We’re 3 days in, and Montana Republicans already seem to be vying for “Most Racist Representative Body in the Country.” Today Montanans learned of an alarming bill draftthat seeks to dissolve the Reservation system. Unsurprisingly, the bill is sponsored by a Republican extremist- Senator Keith Reiger (SD3, Kalispell).
Once again, Reiger and his Republican counterparts prove their ignorance is not only embarrassing, it will also be costly. When Montana legislators pass laws that directly contradict with federal law, we pay the price. Tax-payer money will be used for the ensuing court battles. Reiger will lose for several reasons, not the least of which is the Supremacy Clause.
So why write laws that will ultimately be shot down in court? Hate. Senator Reiger’s racist bill is but another addition to this supermajority’s disgusting attacks on Indigenous Peoples. Recently, a staffer for Repugnant Homophobe, Rep. Braxton Mitchell (HD3), gained attention for his bigoted remarks.The staffer not only used racist language around “government handouts” but also suggested that Indigenous people should not be allowed to vote. Reiger’s bill clearly aligns with the Republican’s agenda to disenfranchise Indigenous peoples at every turn- and to take away their right to vote.
While Senator Reiger claims to know what is good for Indian Country, his draft has been heartily rejected by Indigenous colleagues and activists, including Senator Shane Morigeau (SD48). In a post on Facebook, Morigeau wrote,
“Anti-Indian legislation like this from Sen Keith Regier is why I will be bringing a bill forward this session to require Indian Education for all for legislators.”
Unfortunately, there’s no required education for Human Decency- a concept sorely missing from the Republican agenda this session. Therefore, it’s up to us to push back against Hate whenever we see it. We encourage all of our readers to call or email Senator Reiger and let him know we will not stay silent as he attempts to violate tribal sovereignty and Indigenous rights.
Contact information for Reiger and the entire embarrassing bill are copied below.