Monday, April 03, 2006

Red state values

A panel from Slowpoke's Abortion Ban Exceptions

South Dakota state senator Bill Napoli is one of the most vocal supporters of one of most restrictive abortion laws in the country. His lurid and weirdly enthusiastic description of exactly what kind of rape might merit an exemption to this ban has made him notorious.

Now in an interview with Nancy Goldstein, he deploys a bit more ignorance, some bald-faced lies and utter lack of respect for information to buttress his views. His reflexive contempt for the Native American population in his state is also fully on display.

The tension between the large Native American population in the state and the purveyors of red state values has erupted a number of times in recent weeks.

Indian Country Today has an editorial supporting Cecilia Fire Thunder's offer to circumvent South Dakota law by opening a Planned Parenthood clinic on native land.

The ACLU has just filed a lawsuit against the Winner school district in South Dakota, alleging "district maintains an environment hostile to Native Americans by giving Native American students harsher discipline and by forcing them to sign confessions for minor rule-breaking." This is part of a nationwide trend the ACLU calls "the school to prison pipeline."

Last week's Unwelcome Guests podcast draws some interesting connections between sadism and empire in an informative and disturbing discussion of the use of sexual violence in the ongoing colonization of Native American communities. The discussion begins with some choice clips from Bill Napoli's infamous interview and continues with a talk by Andrea Smith, the author of Conquest: Sexual Violence and the American Indian Genocide.

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