South Dakota Rodeo Club Cancels ‘Slave Auction’ Event After Backlash
The South Dakota high school rodeo club canceled its April 26 “slave / brand auction” amid outrage over its name, according to the Washington Post.
The Faith High School Rodeo Club has held its annual event – in which club members offer their services to ranchers in exchange for a donation – at the town’s Legion Hall for decades, host Glenda McGinnis said.
But this year, they canceled the event after publicity for the event drew widespread criticism.
At the top of the ad, it reads “AUCTION” followed by a description of the night’s events, which includes a pancake dinner followed by “Slave / Branded Auction,” according to one image. of the announcement shared by leader Argus.
McGinnis said people from across the country had called to complain about the name.
âI thought it was a joke. We’ve been hosting the event every year, for about 40 years now,â McGinnis told The Post.
She added, “I even got a call from a local cowboy who said, ‘How’s it going? This isn’t good.’ I told him we weren’t doing anything wrong. And he explained, “Well, it’s the way it’s advertised that’s wrong.” “
McGinnis said she didn’t consider the name harmful before the outrage, but could see it was a “very poor choice of words.”
“I didn’t even think of ‘slavery’ in racist terms. It’s just kids working for free to raise money for their club,” she said.
âNow I see; that’s a really bad choice of words. But I’m pretty naive, I guess,â she added.
Another rodeo club in the state had previously drawn criticism for charging its auctions in the same way, but refused to change the name because it couldn’t settle for an alternative, according to The Capital Journal.