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Indian Activists Take Grievances to Philip; O’Connell Pleads Not Guilty in Rapid

James Magaska Swan, founder of the United Urban Warrior Society, led about eight protesters to Philip Tuesday to demand apologies from the men accused of throwing beer and racial insults at American Indian kids at a hockey game in Rapid City. Swan’s group went to Philip because that’s the hometown of Trace O’Connell, the only person officially charged with any crime over the January 24 incident.

Now if Indians are mad and Philippians are racists, this rally could have been ugly. But press accounts indicate there were no fisticuffs, just stern talk, cookies, and a lot of cops. Swan said his people came to “count coup,” a reference to the traditional warrior practice of striking but not killing an enemy to demonstrate courage and gain prestige, but emphasized that they were coming “in a good way! Seeking only justice!” Mayor Mike Vetter spoke, saying O’Connell isn’t “indicative of the mindset” (Ann-erika White Bird’s words) of the whole town but declining to offer any apology for actions not yet adjudicated.

That adjudication will be complicated. O’Connell pled not guilty to his one disorderly conduct charge yesterday. His attorney Patrick Duffy, who has done valuable legal work for South Dakota’s Native people but now is banned by tribal order from the Pine Ridge Reservation, said after the hearing, “This is actually one hell of a story; it just didn’t happen.” Without Rapid City Attorney Joel Landeen’s agreement not to seek jail time for O’Connell, Duffy says he’ll demand a jury trial, and seating a jury won’t be easy:

[Fourth Circuit Magistrate Judge Eric] Strawn advised Duffy and Rapid City Attorney Joel Landeen that he has refrained from reading or watching any media coverage of the incident since the case was assigned to him.

Given the notoriety of the case, Strawn offered to preside at a court trial, if the attorneys are willing to waive a jury trial.

“We would probably have to empanel all of Rapid City to find someone who hasn’t heard about the case,” Strawn said.

Landeen, however, said the judge would have to empanel jurors. Turning to Duffy, Landeen said he is not taking the possibility of jail time “off the table.”

Speaking after court, Duffy said he would settle for a court trial if Landeen were not intent on demanding jail time.

Duffy said the result would be “the longest violation-of-a-city-ordinance trial in American history, if we have to empanel a jury” [Andrea Cook, “Philip Man Pleads Not Guilty to Disorderly Conduct in January Hockey Game Incident,” Rapid City Journal, 2015.03.19].

Andrea Cook reports 30 protesters rallied outside the courthouse during O’Connell’s hearing yesterday. Expect more such demonstrations in Rapid City, Philip, and elsewhere in the run up to O’Connell’s June trial.


  1. Paul Seamans 2015-03-19

    While it is hard to sort out what actually happened at least this incident at the hockey game has resulted in Rapid City people coming together and talking about race issues.

  2. jerry 2015-03-19

    Yes, Duffy is correct, lets have a jury trial. Lets just see what led up to this and what finally happened as a result. Put race on trial and put its ugly head out for all to see what makes an adult male think they have the right to do whatever they wish upon those children they view as subjugated.

  3. Craig 2015-03-19

    Depending upon how big of a retainer O’Connell is willing to shell out on this case, I can easily see this ending with a not guilty verdict. We already have “witnesses” who originally claimed they heard insults or saw beer tossed and later were forced to retract their statements after admitting they heard about it from someone else. Then you have the kids who probably won’t make the best witnesse on the stand and who quite frankly shouldn’t be put under the spotlight any more than they have already (yet O’Connell has the right to face his accusers, so who knows).

    At the end of the day, there isn’t any physical evidence and you have two conflicting versions of events. Like it or not, this entire debacle is heading towards one of two possible outcomes: a hung jury, or an acquittal based upon reasonable doubt.

    Not all is lost however – it has resulted in people talking about the underlying issue, and I do feel it is having a positive influence. The biggest fire still starts with a small spark – so don’t let this momentum fade.

  4. Douglas Wiken 2015-03-19

    Coyotes tell tales.

    And a lot of people don’t have anything to do.

  5. larry kurtz 2015-03-19

    Philip, like Winner, has a long history of racial epithets thrown at American Indian sports teams competing in those towns.

    Stupid state.

  6. Les 2015-03-19

    If you expect an apology from every mayor of every town or city where a racial tone is heard Cory, there won’t be time for the pledge of allegiance at city hall.

  7. Bill Dithmer 2015-03-19

    Wow, this is ganna be fun to watch. First the city of Rapid will spend a couple hundred thousand dollars trying to convict a person for a misdemeanor, then its time to get back that money through the Central States Fair and the rally.

    It looks like this will be the first of two trials. First the criminal trial, then the civil. Neither trial will make any difference except for making Duffy richer and the tax payers and whoever foots the bill for the civil trial poorer. Dont expect Duffy to play nice, a win is a win is a win. Thats what he gets paid for.

    I’m afraid I dont see the value of a forced apology for something someone else did, never have never will. Mr Swan wants something he cant force anyone to give him. Respect is erned, you cant buy it, and you cant force it.

    The Blindman

  8. bearcreekbat 2015-03-19

    Blindman and Craig touched on an interesting point – the cost of this prosecution and defense. The maximum class 2 misdemeanor penalty in SD is $500 and/or 30 days in jail. So if the City obtains a conviction, they can recover only $500 of the thousands the jury trial, appeals, etc will cost the taxpayer.

    If O’Connell had simply pled no contest, he would have paid, at most, a $500 fine. Jail time would have been exceedingly unlikely absent a prior criminal record, and even had there been some jail time he would likely have been eligible for work release.

    Meanwhile, by fighting the charges and seeking a jury trial – 5 days no less, after the much longer jury selection process due to the highly publicized nature of the case, O’Connell will likely incur an attorney fee bill that could reach several thousands of dollars. I have no idea what Duffy’s rates are, nor whether he is taking the case “pro bono” and is willing to spend an incredible amount of his time on the case for no pay, but a typical hourly fee for a criminal case with many investigative files to review, jurors to pick, evidence to present over several days, etc, would be anywhere from $180 per hour to $250 per hour, or even higher, here in SD. A well known and experienced criminal defense lawyer like Duffy would typically be at the high end of the pay scale.

    In turn, this could easily translate to around $2,000 a day for each eight hour day spent on the case. A five day jury would be $10,000 for simply showing up for those five days. Add another 5 days or longer to pick an impartial jury that has not formed an opinion about the case due to publicity, and now you are up to $20,000 or more, not yet counting all of the time spent on the case before a jury is even selected, such as reviewing police reports and interviews, interviewing witnesses, attending preliminary court proceedings, etc, etc, etc..

    Financially, O’Connell is in for big trouble, even if acquitted by the jury. I wonder if he thought this thing thing through?

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-19

    BCB, could O’Connell be playing financial chicken with the city, seeing if they’ll blink at the cost before he does?

  10. Les 2015-03-19

    Bear@ “Financially, O’Connell is in for big trouble, even if acquitted by the jury. I wonder if he thought this thing thing through?”

    You appear to have legal skills, bear. Is it possible he is not guilty, or at least believes that to be so?

    My daughter is paying $350/hour in a child custody case. You don’t get much for the rates stated.

  11. Bill Fleming 2015-03-19

    I’ll offer this interview with Jared Diamond to illustrate my view that a trial may not be the best way to deal with this situation:

    There is a need for emotional closure here, and I’m not sure our legal system is especially well geared to offer that. It’s more about “winners” and “losers.” But when we all have to live together and count on each other, it’s important to find ways out of that paradigm into a space where “everybody wins.”

    I’m guessing that’s what most of us would like to see, yes?

  12. larry kurtz 2015-03-19

    How is it not in the interest of Rapid City’s attorney to exonerate the community and blame an non-resident?

  13. larry kurtz 2015-03-19

    Doesn’t this thing pit a Democrat, Duffy against an earth hater, Vargo?

  14. larry kurtz 2015-03-19

    That O’Connell pleaded not guilty forces a discussion about how mucked up Rapid City is, init?

  15. larry kurtz 2015-03-19

    My error: Landeen, also a Republcan, is the city’s attorney.

  16. mike from iowa 2015-03-19

    O’connell admitted beer was spilled and now says he is not guilty. Fry him. Case closed.

  17. Curt 2015-03-19

    You may be correct, Cory. Keep in mind that the City Attorney’s prosecutors typically handle parking tickets (and the like) – and are almost never involved in a jury trial. Duffy – in addition to whatever else he may be – is an experienced trial attorney and loves nothing more than the sound of his voice in a courtroom.

  18. larry kurtz 2015-03-19

    $20 says there’s some famity irish catholic connection between duffy and the defendant.

  19. larry kurtz 2015-03-19

    family, rather. maybe even a priest serving as interlocutor.

  20. Happy Camper 2015-03-19

    Again I wonder how many people have read the transcripts of the interviews with Means and Poor Bear. One commenter on this thread suggested doing so, and there just wasn’t any racism described. I suspect Poor Bear embellished his Facebook entry to justify why they left the game early. He said 2 or 3 times I didn’t think it would go this far. The irony is racism is built on prejudgement and that’s just what was done to this poor guy whose life was threatened and the lynching many wanted to do to anyone in that skybox. Throw due process out the window. The guy got railroaded by social media and people just making stuff up. One Native American blog actually said a shooting would be a good response to this. If there was a collection plate I’d send O’Connell money to defend himself against what looks like false accusations. His attorney deserves praise for taking an unpopular case. I hope he digs down and gets the truth out of the accusers. O’Connell might just be deserving of a very, very big apology.

  21. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-19

    Today’s Strib has an article about a very smart and scientifically focused metro high school senior of the Two Bulls family of Pine Ridge. The work he is doing is outstanding. He will be attending Dartmouth University on a full scholarship. The heartbreaker is that if he had been at that hockey game, some would have regarded him as just another drunk Indian from the res.

  22. bearcreekbat 2015-03-19

    Cory, in my experience “financial chicken” never works against a group with relatively unlimited use of other peoples’ money, such as tax dollars, so I doubt it would be a reasonable strategy for O’Connell to try this trick.

