Conversations about race relations rise in Rapid City

 A large group gathers to show their support.
A large group gathers to show their support. (KOTA)
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 6:06 PM MDT
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"Talk in between the races has been a long time coming," said Native Sun News Today publisher and editor Tim Giago.

With all that's going on around the nation, race relations in Rapid City is becoming a serious talking point.

"The subject of racism is so complicated that sometimes we want an easy answer for a complicated issue," said Pastor for the Faith Temple Church Troy Carr.

According to the 2019 U.S. census white people make up seventy-nine percent of Rapid City, Native Americans make up eleven percent, and African Americans make up one percent.

Carr says he has talked with people here in the Black Hills who have never even seen a Black person until they were eighteen...and he says that disconnect can lead to a lack of communication between communities.

"One word, communicate. Talk to each other, you can learn more from talking with someone than you can if you've known them a lifetime," said Giago.

"It's a tough conversation, it's an uncomfortable conversation, but we must have it. The only way that we are going to understand each other is to talk to each other," said Carr.

Mayor Steve Allender says there have been attempts in the past to further race relations in Rapid City, but they have been lacking defined direction.

Allender says he wants to meet with group leaders in a public venue to discuss moving forward.