Frank Burggraf: Extend The Moratorium On UND Nickname

One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.

It is time to put things into perspective.  What was the reason we are being asked to move on?

Hostile & Abusive?

Hurting UND?

No one will play us?

Racist and Oppressing?

Plummeting revenues?

Which was it?

We are witnessing our nation undergoing fundamental change with egregious and blatant actions from those in power at all levels in this country. They willfully abuse their power to erode the fundamental principles and traditions that have made this country great.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.   We see special freedoms given to illegal aliens and at the same time stripping freedoms from lawful citizens.  These political hacks are using the political machine to run over its own citizenry.  We see fear and favor toward one faith while other faiths are restricted.  Our media is riddled with misrepresentation and has become politically motivated as it produces the news.  We are rapidly becoming a divisible nation and no longer one nation under God.  It is time to stand up and it starts with our state and our people because the truth and freedom matters.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]”Before moving on, we should want all the facts.  Open the sealed documents from the Settlement Agreement and have a critical conversation about UND.  There should be an investigation to prove it is truly time to move on.”[/mks_pullquote]

As Fighting Sioux alumni, we are being asked to bury alive our identity, loyalty and personal ties that us bond to UND by those who have no relation, no brotherhood, spilled blood for UND.  They come to us without admissible evidence that would prove it is truly time to abandon our loyalty to the Sioux people and their special gift to us.  We are told that we have to give back a gift given from the Sioux Elders with no compromise but simply to “move on” and if we don’t, somehow we are thickheaded racists and hurting UND and just wont go away.

Before we move on, it would be wise for us to understand what we are doing and why we are doing it.

No one should be labeled racist because they believe the Sioux People have been denied their religious rights at UND.  We are not guilty of drawing first blood.   There are some who loudly tout a few selected small voices from Standing Rock as the one true majority voice while both Sioux nations have been totally silenced and ignored.    It should not be surprising to know the “skillfully steered” Task Force never was instructed to poll the two Sioux Nations. Those who spout off about moving on need to get through their heads that the Sioux by majority support the name at UND.

Lets for a moment, forget the original gift, forget 80 years of use.  Forget the will of the people and the enacted laws, forget the Sacred Pipe Ceremony of 1969 and the spirit and intent of that ceremony, forget the Ralph, and forget the Flag Ceremony of 2008.  Put aside the sordid false claims against the name and the slanted misreporting.  But focus on the Sioux not being heard.   Just pave over the truth and bury the name alive and then move on.  That is what we citizens are being told to do because it is the name is dead.   Go to a UND game.   If you change the opinion of a man against his will, he will be of the same opinion still.  It has nothing to do with someone’s thick head.

This is not about the rights of fellow ND citizens and their right to express their religious freedoms.  This is not about protecting the American Indian through a political movement aimed at erasing racism when we see those in opposition apologize to a small town wants its native identity, while ignoring the flagrant fouls on the same NCAA field from other schools that embrace native mascots that mock the actions of the American Indian. This is not about discouraging the use of Native Imagery in a NCAA tournament.  This is not about no one playing us because of our name. This is not about embracing civility, social discourse, tolerance, acceptance, open debate or cultural diversity on college campuses.  This surely is not about compromise.   It has more in common with the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and employing the word racism to end any further debate on the issue.

This is what we get when good men do nothing.  Before moving on, we should want all the facts.  Open the sealed documents from the Settlement Agreement and have a critical conversation about UND.  There should be an investigation to prove it is truly time to move on.    The student athletes, the Sioux People, people of North Dakota and alumni of 80 years with Sioux Pride deserve it.

Prudence is needed in times like these.  The challenge still should be to seek a common ground and above all doing no harm.  Bringing people together, not dividing them.

The true test of ones character comes in the face of adversity.   Extending the moratorium is the prudent thing to do as it does no harm to anyone and respects everyone.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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