South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem Gonna SUE If She Can’t Have Her Stupid Fourth Of July Fireworks

Culture Wars

Last month, the National Park Service denied South Dakota’s request for a big, obnoxious fireworks display over Mount Rushmore on the Fourth of July, the holiday white Americans know as “Independence Day.” The 2020 event, where President Klan Robe performed a medley of his greatest racist hits, was the first time since 2009 that a fireworks display took place at Rushmore, presumably because President Barack Obama hated fireworks and America, although his administration claimed the decision was because of wildfire risks.

NPS Regional Director Herbert Frost sent the state’s tourism department a nice letter informing them that the park service was putting a freeze on the fireworks.

"Potential risks to the park itself and to the health and safety of employees and visitors associated with the fireworks demonstration continue to be a concern and are still being evaluated as a result of the 2020 event," Frost wrote in the letter. "In addition, the park's many tribal partners expressly oppose fireworks at the Memorial.”

The one-term loser wanted fireworks again at Mount Rushmore, despite protests from seven Sioux tribal governments who point out that the big monument to white male vanity is on land they consider sacred. The former White House squatter ignored the objections because he’s an asshole who’d literally boast about Manifest Destiny during his Fourth of July white power speech.

South Dakota GOP Governor Kristi Noem is big mad about the cancelled fireworks, so she filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration. Noem demands that the US District Court for the District of South Dakota Central Division "expeditiously" issue a permit for the event to take place, because it’s America’s birthday, damnit!


NOEM: Mount Rushmore is the very best place to celebrate America's birthday and all that makes our country special.

America doesn’t have a “birthday” because a country isn’t a person. It’s not even a corporation.

NOEM: After telling us they'd 'circle back,' the Biden Administration has not responded to our request to uphold the Memorandum Agreement between the State of South Dakota and the National Parks Service to host a safe and responsible national celebration and fireworks show.

Now, this is interesting: Noem says that the Biden administration "departed from longstanding precedent and reneged on this agreement without any meaningful explanation.” Yeah, what kind of assholes renege on deals made in supposed good faith with others just because they feel like it? Oh, that’s right.

From the Washington Post:

The U.S. government acknowledged the Great Sioux nation's jurisdiction over the Black Hills in two separate treaties, in 1851 and 1868. Federal officials took over part of the area after gold was discovered there, but a 1980 Supreme Court decision rejected the Sioux's claim that the land had been stolen from them.

That is so fucked up and, well, typical of how this nation Trumped its way across the continent. It’s as if you’d complained that I stole you car, so I put on a robe and that British barrister's wig and after consultation with myself, ruled that the car was mine all along.

Jeffrey Ostler, a professor at the University of Oregon who specializes in the tribe's history, said the Black Hills, and Mount Rushmore in particular, play a central role in the tribe's spiritual beliefs. The mountain in which the monument is carved is called "Paha Sapa," or the Six Grandfathers in the Sioux language, after the earth, sky and four directions.

For this reason, Julian Bear Runner, president of the Oglala Sioux tribe, said Trump's event amounted to an act of arrogance and desecration.

"It's like if he tried to go and have a fireworks display celebrating independence at the Vatican," he said.

Don’t give him any ideas. He’d totally do this.

Last year, the Interior Department released an environmental assessment about the fireworks display titled "Finding of No Significant Impact,” but that’s just what it was called, what it actually found was that another fireworks show "would result in additional unexploded ordnance and debris on the landscape."

The parks service is also concerned about COVID-19, which still exists and likes to make sure no one has a birthday. Noem, who's taken a “let them eat covid” approach to the virus, insists you can’t prove President Lost Cause’s Fourth of July superspreader event was a superspreader event, even though her state has consistently had a sociopathic level of COVID-19 cases.

But, seriously, fuck her and John Wayne.

[Washington Post]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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