    Fleming’s comment hints at what I would think the best process – Duffy should try to negotiate O’Connell’s participation in restorative justice mediation with the Natives involved.

    From their website:

    “The Center for Restorative Justice is a non-profit, volunteer organization established in 1997. The Center’s primary purpose is to arrange and conduct Restorative Justice Conferencing between victims of crime and the offenders. CFRJ also promotes peacemaking through community and group Circles to schools, organizations and Tribal entities. Trained volunteers work to help people heal relationships damaged by crime or harmful actions. Restorative justice allows people to speak directly with each other in a safe and respectful environment, to discuss the impact of a crime or dispute on their lives, to better understand events leading to or resulting from harmful acts, and to work out mutually agreeable resolutions.”

    To me, the restorative justice process would likely work toward healing much more than a highly publicized jury trial. I think it could positively raise the consciousness (sorry Bill) of all involved, and would make much more economic and moral sense than litigation. Indeed, if I were the prosecutor, this would seem like a more beneficial direction to drive the case for all concerned.

  23. Bill Fleming 2015-03-19

    LOL. No problem Bat. I agree with you. :-)

    (BCB and I have been having quite the discussion backchannel about what we mean when we say “consciousness.” It’s the kind of thing that — should Cory ever open up a thread about it — would likely put his whole blog to sleep. Fortunately, Bearcreekbat has been extremely patient in indulging me.)

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-19

    (Ironic, of course, that a discussion of consciousness would put us to sleep. That reminds me of a brilliant line from Pasternak, in Doctor Zhivago: “Consciousness is a light directed outward. It’s like the headlights on a locomotive—turn them inward and you’d have a crash.”)

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-19

    Larry, I don’t think Vargo is in this courtroom. But the political inclinations of the attorneys is an interesting sidebar… and perhaps an opportunity to break away from party stereotyping. Do party labels even belong on this story?

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-19

    Restorative justice—heck of an idea! What good does it do to throw a bum in jail?

    Of course, as Duffy will argue and Happy Camper reminds us, we still can’t be sure we have a bum on our hands.

  27. Bill Fleming 2015-03-19

    Great Pasternak quotes Cory!

  28. mike from iowa 2015-03-19

    Hate to break up the love fest here,but has anyone noted the Atlantic article about some dude named Hickey and pay day loans? I won’t post it. I sent it to Cory.

    Sorry for the interruption. Back to your regularly scheduled arguments.

  29. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-19

    As BCB points out, financial considerations are hardly relevant when it comes to criminal trials regardless of the size. Governments will spend what they want and all that can be done is complain about it.

    In terms of winners and losers, OConnell is both. He maybe acquitted by an all white jury in Rapid City, but he has already paid out some pretty big bucks to Duffy and is now labeled as a racist, that will be hard to erase.

    There is plenty of time for one or two other things to happen, OConnor can plead guilty to the single charge and be done with it, or Rapid City can drop the charges before trial. If I were a betting man, I’d bet on the latter.

  30. jerry 2015-03-19

    I live in a republican state called South Dakota. In the last 40 years, when has it ever been a concern about spending tax payer dollars? Lets have a jury trial folks and lets see where it goes. It is the least we can do to show that racism, if it exists, will not be tolerated. It costs taxpayers money each day we have prosecutors and their staffs on payroll as a matter of fact. Lets have them do the job they have been sworn to do. Have the jury trial and lets see where the buffalo chips fall. Duffy wants it for his man, and the people should demand it for the answers that will come from it. Lets do this for the children.

  31. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-19

    Paul Seaman’s comment about this incident opening the doors for discussion of race issues in Rapid City is a nice thought but not entirely true.

    The Rapid City Journal’s comment section, television stations comment sections and social media are showing how great the racial divide truly is. The Journal allows the racist to use terms like “drunk Indian” and when I offer a challenge to those comments, the Journal shows their prejudices by not posting my comment.
    As some of you are aware, the Oglala Sioux Tribe has banned the sale of the Journal on the reservation for their poor coverage of this event.
    If the hate and anti-Indian comments represent the majority of Indian/White relations in the city, it is evidence that Rapid City has a serious race problem.

  32. larry kurtz 2015-03-19

    Roger, you would love New Mexico!

  33. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-19


    New Mexico is a fantastic state, I’ve been there many times, but I still have some butts to kick before leaving South Dakota.

  34. Happy Camper 2015-03-19

    What if there was no racism? A person can’t defend themselves against it. All people have to do is keep repeating something and it’s believed. People cower in fear of the accusations and why I’m impressed O’Connell is saying no. It has to be proved. Not assumed.

    One of the first words from my employer in New Mexico was she was Castilian and could trace her lineage back to Spain. Translation: She felt she was a step above mixed-race New Mexicans.

    One of my black friends was so peeved because a mixed-race girl had to say she was Mulatto. With some sort of attitude. She wanted to think she was a little bit “better.”

    Not everybody buys in to this race thing!

  35. larry kurtz 2015-03-19

    Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people living for today

  36. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-19

    I like your attitude Roger!

    (Did anyone read the link I provided? I know it’s not directly germane to this topic, but it’s a really good story.)

  37. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-19

    Thanks Deb and yes I did read the link you provided, the Two Bulls family has a great legacy on and off the reservation, they were and are a part of my extended family and am proud to know them.
    This young man has great promise, I only hope that his mind isn’t corrupted by white racist South Dakota.

  38. Happy Camper 2015-03-19

    I was just thinking yesterday how that song was almost banned on WKRP (in Cincinnati). Finally Arthur found a pair and said, no, it says imagine and we’re gonna play our music.

  39. Lynn 2015-03-19


    Great article about Grant Two Bulls in the Strib! Breck is one of the private prestigious college prep schools in the cities. He will do well in college.

    Reminds me of Chef Sean Sherman aka The Sioux Chef originally from Pine Ridge.

  40. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-19

    What are you talking about HC?

  41. Happy Camper 2015-03-19

    This Christian group came and talked to Arthur whose family owned WKRP and told him about the terrible lyrics in rock and pop music (that’s what their station was playing). Arthur was horrified when it was brought to his attention and agreed to take certain songs off the air, but they kept coming back wanting to add more to the can’t play list. Finally, even Arthur got the fact these people wanted to control free speech. If you don’t know Lonnie Anderson is the most successful sex change operation in history, then it’s just a generational thing, but even Arthur finally realized he had to play that Beatles song damn the consequences. It didn’t say there was no heaven, it just said imagine.

  42. larry kurtz 2015-03-19

    Rocky Raccoon checked into his room
    Only to find Gideon’s bible
    Rocky had come equipped with a gun
    To shoot off the legs of his rival
    His rival it seems had broken his dreams
    By stealing the girl of his fancy
    Her name was Magil and she called herself Lil
    But everyone knew her as Nancy

  43. Happy Camper 2015-03-19

    The Dakota was built before South Dakota’s statehood. Amazing picture of it all by itself on the hill with ice skaters down below.;_ylt=AwrB8pRKiAtVXXcAFyOJzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTIzNTlucThlBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAMyNmRhMzQwYjY1NWMzYjA2ZjE0OGE3YTU0NDY4NTU1MwRncG9zAzgwBGl0A2Jpbmc-?.origin=&

  44. Bill Fleming 2015-03-19

    Roger, HC is talking about a TV sitcom. And Kurtz is singing Beatles. In other words, the cultural meme has drifted and mutated. You and I could probably counter by singing a Lakota honoring song, but you’d have to teach it to me, brother. ;-)

  45. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-19

    Thanks Brother Bill, I just don’t understand how WKRP is relative to the subject being discussed, and the link HC provided doesn’t work and probably wouldn’t have importance anyway.

    I start everyday with a simple Lakota honoring song, maybe one day I can teach it to you.

  46. jerry 2015-03-19

    Lets have a jury trial as requested. Simple enough to have done and should get the interests of the people satisfied. Everyone gets their day in court and then the jury decides aye or nay with the guilt part. This is what a nation of laws does, this is how it is designed to work, so let it happen.

  47. Happy Camper 2015-03-19

    The Dakota, John Lennon. The ice skating picture is very cool. Somebody had to father Rosemarie’s Baby.

    Somehow previously that posted on the wrong page!!!

    And yeah, I totally for the first time agree with Jerry. We must be a nation of laws. Let them hear it and decide.

  48. jerry 2015-03-19

    by the way, it is jerry so as not to interfere with any and all Jerry’s.

  49. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-19

    Larry, thanks so much for posting that video. It is outstanding! Not only is the video very well done, Frank Waln has real talent. The lyrics are smart and provocative. Is there more of his music available? I’m going to search online. Thanks again.

  50. leslie 2015-03-20

    there are two truths. Truth at the hockey game, and “truth” established in a court room.

    prosecutors are republican by and large in this states attorney’s office. the city attorney better hire a special prosecutor. a great democrat defense lawyer would be a nod in the right direction. someone with compassion and liberal concepts like reconciliation. make the community better.

    duffy will make this a circus. let’s try to remember this is not about him, at all. or freedom of speech. or, praise jesus let the american lawyer be heard. drama. it is hilarious they kicked him off the reservation. he should think about what that really means. Pretty powerful statement by the Oglalas!

    the Lakota have a right, or at least an awfully good reason the be offended by west river’s best investigators and prosecution charging out a class II misd. those often get thrown in the trash bin when the states attorney wants a class I. throw aways.

    HC, u bug me. u get your ideas from the journal? please don’t bring the name of john lennon anywhere near your version of justice. it seldom works the way it should.

    of course. i have a shakey feeling about where the court system is going to go toward reconciliation, which is probably the best direction. thank you bcb. it is better at burning tire necklaces to make the locals feel politicians are crime-tuff. like poking death sentence criminals 20 times to get the right drug in the right vein. like ignoring EB5 in a red state.

    just babbling, but criminal justice is still in the dark ages, imo. Thousands of goods lives destroyed. of course the irishman could be innocent. but those Indians? naw, can’t believe a single kid or chaperone. jk. that was a joke.

