Media, legal system unfair to natives

The commentary by the judge in the recent fight on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is at the very least inappropriate. He says that the killing of Leonard Sitting Up is “exactly the kind of homicide that I’ve watched for 40 years.” He is quoted as saying that such family disputes are a part of an “endless” cycle of violence on the reservation ("the next generation picks it up”).

What is endless about this kind of family tragedy is that it has given the Journal another front-page headline about Indian troubles, which feeds into this community’s awful expectations of our native families and communities. There is nothing new about violence. It is all around us.

There is nothing new in the media’s interest in endlessly counting up our Indian failures. There is nothing new, either, in the justice system condemning our grief. Judges are doing what they do — they judge us all.

But nothing gives them the right to publicly denounce native violence any more than it would the violence of any other segment of the population. Our communities and families on the nine Indian reservations in this country deserve better media and judicial treatment.

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn

Rapid City

Residents need to see big picture

There's lots being said in the Journal’s "Two Cents" about the increase in the property tax (and, yes, I personally heard Mayor Allender say that he was a follower).

 It seems a bit petty to point out that rise of $3.60 per $100,000 valuation is insignificant. According to a retired real estate professional here in Rapid City, the average valuation of homes is about $225,000. Assuming you are average, that means an increase of about $8.10 for the entire year. I'd wager that most folks out there spend more than that on one pass through their favorite fast food restaurant or on lottery or scratch-off tickets. Then there is the usual "let's vote on it" cry from those "liberty" people. Question: How many folks affected by the restrictions on the Bradsky Road bridge voted against the wheel tax that would have helped obtain state funds for its repair? I'll bet it was every one of them.

We seem to be unable to think beyond the moment or our own selfish self-interest, no matter how short-sighted it is. People say the pie can only be cut into so many pieces; well ladies and gentlemen, it's time to bake a bigger pie.

Brent Cogswell

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Rapid City

Lawmakers need to help Dreamers

President Trump's action on Dreamers is disgusting, and I feel morally bankrupt. These individuals are here and by no fault of their own. Most of them are assets to the USA.

But the senators and representatives who I contacted will not so far speak up for Dreamers. They need to do the right thing and co-sponsor legislation to help Dreamers.

Willis Sutliff

Rapid City

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