May 01, 2013

Natives protest Rapid City Journal

Ultimatum on Rapid City Journal

By Brandon EcoffeyThe Rapid City Journal has until July 20, 2013, to clean up its act or the United Urban Warrior Society will begin to picket outside of the RCJ’s office.

“This paper has a long history of race baiting and dividing the community in Rapid City,” said James Swan of the United Urban Warrior Society. “This is not a recent occurrence. This is something that has been going on since the journal first started printing,” he added. The RCJ opened their doors in 1878 during the height of the Indian Wars and like many papers in its time portrayed Native people in a negative light.

The UUWS is a community action group that has been taking the city of Rapid to task over a number of issues concerning Native people. On March 12, 2012, Swan met with the Editor of the RCJ demanding action and a better portrayal of Native Americans in print. However according to Swan the RCJ said all the right things but nothing substantial developed from the talks.

“They spoke with us and promised to make some changes but they never materialized,” said Swan. “We are giving them 90 days to clean up their act or we will take action,” he added.

The group issued several demands in a proclamation that was released to the media. The UUWS demands that the comment section be turned off or deleted for all stories pertaining to Native American people or issues. The comment section that is available on the RCJ’s online edition allows for readers to post their thoughts on any story that is currently up on the page. In the past certain readers have used the comment section to promote racial bigotry and stereotypes. Often the comments were allowed to stay up on the site for days, despite claims from the RCJ that they strictly moderate the forum.

In addition to the removal of the comment section, the UUWS has demanded that the journal include in their paper a section devoted to the Native American community. They are also demanding that someone who understands Native American culture be hired full-time to help advise the paper on Native issues.
Comment:  For more on how publications treat Natives, see Natives "Filed Away" by Stereotypes and Letter: Natives Aren't "Modern Citizens."


dmarks said...

With 12% Native population in the area, it would make sense for the paper to serve this population segment better.

Anonymous said...

Its nationwide and it varies from region to region, state to state. Publications in Oklahoma never publish achievements from minority groups yet jump on every negative incident that happens within those communities. Especially prominent Indian leaders. My grandfather was honored by both the governor and the president, but when he died, the Oklahoman didn't so much as fart, but had he been white, guess how much honor this paper would have bestowed? You say, where is this racism?

Look at all the wasted coverage of wealthy parties and nonsense charities in that paper rubbing elbows and taking drunk group shots while cursing Obama.

Its a disgrace. If natives should not be angered, at the least working poor Oklahomans should be. They are the ones that keep Oklahoma's economy afloat just so the rich can sink it.

Oklahoma is a penal state with a large inmate percentage being Indian per capita population. Do the math. I can almost see South Dakota being the same as Oklahoma.