NDN Collective has posted a press release and video accusing security officers at the Central States Fair of requiring three American Indian men to hide the Indian logos on their clothing before entering the fairgrounds:
Over the weekend, security at the Central States Fair in Rapid City forced at least three Native American men to turn their T-shirts and clothing inside out before entering. One shirt read “NDN Collective,” another read “American Indian Movement,” and a third was a vest with patches reading “American Indian Movement,” “I am My Brother’s Keeper,” and “Remember Wounded Knee.”
Security officers claimed that there were no organizational logos or colors allowed. However, the Central States Fair’s policy on attire only states that “shirt and shoes are required,” and “exposed underwear, vulgar or inappropriate clothing, gang colors or gang signs are not allowed” [NDN Collective, press release, 2023.08.28].
NDN Collective reads the CSF Code of Conduct 100% accurately: no ban on organizational logos or colors appears anywhere in that policy. Nor is any such ban apparent in the photos the fair itself posted on social media throughout this year’s run of fairgoers and entertainers on the fairgrounds:
Wildland Firefighters, Canyon Lake Baseball, U.S. Air Force, Midland Campers & Recreation, Classic Hits Q 92.3, the Miss South Dakota Pageant—those are all organizations, and apparently security didn’t make the folks sporting those logos whip off and flip their shirts, vests, caps, or sashes.
You can find all sorts of other organizational insignia in photos from fairgoers:
You can’t swing a stick at the fair—no, really, you can’t, as the Central States Fair should consider stick-swinging “disorderly, disruptive conduct” just like “skateboarding, roller blades/skates, bicycles, scooters, cat calls, profanity, etc.”
But if you could swing a stick at the fair, any fair in South Dakota, you couldn’t swing your DeSmet Farm Mutual yardstick without hitting someone sporting some kind of organizational logo. How Central States Fair security managed to let all those other fun-loving logo-bearing fairgoers through the gates without requiring any fashion reversal and only paused to fabricate a policy clause for three Indian fellows escapes me.