    I thought there were 500 advertised in rcj, witnesses interviewed? now it says only 170. I hope the 20 in the box have statements. I think the trial should be extremely expensive, piss off the county commissioners, make city taxpayers keep talking about this little racism thing they have brewed and kept cooking in our little rapid city, and pay the cost of racism.

    We can either get busy living together happily, and I mean you, white people, like me, or get busy….you all know how it goes. time to end racism, now.

    right wick?

    should i or should i not post…?

  51. larry kurtz 2015-03-20

    Happy to do it, Deb; you can follow Frank on twitter: @frankwaln

  52. Les 2015-03-20

    The Equinox of Insanity.

    A racist forever, and, still crazy, after all of this time. Maddville rules!

  53. Douglas Wiken 2015-03-20

    “Closure” is being shown as non-existent except as a useful tool for attorneys.

    The tribal actions against Duffy indicate they have no respect for freedom of speech and are clueless regarding what work attorneys actually do. Their action is certainly not to be admired. It will be something a lot of people remember when they hear pleading for favorable coverage of Native culture.

    I have no special information on what actually happened at Rapid City, but if the culture that is hyped again and again by supporters of Native superiority is so flawed that children of the culture have such fragile egos that they will fail because of idiotic behavior by whites, then that culture is deeply flawed.

  54. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-20


    Didn’t you recently tell us that Phillip and Winner are two of the most racist towns in South Dakota?

    If so, you are right.

  55. larry kurtz 2015-03-20

    Roger, i called on Philip businesses for over two years: it’s a horrible town.

  56. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-20

    Larry, how about Winner? Aren’t they in running, they are after all the home of the most racist Dakota Free Press commenter.

  57. larry kurtz 2015-03-20

    Absolutely, Roger: Winner is at least as racist as any other West River town and Wiken needs to spend a few winters in New Mexico, too.

  58. Douglas Wiken 2015-03-20

    Not a racist, but a realist. You are of course welcome to your opinion and Corey gives you a right to express it. That is not the way of the tribes apparently. US Tribalism shares same problems that Islamicist tribalist cultures do. While they plead for consideration of their cultures they do the best to destroy and harass perspectives not consistent with their mythology.

  59. larry kurtz 2015-03-20

    “i’m not racist, but.” Priceless.

  60. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-20


    I’ve considered for sometime now making a bumper sticker with “I’m Not A Racist” on it, people that feel the need to deny they are racist, usually are.

  61. Lynn 2015-03-20

    Can we all agree there are numerous issues to be worked on here in South Dakota? Those in power enjoy seeing division and conflict among anyone that would challenge their gig. We need to work together now more than ever if there is ever going to be change in this state.

  62. larry kurtz 2015-03-20

    Bless your heart, Lynn.

    South Dakota Democrats: go buy the best guns you can afford, practice, then gird your loins for the End Days and prepare to defend yourselves and your families from your GOP neighbors.

  63. Lynn 2015-03-20


    With that end of days scenario you describe I’ll be one of the 1st targets with some of the crazies that are creating a utopian Bubba Land here in South Dakota. LoL

    Seriously am I safe to say we are all pretty ticked about things that have been going on in our state for a long time? Generations? It’s getting worse and these opportunists and really they are opportunists are doing everything they can to protect their power, their profitable gig and their Cronies while not making hardly an effort in healing past wounds, solving real longstanding and festering issues meanwhile enjoy watching any potential challengers either get fed up and rocket out of this state, give up and focus on what joy they have in what they can control in their lives or we fight amongst ourselves.

  64. Douglas Wiken 2015-03-20

    Play the race card when you have no logic or facts. Then regurgitate obsolete mythology. None of it helps your case if there is one.

    Native American kids need to know they can do anything any white kids can if they will work, study, and ignore the idiot mouth breathers who taunt them…of whatever race.

  65. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-20

    Speaking of regurgitating, Wiken is a master of it every time he comments on Native Americans issues.

    His repetitious hate spewing about mythology and Native Americans hasn’t changed in years and has had zero affect on anybody’s lives.

  66. leslie 2015-03-22

    doug, how have you missed bly, moyers, campell edification of intellectual value of mythology? 1491s and frank waln take scarce resources of a reservation, daily pain, and philosophize in the tradition of bob Dylan, Shakespeare and chris rock. i’d take a rich culture over superbowl sunday any day of the week. mouth breathers sounds cruel, while we are on the same team, right?

  67. Douglas Wiken 2015-03-22

    I watched all of Moyers and Campbell on mythology. I found some of it interesting some of it amusing, but all of it irrelevant to modern life. Myths may have been helpful when there was no real science, and philosophy was at a beginning. Mythology now just leads people down irrelevant roads to nowhere. A lot of time is wasted in schools requiring students to remember which gods had snakes for hair, which were have beast, and which did whatever that was clearly impossible. The information might be now and then useful for crossword puzzles, but little else.

    We have Republican mythology on the benefits of trickle-down economics and all its varied names to camouflage its real meaning. We have mythology about the value of sports. Mythology is a polite name for it.

    Bow and arrow hunting and living in teepees with free-ranging bison is not likely to be relevant to anything in the near future unless climate changes destroy every evidence of modern life.

    There is undoubtedly racism in Winner and most of the rest of America. But, I regularly purchase products from businesses owned or managed by Native Americans here. Native Americans work in management positions at the hospital here. Several retail stores have several Native American employees each.

    There are opportunities for all who will study and work and be realistic about modern society and economics. Dressing in sloppy baggy gansta apparel will guarantee failure. It is not Eden obviously and the last few years have made it harder for everybody and not just Native Americans.

    Whiners and cultural advocates claiming superiority may benefit personally from their blather, but they are not helping those they claim to represent. The attempts to milk money out of the alleged beer pouring insult might be interesting if people want to do a little more digging in the relation between it and the basketball tournament “negotiations”.

    Roger can tell us all about the benefits of living in the past, but mostly all we get from him is humbug about rural electrics charging Native Americans more, the Post Office discriminating, etc. etc. Natives paying property taxes on reservation or Indian land, etc. etc. If you are naive, you may sucker for that crap, but that blather is also not helping Native Americans, it just causes doubt about what may actually be real problems.

    Two women have been killed by feral and/or “tame” dogs on the reservation. How does that fit into that superior culture?

  68. Douglas Wiken 2015-03-22

    Oh, and Winner also has a Native American mayor and Natives play on the Winner BB team that came in third in the A BB tournament. I would prefer seeing them on the Science and debate teams, but that is my prejudice. That may not be a lot, but it is also an indication that Winner is not filled with racist bigots..despite charges from Roger and Larry, et al.

  69. larry kurtz 2015-03-22

    Bubba Land, indeed.

  70. Les 2015-03-22

    Dig deep, puppies on the bottom. Obviously there is value in culture that isn’t being carried forward if the tribe is not putting those puppies into the soup, Wiken!

  71. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-22

    It is pure mythology to believe that if a city has an Indian mayor, Indian athletes, and Indian employees in the private sector, that a city can’t be racist.
    Native American Mayor Art Lacroix was one of Rapid City’s most popular and productive mayors in the city’s history.
    There have always been outstanding Native athletes on the sports teams and Natives play an important role on government and civic boards in the city.
    By definition Wiken’s is a racist, he chooses to criticize Native Americans because he does not understand their culture or fears it.
    Should Wiken ever get off his high horse and read what I say rather than think he knows what I say, he would find out that I have never stated or proposed living in a culture that is for the most part long lost. All cultures hang on to elements of their beliefs and practices once they become part of America.
    Mythology and tribalism have its place in Native American lives, the mythology may provide hope and tribalism (whether you like it or not) has and is our mechanism for survival.
    You can’t get more real than that
    Since I am a Native American and Wiken is as white as you can get, he chooses not to believe my life experiences, that is fine, I don’t believe him when he says “I’m not a reacist”.
    It is pure mythology to believe that Rapid City and the state does not have a race problem. The mayor, the chief of police and other civice leaders (non-Indians) have all acknowledged that the city has racial issues that need to be worked on. That is reality.
    It is pure mythology to believe that anyone, Native or non-Native could profit from the “beer spilling”, now called “droplets’ incident. Let me know who writes the checks for this mythological belief so they can send me a check.
    The reality, not the mythology, is that Indians are here and they are here to stay and that they are different from whites and in the case of Wiken, thank god.
    My life has always been a fine balance, my parents are both of different tribes and I have a white Iowa farmer as a grandfather. This has been a gift, I understand not only my Native culture, but the culture of my white neighbors and friends. Wiken should be so fortunate.

  72. Bill Dithmer 2015-03-22

    You are a racist Roger.

    The Blindman

  73. Bill Dithmer 2015-03-22

    I’ve considered for sometime now making a bumper sticker with “I’m Not A Racist” on it, people that feel the need to deny they are racist, usually are.

    The Blindman

  74. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-22

    And, what are you Bill?

  75. Bill Dithmer 2015-03-22

    I’m just a person that wants everyone to be treated the same Roger, nothing more, nothing less.

    The Blindman

  76. bearcreekbat 2015-03-22

    Blindman, do you really think everyone should be treated the same regardless of their circumstances? For example, if you have someone who is rich and healthy and another person who is an indigent quadriplegic, should they be treated exactly the same, or should the differences in the past experiences and current circumstances be taken into account? ?

  77. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-22

    “I’m just a person that wants everybody treated the same Roger, nothing more,nothing less”

    That often repeated sentiment is great, if only people lived by it.

    Actually it is more of Wiken’s mythology, it is not reality unless you have or Wiken have a magic wand.

  78. Bill Dithmer 2015-03-22

    If the laws were written right there would be no need to pick winners and loosers. Healthcare would be the same for everyone, free. If a person shows initiative, and wants to get ahead, then they should have that oppertunity.

    Yes everyone should have the same chances to better themselves. It is that simple.

    The Blindman

  79. Bill Dithmer 2015-03-22

    Ok Roger, what do you want if you dont want equality?

    The Blindman

  80. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-22

    Precisely where did I say I did not want equality for all Bill?

