I’m not pissed at the court. It is entirely likely that their ruling was fully supported by Minnesota Law and their job is to uphold what is legally right. Not was is morally correct. So they did their job.
The lake currently known as Bde Mke Ska was previously named Lake Calhoun. It was named after the 7th Vice President of the United States, John C Calhoun. Calhoun was not from Minnesota (he was from South Carolina) and was a strong proponent of slavery (as I said – he was from South Carolina).
If you’d like to know what he thought about slavery, this just about sums it up:
Calhoun asserted that slavery, rather than being a “necessary evil,” was a “positive good,” benefiting both slaves and slave owners.
Before the lake was named after Calhoun, it was called Bde Mke Ska. That’s what the locals called it before the locals got told they didn’t live here any more and were told to pack up their things and move to land the people with guns didn’t think was worth anything so they were OK with people they didn’t give a shit about living there. They figured if the land turned out to be worth something, they could make the former locals move again. Because they still had most of the guns.
So the DNR and the City of Minneapolis decided the change the name back to Bde Mke Ska. Their reasoning was the name Lake Calhoun was actually a slap in the face to both black people and native Americans. Which it was. It was also kind of a slap in the face to Minnesotans seeing as Calhoun was, as I mentioned, from South Carolina.
Not everyone was thrilled about this change. And that’s OK because you are totally allowed to not give a fuck about black people or Native Americans or Minnesotans because you’ve called it Lake Calhoun for your entire life and why should you have to change?
So a venture Capitalist asshole named Tom Austin decided he hated being “bullied” by “elites” (because black people and Native Americans have historically been super elite) so he filed a lawsuit to change the name back. And he won. Because the court of appeals determined the Legislature needed to make the name change and not the DNR.
Here’s what pissed me off about Tom Austin and all the people who are thrilled that they won this court case – it didn’t fucking matter to them. If the name had never been Lake Calhoun, they wouldn’t have cared that the name was Bde Mke Ska. They just would have called the lake Bde Mke Ska.
And if someone had decided to change the name to Lake Calhoun, they would have fought that because they don’t like it when names change.
But the name Lake Calhoun was hurtful to people. So the decision was made to change it back to a name that was not. Because we’ve figured some shit out and we’re trying to do better.
Austin wasted taxpayer money on a lawsuit that didn’t fucking matter to him. He was just pissed off because he didn’t want to remember a new name and because he didn’t want to be reminded that white people in America have done some really shitty things. I mean, Tom Austin never owned slaves. And he never forced Native Americans off their lands. Why should he have to learn a new name (actually it was an old name but whatever) when none of that was his fault?
So now it is probably up to the legislature to make things right. And they probably won’t. Let me tell you why!
Here in Minnesota we have a historical fort named Fort Snelling. That was always the name of the fort. Fort Snelling has a very interesting history that dates all the way back to pre-civl war Minnesota.
It is located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. A place the indigenous population called Bdote.
So recently the Historical Society has changed signage at Fort Snelling to read “Fort Snelling at Bdote” to acknowledge both the military and Native American history of the site. Republican Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, who clearly doesn’t understand the meaning of words, called this “revisionist history.”
Kiffmeyer and other senators in the Republican controlled Senate were so upset by this “name change” that wasn’t actually a name change, they passed a measure to slash the funding of the Minnesota Historical Society by $4 million a year.
I wonder if they would have been as pissed had the name been changed to “Fort Snelling at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers?” I’m guessing they wouldn’t have.
It seems to me that the problem, both with Bde Mke Ska and Fort Snelling at Bdote is the attempt to acknowledge something other than the history of white people in Minnesota. Or, in the case of Bde Mke Ska, South Carolina.
Given the Republicans in the Minnesota Senate are super pissed that the name of Fort Snelling was changed (even though it wasn’t) to acknowledge the Native American history of the site, it doesn’t seem likely they would take too kindly to a bill officially changing the name of Bde Mke Ska to…Bde Mke Ska (nope I’m not going to call it Lake Calhoun because fuck John C. Calhoun).
They’d probably try to slash funding to the DNR just to make a point that they don’t like being “bullied” by “elites.”
As part of a guilty plea, Shane Piche will serve ten years of probation and must register as a level one sex offender. He does not dispute the fact he raped a fourteen year old girl.
The judge determined that level one, the lowest level, was appropriate because this was a first time offense (that we know about) and there was only one victim (that we know about). In doing so, the judge seemed more concerned with the rapist than he was with the victim. The victim’s family had asked for a considerably harsher punishment. Which seems fair under the circumstances.
Now Shane Pinche was not the only rapist who got let off easy recently. There was also Michael Wysolovski from Duluth , Georgia. According to court documents, the 33 year old man entered into a consensual/non consensual BDSM relationship with a fifteen year old girl that turned increasingly abusive to the point police found her caged in his house.
He served eight months in prison waiting for his trial and he got off with time served. He also had to register as a sex offender.
Now from what I hear, registering as a sex offender sucks. Going to prison, though, is generally considered to be worse. So when lawyers and judges pretend that registering as a sex offender is a just punishment for sexually and physically abusing children, I think they are being insensitive jackasses.
I guess all I’m trying to say is this – when it comes to rape in this country, our priorities are, still, completely whacked.
I think what we need to understand about our sexual predator in chief is that he’s also a racist.
He believes most asylum seekers are lying. He believes they are using a “loophole” to enter our country illegally and once here they are going to rape people and sell drugs. If he was really concerned about rape, he might start trying to do something about our legal system (given the above examples).
If he was really concerned about drugs, he’d do more about that. Possibly decriminalizing the drug trade, which would reduce violence and drug smuggling operations and provide the US with a revenue stream that might help make up for the huge tax break he just gave to corporations.
No, he’s concerned about brown people entering our country.
If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be proposing we charge people who are fleeing persecution and death. He wouldn’t, effectively, say “I think they are lying and since they are lying, they should pay us to listen to their lies.”
Given he believes that, he should pay every single person who follows his twitter feed since he tells more lies there than most asylum seekers have ever told.
Trump doesn’t care about immigrants who are white. As has been pointed out time and again, the majority of undocumented migrants in America are here on expired work visas. And most of them are white.
So we don’t care.
It’s those brown people from down south who are the threat to our way of life.
First they come here and take the jobs none of us wanted anyway. Then they vote in our elections for people who look like them. Then they try to change the names of our lakes!