At a June 2019 rally outside the federal building in Rapid City, South Dakota, about 200 participants filled the sidewalks, carrying signs and chanting slogans calling for “protection of water protectors” who would face stiffer civil and criminal penalties than pipeline fighters have in the past, according to a state law that has been contested in court. Photo by Talli Nauman / Native Sun News Today

Are SD Republicans trapped in history’s time warp?

Native Sun News Today Columnist

It is not the business of a newspaper columnist to tell our readers how to vote in upcoming elections.

But, these days, in this red state that has passed laws shutting down the right to “assemble”, as South Dakota has done to punish the Missouri River Water Defenders, and when it passes legislation to complicate a woman’s civil rights as though she might be a moron who needs “our” protection, threatening her doctor if she wants to quit an unwanted pregnancy, it is pretty difficult for a writer to stifle one’s self. Seems like the same old, same old.

Ordinary voters and political activists. alike, because such oppressive laws in our Republican state are getting more violent instead of less violent were not surprised to see our elected reps in Washington, D. C. (Sen. John Thune, Sen. Mike Rounds, Rep. Dusty Johnson) vote against an inquiry directed toward gathering information to hold an impudent (and possibly criminal) Republican president liable for impeachment irregularities.

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn. Courtesy photo

Nobody pays the price of America, and Trump probably won’t either. We have come to expect such responses from the followers of today’s Kentucky’s ayatollah (another Republican) because we’ve seen it before… we’ll have to wait again to see how all of this current movement turns out.

Speaking of movements, one wonders if anyone here has heard of a defensive strategy called the BDS Movement that seems to be moving across the country. It isn’t the same old, same old. Something new? The acronym is translated as Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction and it is being used presently by oppressed peoples like the Palestinians to stop the aggressions of another colonial state, Israel, which not only passes terribly oppressive laws but shoots dissenters at the walls.

If we are looking for solutions, this movement spreading and picking up speed as a defense against the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa may be a model. Will we continue to be silent in the face of witnessing outrageous white-supremacist tactics like the above by our latest Republican leadership? It might not be a bad idea to look into this kind of BDS defense.

Having said that, we recognize that the Republican State of South Dakota has continued its fight against the Tribal Nation Water Protection alliances, penalizing the nations in the midst of dozens of court cases to say nothing of using the strong arms of police force toward human rights violations, resulting in costly budget overruns. All of this seems to be the result of greed, selfishness and the need for control in spite of the rhetoric which calls for “limited” government and lower taxes by Republican Party officials.

We seem not to be satisfied with just controlling citizens (which turns out to be a direct discrimination against people of color and non-Christians) but we want to control the little animals, of the world too. Noem has initiated a “nest predator program” which will allow our pheasant hunting gamers to kill off the small predators who prey on pheasants.

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Contact Elizabeth Cook-Lynn at ecooklynn@gmail.com

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