By Laura Ruiz
The article titled "Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippy Yay" was written by the publication's campus editor, Noah Kelly, and published on March 14 in last week's issue of the Cal State Long Beach student publication funded by Associated Students Inc.
The Union published several disapproving letters from the community, and apologies from Kelly and Editor-in-Chief Kevin O'Brien.
They also called Kelly's article derogatory, racist and ignorant, stating it was clear that he had no real interest in learning about the event and calling the review biased against the American Indian community.
Kelly said he received death threats in response to the article.
I just watched The Son Also Draws episode of Family Guy again. It also was much more offensive than this article. Let's keep these things in perspective, people.
On the other hand, the newspaper's rationalization--it was "meant as an unflattering view of the event itself"--sounds disingenuous. Kelly didn't write that other powwows are impressive but this one seemed shabby. Moreover, he attacked Indian tacos and frybread in general. Since they're a staple of Indian events, insulting them is equivalent to "an assault on an entire culture."
Let's sum it up: Kelly wrote an ignorant and insulting column. Indians took him to task for it. Kelly and the newspaper apologized. So the system worked the way it's supposed to. Everyone learned a lesson about attacking minorities and their cultural traditions without cause.
We can hope these people have begun to rethink their ignorant views. If not, we've taught them to keep their ignorant views to themselves. That's all you can do sometimes.
For more on the subject, see Powwow Participants Compared to Homeless.