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South Dakota’s Killers: 61% White, 22% Indian

Speaking of risks to public health and safety, Senator Neal Tapio (R-5/Watertown nearly blew a gasket this week when an attendee at the ELCA-sponsored Interfaith Day at the Capitol told our noisiest anti-immigrant grandstander that the real threat to America is white men with guns. The Attorney General’s annual crime reports  support that statement: from 2007 through 2016, 61% of 179 offenders who committed murder or non-negligent manslaughter were white. 22% were American Indian. The AG’s stats don’t break down offenders’ immigration status, but it appears the Somalis and others from those countries whom Tapio and his racist Führer Trump consider unworthy of entry into America aren’t killing nearly as many of us as local white and Indian folks.

Fortunately, Tapio’s Watertown neighbors recognize that he’s too distracted by his McCarthyite scapegoating of immigrants to be a productive or respected legislator:

While there always are legislators who occupy the fringes of reality, Watertown rarely sends one who will be as ineffective as Tapio will be this year.

But legislating at the state level is not Tapio’s goal. He is in full campaign mode to replace Kristi Noem as South Dakota’s lone representative in the U.S. Congress.

…Most South Dakotans embrace anyone with the fortitude to live here. We see the good in people.

If on occasion, we elect someone who cannot see the good, we correct the mistake at the next ballot box [Brad Johnson, “Our City Doesn’t Share Tapio’s Vision,” Watertown Public Opinion, 2018.01.12].

Two things will keep people like Tapio from distracting us from the real problems South Dakota faces: facts and votes. Keep reading, keep responding to Tapio and his ilk with facts, keep sharing those facts with your friends and neighbors and legislators… and then make sure your friends and neighbors all come with you in June and November to vote for the people who pay attention to those facts.


  1. jerry 2018-01-14 09:18

    Can anyone show me the difference between extreme poverty in America and extreme poverty in Africa, South America or Haiti? In South Dakota, our fellow human beings are frozen and hungry while we talk down to people from other countries. Oh well, it is Sunday and the fake evangelicals will go to the Amen corner to plot further ways to harm others that have darker skin tones.

  2. bearcreekbat 2018-01-14 10:43

    Jerry, that article you linked tells a sad story. Meanwhile, earlier this year the Trump administration proposed ending the LIEAHP home heating funding even though it saves lives on our reservations. Fortunately, Congress rejected Trump’s approach and continued some funding for LIEAHP this year.

    I wonder if our Republican political Trumpsters in SD will back Trump’s plan to eliminate LIEAHP if elected? Recall that Janklow tried to exclude extremely poor people from heating assistance if they also received subsidized housing help. Fortunately the federal courts found Janklow’s plan to be illegal and enjoined his efforts two years in a row. But that was a few years ago, and in this day and age our Republican leadership seems to once again contend that the poor get too much help, and want to cut programs that save lives, such as Medicaid, SNAP, heating assistance, etc.

  3. mike from iowa 2018-01-14 11:11

    30 billion dollar cut that serves around 8 million households, if I remember the figures correctly. That 30 billion won’t begin to cover the 40 plus billion the Walton family children will get in estate tax savings. Try harder wingnuts. Cut defense by half a trillion per year.

  4. Kurt Evans 2018-01-14 12:18

    White/Native American: 94 percent of the population, 83 percent of the murderers
    Others: 6 percent of the population, 17 percent of the murderers

    By my calculations, a person in the latter category is more than three times as likely to be a murderer: (17/6)/(83/94)=3.2…

    It seems to me that we have a polarized environment in which Neal overstates these issues while his opponents dismiss them altogether. Neither approach is ultimately helpful.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-01-14 13:39

    Note, Kurt, that none of those fractions support what Tapio is saying in any way. The comment made by the man responding to him in the Capitol is entirely accurate: white man with guns are a greater danger to South Dakotans than refugees or other Muslim immigrants.

    Tapio polarizes the environment ; I respond with simple fact.

    I do dismess Tapio’s bigotry, scapegoating, and falsehoods altogether, as we all should.

  6. John 2018-01-14 17:27

    What’s the process for a recall vote for a state, county, city politician in SD?

  7. jerry 2018-01-14 18:13

    Thanks for the memory bcb on Janklow and his Indian hating ways. I do get the point of why before him and up to this day roypublicans continue to try to dismantle the reservations and Indians and the poor in general. By denying heat, healthcare and even an acknowledgment of Indian existence, they can then move in to steal more Indian lands. Bears Ears is about as clear an example of what I am talking about recently. Each theft of public lands is a threat on all lands to even include reservation lands and BLM ground. Now white men could have given two hoots for this land some years ago, but now it is worth a lot more do to the way in which it can be broken up and planted into failed crops for the insurance and for the grain base for subsidy. Now it is like gold from a broken slot machine.

    So, what does this have to do with South Dakota’s killers? Poverty. The more poverty you have, the more alcohol abuse you have and the more drug abuse you have. Find the common denominator in the white and Indian killings and you will see that the combination of the three had something to do with the majority of the senseless violence.

  8. o 2018-01-14 19:47

    Funny, Johnson’s piece reads like Tapio is some force of nature sent that just appeared. Johnson’s piece falls sort of reminding us that Coddington county Republicans — in primary and general election — elevated Neil Tapio to this position. His piece also leaves out that those GOP voters had no doubt as to the beliefs Tapio holds (especially when viewed in his role as Trump state chairman). Johnson also falls short of the condemnation of Trump for the same positions, and falls short of taking responsibility for Trump’s ascension to the oval office. A bit late for hand washing.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-01-15 06:18

    True, O: the Republicans picked him over Roger Solum in the primary, and the Democrats, independents, and minor parties didn’t field anyone to run against him.

    Not to defend Tapio’s supprters (Tapiotes? Tapiocans? Tap Dancers?), but did he make clear that he was this big of a Trump nut during the 2016 primary campaign? He did tell that Sioux Falls paper post-election that he knew Trump was going to win the moment Trump announced in 2015, but I find that a little hard to believe.

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