  81. bearcreekbat 2015-03-22

    Blindman, then are you saying the laws should be written so that even the worst off physically and economically should be given the help they need to survive? And those who are rich and need no help must be given the same benefits and those who need the help to survive even though the rich do not need it? Kind of like Social Security – Warren Buffet should get the same SSA benefits as someone with no other source of income even though Buffet has no need for SSA money whatsoever?

  82. leslie 2015-03-22

    les, explain your double negative and your aim about puppies, please. most understand meat is at the bottom of the stew.

  83. leslie 2015-03-22

    jfc, wick, between les’ puppies and your feral dogs: wake up. rapid city’s 1st ordinance: very 1st one, was what in 1889, 216 years ago, after what a thousand years of history in europe.

    the indians started tribal governments in the 30s if i am right. 65 years. so you want their tribal nations up and running with all the bells and whistles in 65 years, after 550 years of genocide. seems unreasonable by any metric.

    are you expecting unless there is a lakota lunar landing soon, they should chuck their lifestyle, their land, their language, their religion, their dog catcher, 52 billion in homestake gold, and just do a white job and quit bitching. model their corrupt white tribal government institutions after what, SDGOP, congress. What?

    they are completely within their right as american citizens to ask and get everything they ask for and need. they just took a university off the grid with solar power.

    SD?-no. Whitehouse?-well once, until the actor/savior of republican mythology tore solar collectors off for political purposes throwing away public investment that would have made a difference in the direction of the nation after the 70s oil shortage.

    you are a wise elder of the democratic party and roger is a treasured resource of cultural knowledge. no way is he a racist in any manner of speaking. you will never deviate from your aggravated approach about gansta jeans and white work ethic. who cares?

    neither will save nor trouble this high tech booming complex nation fraught with huge economic inequity. who are you kidding? every one of us can work ourselves silly and not necessarily have a positive result. Larry david, a wise jewish writer says “what ever works”. accept diversity.

  84. leslie 2015-03-22

    the 1st ordinance was a dog ordinance.

  85. jerry 2015-03-22

    Actually leslie, you are incorrect about the beginning of government in this part of the Americas. It was copied from the Six Nations or the Iroquois Confederacy.

  86. Les 2015-03-22

    Bear@”And those who are rich and need no help must be given the same benefits and those who need the help to survive even though the rich do not need it?”
    What would it cost to give the 1% healthcare, bear? Or the top 15%.?

    Hasn’t Warren Buffett paid his way?

  87. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-22

    Hey, here’s a thought:

    Do we agree that Patrick Duffy is a good lawyer, a good liberal, and deep down, an ally of the tribes?

    If the first condition is true, we could logically conclude that he took O’Connell’s case because he believes every citizen deserves legal representation in court. In that case, Douglas Wiken’s observation about the error of the tribe’s banning of Duffy from the reservation is correct.

    If the second and third conditions are true, it could be that Duffy is looking at the evidence the same way Happy Camper is. He may see (and Duffy has seen more of the evidence than anyone in this conversation) that there is not enough evidence to convict O’Connell. He may see that convicting O’Connell would be a travesty of the justice and provoke white resentment, but that not convicting O’Connell may provoke civil unrest in Rapid à la Rodney King 1992. Duffy may be trying to minimize the damage of a no-win situation by taking the case and arguing it hard in the press and in the courts. He may be able to defend his client, win the case on its merits, then turn to the Indian people, whom he still respects, and say, “You’ve got grievances. We’ll get your grievances heard. But you won’t advance your case by lynching an innocent man. O’Connell is innocent. I say so, the evidence says so, and the courts have said so. Now let’s move past this issue and get back to working on real reconciliation.”

    I’m speculating 100%… but I ask you to entertain this notion: what other lawyer would have the ethos to pull off a scenario like that?

  88. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-22

    Tribal governments aren’t immune from doing dumb things, after all they have great role models in the state legislature and U.S. Congress. I disagreed with the Duffy ban since I could see no merit in it. That action most likely came from frustration, which is not a good excuse.

    As for reconciliation, I think I have all but given up, at least until this generation dies off. Each and everyday I check my media sources for Native American news, where the comments are allowed I read the same mindless drivel of the Dithmer’s and Wiken’s that is usually irrelevant to the topic, it is only an opportunity to exert their racism.
    I like living in Rapid City, even with its racial problems, most of the non-Indians that are my friends and associates are decent caring people, they don’t like me because I’m a Democratic Indian with a big mouth, they like and respect me for who I am and I gladly oblige them by showing respect for their culture and customs.
    It is all the rage these days to label people and groups to fit ones image, I work hard at not doing so. When talking about racism, I assign it to particular people, not like Wiken who disparages a whole group of people because they are not made in his own perverted image.

  89. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-23

    Roger, I hate to wait. Isn’t there some way for the decent, caring non-Indians who are your friends, who manage to show you respect, to prevail in the popular discourse? Do the decent, caring non-Indians outnumber the yahoos we encounter in the comment sections (and, possibly, in the hockey skyboxes)? If we could put reconciliation issues to a popular vote (and I’m open to policy suggestions), would we win?

  90. leslie 2015-03-23

    jerry-yeah, my math is not so good either. i merely meant IRA, 1934 introduced Indian self government, a complex subject. 80 years, not 65 years ago.

    Some tribes adopted constitutions within one year and embarked on forming executive, legislative and judicial bodies. Oglalas at pine ridge has a system separate and sovereign from Hunkpapas ect. at standing rock, for example. One may have a more evolved dog ordinance than the next. big wuff.

  91. Bill Dithmer 2015-03-23

    Yes Bear that is close.

    Roger, your just not worth the effort. I should have known when I invited you into my home and you threw it back in my face four years ago. The minute you found out I was a wihite rancher you started your shit.

    The Blindman

  92. leslie 2015-03-23

    oh, should also have added in my occassional continuing diatribe w/ wiken’s hardheadedness (my indian friends might call it what it is…red neck, or racist.)

    by accepting other’s differences, as long as no one else is harmed, whatever works is not a bad philosophy. my neighbor, my brother, my sisters’ mythology is none of my f***ing (merely added for EMPHASIS) business.

    also, i, as president would order free mental health care, starting tomorrow for the next few years: competent therapy for underlying family, cultural, and national dysfunction that enables addiction, crime, personal boundary-less, bullied, raging, nuttiness, fear/shame-based, and gun-toting; that, except for the 1% or the 15% (after les gets back to us on what that would cost), would assist in community building. the cost for them would be required to be self paid, reflecting their flamboyant, subsidized life-styles. nobody is exempt.

    some are much “weller” than others.

  93. larry kurtz 2015-03-23

    Wetu: The Moons of Renewal and Growth (spring)
    Magzksicaagli Wi – Moon When Ducks Come Back

  94. Les 2015-03-23

    “Wetu”. Kind of like the equinox of insanity here, Lar?

    Can we expect the Sun Dance to reduce the spring growth of schizophrenic exuberance and start to bring mental clarity to Madeville?

    Hopefully by the winter solstice, on that sacred day of prayer and giving thanks?

  95. Bill Fleming 2015-03-23

    Seeing Dithmer tell Roger he’s not worth the effort breaks my heart.

  96. jerry 2015-03-23

    Mine as well Bill Fleming, race differences gut the American quilt. Respect has ebbed.

  97. Bill Dithmer 2015-03-23

    BF and Jerry, this has nothing to do with race for me. I dont like or respect Roger, not because hes native but because he is a pompous self righteous man that judges in the same breath that he talks about others judging him. That isnt going to change now because he pissed me off to many times.

    I really dont get his problem. We both want the same things for the reservation but have different thoughts on how to accomplish those things. He tells me my thoughts are not relivent because I’m not native. Thats fine. I guess everything is going just fine on the res and there isnt any need to change.

    The Blindman

  98. bearcreekbat 2015-03-23

    Blindman, Thanks for responding! In some ways I probably agree with you since I would support free health care for all, to be paid for using society’s scare resources. And since health care is based on medical need, rather than financial need, society should step up to the plate.

    But this analysis doesn’t seem to work very well for me outside of health care. I think society needs to step up and offer to provide food, shelter, education, day care, and other benefits to members of society that need this help. But I cannot see why society should offer or provide similar benefits to those folks who have no need for this help, such as Warren Buffet.

    I guess I don’t understand this line of thinking? Is this a moral problem or an economic issue in your minds? Why would you want to redistribute any of society’s scarce resource for an unneeded purpose or to individuals that have no need for the resource?

  99. Bill Fleming 2015-03-23

    “…he is a pompous self righteous man that judges in the same breath that he talks about others judging him”.

    Lots of us do that, Mr. Dithmer, especially we artists.

    That’s how masterpieces get made.

    Are we all thus not worth the effort?

    If judging in the face of the judgement of others isn’t worth the effort,
    not one song would have ever been sung, nor note of music played,
    nor a single painting painted nor poem written.

    Art involves great risk, supreme effort and yes, a sometimes overbearing ego.

    Even so, to my way of thinking, it’s always worth it.

    You know this of course.

    You’re just pissed off at one of your critics.

    Typical artist. ;-)

  100. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-23

    If an IM were put forth on reconciliation, it would lose big time. This is republican red state South Dakota, need I say more.

    The best course for racial harmony is to honor your words and actions by not slamming or degrading another’s culture and customs, especially when they are of the minority. That is called racism.

    There is hope for Rapid City, there are ongoing community meetings with the mayor’s office, the police department, and various civic organizations throughout the city. The problem is that the people that need to attend these meetings don’t. My non-Indian friends participate and are educated, they too want equality and equal opportunities for all.
    As to your point of do the good guys outnumber the bad guys I’m not sure. There are days when I think the bad guys are winning. Like I said earlier, that hateful generation is dying off and hopefully they take their hate with them and don’t contaminate future generations.

  101. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-23

    When a child is baptized into a church and grows up to be an atheist, that sacred rite failed. Oops!
    When the sacred rite of marriage is performed in a church and fails after a year or two, that sacred rite failed. Oops!
    So it is with Lakota rites and rituals, the difference being that there isn’t a document that can determine what has worked and what has not.

