Yesterday evening came news that a group of University of North Dakota administrators would be joining a walk to protest the recent “Siouxper Drunk” t-shirt controversy, as well as call for mandatory sensitivity training for all incoming UND students and an outright ban on the former Fighting Sioux logo/nickname on campus.
The UND administrators said they were joining the walk to “create an educated citizenry who embraces an environment of life-long learning around acceptance, tolerance and a true belief that our differences are what make us stronger,” which is a little hard to believe given that the goal of the march is, you know, censorship and stuff.
This morning UND spokesman Peter Johnson got back to me with more specifics about how these administrators are approaching this event.
Asked if the administrators were acting on behalf of the university, Johnson told me “They are acting on their own.”
When I asked if the administrators were promoting the policy goals of the march (i.e. censorship and mandatory sensitivity training), Johnson said “I can’t speak for everyone who might join the walk.”
“The folks I have spoken to, including Provost Tom DiLorenzo and Vice President Lori Reesor, say they are walking for the reason they stated in their letter: ‘to show our support and allegiance in combating prejudice and intolerance in our community, state, and world,'” Johnson said by way of email.
I also asked if the university was expending any resources to assist the demonstration. “Only in that we have added a few folks to help with traffic control to ensure safety as the marchers cross University Avenue, which is a main thoroughfare,” said Johnson.
It seems to me that it’s a bit of a cop out to march in a demonstration that’s calling for censorship while not talking ownership of the fact that you’re marching for censorship.
If the university really wants to promote “acceptance” and “tolerance” and “a true belief that our differences are what make us stronger,” they wouldn’t be supporting an event that calls for a ban on a point of view that, I think most of us can agree, is shared by most North Dakotans.
That is the exact opposite of “acceptance” and “tolerance” and “a true belief that our differences are what make us stronger.”