By Heather J. Carlson
On his Facebook page, Hagedorn wrote that he had written political satire years ago and "even though most of my writing were composed more than 10 years ago, national and DFL liberals are determined to attack me personally, mostly by exhibiting snippets of out-dated, misunderstood or out-of-context material and calling me derogatory names."
Nonetheless, Hagedorn wrote that "I do acknowledge that some of my hard-hitting and tongue-in-cheek commentary was less than artfully constructed or included language that could lead to hurt feelings. I offer a sincere and heartfelt apology."
Hagedorn won an upset victory in the Aug. 12 Republican primary over the party-endorsed candidate Aaron Miller, of Byron. The Blue Earth Republican will take on 1st District DFL Rep. Tim Walz in November.
Hagedorn wrote the posts between 2002 and 2008 on a blog called Mr. Conservative. Among the posts was one that referred to alleged voter fraud in the 2002 South Dakota election involving American Indians. He wrote that "Many of the votes registered for absentee ballots were found to be chiefs and squaws who returned to the spirit world many moons ago." He went on to write, "Leave it to liberals to ruin John Wayne's wisdom of the only good Indian being a dead Indian." Another referred to two Washington senators as "bimbos in tennis shoes."
"Misunderstood" or "out-of-context"? There's no context that makes his racism towards Natives acceptable. Certainly not "tongue-in-cheek commentary" or "satire." He wasn't satirizing someone else's beliefs, he was expressing his own. This is what he thinks about Natives, and it's racist.
The only question is how racist Hagedorn is, not whether he's racist.
His first comment about Natives merely shows his ignorant and stereotypical thinking. It's not overtly hateful, although consigning Natives to the past is a belittling and dismissive act.
His second comment is overtly hateful. He's basically wishing Natives dead. There's no excuse, none, for this hate speech.
This is the type of person who exemplifies conservative Americans. Judging by the comments in mascot debates, many people would agree with Hagedorn's remarks. Natives are "chiefs and squaws" who should've disappeared long ago. Who have no business telling white people what to do with their beloved Native fantasies.