Bob Lone Elk: Still waiting on justice for racism in South Dakota

"Justice For Our Children" -- a sign from the Stand Strong Against Racism Rally earlier this month in Rapid City. Photo by Charles Michael Ray / South Dakota Public Broadcasting / Twitter

Bob Lone Elk reflects on the decades of violence faced by Indian people in border towns throughout South Dakota:
I am from Porcupine, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Reservation. I was raised by Frank and Agnes Lone Elk, my grandparents. People would treat us like this in the town we shopped at in Gordon, Nebraska, another reservation border town. My grandparents would take me to town when I was between the ages of five and ten, my earliest memory is of getting eggs thrown on us at this town while we shopped. Going to town to shop was always supposed to be an event but teenagers would drive by and call us dirty Indians and throw eggs at us. To this day when I still shop in that town, I look at those elderly men and women who walk around there and wonder which of them threw eggs at me and my grandparents. My grandfather broke no laws when we went to town, but highway patrol always stopped and harassed us.

That was in the 1950’s. In 1993, I was in a car accident on Highway 44 and taken to the hospital in Martin, South Dakota. A small town which is half on the rez and half off. The doctor and nurse made fun of my sundance scars and medicine pouch and said they must not work if I was in the hospital. I replied and told them I was alive. Then the doctor saw the tattoo of Sitting Bull on my arm and told the nurse when she gave me the shot to shoot Sitting Bull between the eyes. And she did. Because of the way I was treated in that emergency room, I have no doubt about the elderly man, Vern Traversie getting the three K’s carved on him during surgery in Rapid City.

At age 62 years old now, I am hoping for justice for the children from Allen. I have a feeling all will be cleared of charges after 30 days like all the cops who kill our people and like the cops who tasered that little 8 year old Lakota girl. All the unsolved murders along Rapid Creek were all Lakota men. Daniel Tiger was harassed by the cops all the time and pushed into a corner until it broke him and he retaliated.

Get the Story:
Bob Lone Elk: Growing Up with Racism Either Makes You Weak or a Warrio (Last Real Indians 2/18)

Join the Conversation
Related Stories:
Authorities file just one charge for racial attack on Indian kids (2/19)
Native Sun News: DOJ official visits Rapid City after racial flap (2/19)
Native Sun News: Rapid City paper admits error with headline (2/17)
Tim Giago: Racism continues to be tolerated in South Dakota (2/16)
Native Sun News: Rapid City reaches out to Pine Ridge youth (2/16)
Native Sun News: Second beer splashing incident investigated (2/12)
Robert Flying Hawk: Hate and racism too common in Rapid City (2/12)
Lakota Nation Invitational debates location after racial incident (2/11)
David Rooks: No consequences for pouring beer on Indian youth (2/9)
Delphine Red Shirt: Lakota children are called little sacred ones (2/6)
Jon Edwards: Racist attitudes in Rapid City are not imaginary (2/6)
Gyasi Ross: Interview with parent at hockey game in Rapid City (2/4)
Albert Bender: Indian children victimized by hockey game fans (2/4)
Investigation into mistreatment of Indian students drags out (2/3)
Tim Giago: Incident shows racism is alive and well in Rapid City (2/2)
Danielle Miller: Media lauds violence against our Indian children (2/2)
NAJA: Paper owes apology for flawed story about Indian children (2/2)
Opinion: File charges for hateful assault against Indian children (2/2)
Company claims harassment after racial incident at hockey game (1/30)
Criminal charges possible over mistreatment of Indian students (1/29)
Megan Red Shirt-Shaw: Our kids should be able to go anywhere (1/28)
Police probe racist treatment of Oglala youth at hockey game (1/28)