As the still anonymous and cowardly “Americans First, Task Force” promotes its new series of monthly Two Hours Hate sessions (essentially Klan meetings without the robes and torches), it may behoove us to briefly review the South Dakota Human Rights Act.
South Dakota law prohibits employers, unions, landlords and real estate brokers, schools, and providers of public accommodations to discriminate against any person—not just any American citizen, but any person—based on “race, color, creed, religion, sex, ancestry, disability, or national origin.”
Aberdeen’s anonymous hate group held its first crypto-Klan meeting at the Ramkota; the next two will take place at the now ironically named Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #632 on Second Street. Their mission statement says they are “an international non-profit organization uniting fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.” Their motto is “People Helping People.” Their Aberdeen establishment provides public accommodations.
The Aberdeen Eagles post generously permits a variety of groups to hold meetings and events in their facility. It is my sincere hope that the events they host do not promote discrimination against refugees, immigrants, and people of different religions and races, discrimination that would violate the Eagles’ own fraternal mission and South Dakota’s Human Rights Act.
Related Reading: Aberdeen American News columnist Gerald Krueger reminds us that we all originated from some other country. He tells of his own German-Swede-Irish-Scots ancestors, then concludes:
The sad part of this narrative is that most of the men in my ancestral history all died at a young age. But their grit and determination lived on in their offspring and their patriotic urge to succeed in this new land they had discovered [Gerald Krueger, “A South Dakota Life, Born of Immigrants,” Aberdeen American News, 2016.09.12].
We honor our immigrant ancestors by welcoming new Americans.