Black Lives Matter Vigil in Sioux Falls Tonight Exposes White Blogger’s Blindness to Privilege

South Dakota Black Lives Matter (such a group exists) is holding a vigil this evening in Sioux Falls, 6 p.m., 11th and Duluth.

Kayla Koterwski is organizing the vigil. She describes herself as a feminist, activist, anti-racist transformative troublemaker. She’s a white (at least she looks that way to me) ELCA Lutheran who graduated from Tea High School and studied at Augsburg and Augustana. Koterwski tells Mark Walker why she thinks South Dakotans are uneasy about having the “Black Lives Matter” conversation:

Kayla Koterwski, from LinkedIn
Kayla Koterwski, from LinkedIn

I think it’s two main concerns. I think one, there is a lot of misconception on what the line “black lives matter” means. Does that mean that inheritably other lives don’t matter? That’s a concern I hear a lot. Of course that doesn’t mean other lives inheritably don’t matter. It means that their lives — that our justice system does not recognize and appreciate (them) and it’s important that we call that out. I think the other thing is that people are scared to be wrong. Particularly, when you exist in a white body, you live in a system that has always told you that you are right. Being told you are wrong and feeling the guilt of that and not letting that guilt stop you from engaging in really important work is hard. It’s scary because we aren’t used to being wrong. It’s an important lesson to learn [Kayla Koterwski, interviewed by Mark Walkerthat Sioux Falls paper, 2016.07.08].

White Catholic Republican Pat Powers steps in to pretend he is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ideological heir and counterintentionally underscores Koterwski’s point:

Martin Luther King marched, and died, in the 1960’s for a dream of an equal and color-blind nation….

MLK spoke about America as a promise, and under it’s framework, all men are created equal, and deserve equal access and opportunity under the promise. The American Dream is our only system, and it has nothing to do with race, except to remind people that it isn’t, and shouldn’t be a factor.

That’s what “the system” I was brought up in taught me. And I don’t think there’s anything that I was taught that is remotely “wrong” [Pat Powers, “Sioux Falls Black Lives Matter organizer Claims We Should Feel Guilt over “the System.” But, the System Belongs to Us All,” Dakota War College, 2016.07.09].

I, a white atheist Democrat, aspire to a color-blind, melting-pot America. But I recognize that America has not yet realized that ideal. That’s exactly what Koterwski says (in the part of the quote Powers leaves out) when she says our justice system does see color.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was not wrong to hope for a future America whose citizens and institutions make no judgments based on skin color. King was being prescriptive, saying what should be. But if we’re being descriptive, saying what is, we are terribly wrong if we contend that the “American Dream” that King and Pat and I seem to share is practiced fully by the American system. For evidence, look no further than the dead black mostly law-abiding gun owner about whose curbside execution by police the National Rifle Association has been awkwardly reticent.

It’s easy for Pat and me to talk about achieving a color-blind society because we have enjoyed the convenience of living in communities where our skin color rarely sets off alarm bells. We don’t walk around Brookings or Aberdeen or most of South Dakota seeing people conceal (or maybe not) their initial surprise, suspicion, or hostility toward our skin color. We’re hardly conscious that we’re white in the same way that fish are barely conscious that they are wet. We swim in white soup, with neighbors, police, judges, and elected officials who mostly look like us.

That’s the essence of white privilege. Pat and I, as well as Kayla, don’t live every day with our neighbors looking at us as the Other the way that blacks, Indians, and Arabs in South Dakota do. Not getting “You don’t belong here” vibes everywhere we go makes our lives easier. It means we are less likely to get pulled over and, in extremis, shot by nervous police officers.

Everyone should have access to the American Dream. Kayla, Pat, and I have better access to that dream because of our relatively pale skin. Instead of denying that fact and that injustice, we should do what Kayla says: do the important work of making Black Lives (Indian Lives, Arab Lives…) Matter as much as ours, in practice as well as principle.

70 Responses to Black Lives Matter Vigil in Sioux Falls Tonight Exposes White Blogger’s Blindness to Privilege

  1. I, a white atheist Democrat, aspire to a color-blind, melting-pot America. ya but ya sure talk down to me n my buds. just sayn. gotta drop the tude dude!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Even Newt gets it:
    “If you are a normal white American, the truth is you don’t understand being black in America,” he said.
    White Americans “instinctively underestimate the level of discrimination and the level of additional risk,” he said.

