To demonstrate that political labels dissolve in municipal elections, conservative Rip Ryness posts the following graphic to encourage his Rapid City neighbors to re-elect Mayor Sam Kooiker and not vote for challenger Steve Allender:
Ryness joined some Tea-flavored collaborators in mounting primary challenges to Republicans considered too moderate in the 2014 election. Yet here he is, a conservative, not only adapting the “Black Lives Matter” mantra to “Native Votes Matter” but invoking an image of police brutality that verges on libel (even against the stiffer criteria for defamation of public figures).
Ryness is right to bring attention to the racist comments attributed to former police chief Allender. Allender’s denial of making those comments deserves equal attention as Rapid Citians decide whether he’s better qualified to lead their racially tense community than Mayor Kooiker. But is the text under scrutiny overwhelmed by too-charged imagery?