  102. larry kurtz 2015-03-23

    Bill Janklow’s idea of public radio: theft of the black hills largely to find gold and pay debt from Civil War. Completely contrary to Plains cultures.

  103. jerry 2015-03-23

    Native peoples lived in a harmony with their surroundings that is in deep contrast to the culture of uncontrolled capitalism. Race issues all seem to have one common denominator and that is the way we conduct ourselves monetarily. In capitalism, someone always must loose to make it worthwhile, in the case of Natives, it was the land. In order to make the case for keeping it, you must degrade the former inhabitants by killing the culture to justify the steal. It works with the control or tying to control the environment as we are seeing now in this country and soon the world itself with this little exploring traveler. We are as wrong in dealing with this beetle right now as we are in dealing with racial issues. We all must live in harmony to make everything important as it was designed to be.

  104. larry kurtz 2015-03-23

    awesome mother jones story, jerry.

  105. Les 2015-03-23

    bear continues to discriminate against the haves while railing against racism.

    Do you thnk our friend John in the Cities is standing in line for a free hot dog and blood pressure check, bear?

    I don’t by any means know the ways of all capitalists, but do know it is impossible for me to keep up with the charity of those I do know.

    Racism is racism and it is a chicken spit excuse to twist it into everything but racism.

  106. jerry 2015-03-23

    Great story les, but this dude is just a millionaire. There are hundreds, if not thousands of them right here in South Dakota. Hell, we have a billionaire right here (sometimes), so what? The causes of racism it the direct fear that those downtrodden will rise to take your chicken spit job and call you equal. You do not understand what racism is because you live high above that. That is one of the reasons we have a one party system in South Dakota, pure ignorance on this issue and many more. You think that you are cutting a fat hog, but in fact, we are all loosing. You are one of us les but you choose to not recognize it for your fear.

  107. bearcreekbat 2015-03-23

    That was a very interesting story Jerry, thanks! I am no scientist, but I have often wondered whether the beetles are supposed to be part of the trees lives. Six now gives some credit to that idea.

  108. bearcreekbat 2015-03-23

    I too liked your linked story Les and I think it clearly supports my point. Your philanthropist is using resources he does not need to help people in need. Your philanthropist does not seek to take scarce community resources for himself, since he has more than he needs already. His actions seem to reflect what would be an excellent public policy – use acquired riches (raised by taxing people who can easily afford to pay such taxes, since they, like your philanthropist, really don’t have a need for all their extra riches) to help the needy and to improve the community for all.

  109. larry kurtz 2015-03-23

    Can we bring this thread full circle?

    According to Williams (2000) Native Americans used fire for the following reasons:
    Hunting. Fire was used to drive large game such as deer, elk, and bison into areas that made hunting easier. Sometimes animals were driven by fire over cliffs or into narrow canyons, rivers or lakes where they could be more easily killed. Torches were set to find deer and attract fish. Smoke was a useful tool in forcing raccoons and bears from their tree dens.
    Growing Food. Fire was used to clear areas for growing food; prevent fields from growing back to shrubs and trees while they were fallow; increase the yield of berries such as strawberries, raspberries, huckleberries; and clear areas under oak trees to make the gathering of acorns easier.
    Insect Collection. Fire was used to collect and roast crickets and grasshoppers. Smoke was used to drive bees from nests aiding in honey collection.
    Pest Management. Fire helped to keep the population levels of pests such as rodents, poisonous snakes, flies, and mosquitoes down.
    Range Management. Fire stimulated the growth of new grasses for grazing animals and kept the area from growing back to shrubs and trees.
    Fireproofing. Native Americans knew how to fight fire with fire. Fires were deliberately set near settlements and other special areas. If a fire moved through the area it might go out when reaching the already burned area because there was no fuel.
    Warfare and Signaling. Fires were purposely set in fighting enemies. A cleared area was hard to hide in. Fires were used to destroy enemy property. Fires were set during an escape to camouflage movement. Large fires were also set to notify others of enemy movements and gather forces for fighting.
    Economic Extortion. Some tribes burned large areas to prevent settlers and traders from finding game. They would then trade with them for dried meats.
    Clearing Areas for Travel. Keeping trails open and free from brush was important for travel, and safety.
    Tree Felling. Trees were important for building structures and canoes. Before axes were available through trade, Native Americans used fire to kill trees. One method was to drill two intersecting holes in a trunk, put charcoal in one hole and let the smoke escape in the other. The other method involved encircling a tree with fire at the base, “girdling” it, and eventually killing it.
    Clear Riparian Areas. A riparian area is land near water. Clearing brush made hunting for beaver, muskrats, moose, and waterfowl easier.

  110. jerry 2015-03-23

    It does seem like we strive to make all fit into our arrogant scheme of the way we wish “our world” to be. We sometimes disregard the obvious to slander and abuse those that have made the world work in harmony before us. The rape of the land with total disregard for the precious water we need to survive is appalling. This kind of hatred would have never been tolerated by the indigenous caretakers before us. That is what makes this incident to top other incidents so bitter to see. We have many problems all, and racial, sexual, religious and gender discrimination are just easy ways to say we are to damn lazy to change the way we think. There are those that encourage this way of thinking to divide rather than unite us for positive change. This is what keeps them in power even though they are slowly killing themselves in the process, they continue to keep us divided. We know now that Starbucks has been kicked to the curb for daring to try to start a simple conversation about race after only a week of trying to start the dialogue.

    I welcome the request by Duffy for a jury trial to air this ugly stain that is not going to go away with being confronted. I think the tribal actions to declare the reservation off limits to Duffy is not in the best interests of getting to the truth in this matter, which is the ugliness of racial divisions.

  111. mike from iowa 2015-03-23

    What the beetles aren’t is a part of the chain of making profits cutting federally grown and managed trees. Climate change and evolution have no part in the discussion.

  112. jerry 2015-03-23

    I beg to differ mfi, I think they very much walk hand in hand. The beetles are proving that we are not the masters we think we are. They are evolution at its zenith. My point to all of this is that the sooner we recognize our short comings in the world around us, the sooner we can also look to our inner selves to find the meaning of what divides us.

  113. Les 2015-03-23

    John sold his company for 3.5 Bil, Jerry.

    Having spent 7/24 of my life in the service industry I hardly think I am cutting a fat chicken more or less a pork, Jerry, and I don’t live in fear. I agree we 99% are losing for many reasons and you can probably rationalize them all into racism.

    “”prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.”” To say that some would use racism for profit is a truth but to flag the whole ship is no more accurate than to say RC is a racist community though racists do exist there. I do believe boxing the tribes in on the Rez was and is as racist as can be described.

    I have a comfortable income, bear but my taxes show a poverty wage. I don’t take stamps, ACA, housing, etc. Why are you so quick to assume most who are capable are or would do so? It is no different than the cheaters in welfare, they are not the rule. For most of those who can afford, their time is worth more than the effort to jump the hoops. My philanthropist supports my point, bear. The 1% don’t represent the care and concern of the 99% who are able to function without consuming the valuable resources.

  114. bearcreekbat 2015-03-23

    Les, I agree that most rich folks do not care to have the same type of public assistance that the poor receive. My question relates to public policy – why do so many people get their undies in a bunch worrying about whether some poor person gets more help than he or she deserves?

    I may have misunderstood, but you, Blindman, and many conservatives seemed to be arguing that it is some sort of immoral discrimination not to provide the wealthy with the same benefits that the poor get, or that it is wrong to impose high rates of taxation on those people who can easily afford to pay such high rates without any meaningful loss to their way of life or their resources. That position seems contrary to common sense.

  115. Bill Fleming 2015-03-23

    The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal. — Aristotle

  116. jerry 2015-03-23

    Les, the problem you have is that you do not even bother to read your forwards. The company may have sold for 3.5 billion but he did not get that amount. Read it again and you will see he is a multi-millionaire, just like your neighbors that have land holdings on former indigenous lands. The fear you have is real, I read it in your posts. It is okay to have that though as fear is a driver. You carefully bring to the table your own idea of poverty having to do with taxes, while interesting, we all know that those numbers are skewered in the way the codes are written. For someone like yourself, who is self employed, your situation is different that the joe that works for 10 bucks and hour and has a 2.5 children along with a bride that may or may not be able to work as it is better economically for her to take care of the kids. This is the reality of our world here. It will be good to see someday, that folks like yourself, will look at Native men and women and understand that they have the same fears as you. They have the same hopes as well, the big difference is that they do not have the same opportunities as you have les. Their features and skin tone make them much different when it comes to chances that people take on you. Duffy is correct to ask for a jury trial. This should be done.

  117. larry kurtz 2015-03-23

    Gee, Bill: isn’t that what liberals try to do all the time? We’ve passed laws leveling the playing fields that white people control, often by wiping the other side’s participants out of play. That’s how i came to Statehood for the tribes: South Dakota is a competitor not a partner.

  118. mike from iowa 2015-03-23

    Anybody ever see the movie “The gods must be crazy”? A Bushman in Africa finds an empty Coke bottle and thinks it is a gift from the gods who love his people. Everyone in the Bushman’s family finds a use for the bottle and then they start to get jealous and fight over it,things that they had never done before the bottle was found. Finally one Bushman declared the bottle evil and walks toward the edge of the Earth to throw the bottle away and has all kinds of misadventures. Good movie from 1980.

  119. Bill Fleming 2015-03-23

    Larry, do you think you and I are equal? Do you think we should be? I don’t, on either count. I’m sure you can figure out what Aristotle is saying from there. You probably just needed a little push in the right cognitive direction. ;-)

  120. larry kurtz 2015-03-23

    Equal in the eyes of the law, Bill. It’s institutional Jim Crow that makes equal things unequal: apartheid lives.

  121. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-23

    Doug, every social group has myths and they are very important. Myths shape world view and are often vehicles of hope and aspiration. The link that Les posted is an example of myth. I think your confusion is about what myth is. Myth is not limited to ancient stories or even several decades ago.