    How dare a woman disagree with Pat? Reminiscent of when the much more intelligent and open-minded Angie Buhl O’Donnell expressed herself in ways he didn’t agree with. PP threw a hissy fit and made a fool of himself then, too.

  3. mike from iowa

    The problem with a large segment of white America is they are sure Blacks are asking for special, rights when they want equality. They also automatically get defensive when they hear Black Lives Matter-they seem to feel left out.

    MLK marched and fought for civil rights. The NRA is claiming to be the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. The KKK predates the NRA by at least 5 years.

  4. For once, we find ourselves 100% in agreement, Cory.

  5. Lee Schoenbeck

    I’m curious why it is acceptable bring Pat’s faith into the debate? Bigotry gets dressed up a lot of ways

  6. “I’m curious why it is acceptable bring Pat’s faith into the debate? Bigotry gets dressed up a lot of ways”

    dude they dont like pepoles religen here.

  7. dija think thet the blak dude in St Paul had it comin to him, Kris? Cuz wes know them black ain’t up to no gud.

  8. If anyone wants to see the video of Minnesotan Philandro Castile’s murder aftermath and how disrespectful the girlfriend and her daughter was treated just go to you tube. Five shots were fired at him and he wasn’t even the driver; for reaching for his wallet and mentioning he had a licensed gun . After seeing this happen in the Cities several times, I totally agree with Gov Dayton that this wouldn’t have happened if he had been white. There are a percentage of police offices in the country that are freaking out when they see tall, well built black guys in dreads. I think these police officers that can’t handle stress any better than this should not be in this stressful of a job. Police Academies need to be far more selective in accepting candidates.
    Now before I get a bunch of negative comments about how I’m anti-police, I am not. I admire the men and women who do this job everyday. I know I could never do it.

  9. I aint dat way jenny. he did nuthin to deserve it gettin shot or even tased. he did wat da cop wanted. he was a good guy, good job n was luved by many. no thret to anyone.


    Cory, hope you don’t mind. I had to show white South Dakota how racism is a real issue today and not just made up by liberals.

  11. Donald Pay

    There’s always been a disconnect between Pat Powers and reality, so his belief that everything is hunky dory is his reality. He doesn’t have real life experiences that would make him question his reality. He is also uninterested in other peoples’ reality, discounts it, in fact, if it doesn’t match up with his. A lot of people are that way, which is why the system he lives in is just fine with him and why they see no need to change.

    What You Tube and other social media have been able to do is put us right in the car with a black couple and their child as they are shot and emotionally tortured by Power’s “system.” I know Pat won’t watch it, because he’s uninterested. He’s got his dream, and he won’t spoil that with reality, but the rest of us might be able to see just what it is like to be black.

    Let’s look at the reality. The guy is dead because the car he wasn’t driving (she was driving) supposedly had a tail light out. The stop was ludicrous, but that’s what cops do in many communities when they see black passengers. It’s called driving while black.

    The guy had a concealed carry permit, like many whites in the Midwest, but because he’s black he’s shot. The Second Amendment, see, doesn’t apply to black folks.

    The woman is forced to sit there and not provide any comfort or help to the wounded man, because that cop can’t see these folks as human beings. She’s filming because she doesn’t know whether the cop is going to shoot her, too, and her child. Filming is a way of ensuring the guy doesn’t commit three murders, instead of one.

    While she’s filming, her hands are tiring, and she’s emotional, so she drops them down for a few seconds. See, getting tired and emotional when your boyfriend is dying isn’t allowed for black people. The cop is telling her to keep her hands where he can see them.

    Pat Powers isn’t interested. That reality would never happen to him, so it isn’t reality to him. He lives in his reality, but black folks live in their reality.

    To Pat, it’s just one more black person who won’t vote for a Democrat. That’s his reality.

