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Tim Giago: Racism continues in South Dakota
Tuesday, November 30, 2004

"It is hard for many South Dakotans to say the word "Indian" without placing the word "dirty" in front of it.

Much of the prejudice can be attributed to common misperceptions. The wasicu see the intoxicated Indians staggering in and around the Prairie Market located next to the bridge and creek where they often congregate. They see these dredges of humanity that cause embarrassment amongst their own people. They are the ones who are most visible.

They donít see the Lakota woman who runs the museum or the Indian woman who is vice president of a local bank or the many other Lakota people working hard at their jobs, buying homes and trying to make a better life for their children.

They see the orange clad prisoner in handcuffs on the nightly news and the derelicts panhandling on the downtown streets. They read the court dockets in the newspapers with the myriad of Indian names as law breakers because many of the crimes committed on the Indian reservations are tried before all-white juries in communities such as Rapid City because that is where federal crimes are tried.

And if they run into an Indian on a dark street at night, they shy away with fear."

Get the Story:
Tim Giago: South Dakotans cannot say "Indian" without adding "dirty" to it (The Native American Times 11/29)

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