Notes from Indian Country
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji - Stands Up For Them)
There is one thing about the Internet, Facebook and other forms of social media that is alarming: They open up the world to the worst forms of distortion of facts and outright lies, speculation, and innuendo based on rumors without the benefit of any form of honest research.
A person can say whatever they want to say about anybody without even knowing the facts. What is worse they can throw lies out there without apparent fear of reprisal.
There is one nincompoop in Rapid City that has made this form of lies and distortion of truth an art form. He throws mud in every direction in hopes that some of it will stick. He considers himself to be an urban warrior, but as one of his former friends said of him, "He wouldn't make a pimple on a warrior's butt."
This scum of the earth is even threatening to have the President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, John Yellowbird Steele, impeached and consider this; he isn't even a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. What gall!
We all recall our days in school when it seems there was always a schoolyard bully. That's exactly the kind of tactics used by this would-be-tyrant. He makes threats on his Facebook or sends these irresponsible threats out to the media and it is unfortunate that some media repeat these threats and lies verbatim without bothering to call the person facing the unfounded accusations and untruths.
I have always tried to teach my reporters that there are always, that's right always, two sides to every story and if you write only one side of the story you are doing an injustice to the person the article is about. A person that has set out to smear the reputation and credibility of another person does not give a damn about getting the other side of the story. He or she is only interested in painting a one-sided version of their own distortions of truth because they know that there are people out there that think just like they do and they will soak up every lie with glee.
I will back down from no one about the many things I have managed to achieve in my 82 years on Maka Ina (Mother Earth) and I take pride in hearing from many Indian people over the more than 40 years I have been writing saying that something I wrote changed their lives for the better. When we were children we used to say, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me." Perhaps the hate that can be spread on social media will make that saying obsolete, but as for me, I still believe it and I will continue to believe it as long as I believe in myself.
(Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, was the founder of Indian Country Today and served as its editor and publisher for 18 years. ICT is vibrant and relevant yet after more than 35 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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