  12. Douglas Wiken

    Whites are fooling themselves if they think they get a special break from thug cops. We lived in Rochester, NY over 40 years ago, and the first thing our white neighbors told us was that if we were ever stopped for any reason by city police or NY Highway Patrol to be certain we kept our hand up on the steering wheel. We are as lily white as can be. A broken tail light is probable cause for a traffic stop. It is often an indication of a drunken driver. In the case of the Black in Minneapolis who apparently was certainly not drunk, there was no reason for that cop to do anything more than tell him he was writing a warning ticket giving him x days to get it repaired. Arrogant bullying by cops is not just a problem for Blacks. Drive an old clunker that can be mechanically perfect and you will have cops or highway patrol on your ass. Blacks, whites, reds, yellows, blues whatever all should be demanding legislatures and cities get control of police idea that they are an occupying army. Until that is done, there will be the equivalence of guerilla action against police now that one idiot zealot has shown what is possible. This is not in the interest of we common people or in the interest of police. It is time legislators forgot about Hillary’s e-mail and Ben Ghazi or whatever and got their sorry asses into gear on relevant legislation.

  13. Doug, then why are there disproportionately more black guys pulled over and killed by cops than whites? Look at the stats.

  14. Roger Cornelius

    After viewing the two most recent videos of cops murdering unarmed black men, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Black Lives Matter is the wrong name, the correct name should be Black Lives Don’t Matter.
    It is a scary thought that the next time a white cop murders an unarmed black man that there will be a retaliation as we saw in Dallas.
    This probably isn’t what Black Lives Matter wants, but there are plenty of young black men that are scared and pissed off and are wiling to respond to police violence by killing more and more of them.
    I don’t foresee an end to this vicious cycle.

  15. We are all HUMAN, please people treat one another with the dignity and respect that you would want to be treated with. It really isn’t that hard to do. UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS!

  16. Doug, it’s Benghazi, one word, a city in Libya. I believe you’re thinking of this guy.

  17. Okay, I have to clarify, Castile WAS the one driving. He did not have any felonies, no history of serious crime.

  18. Leo, I’m afraid that being human is the problem. It is our primal animalistic instinct to fight for being the superior tribe. It’s nothing new.

  19. “All you need is love.”

    The Beatles told us this long ago. Listen

  20. barry freed

    Cory: The NRA did make a comment, though it didn’t include taking 1st Amendment Rights from agenda driven bloggers who purposely misrepresent people, organizations, and events. Lucky for you.

    Step 1. Go to Google
    Step 2. Enter “NRA” in the search window
    Step 3. Click on “Home” of NRA
    Step 4. Read the NRA comment that pops up and covers all other print on the page

    It said:
    The reports from Minnesota are troubling and must be thoroughly investigated. In the meantime, it is important for the NRA not to comment while the investigation is ongoing.

    Rest assured, the NRA will have more to say once all the facts are known.

  21. Nick Nemec

    If Castile was driving why does the video show him in the passenger seat with a seat belt on? Are the police claiming that he and his girlfriend climbed over each other, switched seats and buckled up after the stop?

    Why would a police officer approach the passenger side of the car instead of the driver’s side? It seems strange. Was it because there was a black man sitting in that seat and in the officer’s mind that presented some sort of threat? In my limited experience after pulling a vehicle over police always approach on the driver’s side, for obvious reasons, that’s where the driver is and the driver is assumed to be in charge of the vehicle.

  22. Nick Nemec

    Imagine that barry freed, the NRA didn’t jump to conclusions in this case.

  23. mike from iowa

    NRA jumped into the Orlando slaughter by whining about protecting legal gun owners.

    Castile was a legal gun owner and followed every rule except the one about being armed and white. Why didn’t the NRA defend him as a legal gun owner?

  24. The thing that some people apparently don’t get about “Black Lives Matter” is that it implicitly means “Black Lives Matter Too. It’s not saying that only Black Lives Matter. However, some people don’t get that—or conveniently pretend not to get it.

    There was a great analogy in an article I read this week (though I can’t find the link now; sorry). Imagine you’re at the dinner table with your family. Your Dad dishes up food for everyone except you. You speak up, saying, “I deserve my fair share!” Your Dad looks at you and in a stern, correcting tone of voice says, “Everyone deserves their fair share!” But he doesn’t give you any food. What he said was true, but it didn’t fix the problem. In fact, it purposefully dismissed your concerns while leaving the problem intact.

