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SDGOP Vision: More White Conservative Intellectuals, Fewer Campus Staff Helping Minority Students

Jonathan Ellis wrote a hilarious column about how Dakota State University is helping “intellectual diversity” (a fake issue concocted by Republicans to cloak their authoritarian drive toward ideological purity and keep us from talking about real issues) “in South Dakota colleges take[] another step forward” by inviting a conservative white guy from Michigan to talk about Western civilization.

Yeah, right. In her video intro to the forum, DSU President José-Marie Griffiths said the forum planning committee included activist columnist and DSU prof Joseph Bottum, state historian and Noem crony Ben Jones, and Thune advisor Jon Lauck, three well-known and hard-core right-wing conservatives. Joe, Ben, Jon, bring Ibram Kendi for the next DSU Forum on History and Ethics. Then maybe we can have an honest talk about diversity on campus.

Meanwhile, at South Dakota State University, the South Dakota GOP’s crusade to insulate its failing ideology and dwindling racial majority from change is driving out real diversity:

When Gov. Kristi Noem’s letter asking the South Dakota Board of Regents to investigate for “agendas” in state universities was brought up during a meeting of South Dakota State University administrators and directors last May, former Director of the American Indian Student Center Erica Moore knew it was only the beginning.

“I called it out, I said, ‘this letter is going to produce damaging effects to our students,’” she said. “I said, ‘I will absolutely never be silent.’”

By August, the Board of Regents announced the Opportunity for All policy, outlining their plans for opportunity centers across the regental campuses, as well as plans to “proudly support the United States of America, safeguard the rich tradition of American universities and offer curriculum that is based upon widely held and accepted knowledge and thought.”

And by early October, Moore and three other staff members—American Indian Student Success Adviser Morgan Catlett-Ausborn, Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment Gabriella Gillespie and Chief Diversity Officer Kas Williams—had decided to leave the university.

“That kind of set everything in motion for those of us who are working in diversity positions,” Moore said [Jordan Rusche, “New Centers Leave Students, Faculty out on a Limb,” SDSU Collegian, 2021.10.26].

At a time when good help is hard to find, South Dakota is pushing away the help it needs to support diversity:

[American Indian Science and Engineering Society VP Cierra] Sazue added that many people had chosen to leave SDSU in recent years because of similar changes made on campus.

“You’re pushing the smart people of color out,” she said. “Because of this, I’m thinking of going to graduate school somewhere else” [Rusche, 2021.10.26].

Republicans are creating an environment in which diverse professionals do not feel welcomed or valued and recognize they can do more good for themselves and for the minority populations they want to serve in other communities that support their work. And if you’re a South Dakota Republican working toward racial and intellectual apartheid, that’s exactly the outcome you’re seeking.


  1. ArloBlundt 2021-11-01 the article by Ellis about the cat from Hillsdale College speaking to what looked like a small group of like minded individuals at the former General Beadle, which has been unwisely and awkwardly and gratuitously renamed, like a failed shopping mall. Noem is attempting a general “dumbing down” of social studies, History particularly across the spectrum of education in the state…you might call it a whole new appreciation of myth as History. That this effort is aimed at reducing opportunities for scholarship by minority students is disturbing…the new History is a white only neighborhood.

  2. RST Tribal Member 2021-11-02

    People of color bleed through the white wash attempts. South Dakota inbred Republicans will have to apply a whole lot of primer to try to cover the color.

    Rather then celebrate the diversity of the state, the inbred Republican’s attempt is to education it out of mindful existence. Like what happened in the late 1800s to 1960s to Indian families, especially the school age children. Some school age Rosebud Tribal Member children died 143 years ago at the Carlisle Indian Reform School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, they were buried at the school’s cemetery without family or honor. They were being educated to be like white people; Kill the Indian save the child was the school’s theme. The children’s remains were recently brought home to the Rosebud Reservation to their families, to their tribe, in a honorable manner. A 143 years later! A school cemetery! School age children! Make like white people!

    History distorted, not learned fully is most likely to be repeated; like what is trying to be done now by the inbred Republicans. For goodness sake.

  3. Donald Pay 2021-11-02

    It’s kind of like in 1860 having a seminar about slavery, and you bring in a slave trader and a slave-owning plantation owner and expect a discussion about diversity.

  4. Jake 2021-11-02

    Ahhh, Don Pay: Good, no GREAT analogy!

  5. Porter Lansing 2021-11-02

    RST Tribal Member

    Is there a way I can find more of what you write, in a way you don’t have to reveal your name to the blog?

    Also, maybe this anti-diversity thrust is Governor Noem’s way of addressing the brain drain?

    If a degree from a SD university is a pariah in USA business circles, your graduated will only find a job within your borders.

  6. mike from iowa 2021-11-02

    Porter, if you ask Cory and RST Tribal Member nicely, I am sure you can facilitate an exchange of emails through the blog.

  7. Porter Lansing 2021-11-02

    Thanks, MFI.

    Maybe RST and I are already in communication on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

    If not, I always use my real name and am easy to find. :)

  8. mike from iowa 2021-11-02

    I don’t do any of those sites, Porter. But, through Cory I have hooked up with Debbo and BCB. Didn’t hurt a bit, like my covid vax. Now hurl me a biscuit.

  9. Donald Pay 2021-11-02

    How much of your tax money went to pay the Hillsdale College dude to speak at DSU? This, of course, has always been a money game. Conservative “scholars” don’t work for free, and now they’ve got a soft touch with Noem. As long as these conservative dudes know there’s a kickback they must make. Noem is making sure she pays off Hillsdale flacks with your tax money so that they can turn around and donate a good chunk of that to her campaigns. I have to wonder how much state taxpayers’ dollars are being funneled to this guy to write Noem’s fake history standards. Ka-Ching. More of your tax money laundered so it can go to Noem. The grift never ends with Noem.

  10. Bill 2021-11-03

    As Donald has said, Hillsdale College is an extreme conservative think tank. The latest issue of their publication Imprimis has Roger Kimball, who is editor of The New Criterion, writing about how the January 6 Insurrection is a hoax! Hillsdale has so-called intellectual heavyweights who want to bring back the free market economy of Friedrich Hayek.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-03

    Donald, good point about how we should watch to see to what extent DSU’s “Forum on History and Ethics” serves as just one more way to put more national conservative pundits on Noem’s gravy train and curry better coverage of her 2024 campaign among those myriad conservative newsletters like those for which Birzer and Bottum write.

  12. mike from iowa 2021-11-03

    and offer curriculum that is based upon widely held and accepted knowledge and thought.”

    Now, there are some loaded words. You morons think drumpf won an election he lost by a conservative i million votes. You swear the election was rife with fraud you can’t find or define. You consider violent, domestic terrorists to be tourists. Black is white. Up is down. Lying is honesty. You are idiots and should not be allowed to vote or hold office.

  13. mike from iowa 2021-11-03

    Should have said 8 million votes, my bad.

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