When stupid actions are taken by stupid people (or who are hiding their true intentions), it is not uncommon for bad, unacceptable things to happen. A relatively small example can be seen recently in South Dakota.
A few weeks back, a Lakota activist group, now nationwide, made news headlines when they “helped” supposedly homeless people in Rapid City, SD by creating Mniluzahan winter camp set up on tribal land west of Rapid City, reported in the Rapid City Journal.
The Journal also posted this story: This week a fire destroyed part of Camp Mniluzahan. Although the Journal reported the whole truth, other outlets simply reported it as a fire near the National Guard Training Area, not explaining WHY or WHAT. Most people surely assumed it was the evil military.
The site is in the Johnson Siding Fire District, a rural unincorporated area near Rapid City. The Training Area straddles the city limits. These site are located in the foothills. (It is a fire-climax ecosystem, like all ponderosa pine forests). This camp is also very near Black Hills National Forest land and private land, including residences. Wildfires are fairly common, either through human stupidity or natural causes. But this was NOT a wildfire. Rather, three tents (maybe the size of Army GP Mediums, 16 x 32 feet) and their wooden platforms burned. With some trash and grass. Almost certainly human-caused.
The site of this camp is actually distinct: it is tribal land under BIA trust. Three tribes (Oglala, Sicangu or Rosebud, and Cheyenne River, all Lakota) jointly own it. It is NOT in a “reservation.” But the BIA is responsible for things like fire prevention and firefighting.
Fortunately, with no expectation of reimbursement, the Johnson Siding Volunteer Fire Department and Rapid City’s Fire and Emergency Services responded and put the fires out. It is highly unlikely that the organizations which created this camp, or any of the members of those organizations or any of the people living in those tents, will pay a dime of the costs of the fire, the cleanup, or anything else. Again, that was not reported.
Oddly, one of the masterminds behind the camp and various other activism going on, a man named Nick, recently received a “grant” of $13 million dollars for his “work.” Again, not mentioned in any story. Just the poor “homeless people.”
Why this coy reporting? No doubt there are many reasons, but here are a few thoughts:
- Media outlets, even in cities like Rapid, fear reporting things which are seen as being racist or critical of minorities. Especially when media are condemned and attacked – sometimes physically – for such things.
- The mainstream media agenda of demanding reparations and social and environmental justice means such incidents must be kept lowkey
- It is politically explosive. These groups have been attacking the city, county, US Department of Agriculture (of which the Forest Service is a part), and BIA for abuse, racism, and more. AND also seeking to get 1200 acres of land from the City for tribal use.
- The camp’s existence (relocated from a far more visible site on which the organizers and their homeless guests were trespassing) is not well known. There is fear of rousing nearby landowners to panic if they understand the potential dangers.
- The various Emergency Response agencies have possibly overstepped their authority by working outside their jurisdiction. Their response is laudable, but they have reason to fear blowback in the form of demanding defunding and restrictions which impact their primary mission.
I suppose this is all part of the weirdness of the Annus Horribus, 2020.
It is bad that a small urban area like Rapid City even has a “homeless camp.” Especially since virtually all the “homeless people” camping seem to really have homes – often on the reservations which are 50-150 miles away. And have been offered, time and time again, housing through welfare programs or in homeless shelters, as well as other assistance including medical treatment.
The photos make it clear: this camp is very similar to those I’ve seen in person, even this year, and via photographs in cities like Albuquerque, Durango (Colorado), and of course Portland, OR and Seattle and Denver. Trash-. violence-, and pest-ridden, with little or no sanitation (and frequently refusing to use sanitary facilities provided by local authority or benevolent organizations). These camps are disease sources, polluting, lawless, and dangerous. Both for campers and outsiders: like the Occupy Wall Street camps from several years ago, or the Autonomous Zones as in Seattle.
These are NOT what you expect in a healthy society. Yes, we’ve had them before: the Bonus Army camp and its march on DC after WW1, the hobo camps of the Great Depression (and before and after), and other times and places. When society was not healthy, and when times were very hard.
Today’s “homeless” and “protest” camps are a bit different, I think. They are encouraged by the same SJW and extreme democrat/Street mob types (and their backers, political and financial) who are destroying elections, attacking and burning and looting businesses and institutions while “protesting” for social justice and against racism and fascism.
Clearly one part of the solution to these blots on our society AND landscape is to STOP supporting them. Directly or indirectly. Once assured that lives were safe, the firefighters should have pulled back to the property line to protect private and city/county/Guard property. But more to the point, stop giving these people land or permission to use land – land in trust is supposed to benefit everyone in the tribes, not the 1/10 of 1% who are claiming to be homeless for political purposes. And stop subsidizing them with welfare. Let them – tell them – to go home. For eight generations, the FedGov (read, taxpayers) have provided food, medicine, houses – now, even cell phones – and some few activists use these to make more and more demands.
Enough is enough.