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Regarding the Attack on the US Capitol, from the Editorial Board

Our first responsibility is to support our readers.

January 11, 2021

It has been a tumultuous week in the United States. Domestic terrorists attacked the US Capitol building in an illegal attempt to thwart the certification of the November election. The attack peeled back the veneer of white supremacy and shattered the illusion of civil discourse.

Here at the West River Eagle, we have struggled with how to cover the story. It’s so huge, with innumerable facets, and it’s hard to figure out how to make it connect to Cheyenne River.

In her editorial last week, Interim Editor Fran Carr said the election in Georgia on Tuesday and the joint session of Congress on Wednesday would show us how the next two weeks until the inauguration would play out. Little did any of us think things would come to a crisis so quickly.

We covered the unfolding events in the Capitol on Wednesday in Twitter. If you do not follow us yet, please do. It’s the best place to get updates in a hurry: @WestRiverEagle1

South Dakota voices have spoken out to decry the carnage in our nation’s capital. They have also held back from fully denouncing the leaders in the White House and in Congress who have led us here. Governor Kristi Noem went so far as the call the Democratic winners of the Georgia election “communists.” People are calling for healing. Others are calling for accountability.

Rioters inside the US Capitol, January 6, 2021

This story is fast-moving. We only have a few days left until the inauguration. Impeachment is on the table in the House. More violence is planned in Washington and in state capitals around the country.

This story is also slow-moving. It took decades of propaganda, implementation of trickle-down economics, and slow erosion of the social compact. Vilification of the other became acceptable. It will take generations to find a new center.

We encourage you to seek out national news sources and to read widely about the events. As ever, our staff stands ready with resources to help you assess the Left- or Right-leaning tendencies of a news source and to sort out propaganda from legitimate reporting. While we hold our own opinions, we know our first responsibility is to support our readers.

In the paper this week we highlight the lives and accomplishments of two Lakota elders; attorney Steven C. Emery and former CRST Chairman Robert S. Chasing Hawk. These men made lasting changes for good in the life of the oyate. Their legacy can show us a way forward.

While political conflict grips the nation, the pandemic rages on. Cases are up 11% in South Dakota over the last two weeks. A new more highly-contagious variant is spreading. In a timely story, South Dakota News Watch offers a story on the impact of the pandemic on the lives of funeral directors.

Please be careful. Wear a mask. Stay home when you can. Be safe. Your life and your readership means more to us than any political debate.

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