The Rapid City Journal “Regrets” Headline it Used Questioning Whether Native Kids Stood for National Anthem

Graphic by Indian Country Today Media Network.

Graphic by Indian Country Today Media Network.

The Rapid City Journal "Regrets" Headline it Used Questioning Whether Native Kids Stood for National Anthem. NATIVE NEWS ONLINE – In an editorial run on Monday, February 2, 2015, the Rapid City Journal’s Executive Editor Bart Pfakuch writes:

“A justifiable anger has resulted from a headline that appeared in the Rapid City Journal on Saturday, Jan. 31. It is now abundantly clear that the headline about the National Anthem is troubling to this community and our readers.

To some, the headline signified that there was a justification for the harassment of Native American students at the Rush hockey game on Saturday, Jan 24. This was not our intent. There is no justification for such racist behavior. There can never be any justification for the appalling way those students and their chaperones were treated at the game.”

ALJAZEERA AMERICA – Tensions high in South Dakota after alleged assault on Native students

The 57 students, members of the Oglala Lakota tribe, were bused to a hockey game at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center on Jan. 24 as a treat for their participation in an after-school program.

“It was wonderful for the kids until the third [period],” said trip chaperone and school board member Justin Poor Bear. That was when two non-Native attendees seated in the VIP section above the students reportedly hurled racial epithets, beer and a Frisbee at the youths.

Poor Bear was eventually forced to escort the students, ages 8 to 15, off the premises to avoid what he says were calls from the assailants to engage in a face-to-face confrontation.

INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY – Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Doesn’t Like Indian Children: An Interview With Justin Poor Bear by Gyasi Ross (2/3/15)
The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center doesn’t deserve to make one dollar from Native people. Neither does the Rapid City Journal—these two organizations are aiding and abetting a hate crime. I obviously cannot tell anybody what to do, but if I were advising Native people in South Dakota, I would say not to patronize the Civic Center to the tune of one single dollar until they 1) seek full prosecution of the perpetrators of these hate crimes, and 2) put security measures in to ensure that no one, of any color or race, has to endure these humiliating experiences.

More Beer, More Racism at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center; Elders Become Latest Victims by Simon Moya-Smith (2/3/15 0
“We were enjoying the bull riding and as I was attempting to film the next rider when we had beer thrown at us from above,” Hunter wrote on her Facebook wall. “Is it even safe to even go to the civic center? Along with my friends a couple of Lakota elderly men and a caucasian elderly couple were hit as well.” Hunter posted the video to her Facebook page.


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