    Les, your link is to one individual’s isolated experience. It does not universalize to every individual any more than one individual’s experience of struggle and suffering universalizes to everyone. But as I said above, it is an example of a myth providing hope.

    I think there is an important aspect of the power of myth that is not being respected here. Myths are most effective when related the vernacular and setting of the hearers.

    White Americans like Doug see no value in the myths of the American Indian people because they are not relevant to his setting. He is unable to see the hope and aspirational strength they provide contemporary American Indian people because in his mind, Doug sees myths only in concrete terms. To him American Indian myths are a call to return to a pre-white, more primitive way of life.

    Roger, as a member of the group for whom the myths are relevant, has no trouble internalizing the power of his native myths.

    Does that make sense to ‘most’ of my sister and brother [Madizens]?
    (I don’t know what to call us. Anyone?)

  122. jerry 2015-03-23

    How about, people, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world. We could break that down and just say people, perhaps..

  123. grudznick 2015-03-23

    Ms. Geelsdottir, all who blog herein are “journalists.”

  124. Bill Fleming 2015-03-23

    LOL, Deb, How about ‘FreePeeps.’

    I get what you’re saying about ‘myths’ and mythology. As with metphors, there are quite a few of us who don’t really get what they are. There’s a great Paul Simon song called ‘The Afterlife’ that illustrates your point about myths being both old and new, sometimes at the same time, quite nicely.

  125. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-23

    Bill, FreePeeps. Hmmm. Not bad, but leaves a little wanting to my ear. How about a compression? Freeps? That doesn’t particularly grab me either. Urm. (That’s a sound I make when I’m thinking.)

    We’re not journalists Grudz. We’re people with plenty of opinions, questions, thoughts, beliefs, obstinacy, passions, etc. That doesn’t make us journalists. That makes us commenters. Possibly a few other, less complimentary terms might fit too, but I’m sticking with commenters.

  126. grudznick 2015-03-23

    The courts say bloggers are journalists. They said Mr. PP is one. I think any of us could print “press passes” and wear them in our hats and get free drinks and harass our elected officials. If Mr. H were to issue a Dakota Free Press press pass and legions were to wear it about during the legislatures or at big events like basketball games it would really add to the brand.

  127. Les 2015-03-23

    Does that make Doug a racist, Deb?

    How far into all aspects of society do we dig to root out all “racism”.?

    There is white privelege. There is red privelege. I’m happy for young folks who get a Dartmouth ride. Red privelege will pull that ride over equal white any day of the week. If it gives a deserving youngster a chance, so be it but that wouldn’t happen in Jerrys perfect world.

    My myth was specifically to point out generosity of the capable who wouldn’t waste their time hoop jumping for a meal, Deb.

    John “Mickey” jr was a friend, Jerry. From the link alone I would confidently propose dad to be worth hundreds of Mil.

    I didn’t carefully bring taxes, Jerry. I simply stated what I could do but didn’t, in response to bear bringing his panty bunching worries of capable folks stealing from less capable. Most won’t steal just as most welfare don’t.

    This racial drum you beat, Jerry, is not just about true equality.

  128. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-23

    I’m not sure if I follow your question Les. If you are asking if not understanding what myths are makes one a racist, the answer is no. It just means he doesn’t understand what a myth is, both in structure and purpose. Many people don’t understand that, but that doesn’t make them racists. It means they are ignorant about that particular thing.

  129. Les 2015-03-23

    That is my thoughts as well, Deb.

  130. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-23

    Metaphors, mythology—every culture has them, use them to understand the world. We still do. Yeah, yeah, we’ve got science to explain how lightning works, why the sky is blue, and how humans evolved from apes, but that stuff doesn’t get most folks, white brown what-have-you, through the day.

  131. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-23

    A reconciliation initiative… what would it look like? What concrete action could we call for to make life better for Indians and Euros alike? What measure could Native activists put on the ballot that we white folks would find ourselves morally compelled to vote for?

  132. larry kurtz 2015-03-23

    On a South Dakota ballot, Cory, or at a convention of the states where tribal nations would be equal to the states?

  133. jerry 2015-03-23

    In my world les, we all come from Africa. That is the birthplace of us all. We all share that common thread with our dna. That is true equality les, that is the drum I beat. The sooner we come together as what unites us, the better for all. We must address the inequality and the racism that separates us. I say yes to a trial like barrister Duffy wants. I say yes to this to bring light on that racism we all know exists but do not want to discuss it in the light of day. My so called drumbeat is not racial, it is a call for change.

    Regarding taxes and claims, that is between you and your accountant, I could care less, les.

  134. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-23

    Les, here is a sentence that illustrates my definition of racism:

    “All Polish people are really drunken, stupid laborers.”

    Here is a similar sentence that is not my definition of racism:

    “I have known some Polish people who were drunken, stupid laborers.”

    Do you see the difference? Doug makes blanket statements about all Indians. That’s why I believe he is a racist.

  135. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-23

    The distinctions you point out racist comments is an important one and could be at the heart or racial tensions.

    As you have read, Wiken and Dithmer have both called me a racist, add to that my comments earned the attention of Sibson on his little read and commented blog. He to believes I am a racist.

    I had a open minded friend read this blog thread and to be honest enough to tell if I made any racial comments. His only critique is that I have sometimes called South Dakota racist, and that maybe too broad a brush. I will work to correct that, perhaps saying South Dakota is predominately racist would be more correct.

  136. larry kurtz 2015-03-23

    Roger, sorry Sibby sucked you into his warren; you really should know better.

  137. jerry 2015-03-23

    From what I read from you Roger, I think you are far from anything other than a man whose words I respect. I would also say that for the most part, I happen to agree with more or less all commenters on anything other than race. That is where the rubber meets the road here in a “predominately racist state” like our home. It hurts sometimes to think this place has not changed much since I was a kid and I still see and hear the same bullshit as an old man that I heard as a young one. I always thought we could expand our horizons instead, we have a man who should go on trial for the acts he is accused of, the act of belittling children with something so demeaning and hurtful, it scorches my brain. Alcohol, the scourge of Native peoples.

  138. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-23

    I agree with you Roger, about racism in SD. There are definitely racist people here, and systemic racism prevails. Yet there are people here who are not racists. My guess is that the number of non-racists is much higher than one might surmise, given the level of institutional racism.

  139. Les 2015-03-23

    So explain this statement to me, Deb. There are some stupid Indian laborers who pull knives on the police in RC and get shot by racist cops.

    Is your simplictic view kind of like putting God in a shoe box?

    I can easily say Wiken is stupid for his words. I don’t think he hates Indians as a whole. Could be wrong. Who knows the heart of man.

  140. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-23

    Larry, thanks, I can handle Sibson and will gladly sharpen my saber if need be.

    Jerry, no not has changed in South Dakota over the decades. Discrimination and stereotyping remain the norm. Jerry the sad part is that the ignorant can change, they refuse to.

    Rapid City cable channels have been running a PSA from the Human Relations Committee on discrimination. It is interesting that they are not talking about racism or in the broader sense equality. The PSA encourages all people to stand up to discrimination, really good advice.
    I fight for equality in voting, economics, women’s health issues, LGBT rights, etc.
    On a daily basis I may have to fight discrimination. Things like not getting service from a waitress or waiter, a foul mouthed SOB trash talking Indians, or being in line at the bank and having a cashier let a white man edge in front of me. There is more of course, these are just some of examples of discrimination that I have experienced.
    These may seem like minor indiscretions or lapses, but cumulative they help form your opinion of how business is conducted in Rapid City.
    Sometimes I wish businesses in Rapid City had the courage to revert to Jim Crow laws and put up signs that read “No Indians Allowed”.
    Subtle racism and discrimination is equally as bad as blatantly discrimination.

  141. leslie 2015-03-24

    drive west on 212 out of broadus mt. 45 miles, turn left on county road and head south west 15 miles along the tongue river to ghost town of birney, site of crazy horse’s last major battle in a blizzard, 1877.

    there is a wiki photo in a bar of local patrons there that captures a moment in time, a sign on the wall that says, ” POSITIVELY-NO BEER SOLD TO INDIANS”. I lived in that area as a very young child. If you cannot understand how they all felt about all Indians, just by the looks on their faces, then you cannot understand white privilege. Very few of us today have lived with this kind of racial intolerance. WIKI, native americans in the united states, para. 4.1 ( stumbled onto this “twilight zone” photo searching for the date of “IRA 1934” for a correction jerry asked about above @19:05, 3.22.15 ect)

    These same people, the children of montana and wyoming and SD settlers actually, beat a gay college boy to death on a fence post near Laramie a few years ago, a few hundred miles way from here, inspiring “hate crime” enaction. i can see laramie peak silhouetted from harney peak at sunset. Drive to Scenic. 30 minutes from Rapid City. “NO INDIANS ALLOWED” still shows on a sign outside the bar. Ten miles to the south is the Pine Ridge Reservation. The roads were largely unpaved until just a few years ago.

    this is our country, land we took, killed the native inhabitants for, for gold, for the beauty of the black hills. you all know some stories.

    i know, today, and have known over the years, lovely ranch families, have dined, slept with, hunted on their land in hermosa and winner, and have been stunned to hear how they really felt about our Indian brothers and sisters. Maybe they only meant just a few, or maybe they meant “all”. Never went back. I know i can go to any community between here and there and all points west river to the big horns and beyond, and hear those same conversations.

    I have seen it on major intersections in Rapid City, day or night, young white people in cars yelling at walking Indian older women with paper bags of groceries, and young men or boys, unprovoked, and visibly shocking the innocent. Imagine being Indian in Rapid City, dead relatives found along Rapid Creek, investigated, cases become cold, never solved. Dozens of these deaths. Is it unsolved crime, hate crimes, untreated addiction? Whatever the cause, we need to solve it.

    These are just tips of icebergs. If you can’t imagine, don’t assume to understand the nightmare the tribes have been forced to live for the last many decades. Keep your racism, if that is what it is, to yourself. Grow up and act like an American that is a friend to all of your neighbors.