    When people give the anodyne comeback “All Lives Matter!”, it’s an easy way of dismissing legitimate concerns without having to do anything about them.

  25. Lanny V Stricherz

    I read with amusement the comments on this issue. The title of that group should have been when formed last year, “all lives matter”.

    Jenny is going to educated South Dakotans on racism? We are the most racist state north of the Mason Dixon Line, only difference the main targets of our racism are the Native Americans.

    This issue is way bigger than anything to do with color of skin. Someone commented on tribalism and that is maybe closer to the facts than anything, but there is another part of the issue. I sent the following LTE to the “USA Today,” yesterday. I doubt that it will be published but this is how I see the situation.

    We are continually shocked by all of the mass shootings and murders by police in our country. If there are a lot killed, we lower the flags to half staff. Other than that, what are we doing? Nothing other than wringing our hands and praying.
    Children learn violence often from their parents. We as a country have learned violence from our government. We have been at war nearly every day since the day of my birth almost 75 years ago with one country or another. As a veteran, in my humble opinion, the violence of war has led to the violence we see in our own country, because we see it almost daily on TV.
    There is thought that the Catholic Church after 1700 years is going to go back to Jesus’ teaching and say that there is no “just war.”

  26. barry freed

    It’s not about race, it’s not about guns. Please go to St Paul, get yourself pulled over and say nothing to the Cops except to ask: “why””, to every question. You will be knocked out, if you are lucky, regardless of color. Also, record it as I love to laugh.

    Where is the call to disarm the Police? If banning guns is a good idea, let us start there. Lawsuits and difficulty getting insurance coverage don’t seem to curtail the killing or change policy.

  27. mike from iowa

    In the interest of fairness( fake noize style I presume) here is a the other side’s version that swears everything reported about this is all lies.

  28. Lanny, of course I know that SD is racist towards Native Americans. The problem is they deny it, as do many other people in this country so they why I put the Castile video on here.
    What makes this video all the more disturbing is a four year old little girl was in the back seat and still the cop was quick to shoot him.

    Also, if you see in the first part of the video the steering wheel is on the right hand side of the car so Castile was the one driving.
    I agree with Chris S, all BLM is saying is that Black Lives Matter Also.

  29. Oh, think whatever you want Barry. If it makes you feel good when you say it’s not about guns or race then keep on saying it.
    If you were a black guy in an inner city or a Native American from Pine Ridge you might think differently.

  30. Jake Cummings

    Mike’s link underscores the dangers of confirmation bias and rushing to judgment for both sides and actually helps answer some of the questions raised here [e.g., why Castile appeared to be in the passenger seat (Reynolds, Castile’s girlfriend, was using the rear-facing camera option)]. It also calls into question accounts that the four-year old was in the car and that Castile possessed a concealed carry permit, and it suggests Castile had a pistol resting on his thigh.

    I recognize my white privilege and that there are prejudiced law enforcement personnel; however, those of us who never “wear the badge” should also recognize that we will likely not be placed in situations where our lives could be in jeopardy during a traffic stop. IF Castile did not actually have a concealed carry permit (Mike’s link suggest media is conflating concealed carry with permit to purchase) and IF Castile had a pistol resting on his thigh and reached in that direction after the officer told him not to, then the situation becomes much murkier than Reynolds’ video, which begins after the shooting, suggests. Moreover, the media and ourselves as subscribers to their accounts, bear responsibility for seeking out details that are missing from Reynolds’ video even if we know there are racists throughout the nation.

  31. BIll DIthmer

    Words from THE CHURCH OF BILL

    The Blindman

  32. mike from iowa

    However, The Star-Tribune quotes the source as saying that Castile obtained the permit when he lived in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, which is in Hennepin County.

    Castile did have a valid conceal carry permit.

  33. mike from iowa

    Why would a guy tell the police he had a gun and a permit to carry it if he didn’t have a permit? The cops can easily ask to see the permit which, I assume, needs to be carried on your person.

  34. Jake Cummings

    Mike, first Snopes rebutted the concealed carry permit debate here: Hence, my statement about a rush to judgment.

