This is just embarrassing for Republican Governor Kristi Noem

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Imagine being a U.S. citizen who is legally barred from entering over 10% of your own state. Now imagine the same situation except you’re the governor of that state. If that sounds bizarre, then you don’t know today’s Republican Party.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who is among the favorites to be Donald Trump’s running mate on the GOP ticket, has managed to get herself into this most unusual and unflattering situation. Part of her state totaling a land area of roughly the size of New Jersey or Massachusetts is now off-limits to Noem, as she has been banished by multiple Tribal Nations within her own state.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council have all recently banned Noem from tribal lands following hateful comments she made while signing bills in March. Noem claimed that tribal leaders in South Dakota allow Mexican drug cartels to reside and commit crimes in the state, and she demanded an audit of tribal spending of federal funds. Also, at a recent sacred sites meeting (to which Noem was not invited), Noem blamed Native American parents and tribal leaders for poor performance in the state’s public school system.

Tribal Councils don’t rush to banish people from their lands, so these new bans against Noem are extraordinary. Indeed, “Banishment in Indian Country is a rare but serious form of punishment,” according to a press release from the Lakota People’s Law Project. Noem is not new to this, having been banned once in 2019 from the Pine Ridge Reservation after signing two bills into law that restricted protests over the Keystone XL pipeline.

Noem apparently holds the title of being the first sitting governor to get banned from such a large portion of a state, according to an analysis from KELOLAND News. That’s today’s Republican Party—achieving new firsts as long as they’re “worsts.”

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