Is it me, or is the OST Council starting to sound a little too much like a middle eastern country?

Is it me, or does the string of Pine Ridge tribal ‘bans’  seem a little too much like what happens in middle eastern countries, as they’ve first banned the attorney of the man accused of spilling beer on kids, and now have banned the Rapid City Journal because they wrote a headline that angered them? (and later apologized for)

From a past issue of USA Today:

The Moroccan government has banned an issue of the French magazine L’Express International, claiming it insults Islam in articles exploring the relationship between that religion and Christianity.

Information Minister Khalid Naciri said Sunday that he had no choice but to ban the current issue because of the offensive nature of the articles it contained. The minister said the kingdom’s press code allows the government to shut down or ban any publication deemed to offend Islam or the king.

Read that here.

And from the Argus Leader, yesterday:

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has approved a resolution banning all businesses on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation from selling the Rapid City Journal after the newspaper published a headline the tribe found objectionable.

Tribal spokesman Kevin Steele told KCSR-AM that the ban will stay in effect until the newspaper apologizes for a headline that questioned whether a group of Native American students stood for the pledge of allegiance at a Rapid City Rush hockey game.

Read that here.

The last time I checked, tribes were governed by federal law.  But, apparently the OST governing council doesn’t think the bill of rights applies to them, specifically freedom of the press.

What are your thoughts?

13 thoughts on “Is it me, or is the OST Council starting to sound a little too much like a middle eastern country?”

  1. 1. Morocco isn’t in the Middle East.
    2. Citizens can still access the RCJ online.
    3. They aren’t banning free speech – no tribal government is required to allow businesses to operate on their land and the RCJ is still allowed to write whatever they want.

    Is this ill-conceived? Yes. But odds are they’re main goal is to hurt the RCJs bottom line.

  2. sovereignty either means something or it doesn’t. i’m not bothered so much by the bans. they’re not meant to spark a war, they’re meant to get attention and redress of grievances.

  3. Absolutely sophomoric., I can’t believe this is a functioning government, it reminds me of a high school student council. No, I apologize to high school student councils, they would never do something this ignorant.

  4. The OST politicians need to get in line. RCJ ownership owes an apology first to everyone in Western S.D. for turning the newspaper into the sophomoric mess that lead to the lousy headline in the first place.

  5. The Supreme Cout has ruled that prohibiting the sale of newspapers is an infringement of free speech. I think it was one the rulings which had to do with pornography.

  6. To me, the tribal council is acting like nothing more than a petulant child. Between banning the attorney representing the accused and banning RCJ publications, it’s really just something to shake your head at.

    1. local governments resolve to dislike things all the time. a few years ago i think it was fremont nebraska did a crackdown on undocumented residents beyond that which the federal government was willing to do; cities ban crèches, colleges ban military recruiters, etc. it’s not new, “petulant child” is a place where we need not go here.

  7. Yes, it does breach the 1st amendment to the US Constitution and last I checked, tribal sovereignty does not extend that far any more than does the sovereignty of the several states. South Dakota’s sovereignty, for instance, is constrained in similar fashion.

    I’m not, however, inclined to get all that worked up about it. If Wikipedia is to be believed, they sell about 25-27K hard copies of the paper. How many of those are sold on OST tribal lands – a thousand? Probably less.

    It won’t hurt the RCJ any, but it will hurt OST. Trying to hide from unpleasantness doesn’t work long and only makes it worse when one does eventually face it.

  8. Enquirer,

    Those are true. Wisely or unwisely local governments make “statements” all the time. However, attempting to ban a non-criminal (Duffy) from lawfully entering a political jurisdiction or the sale of a newspaper are Constitutional violations.

    1. I might add especially egregious to do so exercising lawful specifically enumerated constitutional rights (providing legal defense) and free speech.

      1. i don’t mean to offend anyone, any more than the person who said ‘petulant child’ meant to insult the nation’s tribes. yet i did offend a little, and the ‘petulant child’ remark was unneeded in this conversation. the tribes aren’t children, they’ve long expressed the feeling that they established system of redress and justice works badly or not at all for them, and they feel pushed to outlandish extremes to make themselves heard or be taken more seriously. let’s at the very least recognize this as an opportunity and start making lemonade. again, sorry.

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