    Second, the attorney for Yanez, one of the officers who stopped Castile’s vehicle, has indicated Yanez was reacting to the driver’s (Castile) actions and the presence of a gun ( However, even if he had a permit, if the police told him not to reach for a gun, and even Reynolds’ video has audio in which someone indicates they told him not to reach for it, and the suspect reaches in that direction, that’s an important exigent factor.

    Yes, Reynolds did state in the video that Castile was reaching for his ID, but that was not on video, and none of us were there, so we currently have no evidence to confirm or refute that, and there is a possibility that Castile was not reaching for his ID but was instead reaching in the direction of the gun.

    Lastly, can we at least admit that people are not always honest when pulled over by law enforcement?

  35. mike from iowa

    There is/was no earthly reason for Castile to be reaching for a gun. Let me repeat that- There is/was no earthly reason for Castile to be reaching for a gun.

    The cop blasted him and is covering his ass.

  36. Roger Elgersma

    In Baton Rogue, LA two cops both lost their body cameras in the ‘scuffle’. One did not touch the victim till he was down. Both knew when they were traveling there that there was someone with a gun. Did they throw the cameras in the back seat and decide to go get him. We need to see a the tape of a camera falling to the ground and bouncing on the sidewalk to believe it was lost in the scuffle. Otherwise it was premeditated murder. Those officers actions look like those of someone who knew they had no camera. But there were other cameras in the area which they had not thought of.

  37. Roger Elgersma

    The cop in Minnesota was freaking out and hand shaking badly when the girl friend was calmly telling him that she did not want him to have to tell her that he killed her boyfriend. That cop knew then already that he had made a serious mistake.

  38. Jake Cummings

    Each side can pick and choose “facts” to support their narrative. For instance, Reynolds reportedly said Castile had never been in trouble with the law, but other reports indicate he was cited for over 50 misdemeanors. Again, some will say that is evidence of racial profiling because most were minor traffic violations, whereas others could say that suggests local law enforcement may have greater ability to recognize Castilo as a suspect in recent robbery.

    Mike, unfortunately officers have died when those they have interacted had “no earthly reason” to go for a gun. There is danger in basing our entire characterization of this tragic situation on Reynolds’ video of the aftermath just as there is danger in accepting racism and prejudice

  39. Stace Nelson

    It is hard to explain the stress of a traffic stop to those who have never dealt with such situations from the law enforcement perspective. It is hammered into young patrol officers the dangers presented by those pulled over and environmental (getting hit by passing cars, the elements, etc). When you do draw on an arrest, the situational stress is through the roof. Even in training, stress shooing courses (flashing lights, sirens, yelling orders and distracting information at shooters, etc) are extremely dangerous due the effects of stress on experienced cops on a controlled firing range. We made the mistake of using an operational patrol vehicle during a night stress course and ended up with several rounds in the hood into the engine compartment. Statistics of cops brig shot with their own weapons and being killed during traffic stops and domestic disturbance calls are hammered in during initial training and requalifications. Imagine having to be on edge fearful for your own safety as well as a partners EVERY time you pull over a vehicle and realizing those wishing to do you harm have the advantage. Add into that stressful scenario growing threats towards all law enforcement and the result is a dangerous situation of LE bring even more on edge.

    @Nick if their are two officers I. The vehicle, the passenger officer approached and handles the passenger side of the vehicle. Additionally, if traffic is a problem, some departments have the officer approach from the passenger side.

    People need to understand that the statistics of cops getting injured is astronomical. The more times a cop is assaulted on the job, the stricter they are in controling suspects, and the less patience they have with noncompliance.

    This whole movement is a disservice to the black communities across the USA. They are statistically some of the most vulnerable communities and this alienates them further from the cops they need serving them in those communities.

  40. Richard Schriever

    I exercised my white privilege today when shopping at Walmart. As the Black and Hispanic customers ahead of me were stopped and asked to show the receipts for their groceries, I just walked right by and out the door with mine, no questions asked.

  41. mike from iowa

    Each side can pick and choose “facts” to support their narrative.

    The conservative tree house picked their own facts and got basically everything wrong.

