In 1999, after more than a hundred complaints of racism and racial
profiling, South Dakota's Advisory Committee to the Commission on Civil
Rights issued their report. This report shows the kind of extreme racism
this country has not seen since the 1950s in the Deep South. Murders of
homeless Indian men rolled in their sleep into a river, a handicapped
Indian man stuffed into a garbage can and left for dead, shootings that
seem to resemble sport directed at Indian people, these are the kinds
of goings on that are happening in South Dakota. And although at first
this report made big news there, two years later it still seems as if
nothing has been done to address the situation. The Governor's and the
Attorney General's Office have been compiling a tremendous amount of data,
but have not yet issued their findings or recommendations.
The governor of South Dakota, "Wild" Bill Janklow attacked
the Civil Rights Commission for the report, stating that it couldn't possibly
be correct or thorough in that it was only done in two days time. But
in the space of those two days, more than a hundred people came forward
and told stories that would make anyone recoil in horror. Janklow says,
"Show me the facts!" But many of the stories they told were
personal, and facts could not be proven. A Racial Profiling Bill has been
shot down twice and yet how can facts be proven without a system to record
data? Yet, Janklow refuses to allow a bill against racial profiling to
be passed for fear of incurring the wrath of those who might be questioned
about their race or the threat of exorbitant costs. However, nine states
have already passed such a bill and the costs have been proven to be affordable
to any agency, with some estimates as low as several hundred dollars.
And almost all Native people would welcome a change from the present situation.
In each of the buttons to the left are excerpts from articles that
have appeared in various newspapers with examples of the racism, personal
stories, and quotes from those who live with the debilitating effects
of hatred that are directed at them daily. There has been some concern
that by only showing excerpts that we have skewed the meaning of the articles.
That has not been the case and information for viewing each article in
its entirety is provided in the Bibliography.
Many thanks to Native News, Indianz.com, Rob Schmidt from Blue Corn
Comics, ndn-aim, and the Lakota Student Alliance for their invaluable
contribution in collecting articles and information that makes the truth
about Indian Country accessible. Information for contacting them is found
with the articles listed in the Bibliography.