and you will have to face reality. Doing the right thing would be in your best interest as well as kids.

  41. John 2015.02.03

    Such a shame to read of this xenophobic nationalism run amok in the state who's xenophobic nationalism was directly and indirectly responsible for the beating and murder of Hutterites who weren't equally as xenophobic and nationalistic.

  42. leslie 2015.02.03

    now i get rcj.

    fox news apologized a few weeks ago for airing the "fact" that britain has "only-muslim areas like Birmingham". the next day bobby jindal, repeated the same "fox fact" in London. the louisiana gov of course has 2016 presidential aspirations.

    rcj, SHUT OFF FOX NEWS in the studio, especially if you are serious about not MISLEADING the public with race-baiting and right-wing spin.

    other republicans wanting to be president, chris christie, and now rand ("ayn rand") paul MD, are stumbling (and Fox's laura ingraham agreed with the doctor), misleading parents contrary to science, into anti-vaccination conspiracies like measles. the rachel maddow show, 2.02.14.

    the point is, rcj, misleading the public with conservative spin like fox news does all day long, is a disservice.

  43. bearcreekbat 2015.02.03

    As an editorial in the RCJ asked, I wonder why no one sharing the booth where the fellows tossing beer and racial insults sat stepped up and objected to their behavior? I wonder why no one in the booth apparently reported this bad conduct to security?

  44. leslie 2015.02.05

    Heidi is a very impressive Senator. Passionate speaker. She represents Standing Rock, of course. Thune lived pretty close to Philip, Rounds oversees Oahe (Indian name) that extends thru several reservations in the state too; and Noem (what can be said?)...i don't think any of them attended debates in Indian Country last year so it might be a little awkward to call. Noem said today "Obama divides by class, what we need is a UNIFIER". foxnews

    a call to american horse. hmmmm. thank you heidi. UNIFIER

    the other three are probably confused that there were two historical American Horse(s), the Oglala present at Crazy Horse's death in nebraska, and the Miniconjou killed defending his village from attack by Gen. Crook's wandering, starving calvary at Slim Buttes september 1876.

    that our two senators and sole representative would stand by watching a hate crime unfold in the 2nd largest city in their own state, saying nothing, means one of two things.

    that they are not leaders. or, and i hope not, that they each took the temperature of their electorate and decided, politically, not to speak out to protect and support Oglala children of our state for fear of their adult voters' reaction.

    not a good calculation. am i wrong?

  45. Tim 2015.02.05

    leslie, I doubt the three stooges even know what went on, they only care about SD during elections.

  46. tara volesky 2015.02.05

    Leslie, not one showed up for the 2 candidate forums that were held on Pine Ridge......DD, MR, KN. And, Tim, they don't care about Native Americans, only about photo opts.

  47. bearcreekbat 2015.02.05

    leslie, unfortunately I think you are probably right.

  48. CLCJM 2015.02.07

    Leslie, Tim and bcb, sadly I think you all are correct. The only thing that they think is whatever is dictated to them. They also think all voters are just a means to an end and are to be used and discarded at their convenience. Or the convenience of the oligarchs.

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