  42. Richard Schriever

    Police are not meant to be a militarized occupying force. Police forces have been morphing into just that however. Consider as an exemplar the use of the phrases “a good kill” or “a good shooting” when the actions of police involved in shooting a “suspect and being exonerated/justified.

    Since when has killing been associated with goodness? Oh, that’s right, when the one killed is considered and “enemy” of the state. And when and where is such judgment supposed to occur – according to the US Constitution? I believe it says something about a trial – and legal representation – no? Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

    But of course, when one is in a state of war – against “enemy combatants”, well, then those constitutional rights and rules tend to get thrown out the window, don’t they? Seems to me a great number of our police come from a background of military experience and/or training. Seems to me that has as much to do with the “state of war” being the lens through which they interpret their relations with the public as anything.

    Judge, jury and executioner; that’s a soldier’s game – not a PEACE OFFICER’s. I also think that being surrounded by an armed populace has much to do with that lens of war. Is it an accurate lens? Does it really clarify focus?

  43. Richard Schriever

    Why did this thread of discourse get thrown off of the original topic – white privilege?? Somebody don’t wanna talk about it?

  44. mike from iowa

    You want white privilege, you got it.

  45. Kris, there’s no helping being black. You can do something about being illiterate.

  46. Dave, thank you so much for sharing the Gingrich comment. Whatever his other failings, Gingrich can recognize and call out white privilege.

  47. mike from iowa

    The more times an unarmed Black person is killed by white cops the less patience they have with white cops.

  48. Lee, I’m not debating or criticizing Pat’s Catholicism. I’m noting his religious perspective alongside Koterwski’s and mine to nod to the point about pluralism I was making on July 4 and to suggest the common ground white people of different faiths ought to be able to find on this issue.

  49. Barry, I’m keenly aware of the NRA’s comment. They show great reserve when it comes to commenting on the death of an armed black man, far greater reserve, I would suggest, than they have in speaking up for gun rights following mass murders.

  50. Mike, shame on you for sharing wishful conservative agitprop. As Jake notes, Snopes neatly dissects and undercuts that armed robbery report as “a series of half-truths, misleading claims, and unsupported speculation in an attempt to justify the fatal force used by an officer during a traffic stop in Minnesota. No real evidence has yet come to light supporting the notion that Castile had been involved in an armed robbery or was carrying a firearm illegally when he was killed.”

    In other words, that conservative post was of about the same quality as most of what Pat writes.

  51. Stace, that stress is all the more reason for more training for officers. It does not refute the point Koterwski and I make about white privilege.

    Also non-refutatory are the claims Douglas and Barry make that somehow we are all equally subject to possible violence by police. That’s bunk. As Jenny says, look at the stats. As I say in the original post, we white folks do not face the same scrutiny or the same chances of being pulled over for conversations with law enforcement. Having skin at the default color setting is a significant convenience that keeps us out of many dangerous situations.

  52. Stace Nelson


    Please, someone explain to me the white privilege deferential treatment I received growing up in a white community in SD; the Marines; the white privilege I experienced in Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, China, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan while I was overseas for 18 1/2 years.

    A dear friend of mine that lived through the nightmares of the fall of Saigon and about 10 years in a Communist reeducation prison, once told me “with all due respect” the wonderful opportunities that EVERY American has, is wasted on Americans. I was ashamed to have to agree with him.

  53. Roger Cornelius

    Do children of white privilege get ‘The Talk’ that minority children get from their parents?
    Minorities suffer an equal amount of stress that an officer does when stopped by a white cop, the first thought is, what did I do and wrong or am I being stopped because I am a minority. I doubt the white privileged have to ask the second question.
    In South Dakota Indians have always been in fear of cops and in many cases with good reason. You can ask any Indian in the state and they can relate a bad experience with a bad cop.
    Stace, Doug and Barry can’t or won’t ever understand that and therein lies he problem. Their answers are that it happens to everyone or I don’t believe you.

  54. owen reitzel

    This might help explain Stace from a a black prospective.

