In my recent post [‘60+ Years of Assault on POC‘], I mentioned the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally:
The latest iteration of the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally, which is in some ways a celebration of white supremacy and (White) individuals’ ability to ignore the law, was tacitly welcomed by the government and businesses of South Dakota.”
Some of the Lakota nations established checkpoints and denied access to the bikers who wanted to traverse the reservation to get to Sturgis, for fear that they would spread the coronavirus. This was a logical precaution (but strongly opposed by the state), now confirmed by the event’s success — at spreading CoViD-19.
As the Lakota People’s Law Project put it in their latest bulletin: ‘COVID-19 is rapidly rising in the Dakotas and places around the country, two weeks after the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally descended on our state. In Minnesota, the rally is now responsible for its first virus-related death.’
They went on to say,
‘Sturgis — about 100 miles down Highway 34 from our border — hosted 400,000 people for the largest, mostly unprotected gathering in America since the pandemic began.… masks and testing were readily available. But because many attendees of this particular event value their “freedom” above the safety of others, it threatens to become a superspreader event. So they gathered in bars, tattoo parlors, and other indoor areas, heedless of the dangers.
‘The result? According to The Washington Post, at least 260 cases in 11 states have now been directly tied to the event, and mobile phone data suggests that 61 percent of the nation’s counties could be affected. New cases have tripled over the past two weeks in South Dakota and doubled in North Dakota.”
This is one example of what happens when personal freedom is held as more important than being part of a community where we also care for the community as a whole.