U.S. Motor Rally ‘Violates’ Sacred Land

August in South Dakota means The Black Hills Motor Classic motorcycle rally, one of the largest in the world. Close to a half a million bikers attend, helping the local business, but upsetting others. The local Native Americans say this event threatens one of their holiest sites, Bear Butte Mountain, which is also the founding place of religion for several Plains Indian tribes. Al Jazeera reports:

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  • Eye of the Axis

    http://youtu.be/oY_a-HjdiOE     — Custer Died For Your Sins

    • Anarchy Pony

      Well in a purely tactical assessment Custer died because he decided not to bring his new Gatling guns. Not that he didn’t deserve to die. 

  • Eye of the Axis

    http://youtu.be/oY_a-HjdiOE     — Custer Died For Your Sins

  • Eye of the Axis

    http://youtu.be/oY_a-HjdiOE     — Custer Died For Your Sins

  • respect cult

    Well they do have indian motorcycles. That should make up for it 

  • respect cult

    Well they do have indian motorcycles. That should make up for it 

  • Danny

    I’m torn between feeling bad for Native Americans being repeatedly crapped on and my utter lack of sympathy for people clinging to superstitions.

    • bobbiethejean

       I feel exactly the same way.

    • Jin The Ninja

      there is something called respect for other’s beliefs, whererein one respects the rights of other peoples and cultures to believe in their own worldview. That does not mean you have to believe in it. From this secular pov, the moral side is that of the indigenous peoples- whatever they choose to believe. Not to mention honouring “treaty rights.”

      • Mr Willow

        Thank you.

        Not to mention the fact that Native Americans (as well as several other spiritual paths) don’t get into the business of shoving what they believe down other people’s throats. By-and-large, they just what to be left alone to practice their religion in peace.

    • Toxiczen

      whether or not we view there beliefs as superstition or valid should be of no more significance than a debate or conversation. With as much as has already been taken away from native americans, and how much they have tolerated they should be respected when they say they want the rally to avoid there holy site. my $0.02

    • Danny

      Yeah, you all make good points and like I said, I’m torn. I think my problem is the use of phrases like “sacred land”. It sounds like you’re talking about Narnia or something. Just call it a place of “historical significance”, they could be defending the same chunk of land without sounding silly and I wouldn’t feel like a moron for throwing in with the LARPERS that think the wind is a person. Otherwise, this sounds too much like the Ground Zero mosque debate to me.

      • Anarchy Pony

        Except they do hold the land sacred. Because they are animists. And they do believe that the land should be respected, and the animals and the rivers and everything else, because they actually care about the land itself, and not bullshit civilized concepts that ancestor traitors cling to.

        • Danny

          I’m assuming by ancestor traitors you meant descendant traitors? I can’t disagree with you on this. I don’t see malls and Wal-Mart as “progress” (or biker rallies for that matter). I just see it as a tradition of guys dressing up in leather, riding around on motorcycles vs. a tradition of guys dressed in feathers, dancing around in circles. And I am so very much not either one of those types of people. They should rock paper scissors for the mountain. Or treat it like a time share. Or whatever people think, that’s fine.

          • Jin The Ninja

            You characterisation of traditional native peoples and their sacred dances was frankly racist. I’d edit the above if you want any kind of legitimacy.

          • Danny

            I didn’t feel any more offensive writing that than I did the part characterizing the bikers’ shenanigans. I  admittedly make fun of people’s religions which I think is fair game because at the end of the day, it’s a choice. A Mormon’s magic underwear isn’t part of their genetic makeup, it’s a silly thing they decided to do. The fact they’ve done it for a long time doesn’t make it somehow legitimate. Or maybe I’ve been reading too much Dawkins and need to take it easy.

            I’m just saying… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-rG89sxrkM&feature=player_embedded#t=17s

          • Jin The Ninja

            The fact is, indigenous spirituality is a cultural manifestation, it is not religion. To mock it, is to mock their very culture.

          • Jin The Ninja

            What EXACTLY are you saying? the link was an al jazeera story… I am personally not an atheist, but i don’t sit around mocking you. Ceremonial regalia is extremely important to plains indian culture. I think ignorant white people sitting around mocking them from behind a computer is pretty ridiculous, especially considering they were nearly wiped out (genocide) due to the colonisation of the americas…Just Saying.

          • Danny

             The historical aspects are what I sympathize with the Native Americans about. They’ve spent the last 500 years having everything in their lives pissed on by the party crashers from Europe; would it really ruin anyone’s day if they moved the biker rally a few miles down the road? No, so why not do it? But when the argument seems to come from the cultural angle- specifically the idea that the mountain is actually somehow “sacred” or more “important” than any other mountain- to me is unimpressive and a less effective argument. And not that it matters but, believe me, there’s no culture I mock more than that of modern America.

            You’d have to be nuts (or already just a gigantic flat out anti-semite) to try to see the silver lining in the holocaust. But the fact that we can recognize the murder of 6 million people as the atrocity it is doesn’t make anything in the Torah less ridiculous. A pro-Isreal argument for historical reasons is something worth listening to and effective in the debate. To claim the land was a present to them from a diety that you’ll just have to take their word for it exists… that doesn’t hold as much weight. Or shouldn’t anyway.

