Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Schoenbeck: what racism?

Watertown High School hosts a racist pageant every year.

Channeling the Bundy domestic terrorists laying siege to Harney County, Oregon Rep. Lee Schoenbeck (RWNJ-Watertown) is embracing white privilege.
A lawmaker has introduced a measure that would dissolve a state board thrust into the spotlight for considering a recommendation for a new name for Harney Peak. The board's chairwoman didn't immediately return a request for comment. Gov. Dennis Daugaard's spokeswoman says he hasn't yet reviewed it. [KDLT teevee]
White South Dakota bureaupublicans should know better than to live on the wrong side of history.
Two members of Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s cabinet have submitted letters to the state Board on Geographic Names opposing the board’s recommended renaming of Harney Peak to “Hinhan Kaga (Making of Owls)." [Seth Tupper]
South Dakota's GOP governor has little choice but to accept a county name change after voters sanctioned it even if some state Republicans are resisting because of SDGOP's long history of racism.
In the November general election, voters in Shannon County overwhelmingly approved changing the name to Oglala Lakota County, but the new name cannot go into effect without legislative action. But in the past few years, a state panel has been replacing names considered insensitive, such as Negro and Squaw from creeks and formations, and this year a proposal surfaced to replace Harney Peak in the Black Hills with Black Elk Peak. [Rapid City Journal], links mine.
The Lakota called William Harney, "Woman Killer." The French called the Lakota 'Teton Sioux' which is highly offensive. Numerous geographical sites in South Dakota bear part of that tag. No doubt Big Sioux and Sioux Falls will ultimately be contested.
The BGN’s policy is that if a public presentation is made, a vote on that issue will automatically be deferred until at least the next meeting. After months of public meetings and comment periods, the South Dakota Board on Geographic Names (SDBGN) voted 4-1 to leave the name of William S. Harney attached to the peak. The original name submitted for the name change was Black Elk Peak, which was later changed to “Hinhan Kaga (Making of Owls),” by the SDBGN. The SDBGN forwarded its final recommendation as well as packets of materials including comments from a large number of interested parties, results of its meetings and audio files to the U.S. board for consideration. A vote is not anticipated until early 2016. [Carrie Moore, Harney name still up in air]
Heȟáka Sápa (Black Elk) returned to Lakota ways after he realized the Roman Church was committing crimes against his people.
Damian Costello's monograph on Black Elk, the Oglala holy man, is the latest in a growing number of scholarly contributions to the controversial topic of Black Elk's religious identity. Was Black Elk truly a wicasta wakan, a holy man, who only became a Catholic convert as a result of the colonial pressures endemic to the reservation system? Or was Black Elk actually a devout catechist, whose "Great Vision" was unnecessarily bereft of its Christian message because John G. Neihardt desired a romanticized and non-Christian Indian narrative? First, tribal nations such as the Lakota are still under the yoke of colonialism and, as such, are engaged in a process of decolonization rather than postcolonialism. Second, taking [Lamin] Sanneh's perspective and arbitrarily applying it to early twentieth-century Lakota history only serves as a way of making excuses for historic wrongs that both Protestant and Catholic churches committed against the Lakota people. [excerpt, Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism (review)]
This blogger has been arguing for Lakota names on South Dakota's geological features for at least twenty years. It is the opinion of this blog that if the mountain is named for Black Elk it should be in the Lakota language: loosely translated as Paha Heȟáka Sápa.

It's time for the State of South Dakota to abandon Bear Butte State Park that it claimed through colonization and remand it to the tribes for governance so they can restore its name to Mato Paha and for the US Park Service to add the name Mahto Tipila to Devils Tower National Monument.

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