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SD Human Rights Act, Eagles Fraternal Mission Contradict Anti-Refugee Sentiment

As the still anonymous and cowardly “Americans First, Task Force” promotes its new series of monthly Two Hours Hate sessions (essentially Klan meetings without the robes and torches), it may behoove us to briefly review the South Dakota Human Rights Act.

South Dakota law prohibits employers, unions, landlords and real estate brokers, schools, and providers of public accommodations to discriminate against any person—not just any American citizen, but any person—based on “race, color, creed, religion, sex, ancestry, disability, or national origin.”

Aberdeen’s anonymous hate group held its first crypto-Klan meeting at the Ramkota; the next two will take place at the now ironically named Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #632 on Second Street. Their mission statement says they are “an international non-profit organization uniting fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.” Their motto is “People Helping People.” Their Aberdeen establishment provides public accommodations.

The Aberdeen Eagles post generously permits a variety of groups to hold meetings and events in their facility. It is my sincere hope that the events they host do not promote discrimination against refugees, immigrants, and people of different religions and races, discrimination that would violate the Eagles’ own fraternal mission and South Dakota’s Human Rights Act.

Related Reading: Aberdeen American News columnist Gerald Krueger reminds us that we all originated from some other country. He tells of his own German-Swede-Irish-Scots ancestors, then concludes:

The sad part of this narrative is that most of the men in my ancestral history all died at a young age. But their grit and determination lived on in their offspring and their patriotic urge to succeed in this new land they had discovered [Gerald Krueger, “A South Dakota Life, Born of Immigrants,” Aberdeen American News, 2016.09.12].

We honor our immigrant ancestors by welcoming new Americans.


  1. bearcreekbat 2016-09-12

    Great post Cory – thanks!

  2. mike from iowa 2016-09-12

    They discriminate based on the size of your bank account. No money, no thank you.

  3. happy camper 2016-09-12

    But they are all so stupid. Let’s be clear they are ignorant. They all think the same. It’s been proven they actually do think differently than the rest of us, an actual biological difference. And they’re greedy. I hate all of them. Mike from Iowa is with me a 100% on this, those dumb Republicans.

    What!? This wasn’t about Republicans? Oh gosh oh gosh oh gosh, I mean we’re all the same. We’re all the same!!!

  4. grudznick 2016-09-12

    Mignon Mike, who is beef from the shorter end of Iowa, does seem to indiscriminately hate all Republicans, but I think he’s just suffering from ignorance on certain issues and not paying full attention. These Eagles people with the comma, the Task Force ones, seem very much insaner than most.

  5. mike from iowa 2016-09-12

    Tsk,tsk,tsk, Grudzilla. You are wrong some more. I hate all wingnuts. I have many rethuglican friends and neighbors. For some reason you aren’t capable of receiving and processing simple info. I’d get that looked at.

  6. Jana 2016-09-12

    Just wondering if any prominent or not so prominent GOP leaders have signed on to this group, or if they have renounced them. Of course this could be just one of those crazy groups that they give the wink and nod.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-12

    Jana, I’ve heard no statements pro or con from local Republican officials or candidates. Al Novstrup was at the first meeting, just a few rows away from me; he made no public comment.

  8. Adam 2016-09-12

    The origin of the Americans First Task Force (AFTF) grassroots movement appears to be Ron Branstner, an anti-Islamic, fear mongering, speech giving, car salesman in Minnesota. He sells a lot of BS in Michelle Bachman’s old voting district. Those are his primary MN followers.

    AFTF also doesn’t seem to be registered with the SDSOS – which would make it impossible to be registered with the IRS or FEC. They are NOT an international, national nor state non-profit, they are a local homegrown hate group/club.

    Watch, and marvel, how moderate SD Republicans ball-lessly let these guys slide. After all, there might still be a 1% chance Obama is a secret Islamist operative, so they let their idiot base (whom they completely rely on to get elected) believe whatever suits their stupid fancy.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-13

    Adam, given the significant time spent at the last Klan meeting bashing Hillary Clinton and me, and now the promotion of monthly events right during the election, I’m starting to wonder if the local GOP is welcoming these Klan meetings as a way to distract the voters with some Fox News shouting about a national issue that the Legislature won’t really address (immigration is a federal issue) from the ballot questions and the good Democratic candidates who are running to hold sitting legislators accountable for their failure to perform.

  10. Adam 2016-09-13

    If there were people nearly as crazy as these guys in the Democratic Party, I’d be duking it out with them around every turn for as long as it took to shut them down and out. Moderate Republicans do not have the integrity to do the same.

    I’ve never felt like ‘radical’ Liberals need to be kept in check. Berni supporters are pretty darn reasonable and compassionate people. I don’t think they can be called radical.

    But for these asses to focus on you and immigration in the same sentence is flat out nauseating to me. Hate speech is how the GOP invigorates its base. Moderate Republicans enjoy the success it brings them, and it’s disgusting. They think they can be coy about how they don’t support the nuts, but do they stand up and reject them? No.

    You don’t have to be a Democrat to vote against Republicans in 2016.

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-14

    When you can’t win on policy and fact, scream up some fear and hate. Ugh. No wonder I left the GOP.

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