April 24, 2008

Swastikas = mascots at UND

UND looks into ‘hate incidents’The UND chapter of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority was put on a yearlong probation last week for hosting a party where sorority members and guests dressed in caricatured American Indian clothing and painted their faces and bodies red.

In late March, less than a week after news of the Gamma Phi party first became public, North Dakota State University’s Saddle and Sirloin agriculture club was roundly criticized for a skit they performed at the school’s Mr. NDSU pageant. In that skit, a white student wore blackface and an afro wig, portraying Illinois senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, while a female student, dressed as the Web video personality Obama Girl, gave him a lap dance.

More than 20 swastikas and other racist symbols have been found on the campus of St. Cloud (Minn.) State University since mid-November.

In a letter to UND administrators, Weinstein linked the West Hall and Noren Hall swastikas with the Gamma Phi Indian party, suggesting that the UND administration had compromised its moral authority by defending for so long the school’s Fighting Sioux nickname and Indian head logo, viewed by many as a symbol of prejudice.

“This is just the latest of a long series of incidents that makes me ask whether UND is capable of being a positive and moral force for the future,” he said in a statement.
Comment:  Boy, there sure is a lot of racism in North Dakota...!

For more on the subject, see Team Names and Mascots.

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