  142. leslie 2015-03-24

    3.19@19:09-happy camper says he is proud of occonnell for standing up to racism. duffy says his client who may have been drunk, is a saint. everyone else is lying. george zimmerman says obama stirred up racism against him. we saw how that trial never went. zimmerman followed a kid, the kid confronted him, and zimmerman shot him to death with a concealed weapon in a struggle.

    same debate as our hockey incident. read national memo,3.23.15, r. stutzman

  143. leslie 2015-03-24

    zimmerman’s lawsuits for defamation against NBC and for emotional distress from Rosanne are either dismissed or may not survive an amount in controversy in fed. ct.

    in the meantime, in his only “job” since killing a teen who purchased skittles from 7-11, zimmerman was stopped by police after hours in his car outside a gun shop. broken into days earlier, he was keepng an eye on the shop’s saftey. He was a volunteer, again., 3.24.15

    lots of similarities to the hockey case, the perp cast as a victim.

  144. leslie 2015-03-24

    oh, btw, zimmerman refers to the president as Barak Hussein Obama, a “dog-whistle” if i have ever heard one. see “dog-whistle as racism and white privilege”. zimmerman is represented by a tampa lawyer

  145. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-24

    Les said, “There are some stupid Indian laborers,” then asked me if that is racism. Not to me. There are Indian laborers who are stupid.

    Les, what are you trying to get at? I don’t think my view of racism is simple, and it has little correlation to my understanding of god. What is your definition of racism? What is at the heart of your quibble with mine?

  146. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-24

    On one the Journal’s website a commenter said something about “a drunk Indian outside the civic center”.

    If it had been a white man that was drunk outside the civic center, the commenter would like have said, “a drunk individual”.

    Therein lies the problem, in the first case why does the drunk individual have to be identified as an Indian? It is simple, predominately racist South Dakota believes all Indian are drunks

    The same applies to Indian workers or laborers. Again the “all’ is implied and accepted as fact.

  147. Craig 2015-03-24

    we’ve got science to explain how […] humans evolved from apes

    Now Cory that isn’t very accurate because we all know humans most certainly did NOT evolve from apes. Nor did we evolve from monkeys… or gorillas, or chimpanzees etc.

    Anyone who suggests we did probably didn’t take many college level science courses, nor do they understand the basic premise of evolution.

    Humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor… but not directly from apes. Some of us just so happen to not have evolved quite as far as the rest of us… but I’ll leave Congress out of this. :)

  148. Craig 2015-03-24


    “Things like not getting service from a waitress or waiter, a foul mouthed SOB trash talking Indians, or being in line at the bank and having a cashier let a white man edge in front of me. There is more of course, these are just some of examples of discrimination that I have experienced”

    Now Roger – One has to admit when someone trash talks an entire race there is a high probability that person is a racist, but the other two examples you cited (not getting service from wait staff and someone cutting in line) aren’t necessarily racism but merely just people being rude.

    I’ve been ignored at more than one restaurant – in fact in one occasion I eventually gave up and left without ever seeing a menu while others were seated after our group and were served their food before we made the decision to leave. I’ve also had numerous people cut in line in front of me, just as I’ve had people cut me off in traffic, bump me in the shoulder while walking past me without so much as acknowledging it, and I even had a little old lady clip my heels with her shopping cart not once, not twice… but three times while shopping in Target!

    That doesn’t mean those people were rude or disrespectful because of race or age or sex or religion or anything else. Sometimes people are just rude, some are disrespectful, some are selfish, and some simply have no awareness of others. There are plenty of racist incidents that occur each and every day, but if we have the mindset that someone who wrongs us must be doing so because of our race… what does that say about us?

  149. mike from iowa 2015-03-24

    So Craig-in situations you describe,whose to say it wasn’t racism at work?

  150. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-24

    Craig, I think we can all write a list of experiences when we weren’t treated fairly. It is the repeated, and repeated, and repeated experiences several times every single day that makes the difference.

    If I’m in a business meeting with my male partner, the other side addresses themselves to him. Now that’s not a big thing, except – the same thing happened yesterday, and the day before that and 3 times on the day before that.

    That is a pattern of discrimination. We women recognize that because it happens so often. The man I work with doesn’t notice because he always gets the lion’s share of attention and it just seems normal to him. Once I point it out to him he is shocked at how pervasive such blatant sexism is.

    Racism is no different.

  151. Douglas Wiken 2015-03-24

    ‘White Americans like Doug see no value in the myths of the American Indian people because they are not relevant to his setting. He is unable to see the hope and aspirational strength they provide contemporary American Indian people because in his mind, Doug sees myths only in concrete terms. To him American Indian myths are a call to return to a pre-white, more primitive way of life. ”

    Deb, I understand that myths have structure, etc. So does a Disney movie about Pluto and Micky Mouse. It is not that Native myths or Republican mythology are “not relevant to his setting”, it is that they are not relevant to the real world and reality. I also don’t view Viking sagas as relevant to the modern real world. I am not going to pretend that somehow that is relevant to the real world or even to my view of the real world.

    I fail to see why it is racist to assume that Native American children can learn as well as White children if they choose to do so. I also do not see why it is racist to suggest that fixating on traditional ways and myths is not a recipe for success in the real world that surrounds us…no matter what is our race.

    If you want to be hung up on what is really mythology, then just assume that when I use the term, it refers to blather and bullshit in a more polite way.

    I also do not see why it is insignificant that Winner has a Native American mayor, and that Native Americans own and manage successful local businesses and are employed in several local and national businesses here.

    I did not see any list of useful myths and mythology in any comments above or ever for that matter. Nor have I yet seen anything concerning Native American culture that is specifically better or special compared to the similar lunacy of Whites. I still remember 3 very intelligent older Native American women authors on SDPB-TV talking in general terms about Native culture. When I called in and asked for specifics, there was about 45 seconds of dead silence until one of them said, “The way we used to take care of our children.”

    I have since been very suspicious of generalizations and assertions relating to the “better” values of any culture.

    If myths and mythology, make your life seem liveable or better than anybody else’s, more power to you, but don’t expect everybody to fall to the ground. kneeling, bowing, and fawning over your myths, mythology or religions…or partisan politics for that matter.

  152. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-24

    Doug, you are addressing things I did not say. I talked about mythology and my definition of racism. I didn’t say anything about Winner’s mayor or any of the other things your comment is about.

    You said about mythology, “it is that they are not relevant to the real world and reality.”

    I’ll give you an example. In 2010 at my mother’s funeral we talked about her predecessors, my grandmother and the greats before her. Those women were truly incredible. I feel wonderfully fortunate to have the family tree I’m blessed with. When I am in the midst of struggles I can think of them and feel encouraged and strengthened.

    It may be that some of those stories have been exaggerated. In fact, I’d bet on it. But the fact that there are mythological aspects of those stories doesn’t make them less helpful to me. I find those family myths to be very important to me. I like to talk about them and take opportunities to regale the ensuing generations about those phenomenal women.

    Doug, that’s how myths work in my experience. They work that way for millions and millions people. Myths have great value. The fact that you don’t find myths helpful is not universal.

  153. Bill Fleming 2015-03-25

    The Eliade link is a pretty long read, I know. Sorry. In case you decide not to read it all, Doug, here’s the nub of it as it pertains to this conversation:

    “According to Eliade, “modern nonreligious man assumes a new existential situation”.[165] For traditional man, historical events gain significance by imitating sacred, transcendent events. In contrast, nonreligious man lacks sacred models for how history or human behavior should be, so he must decide on his own how history should proceed—he “regards himself solely as the subject and agent of history, and refuses all appeal to transcendence”.[167] From the standpoint of religious thought, the world has an objective purpose established by mythical events, to which man should conform himself: “Myth teaches [religious man] the primordial ‘stories’ that have constituted him existentially.”[168] From the standpoint of secular thought, any purpose must be invented and imposed on the world by man. Because of this new “existential situation”, Eliade argues, the Sacred becomes the primary obstacle to nonreligious man’s “freedom”. In viewing himself as the proper maker of history, nonreligious man resists all notions of an externally (for instance, divinely) imposed order or model he must obey: modern man “makes himself, and he only makes himself completely in proportion as he desacralizes himself and the world. […] He will not truly be free until he has killed the last god”.[167]

    Religious survivals in the secular world
    Eliade says that secular man cannot escape his bondage to religious thought. By its very nature, secularism depends on religion for its sense of identity: by resisting sacred models, by insisting that man make history on his own, secular man identifies himself only through opposition to religious thought: “He [secular man] recognizes himself in proportion as he ‘frees’ and ‘purifies’ himself from the ‘superstitions’ of his ancestors.”[169] Furthermore, modern man “still retains a large stock of camouflaged myths and degenerated rituals”.[170] For example, modern social events still have similarities to traditional initiation rituals, and modern novels feature mythical motifs and themes.[171] Finally, secular man still participates in something like the eternal return: by reading modern literature, “modern man succeeds in obtaining an ‘escape from time’ comparable to the ’emergence from time’ effected by myths”.[172]

    Eliade sees traces of religious thought even in secular academia. He thinks modern scientists are motivated by the religious desire to return to the sacred time of origins:

    One could say that the anxious search for the origins of Life and Mind; the fascination in the ‘mysteries of Nature’; the urge to penetrate and decipher the inner structure of Matter—all these longings and drives denote a sort of nostalgia for the primordial, for the original universal matrix. Matter, Substance, represents the absolute origin, the beginning of all things.[173]”

  154. larry kurtz 2015-03-25

    A number of years ago, an article in Archaeology got me to thinking about mythological creatures like griffins. The earliest humans must have certainly been confounded upon stumbling across fossil finds likely influencing creation myths in nearly every culture.

    Whirlwind Woman: Native American tornado mythology and global parallels by Pybus, Nani Suzette, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University.

  155. Craig 2015-03-25

    Mike: “So Craig-in situations you describe,whose to say it wasn’t racism at work?”

    Maybe it is – who can really say? But is it fair to assume it is always racism, or is it more fair to believe that maybe… just maybe – sometimes people are rude or careless without race being a factor?