  55. Roger Cornelius

    Clearly Stace hasn’t really followed the news coming out of Dallas the past few days.
    Black Lives Matter was having a peaceful protest and the Dallas police were there waiting for something bad to happen.
    What I saw on the news was blacks and whites running when the gunfire started and police ducking behind their cars unaware that they were the targets.
    What has been made perfectly clear is that the sniper was not associated with Black Lives Matter, that association has all come from propaganda news.
    The sniper had his own agenda and manifesto that read, “I want to kill cops, preferably white cops”.
    Remember that, the sniper wanted to kill cops, he had a preference, but didn’t care what color they were.
    Only the white privileged would think that Black Lives Matter is a ‘disservice to community. The movement has become an impatient response to the reckless number of killing of young black men by white cops.
    What does Stace expect the response should be from Black communities, complain to master and get his butt lynched?
    Hopefully, the next time a white cop decides to stop a black motorist he will remember the lives of those honorable cops in Dallas.

  56. Douglas Wiken

    I have listened to and read people asking something like, “How do we make sense of these murders?” I think that is a fool’s errand. There is no rational explanation for any specifics of this.

    And concerning the police killing of a Black in Minnesota, I don’t understand why that cop did not just step back a step or two. Then tell him to put his hands over his head and open the door. I have not been in such a situation, but shooting a cop over your shoulder without also turning around would seem difficult. The police must have had multiple options which did not involve shooting the guy. It looks to me like plain murder by cop. But, I have already been attacked for not waiting for the official final police investigation. I suspect if it in any way justifies that shooting, it will be fiction.

  57. Stace Nelson

    @Roger Please, lecture me more about what I don’t know or understand. I spent 18 1/2 years in Asia as a minority. Saw plenty of racism and discrimination, of Vietnamese to Vietnamese, Japanese to other Japanese, towards foreignors (me and other Americans, other nationalities) It happens all over the world in various forms and fashion. Compared to what I saw there? The opportunities here make these concoctions of “white privilege” ridiculous.

    Maybe because I have lived my adult life color blind, I don’t have such guilt feelings?

    Still waiting for all these experts on “white privileges” to explain all the benefits I supposedly received

  58. Jake Cummings

    Cory, I think the officer’s intent/perceived justification is a detail we have yet to definitively learn, but some reports, such as KARE11’s (, suggest that Yanez felt that Castile matched the description of a suspect in the recent robbery, due particularly to a “wide-set nose.” Perhaps Yanez jumped to conclusions because he wanted to make a name for himself and arrest the robbery perp(s); perhaps Yanez is a racist who wanted to make three black individuals’ lives difficult.

    Regardless, I think it is important that we wait to ascertain such details in the Castile case because that information should influence our eventual response to such events. If Yanez’s actions were due to prejudice, he should have to deal with the full penalty of those actions; however, if it was due to foolhardy ambition, our response should be considerably different because that would seem to be an issue of poor applicant screening, officer training, and/or situational awareness. That is not to say that reckless actions should be excused. In fact, I would support Yanez’s removal from the police force in both cases. Conversely, there is still a chance that Castile himself acted in a manner which could justify Yanez using force (e.g., if Castile moved toward the gun after being told not to).

    Nonetheless, waiting to gather that information should not prevent us from addressing racial disparities in lethal force incidents. Said examination should also not exclude us from admitting that multiple officers, not counting those in Dallas, have been injured and killed, purportedly in response to the slayings of black individuals by other police forces, and those incidents against law enforcement likely weigh on law enforcement officials making traffic stops and having other possibly tense interactions with the public.

  59. Roger Cornelius

    Stace, Please, it is impossible to make the white privilege feel guilty about anything because they are always right.

    Don’t lecture me about your time in the service overseas, you had a choice. You didn’t have to enlist or serve in Asia.

    Minorities don’t always have a choice of where they live, they usually end up living in in low rent districts.

    While you spent all that time overseas and in South Dakota, I have lived in Western South the better part of my nearly 70 years and have experienced some form of racism all my life or having family and friends suffer at the hands of racist South Dakotans.

    Stace, you haven’t lived your life color blind, you have lived it blind.

  60. owen reitzel

    And Roger there is no way a white guy like me can really experience what a minority does when it comes to discrimination. I can see it and hate it but I don’t think I could ever really feel it.