            For the record, I wasn’t trolling here, and I can tell most people don’t agree but I’m glad this didn’t deteriorate into typical message board bickering. So thanks.

            Oh, and I can’t recomend the book, “The Lusifer Principle” by Howard Bloom enough. It definitely had an effect on my thinking with finding the behavoir of any group of people funny (not necessarily his goal but that was the result).

  • Danny

    I’m torn between feeling bad for Native Americans being repeatedly crapped on and my utter lack of sympathy for people clinging to superstitions.

  • Danny

    I’m torn between feeling bad for Native Americans being repeatedly crapped on and my utter lack of sympathy for people clinging to superstitions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobbie-Jean-Pentecost/100000391760333 Bobbie Jean Pentecost

     I feel exactly the same way.

  • Anonymous

    there is something called respect for other’s beliefs, whererein one respects the rights of other peoples and cultures to believe in their own worldview. That does not mean you have to believe in it. From this secular pov, the moral side is that of the indigenous peoples- whatever they choose to believe. Not to mention honouring “treaty rights.”

  • Toxiczen

    whether or not we view there beliefs as superstition or valid should be of no more significance than a debate or conversation. With as much as has already been taken away from native americans, and how much they have tolerated they should be respected when they say they want the rally to avoid there holy site. my $0.02

  • Danny

    Yeah, you all make good points and like I said, I’m torn. I think my problem is the use of phrases like “sacred land”. It sounds like you’re talking about Narnia or something. Just call it a place of “historical significance”, they could be defending the same chunk of land without sounding silly and I wouldn’t feel like a moron for throwing in with the LARPERS that think the wind is a person. Otherwise, this sounds too much like the Ground Zero mosque debate to me.

  • Wanooski

    Except they do hold the land sacred. Because they are animists. And they do believe that the land should be respected, and the animals and the rivers and everything else, because they actually care about the land itself, and not bullshit civilized concepts that ancestor traitors cling to.

  • Redacted

    White people consider getting drunk and dumping their bikes to be a sacred practice, so it may as well be done on sacred land.

  • Anonymous

    White people consider getting drunk and dumping their bikes to be a sacred practice, so it may as well be done on sacred land.

  • Danny

    I’m assuming by ancestor traitors you meant descendant traitors? I can’t disagree with you on this. I don’t see malls and Wal-Mart as “progress” (or biker rallies for that matter). I just see it as a tradition of guys dressing up in leather, riding around on motorcycles vs. a tradition of guys dressed in feathers, dancing around in circles. And I am so very much not either one of those types of people. They should rock paper scissors for the mountain. Or treat it like a time share. Or whatever people think, that’s fine.

  • Anonymous

    You characterisation of traditional native peoples and their sacred dances was frankly racist. I’d edit the above if you want any kind of legitimacy.

  • Danny

    I didn’t feel any more offensive writing that than I did the part characterizing the bikers’ shenanigans. I  admittedly make fun of people’s religions which I think is fair game because at the end of the day, it’s a choice. A Mormon’s magic underwear isn’t part of their genetic makeup, it’s a silly thing they decided to do. The fact they’ve done it for a long time doesn’t make it somehow legitimate. Or maybe I’ve been reading too much Dawkins and need to take it easy.

    I’m just saying… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-rG89sxrkM&feature=player_embedded#t=17s

  • Petunia83

    How funny the American media did not report on this but, an International News team (Al Jazeera) 

  • Petunia83

    How funny the American media did not report on this but, an International News team (Al Jazeera) 

  • Anonymous

    The fact is, indigenous spirituality is a cultural manifestation, it is not religion. To mock it, is to mock their very culture.

  • Mr Willow

    Thank you.

    Not to mention the fact that Native Americans (as well as several other spiritual paths) don’t get into the business of shoving what they believe down other people’s throats. By-and-large, they just what to be left alone to practice their religion in peace.

  • Wanooski

    Well in a purely tactical assessment Custer died because he decided not to bring his new Gatling guns. Not that he didn’t deserve to die. 

  • Anonymous

    What EXACTLY are you saying? the link was an al jazeera story… I am personally not an atheist, but i don’t sit around mocking you. Ceremonial regalia is extremely important to plains indian culture. I think ignorant white people sitting around mocking them from behind a computer is pretty ridiculous, especially considering they were nearly wiped out (genocide) due to the colonisation of the americas…Just Saying.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    You know…it wouldn’t break any backs to shift the location a few degrees and make allowances for local native Americans. Seriously…wear the shoe on the other foot…imagine the race being held overtop of a Methodist graveyard from the 1840s…or across the lands owned by a Baptist missionary group asking people to please be respectful…we wouldn’t even question such an issue…but since its not Christian…theres suddenly room for debate instead of just playing nice and budging a little?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    You know…it wouldn’t break any backs to shift the location a few degrees and make allowances for local native Americans. Seriously…wear the shoe on the other foot…imagine the race being held overtop of a Methodist graveyard from the 1840s…or across the lands owned by a Baptist missionary group asking people to please be respectful…we wouldn’t even question such an issue…but since its not Christian…theres suddenly room for debate instead of just playing nice and budging a little?