    Even if it is racism 9 times of out 10 it hardly seems fair to label that 10th person as a racist just because their actions mirrored the other 9. Unless we know intent, blanket assumptions do little good and they will never solve the issue.

    I’ve heard people speak of “white privledge” as a form of bias that whites may not even notice. Yet there are two sides of the issue, and we all have our own biases and presumptions about those around us. If someone assumes racism and makes that their default explanation anytime someone ignores them or gives preferential treatment to others it would seem they have their own type of privledge. Reality isn’t always quite so black and white, and more times than not people deserve the benefit of the doubt.

  156. larry kurtz 2015-03-25

    South Dakota: Land of Infinite Vindictiveness.

  157. jerry 2015-03-25

    The myths of burning bushes perhaps? Mr. Wiken is only bringing out the white fear of native cultures and beliefs. By making symbols along with legend to the table and then saying they are not realistic is the way to demonize beliefs. We see that commonly with the blind hatred of Islam and the beliefs shared by a billion plus of the followers of the ancient religion. By demonizing them, we seek to rewrite history much like we have done with our own Native peoples. By destroying the historical effects of the Native culture and then condemning them for their continued idea of hanging on to their cultural history, whites are saying that Christianity is the way and your pagan beliefs are to be ridiculed. The fear is in the air of anything or anyone who believes differently. The congress voted yesterday for new recruits to our military to swear their intentions religiously. The Air Force wants you to have ” a blessed day”. Obama is a Christian by the whites cannot have that, so they paint him a Muslim and drum that into the heads of old white farts that stay glued to their idol, the religion of Fox. It is no wonder whites have a disdain for Natives, it is the culture of white privilege.

    Tell us about the myths of Christianity, and then tell us about the the myths of mountains and streams and then tell us the difference.

  158. Les 2015-03-25

    You pulled three words out of a statement I asked you to explain, Deb. How about the whole statement. Say from the point of view of an Indian and then a white.

    I had already agreed with you, Deb when you came back with your polish descriptions so no quibble on that. I believe statements meant to hurt but not including “all” can be racist as I believe statements as wikens including “all” are not necessrily racist as I dont believe he hates Indians. He’s just ignorant of your facts, Roger, that’s all. I believe Wiken would. Be as happy as any if all Indian children were successful in their growth and education.

  159. Douglas Wiken 2015-03-25

    Bill, I think your article makes things far too complicated and makes assumptions about people who find no value in myth that are just plain not reflective of reality or the people involved and are clearly irrelevant in this and any future centuries.

    I am not demonizing anything, I am just saying that trying to cram mythology down kids’ throats, white or red or whatever, is doing them no favors and may generate unrealistic magic thinking about what is or should happen. I don’t fear culture unless it convinces religious lunatics they should destroy the world to kill infidels and those who do not believe their peculiar mythology.

    Relying on mythology, religious or otherwise, to justify policy is using a very, very weak foundation and may generate damaging consequences for those who rely on that mythology and those who see it is irrelevant.

  160. larry kurtz 2015-03-25

    Hey, Doug: head on over to SDWC, starting railing against the mythologies of virgin birth, life at conception, and intelligent design and see how long your comments stay up.

  161. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-25

    The Lakota didn’t believe in Santa Claus. They didn’t learn of the birth of Jesus and the stories of the Bible until the 1800’s. The idea that some guy in a far away land that was immaculately conceived, nailed to a cross, and rose from the dead was pretty far fetched. They tried to contain their own beliefs in the creator and to honor the earth for the resources it provided to their way of life.
    It is likely that at some point in our childhood we believed in the guy in the in red suit that brought us toys, it is also likely that as we grew older Santa Claus was a myth. That disbelief did not preempt non-believers to continue to spend billions of dollars every December, perhaps Americans really want to hold on to that myth and it has been incorporated into our society.

    The Lakota has a centuries old strong oral history, rich with myths and lore, most likely many resemble other cultures. It wasn’t until a few decades ago that these beliefs were written down. As with most myths and legends, as in the Bible, much is lost in translation, exaggeration, and sometimes bastardized.
    I grew up learning the stories told by my o parents,grandmother and other family members and neighbors. As a youngster I spent hours of learning from the Red Cloud and Horn Cloud elders, I count that as the truest blessing.
    Never did we have anything forced down our throats to learn this lore, in fact the story times were looked forward to.
    The Lakota use of humor in their myths and legends is by itself a learning tool, there are few outside the tribe that understand Indian humor. Remarkably, it is that humor that has helped sustain the tribe and prevented a complete genocide of Natives.
    The Lakota use animals to sometimes tell the stories, I never believed that coyotes, wolves, and bears could talk, that wasn’t the point, myths and legends are used for historical retention and for life lessons and education.
    I haven’t reviewed any new tribal laws and statutes that use myths as a way of governing, myths may used as a warning or teaching tool to caution what the white man wants to do to the tribe.
    An anti-myth obsession is sad, I have pity for that person for they miss the beauty not only of the Lakota culture, but of their own.
    Growing up on the reservation, we were never forced to believe the myths and legends, but to learn from them. How this a bad thing befuddles me.

  162. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-25

    Damn government!

    They took the myths of Jesus and Santa Claus and made them into a federal holiday.

  163. Bill Fleming 2015-03-25

    Everyone sees everyone else’s mythology as irrelevant, Doug. That’s why our current mythology about physics, biology and natural selection has trouble getting traction in some cultural circles. And yes, it is a mythology, unless of course one can actually do the math… and even then… String theory anyone? A multiverse maybe? :-)

    More and more, I’m thinking smart people should probably just refuse to argue about it.

    Just be sure to be selective about who you put in office to make policy.

    Hint: Anyone who wants to hasten the onset of “the end times” would probably not be a good choice in whom to entrust the future of our cites, state and nation. But hey, that’s just my opinion. ;-)

  164. jerry 2015-03-25

    In order to fully sink the stake into the heart of Native people’s lifestyle and promise, the murders and deceit began to take place with the mass introduction of immigrants made possible by the railroads. You cannot justify the grand theft of the the land without vilifying its owners in any means at hand. The greatest ecological destruction of the lands began in 1869 with the transcontinental railway. With that completion, tens of millions of buffalo were slaughtered with the idea of killing the Natives once and for all as you can read by the military dispatches. So we are clear, what peoples that could not be contained with the genocide, would have to be corralled into lands that were deemed unsuitable for white use. Here we are now and the tone of hatred has not really diminished from all of those years ago. The fear that whites have is real as it should be on any claim jumper that knows in their hearts that the world knows the truth. Here is a hint, when everyone knows the gig is up, admit it and try to allow yourself the dignity of being able to find reconciliation with those who have been harmed. Native peoples do not ask for anything that was not promised in treaty after treaty. Native people have every right to expect respect and not to be judged as a people on the merits of some poor begotten souls that have fallen through the cracks of addiction and poverty. To me, it is entirely possible to have the doors open with a jury trial that would air the issues on how a group of men would think they have the right to demean children, Native children without a care in what they were doing. In my view, then we can see the damage done and all do our utmost to try to help solve this racial divide.

  165. Douglas Wiken 2015-03-25

    Bill, do you believe that the cow jumped over the moon is equally valid to physics, math, engineering, biology, etc? If religious mythology and cultural mythology were treated with the testability inherent to sciences, those mythologies would no longer exist as “sciences”.

    If you claim science is a new religion or mythology, you fall into the trap of the conservative boneheads who try to discredit science when it fails to produce the results they want or expect.

    I am not sure of course, but I doubt any religions or mythology can predict the time to fractions of second it takes for an apple to fall from a tree to the ground.

    I really don’t know diddly squat about string theory and don’t know if any predictions from it have been tested and proven or dis-proven. That does not mean classic physics and nuclear physics, chemistry, and biology are mere myths or mythology.

    Try to build a car or a house or a spacecraft or an x-ray machine, or a laser with religion and let us know the results.

  166. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-25

    Les, I’m a bit confused. Please ask me again because I’m not following what your question is. Ask in a different way than you did before, since I didn’t get that. I am willing to answer and see if my definition holds up or if I need to reconsider parts of it. Thanks.

  167. Bill Fleming 2015-03-25

    The myth of Newtonian physics was so good, most people still believe in it, Doug.

    But basically, every one of Newton’s Laws has been proven to be false when it comes to truly explaining the origin and nature of the cosmos.

    What’s most important is not whether or not you believe the myth, but rather how that myth shapes culture and societies world view.

    These days a great many people believe technology can solve any problem. That’s a myth. But culturally, we live our lives as though it isn’t.

    And yes, some myths yield better predictions than others. ;-)

  168. Les 2015-03-25

    Fuzzy logic, BF. I suggest again, there is no absolute.

  169. Bill Fleming 2015-03-26

    That could be a myth too, Les. Myths are things we make up about things we don’t really know about. :-) Metaphors.

  170. Les 2015-03-26

    Now metaphors is something I actually know about, specially after the beer starts flowing. And no, I don’t spill my beer either unintentionally or intentionally, getting us back on topic.

    I’m sure this has been mentined but I’ll reiteate if it has. Any public event where alcohol is served carries a responsibility to ensure the human rights are protected from abuse. The civic center should be held as high if not higher than the perp for allowing this to occur.

  171. jerry 2015-03-26

    What you say Les, is absolutely true. A comment noted that the police presence at the LNI was significantly more than what appears at venues where alcohol flows like Rapid Creek. The civic center should be held accountable as well. In the end though, all of this still adds up to just a couple of issues, was it an accident or was it deliberate? If an accident, why did it not end with a simple apology, no harm no foul. Instead, it appears that it may have escalated because it may have not been so innocent. Lets have that jury trial that barrister Duffy demands and find out the particulars in a court of law.

  172. larry kurtz 2015-03-26

    A Native American man scored a legal and symbolic court victory on Thursday in Rapid City with his acquittal on a charge of fishing without a license. James Swan, 53, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and a Rapid City resident, represented himself in 7th Circuit Magistrate Court at the Pennington County Courthouse. Will Williams, of the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office, was the prosecutor. [Seth Tupper]

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