September 22, 2008

"Sioux" supporter gives up

Lloyd Omdahl:  UND should give up its albatross gracefullyAs a former logo supporter, I have concluded that it is time for Fighting Sioux logo diehards to recognize some immutable facts about the controversy.

  • For the NCAA, the logo challenge is just the first shot across the bow. If the issue isn’t resolved to its satisfaction, the NCAA will be back with more restrictions on the use of logos until the UND position becomes untenable.

  • As UND goes into Division I, it will encounter other schools that oppose American Indian logos. One or two schools have already expressed an aversion to playing teams with such logos. We are making ourselves vulnerable to a negative backlash by persisting.

  • Eventually, national organizations such as the American Association of University Professors will discourage potential faculty members from considering UND. If the organization takes formal action, UND will be the outlaw of higher education.

  • Even if the Sioux tribal officials endorse the logo, such an endorsement would be valid only until the next tribal elections. There is no guarantee that a new slate of council members would honor the decisions of previous councils. After all, the North Dakota Legislature does not honor laws passed by previous legislatures. It often reverses and rewrites the enactments of previous sessions. Thus, the existence of the logo would be at the mercy of each tribal election.

  • Whether non-Indians see the logo as oppressive or not, it creates an aura of oppression that cannot be assuaged by our own pontificating. If someone is feeling harmed by the logo, it is not very ethical for us to perpetuate alienation and divisiveness.
  • Comment:  Omdahl's fifth reason is the only one that addresses Indians' concerns. His other reasons are purely pragmatic calculations.

    If Omdahl sincerely believes his fifth reason, why did it take him so long to change his mind? This reason has been valid for decades--ever since Indians began protesting UND's nickname and logo.

    Oh, well...better late than never. For more on the subject, see Team Names and Mascots.

    No comments: