Monday, May 18, 2015

SD law enforcement adding to fear and loathing in Indian Country

Dakota Free Press has given this blog some electrons to raise awareness of the culture of corporate bedfellowship in my home state of South Dakota: a near gulag where democracy not only seems futile it's discouraged by the Republican establishment.

DFP recently shined some light on the epidemic of suicides by young people living in tribal nations trapped in a state that sees seized American Indian children as cash cows instead of human kids. South Dakota's police state assists in the trafficking of family members into the mostly white-owned foster care industry.

Cops also instill fear in people who stray from the relative safety of the reservation and profile those driving on the state's crumbling roads.
When the officer rapped loudly with a flashlight on the passenger-side window of my car, my 16-year-old, special-needs daughter flung her arms around me like a frightened kitten climbing up my pants leg. Always trying to be helpful, my daughter, Rosa, who is autistic, opened the glove box for the insurance papers. Reflexively the officer put his hand on his gun as he quickly stepped forward and shined the light toward Rosa and the glove box. She let out a little scream. Fortunately, that's when my training in "driving while Indian" kicked in fully. Simon Moya-Smith of the Oglala Lakota Nation wrote an excellent article for CNN about the high rates of death for Native Americans at the hands of law enforcement. He determines that the lack of white or black faces rallying around us or protesting over such injustice is because "we are a forgotten people." [Mary Annette Pember, Driving While Indian: A Refresher Course]
Tribal members have every reason to fear South Dakota's prison/industrial complex. Inmates in the system have disproportionately peopled the state's interdiction factories for decades because it's one more way a tyrannical one-party state masquerading as conservative takes money from the federal taxpayers.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anyone may comment but please use a handle so the blog author can respond effectively; bot verification is enabled. Thank you for visiting.