Earlier today I was on Scott Hennen’s statewide What’s On Your Mind radio program opposite Ruth Hopkins from Last Real Indians to discuss the “Siouxper Drunk” controversy at the University of North Dakota.
It went about as you expected. Hopkins thinks anyone who supports the Fighting Sioux logo and nickname is a dirty, dirty racist and that those who support it (and do dumb things like wear “Siouxper Drunk” tshirts) should be “dealt with.”
To be clear, the tshirts are dumb and juvenile and disturbingly in character for our nation’s infantilized college students, but since when does anyone have a right not to be offended?
People do and say offensive things all the time. It offended me that Democrat legislative candidate Kyle Thorson wants to censor support for the Fighting Sioux logo/nickname at UND. Bill Maher offends me all the time.
You know how I deal with that? I don’t watch his show.
Because one of the costs of a free society is tolerating people who say or do offensive things.
But that’s not how things work on the college campus these days. Case in point, a group of activists is now going to march at UND in favor of making it against campus policy for anyone to support the Fighting Sioux logo/nickname (they’re upset that faculty, students and administrators still proudly wear it) and they want mandatory sensitivity training for all incoming students.
Emmy Scott, former president of the Indian Studies Association, organized the event and said she wants to have the university officially denounce the now-retired Fighting Sioux logo, make racial sensitivity training mandatory for incoming students and ban the Fighting Sioux logo from all academic settings, among other things.
“It seems like no matter what, the university is unable to move on,” Scott said. “It’s everywhere; students continue to wear it, faculty continue to wear it, the staff at Twamley Hall even continue to wear it, showing it still has full effect.” …
“It’s calling for support for American Indian students at UND, but of course we want everyone to be welcome and we want anybody within the community or outside that wishes to support us to come,” she said.
Posters about the event have begun circulating on campus and many have voiced their support via social media with #WalkForChange on Twitter.
University officials no doubt welcome the event – Chancellor Larry Skogen and UND President Robert Kelley were quick to weigh in on the tshirt controversy, no doubt thankful for anything that distracts from the steady stream of controversy and incompetence pouring out of the university system these days – but let’s be honest about what’s going on here.
These students want to ban support for a symbol that’s not even considered racist by all Sioux Indians (remember that the last people fighting the NCAA to keep the logo/nickname was the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe).
That’s downright un-American.
Forget sensitivity training, these students and activists need a crash course in Civics 101.