MADISON, Wis. — Yesterday, Heartland Signal reported on recently uncovered comments from Eric Hovde disparaging Native American communities. In these comments, Hovde insults Native communities, saying their tribal governments, which are run similarly to the US Government, are to blame for high rates of alcoholism and depression on Native American reservations.

This report comes as Hovde has been facing increasing scrutiny for insulting Wisconsinites, including nursing home residentssingle parentspeople struggling with their weight, and more.

Read more below: 

Heartland Signal: Hovde belittles Native Americans, says socialism is to blame for alcoholism, depression rates

  • During a radio interview in 2017, Wisconsin Senate candidate Eric Hovde said that Native Americans have high alcoholism and depression rates because of their “quasi-socialist system” of government.
  • Hovde told host Vicki McKenna that the socialist systems were enacted out of “guilt,” resulting in diminished self-worth among Native Americans.
  • “I mean, if you really go back to it, the first group of American citizens that were put on socialism were the Indian reservations,” Hovde said. “And if you wonder why for the longest amount of time, they had the highest degree of alcoholism, dropout rates, depression rates all the negative manifestations of that occurring.”
  • Native reservations are typically governed independently by a tribal government with its own checks and balances similar to the U.S. government.
  • Studies suggest that high alcohol rates among Native populations stem from a variety of factors, including poor mental health treatment, unemployment and physical health problems. Many reservations are also subject to toxic waste and hazardous pollution, sometimes at the hands of private companies looking to take advantage of desperate economic situations. Native Americans also face a significant societal gap compared to the rest of the country, resulting from lack of funding and lack of access to government programs.
  • Native Americans are one of many groups of people Hovde has belittled in recent years. Hovde made controversial comments against elderly people in March, saying that “almost nobody in a nursing home is in a point to vote” in elections.
  • Although a reported 161,000 people in Hovde’s “home state” of Wisconsin are employed by the alcohol industry, the Republican Senate candidate said in 2017 that he does not support the commercialization of alcohol. He also said that if it were his decision, only those who brew or distill alcohol themselves should have access to it.
  • During his first Senate run in 2012, Hovde also blamed single mothers for having children out of wedlock, and that he was “very concerned where this country is heading socially and morally.” Hovde has also made disparaging comments about farmers, obese people and people who follow sports and Hollywood.
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