August 16, 2015

"Sioux" supporters = 5-year-olds

If you haven't been following the "Fighting Sioux" story, UND's mascot lovers are now calling themselves The Sioux Were Silenced. They're campaigning for the school to use the label "University of North Dakota" rather than choose another mascot.

Do they like the unadorned name for aesthetic reasons? Hardly. Here's what's really going on:

LETTER: 'No nickname' fans sure do like 'Sioux' jerseys

By Jeff WillertOn July 25, the front-page photo accompanying a story on the prospects for the "UND/North Dakota" nickname shows supporters of that nickname wearing "Sioux" jerseys and holding "We are the Sioux forever" signs.

Meanwhile, almost no one in the photo is wearing an item of clothing that bears the actual name being considered: UND/North Dakota.

The same goes for the hockey and football games I've seen on TV. The seats are full of "Sioux" jerseys, shirts, hats and so on.

What that says to me is that the UND/North Dakota nickname supporters want no nickname in an attempt to preserve the "Sioux" nickname. Otherwise, if they are so happy with UND/North Dakota as their new nickname, why aren't they wearing UND/North Dakota clothing and holding UND/North Dakota signs?

This obviously bitter attitude of "fine, no Fighting Sioux, then we'll show you; we'll have nothing!" needs to be put to rest. It's the position that some 5-year-old kids would take.

LETTER: Petulance of some UND fans discredits university

By Andrew HertingI oppose the use of "North Dakota" as a nickname for UND, because I feel that most of the individuals who support this choice see it as a protest vote. That is to say, by choosing this nickname, students and other stakeholders are expressing opposition to the retirement of "Fighting Sioux" as the school nickname.

Essentially, they are signaling that if they cannot have their old nickname, that they would rather have no nickname at all.
And:I have seen firsthand that many outside the region view UND students suspiciously due to their tenacious support of a label viewed by many as insensitive at best. The refusal to replace the name sends the message that UND students view their right to continue to use a tribal name as more important than their desire to convey respect toward the American Indian community.

Students rightly recognize that blocking the introduction of a new nickname will protect the old name from being replaced. For this reason, I urge UND student government to take a leadership role in discouraging the UND student body from backing the "North Dakota" nickname.
Comment:  For more on the Fighting Sioux, see Sammy Sioux and Sally Squaw and "Siouxper Drunk" = Hostile and Abusive.

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