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Abusing power through ignorance


  …. is a real thing in this era of government and bureaucratic criminality, and it is as “catching” as the Coronus Virus.

When the US President refuses the Health Advisors’ call to be tested  for the virus and wear a mask during the worst pandemic of the century and threatens the few State Governors who don’t want to ”open up” to the tourist trade,  disease and abuse  spreads.

He cuts the federal funding for World Health Organizations because he wants to avenge some petty slight.   He uses the courts as his strategy for abuse.  Indian Country is not ignorant of this way of power.

In a like manner here on the local scene, the Rapid City Regional Airport President Darren Haar goes to court also on account of some slight.    He denies that he had made a threat toward a council member,   the majority council finds in his favor, fires a member of its own, trashes the council member’s reputation and agrees to pay $17,000 in public tax funds for Haar’s legal fees.  They all were, apparently, just “doing their job”.

At the same time a STATE  attorney is investigating the legality of  COVID-19 checkpoints  on the Oglala and Cheyenne River Indian Reservations,  writing letters to everybody from President Trump,  to the Department of Justice,  the Department of Interior,  the STATE  delegation and  God? Because it is this governor’s bigoted view that the checkpoints are “unlawful”.

History reminds us that The Law of the States in this country have ALWAYS been the enemy of Tribal-Federal-Treaty Law!  In SD, since 1889, it has had dozens, perhaps thousands of law cases against the tribes.

“They have legal jurisdiction”,  says the governor when she talks  of  the  Bureau of Indian Affairs, in Washington,  D. C.,  taking their motto (Boss Indian Around) seriously.    Taku?  Taku?   Since when?

Does this governor know anything at all about what the US Constitution says about the Indigenousness Nations of America and Tribal Nation Sovereignty?  It is true that it is a unique relationship. The difference of a bureaucratic entity or a state constitution and a Federal Treaty obligation between nations,   between the Federal Constitution and a State declaration of its own making is not so obscure that people like state governors can’t “get it.”

Unwittingly, she says: “We are asking them to DO THEIR JOBS.” Her ultimatum smacks of a threat much like the corrupt Haar denial charge which he took to court and won, and there is little hope that this abuse of power concerning Sioux Nation Sovereignty will be recognized for what it is by this community.

Maybe a broader look tells us this is more than a struggle about roads. Perhaps this greedy-for-power governor is trying to get the Treaty status of the Indigenous nations into the right-wing packed Supreme Court to be overturned since she knows of Trump’s hatred of Indians.  Remember that he took the gaming tribes to court when his casinos were failing.  He lost that one!   Is this another try? They say he hates to lose.

There is such a thing as unresolved criminal behavior in the US courts against Indians.   How do we suppose the treaty protected estate of the Sioux Nation was stolen?   We are not ignorant of the fact that we are experiencing an era of incompetent law and justice behavior and such criminality always starts at the top.  Our governor is just a Republican sycophant knows almost nothing about Sioux Indian Political and legal History, and consults with the White House at every opportunity.

This  is  not a time of hooded renegades nor the Seventh Cavalry  but it is a time that is just as furious:  uniformed police officers  can shoot Americans in their own homes,  kill black men on the city streets in the full glare of all of us as witnesses, a  time  when overweight  white men and their sons  in seemingly benign communities  can chase down and shoot black men who are out jogging.

Someone once said that what is going on now can be called White Supremacy in politics and law and history,   even describing it as a “a perennial mold in the national house.”   As a Santee Dakota whose grandmother  was an infant  witness at the time of the hanging of 38 of  our relatives in THE STATE of Minnesota,  (1863) we  are not unaware of the viciousness of white folks in our midst and their all-white, male institutions of State.

It is recorded that ten thousand whites gathered around the scaffold at that time and cheered for the largest mass hanging in US History.

Today, relatives of these same kind of people in Minnesota march in the streets with printed signs and serious   faces never looking back at their sad, devastating vision of what their country would become.

Since that period was marked by the huge Civil War for the right of black people not to be owned by whites, few have paid any attention to their Indian history and that seems to give them the right to not know anything about it.

Villains are cornered now in the White House.    It must have been some obscure historian whose name we can’t remember who talked of mold and whatever its blackened characteristics might be.   We would lose heart if we were to go there, so we don’t.

What we know is this: mold spreads and that is what the Corona Virus is telling us.

 

 

(Contact Elizabeth Cook-Lynn <ecooklynn@gmail.com)

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