Republican calls Minnesota lieutenant governor ‘savage’


SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan was recently targeted by a GOP opponent for Lieutenant Governor Matt Birk. Birk called her “savage”. Flanagan is a citizen of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe.

Birk was recorded at a National Right to Life Council event in Georgia last month, expressing that he doesn’t think there should be an exception in abortion bans for rape victims. . “Rape is obviously a horrible thing,” Kirk told the an event. “But an abortion is not going to heal the wounds of this. Two wrongs, that’s not going to fix things.

Addressing the issue at a Tuesday press conference with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Flanagan said, “These disturbing remarks are disrespectful to survivors and the politics are even worse. Jensen-Birk’s abortion ban deprives survivors of the choice to end their pregnancies and forces them to live the life their rapists chose for them rather than the one they wanted for themselves.

Never miss the biggest stories and breaking news from Indian Country. Sign up to receive our reports straight to your inbox every weekday morning.

Birk then responded in a video posted to Twitterclaiming that Flanagan tried to “save” him for his remarks.

Flanagan did not provide comment at press time due to other requests, according to his publicist. However, several organizations issued statements demanding an apology from Birk.

“To use the word ‘savage’ in this way is a direct racist attack on the Lieutenant Governor. @peggyflanaganhighest elected official #Native woman in history,” Illuminative said on instagram yesterday. “Comments like this belittle #Native women, indigenous people and people of MN do not support. We call #mattbirk apologize immediately.

Yesterday, WCCO asked Birk about his comments and he said, “Savage is a word I used all the time. If anyone is going to be offended by this because of their native culture, you know, look, I guess I apologize.

Flanagan is running for re-election with Walz on the Farm and Labor Democratic line.

“We can’t afford to elect anti-choice leaders who don’t trust or respect rape victims and who think we should be discouraging women from pursuing careers,” she said during the interview. Tuesday’s event. “A woman’s choice to have a career – like her decision on when and whether to have a child – is none of Matt Birk’s business.”

Birk is running with Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen.

More stories like this

The Department of the Interior continues work to remove derogatory words from federal lands
Chippewa Tribe of Minnesota votes to remove Blood Quantum from registration requirements
Indian Boarding Schools: Readers Ask Us
Pope Francis visits Canada

Do you enjoy an Indigenous perspective on the news?

For the past decade and more, we’ve covered important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and delinquent accounts related to assimilation, cultural genocide and at Indian Residential Schools, we were there to provide an Indigenous perspective and elevate Indigenous voices.

Our short stories are free to read for everyone, but they are not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to donate this month to support our efforts. Any contribution – large or small – helps us to remain a force for change in Indian Country and to continue to tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or neglected. Most often, our donors make a one-time donation of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Indigenous news.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thanks.

About the Author

Author: Darren ThompsonE-mail: This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a freelance journalist based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, where he also contributes to Unicorn Riot, an alternative media publication. Thompson has reported on political unrest, tribal sovereignty and Indigenous issues for the Indigenous Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Voice of America on various Indigenous issues in the international conversation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and legal studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Comments are closed.