  61. In MN there are three levels of misdemeanors: Gross misdemeanor, misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor. As far as I can tell from Castile’s record that has been put out there, he didn’t even have a gross misdemeanor. A petty misdemeanor is the equivalent of a speeding ticket and Castile’s record was mostly petty misdemeanors and misdemeanors.
    He had never even had a DWI, and a couple of possession of weed tickets were dismissed. (In MN cannabis is mainstream and most people don’t think of it as evil as they do in SD.)
    The driving after revocations that he was ticketed for would probably be the most serious of convictions.
    The guy had worked in the public school system for 14 years.
    You would think people like Stace and the NRA would be all over this and say that Castile had every right to carry and was wrongfully shot and that his 2nd amendment rights were violated. Crickets instead…… Is it only white people that deserve to carry a licensed gun permit and not get shot up by a cop thug?

  62. I believe that Stace Nelson would not have been shot 4 times by this officer if he was in Castiles spot. He would have done the same in Castiles situation.

    Castile did what he was supposed to do. Announced his weapon and permit and was complying. Castile was scared and nervous too. His hand disappears and he dies. He’s not trained for the situation, the officer is. And chooses the job.

    What you think Nelson? I know it’s speculative, the investigation is not done, each situation is different, etc but ……

  63. Serving in a foreign country with the full force of the US government behind you and claiming yourself to be a minority is absurd.

    I’m curious as to if Stace has also spent time as a woman in order to qualify himself to lecture them about “what they don’t know or understand” regarding their own reproductive health.

  64. Stace Nelson

    @Roger The only “privilege” I see are the arrogant few on here who presume to arrogantly dictate to others asininly about other own lives, as you did above. When in the military? One does NOT have the luxury of deciding where I wanted to go. People like you who project their own racism? You are the problem. I don’t perceive this BS white privilege nonsense because I don’t perceIve myself or anyone as having a privilege.

    @Jenny I reject your liberal privilege of maligning me by presuming to take liberties with my good name by making such asinine statements.

  65. Stace Nelson

    @Spike Too many things unknown to even speculate. I can tell you that it is always a huge worry or getting shot by anxious rookies. Belt badges were implimented by many departments for that very concern. Many cases of cops accidentally getting shot during raids and apprehensions, by fellow cops. I can tell you tales of cops accidentally dropping their firearms during raids, etc.

    The reality is that excessive unwarranted use of force is few and far between. Such complaints are taken seriously by every law enforcement agency in the US. The reality is that many cops are injured because they are too cautious because of Monday morning quarterbacking, and the fears of unwarranted civil and criminal liability.

  66. Stace, there you go again losing your temper. Remember, I like you and believe you’re a decent person.
    I was being sarcastic, I apologize for offending you.

  67. barry freed

    A more accurate term would be Wealth Privilege. Without money and fame, OJ could have been any color as he was charged, tried, and convicted in 3 days.

    Neither cheny nor powell paid for their war crimes, or did cheney pay less than nothing?

    Please delineate Obama’s privilege according to race.

  68. Stace Nelson

    @jenny No, it’s my fault. My apologies. I Reading and responding on this tiny IPhone coupled with responding to actual nonsense caused me to conflate your comments with others. Sorry.

  69. “A more accurate term would be Wealth Privilege. Without money and fame, OJ could have been any color as he was charged, tried, and convicted in 3 days.

    Neither cheny nor powell paid for their war crimes, or did cheney pay less than nothing?

    Please delineate Obama’s privilege according to race.”

    Your point would hit a lot harder if blacks weren’t so disproportionately represented in poverty numbers. According to the University of Michigan, in 2010, 27.4 percent of blacks and 26.6 percent of Hispanics were poor, compared to 9.9 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 12.1 percent of Asians. Poverty rates are highest for families headed by single women, particularly if they are black or Hispanic. So yes, let’s call it wealth privilege and then look at those communities who are most impacted; like, say, the black ones.

  70. Barry, we can identify any individual who escapes general trends. Barack Obama overcame the difficulty of being black in American to become the Leader of the Free World. Racism isn’t an absolute barrier to success, jsut as white privilege isn’t an absolute guarantee… but applied across millions of people, it’s a real drag.