VIDEO: Woman Posts Profane Anti-Native Rant; Gets Fired
Sheena L. Roetman
The woman in the video, allegedly Ryane Oliva, was a nurse at Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City, South Dakota, until it went viral on social media over the weekend.
The 13-second clip first surfaced early Sunday morning, along with screenshots of other Snapchats and Facebook posts from Oliva, including one Snapchat sent to a 15-year-old girl that shows her making rude hand gestures with text reading “[expletive] bitch.”
Oliva had called her the N-word in the text.
Rapid City Regional Hospital is the same institution in which a Lakota elder, Vern Traversie, said he awoke from a double-bypass surgery in September 2011 with “KKK” and other wounds carved into his chest and abdomen.
In the video, Oliva is clearly featured saying, “The [expletive] Indians can suck a mother [expletive] fart out of my [expletive] ass because the [expletive] Indians, they suck.”
As video spread quickly on Facebook and Twitter, Oliva allegedly made her personal page private and reported anyone sharing the video, causing the video to be deleted and accounts suspended. Patrick Gauthier uploaded it to YouTube, where it seems to be staying put.
Screenshots of an explanation and apology surfaced before Oliva was able to make her Facebook private. According to screenshots of a conversation with Manila Thomas, the mother of the 15-year-old girl who received the racist Snapchats, Oliva claimed that a group of girls, including Thomas’ daughter, had chased a group of girls, including Oliva’s sister, with a bat. According to the screenshots of the conversation, Oliva later admits she was not present during the alleged incident.
Cody Hall, a community organizer in South Dakota, created a Facebook event page for a rally to protest Oliva’s employment at noon on Tuesday, May 12 at Rapid City Regional Hospital. Rapid City Regional Hospital was unable to return phone calls but did issue a press release confirming Oliva has been dismissed.
“Regional Health has a zero tolerance policy regarding this type of behavior by its caregivers inside or outside the workplace,” wrote Brent Phillips, President and CEO of Regional Health. “We will not stand for any type of racism or bigotry on the part of our caregivers or physicians. We take this type of behavior very seriously and the employee has been terminated, as it clearly violates the Regional Health Code of Conduct.”
“I believe the actions by this individual are an exception to the thoughts and behaviors of Regional Health caregivers,” Phillips continued. “Our caregivers are upset by it. Let me be clear, Regional Health’s purpose is to help all of our patients and communities live well. We are focused on providing quality, compassionate care to all of our patients.”
Phillips has requested that community members continue to plan on gathering at noon on Tuesday, where hospital workers will join the community “in a show of solidarity.”
“Together, we will show we are stronger when we stand together and there is no place for racism or bigotry anywhere in our great state,” Phillips said.