March 20, 2014
The anti-racism sanctimonium is high right now in South Dakota. Senator Phil Jenson made comments that weren’t hard to construe as racist. They quickly went viral as sloppy, unhelpful and irresponsible journalists outside our state pounced on him while entirely ignoring the fact that Jenson also said: “the majority of us would find it detestable that they refuse to serve blacks.”
Some of my comments so far include the following…
Though he’s further to the right than me, and many are, I know Phil and he is a good guy. Not for a moment do I think he’s a racist though these comments open the door to that assessment – that he wants blacks to be discriminated against. Last year the national media freaked out over my MMA comments and never actually listened to what I was trying to say. The same is going on right now with those of us who see religious liberty as a casualty of the gay rights movement. There is no manual on how to fight back the gay advance and what you have are everyday people in public office who are trying to make a case that religious conviction is a central freedom in this country. I didn’t sign on to Phil’s bill but I did bring a couple of my own. I found it near impossible to make my point without people hearing something altogether different.
I also tweeted yesterday: @stevehickey It’s really hard to talk to people who are only able to hear what they want to hear and react irrationally against things you never said.
Then the Governor distanced himself from Phil’s comments which prompted me to say this:
Every Republican and South Dakotan who throws a stone at Phil Jenson needs to make sure they have no animosities toward Native Americans. Some days I think I live in the deep South with what gets said about natives here. Democrats use them and Republicans abuse them. If we are going to expunge every hint of racism from our state, and I’m all for it, let’s deal with it in ourselves first.
Twenty years ago I moved here and soon thereafter attended a meeting in Sioux Falls with the US Commission on Civil Rights. If memory serves me correctly the report concluded racial tension in this state was greater than in Los Angeles. I’ve found that to be true.
My assessment is that South Dakota presently has two main forms of bigotry; racial bigotry and religious bigotry. The former is far more severe and long standing than the latter. The former is mainly toward native Americans but it’s increasing toward immigrants. Seeking to get all of society to legitimize and celebrate them, our homosexual community has succeeded in claiming discrimination too. The only sector of society yet to embrace them unequivocally is the Church and that’s what has prompted all these stretched accusations of bigotry. The irony is gay advocates here are just as guilty of religious bigotry as anyone else is guilty of bigotry against them.
And in all this, our states biggest racism issue is lost - animosities toward natives. Here in this 125th Celebration Year of our Statehood I’ve tried to make a case we need to deal with these lingering racial animosities - and they go both ways. It falls on deaf ears.
At the conclusion of our legislative session late last week, the lobbyists do a roast and those of us in the legislature all come, including the Governor and his Cabinet. Lots of humor to go around and it’s “all in fun.” The sole Native American lobbyist stood up to joke about HB 1213 which was a bill to get a work group working on economic development on the Rez. The lobbyist was commenting on the unusual kumbaya moment in the Capitol as the House vote was 68-0 and 35-0 in the Senate… ON AN INDIAN BILL!! He acted shocked and speechless because as he said, usually all they can say is…. “Hey Bro, don’t taze me.”
Laughs all the way around.
Here’s an article from Kevin Woster at KELO related to my post here.