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Monday, July 19, 2004

Racism in Flandreau South Dakota?

Ever heard the term "man bites dog story?"It's typically used when referring to a news story that is unusual in that the expected roles have been reveresed. In the scenario of a "man bites dog story" the man has become the agressor and bitten a dog when the opposite scenario , a dog biting a man, is what people have come to expect.
The headline from this KSFY, a local ABC affiliate in South Dakota, has a story on their website with this headline "Racial Vandalism." Under the headline is the name of the city, where this story has taken place at, which is Flandreau South Dakota. Flandreau is located on the Santee Sioux Reservation.
Typically, when you see a story that includes "racial vandalism," "South Dakota," and a reservation, it's normally safe to assume that some Indians have been on the receiving end of the "racial vandalism." Not in this case, according to the story.
A Flandreau farmer found more than corn out in his fields this weekend. His tractor was vandalized with writing and symbols containing racial overtones.
...The vandalism includes some symbols, abbreviations and an explicative targeted at white people. Bothe enlisted the help of a friend and member of the Flandreau Santee-Sioux Tribe to explain the symbols. "He told me that A.I.M. right here...it's 'American Indian Movement.' And this sign right here is supposed to be an actual aim is what they call it...that's their A.I.M. symbol."

The reporter then goes on to quote some of the local indians, in town for a powwow.
 One Native American who wouldn't go on camera acknowledged that the graffiti happened and says that "it was just kids messing around."
Others were surprised by the news: "As far as Flandreau goes, I mean we all pretty much get along and I haven't even heard of any graffiti and you know, I've been up here about 5-years," said Flandreau resident Dean Renville

I wish one of the interviewees would have said"We always have gotten along with OUR WHITE PEOPLE. Sure they may get out of hand when the rodeo comes to town, but other than that, they mind their own business."
Jessica Hasvold puts the incident into into context.
"The discriminations always against the Indians. I mean, there's not a lot of it, but if I ever heard of anything, that's who it would be against. I've never heard of discrimination against White." full article 

If anyone has been sneaking around at night, writing AIM slogans on this farmer's tractor, please stop.  This gives the community a black eye and if it keeps up, the people of the community may be forced to undergo "racial sensitivity training."


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