Yesterday I drove to Boston on the Mass Pike and pulled into a rest stop to get myself a coffee and a breakfast quickie to eat. Went through the drive-thru lane at the Starbucks kiosk and ordered a medium regular and a plain croissant. Gave the kid a Hamilton, he gave me back a dollar bill which I told him to keep as I drove off.
Nine fucking dollars for 16 ounces of hot water and a blob of bread and this country needs to be worried about a bunch of pauvres coming over the border because they will use up everything that we need? Are you fucking serious?
The latest injection of pure and unadulterated selfishness injected into the 2024 campaign by the GOP has been produced by Kristi Noem, the Governor of South Dakota, who went in front of the state legislature and announced that she was thinking of sending razor wire and security personnel to the Southern border to help control the ‘invasion’ going on right now.
This crazy and racist nonsense provoked a response from the Oglala Sioux Nation tribe which shot off a four-page letter to the Governor that disinvited her from any attempt to come onto tribal lands. You can read this remarkable document right here.
I roamed around the Pine Ridge Oglala Reservation twice in 1968, once to camp out in the Badlands so that I could stand in the middle of that natural splendor at sun-up (see picture above), the other time to watch the annual movement of the buffalo herd as the animals went through Custer State Park.
Notwithstanding the cute, little casino which never seems to have more than a handful of gamblers yanking the slot machines at any one time, the Pine Ridge Reservation happens to be one of the poorest and most fucked up human communities anywhere in the United States. Located on the border of South Dakota and Nebraska, the reservation holds about 19,000 residents, but it’s still mostly an open space given that it covers nearly 3,500 square miles of prairie and largely undeveloped land.
The 2010 Census found the Pine Ridge population to be just as bad off now as it was when I went through the territory more than fifty years ago. The unemployment rate is around 90%, more than half the population lives under the Federal poverty rate, the average per capita income makes it the poorest county in the United States, the infant mortality rate is five times the national average – want a few more numbers?
What Pine Ridge is most famous for, however, is the massacre at Wounded Knee which occurred on December 29, 1890, and resulted in nearly 300 Lakota Tribe members being killed by a detachment of the 7th Cavalry who were trying to hunt down an Indian band of Oglala and Hunkpapa Sioux led by Spotted Elk.
The massacre has been memorialized by Dee Brown’s 1970 book, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and in 1973 there was a 70-day standoff between armed Reservation residents and federal police, the former group being led by the American Indian Movement and their most well-known advocate named Russell Means.
For a whole bunch of reasons, the media’s attention about conditions on Indian reservations has faded away, in part because of the growth of the gaming industry on native-American lands. But the social problems on many reservations remain, along with the prejudice and racial hatred of whites like shitface Kristi Noem.
Yea, yea, I know I shouldn’t refer to an elected official in such nasty and hateful terms. If you have a better choice of words to describe how the GOP has sunk to its current level of racism and class hatred, please let me know.
But it occurs to me that the decision of the Oglala Sioux nation to ban Noem from their land might constitute a welcome precedent for how other localities and jurisdictions might respond to the GOP’s self-evident strategy to run an entire national campaign on the basis of selfishness and hate.
I think I’ll send a letter to Maura Healey, the Governor of Massachusetts, asking her to announce a visitor’s ban on any member of the GOP Senate or House caucuses in D.C. who vote to restrict immigration into the United States. I think that Kathy Hochul, the Governor of New York State, should do the same.
For that matter, I think that the chief executives of every so-called ‘sanctuary states’ should open their state’s borders to immigrants and close their borders to any visitor who believes that what this country needs are a return to the traditions and beliefs of the white, native-born race.
No doubt such an action in my state, Massachusetts, will have a negative impact on the local economy, right?
So instead of paying $9 bucks for a medium-sized coffee and a blob of bread, I’ll pay $11 or $12 bucks for the same drek.