  • Reasor

    Nobody likes a tourist.

  • Anonymous

    Nobody likes a tourist.

  • Jbar

    Bunch of white fucks are treading all over Natives’ land. Where have I heard this before? Oh yeah, when the illegal immigrant English decided North America was theirs, and just took it. Fuck them, give the Natives all of the land.

  • Jbar

    Bunch of white fucks are treading all over Natives’ land. Where have I heard this before? Oh yeah, when the illegal immigrant English decided North America was theirs, and just took it. Fuck them, give the Natives all of the land.

  • Jbar

    Bunch of white fucks are treading all over Natives’ land. Where have I heard this before? Oh yeah, when the illegal immigrant English decided North America was theirs, and just took it. Fuck them, give the Natives all of the land.

  • jasonpaulhayes

    Don’t loose sight of the fact that Jesus went from being a Black Man to a White Man. Nothing is sacred to these people, unless its a Religion that’s based upon the Idea of a Devil and a Redeemer. They just pick which one they serve on a moment to moment basis in justification or denial of the unspeakable atrocities they commit  … so that they can tell each other at the end of the day they’re “Good People”.

    “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” Steven Weinberg

  • http://twitter.com/jasonpaulhayes jasonpaulhayes

    Don’t loose sight of the fact that Jesus went from being a Black Man to a White Man. Nothing is sacred to these people, unless its a Religion that’s based upon the Idea of a Devil and a Redeemer. They just pick which one they serve on a moment to moment basis in justification of the unspeakable atrocities they commit  … so that they can tell each at the end of the day they’re “Good People”.

  • Danny

     The historical aspects are what I sympathize with the Native Americans about. They’ve spent the last 500 years having everything in their lives pissed on by the party crashers from Europe; would it really ruin anyone’s day if they moved the biker rally a few miles down the road? No, so why not do it? But when the argument seems to come from the cultural angle- specifically the idea that the mountain is actually somehow “sacred” or more “important” than any other mountain- to me is unimpressive and a less effective argument. And not that it matters but, believe me, there’s no culture I mock more than that of modern America.

    You’d have to be nuts (or already just a gigantic flat out anti-semite) to try to see the silver lining in the holocaust. But the fact that we can recognize the murder of 6 million people as the atrocity it is doesn’t make anything in the Torah less ridiculous. A pro-Isreal argument for historical reasons is something worth listening to and effective in the debate. To claim the land was a present to them from a diety that you’ll just have to take their word for it exists… that doesn’t hold as much weight. Or shouldn’t anyway.

    For the record, I wasn’t trolling here, and I can tell most people don’t agree but I’m glad this didn’t deteriorate into typical message board bickering. So thanks.

    Oh, and I can’t recomend the book, “The Lusifer Principle” by Howard Bloom enough. It definitely had an effect on my thinking with finding the behavoir of any group of people funny (not necessarily his goal but that was the result).

  • KewGardensNYC

    This is, of course, on Al Jazeera because the US media is largely the handmaiden of our plutocracy and propaganda–not giving us or anyone else for that matter–the real, actual news. It has become Pravada–and the sort of ground breaking necessary news now on the AOL screens–FRIDGE DOOR SAVES WOMAN’S LIFE. And Al Jazeera delights (naturally) in showing the dirty underwear of the West–but they are a very good news service; their extended analysis is super.
    As for the problem, a HUGE buffer zone would be the start. The clip didn’t say who “owns” the hill, nor the land at its base (HEY, Al Jazeer, I said something nice, do better). Perhaps the Dakota could ask their rich co-indigenous tribes and put together a fund? A npo foundation? Build a quiet underground center for Plains Indian cultures and train and hire young tribe members to staff it? There is now a number of native Americans holding Ph. Ds. A Dakota architect? Builders? Staff? And then after the hangovers perhaps .0001% of the bikers could visit—bikers love being out doors and communing with Nature in their way. Shared values are the way to go. And yes, many Indigenous love speed, big trucks, big guns and the lot too. Give them a special role. Much good could come from this: sounds win-win-win to me.

  • Anonymous

    This is, of course, on Al Jazeera because the US media is largely the handmaiden of our plutocracy and propaganda–not giving us or anyone else for that matter–the real, actual news. It has become Pravada. And Al Jazeera delights (naturally) in showing the dirty underwear of the West–but they are a very good news service; their extended analysis is super.As for the problem, a HUGE buffer zone would be the start. The clip didn’t say who “owns” the hill, nor the land at its base. Perhaps the Dakota could ask their rich co-indigenous tribes and put together a fund? A foundation? Build a quite underground center for Plains Indian cultures and train and hire young tribe members to staff it? There is now a number of native Americans holding Ph. Ds. An Dakota architect? Builders? Staff? Sounds win-win-win to me. And then after the hangovers perhaps .0001% of the bikers could visit—bikers love being out doors and communing with Nature in their way. Shared values are the way to go.