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Daniel G. Snethen: Native-American Male Kills Caucasian Teenager at Hardee's Rapid City, SD

Art by Henry Stanton © 2022

Native American Male Kills Caucasian Teenager at Hardee’s: Rapid City, SD


by Daniel G. Snethen


“The court finds the defendant Maȟpíya Kimímila Lúta (Cloud Red-Butterfly) guilty of third-degree manslaughter and hereby sentences him to 10 years of imprisonment.” And, just like that, the 19-year-old Indigenous teenager from Potato Creek, SD, was sent off to the state penitentiary.

Eleven months earlier, Cloud had entered the lobby of the 6th & St. Joseph Street Hardee’s near downtown Rapid City, SD. What Red-Butterfly didn’t realize is that he was walking into the midst of a clandestine anti-bullying campaign. What he first saw were three non-native teenage males picking on an overweight native girl.

“What’s that on your fish, baby?

“Looks like tartar sauce—bet you wish it belonged to me—don’t ya?”

Another grabbed a handful of her fries and with a mouthful, exclaimed, “Damn bitch, these sure taste good—just like you, I bet.”

The third spit a wad of chewing gum into her Dr. Pepper. The girl started to cry.

The surrounding patrons appeared to be a bit disturbed by this blatant display of disrespect but ultimately chose to ignore it. And the bullying antics continued. But as the clientele began to unwrap their sandwiches, they seemed to become more and more agitated. Finally, they started to approach the front counter to complain.

But they were not uptight about the horrible behaviors being perpetrated upon the young native girl in plain sight. Oddly, instead, they were upset because several of their food items had been deformed. Buns were flattened, burgers had no meat and fries were served mangled and broken in two. The customers were both puzzled and outraged and demanded satisfaction.

Finally, after much consternation, the manager started to explain that this was all part of an anti-bullying awareness campaign to show just how easy it is for people to become ambivalent and ignore the plight of others while at the same time becoming extremely defensive when they felt wronged.

“Hopefully, you all now realize that none of us should ever stand around complacent while others are being harmed. Naturally, we will refill your orders and reimburse you your money and we thank you for your participation and understanding.”

But while this was taking place, Cloud Red-Butterfly—with the noblest of intentions and totally oblivious to the ongoing campaign, asked the three teenage males to please leave the young lady alone.

And that’s when they called him a fucking prairie-nigger.


Daniel G. Snethen is an educator, naturalist, moviemaker, poet, and short story writer from South Dakota. He teaches on the Pine Ridge Reservation at Little Wound High School in the heart of Indian Country. His best friend is his three-legged dog, Knightly, who is a cancer survivor.

Henry Stanton's fiction, poetry and paintings appear in 2River, The A3 Review, Avatar, The Baltimore City Paper, The Baltimore Sun Magazine, High Shelf Press, Kestrel, North of Oxford, Outlaw Poetry, PCC Inscape, Pindeldyboz, Rusty Truck, Salt & Syntax, SmokeLong Quarterly, The William and Mary Review, Word Riot, The Write Launch, and Yellow Mama, among other publications. 

His poetry was selected for the A3 Review Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Eyewear 9th Fortnight Prize for Poetry.  His fiction received an Honorable Mention acceptance for the Salt & Syntax Fiction Contest and was selected as a finalist for the Pen 2 Paper Annual Writing Contest.

A selection of Henry Stanton's paintings are currently on show at Atwater's Catonsville and can be viewed at the following website www.brightportfal.com.  A selection of Henry Stanton’s published fiction and poetry can be located for reading in the library at www.brightportfal.com.

Henry Stanton is the Founding & Managing Editor of The Raw Art Reviewwww.therawartreview.com.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications © 2022