By Skip Chatterson - April 22, 2011
It is no surprise that we live in time that is dominated by politically correct language. Help the person who dares to purposely or innocently offend another person. That person could risk being guilt of a hate crime.
The largest entity that polices language on the University level, is the NCAA.
The NCAA has set their sites on the North Dakota Fighting Sioux. North Dakota uses their rich history of the great Sioux nation to honor them with their nickname and mascot. The NCAA doesn’t see it that way even though the Spirit Lake (Sioux) tribe approves and endorses the “Fighting Sioux” nickname. Doesn’t the Spirit Lake tribe know that if the NCAA says they should be offended, they should listen and be offended! The Spirit Lake tribe is instead embracing the nickname for what it is, a homage to a great Native American Nation.
Even the lawmakers in North Dakota couldn’t appease the NCAA, passing a bill requiring UND to keep the Fighting Sioux nickname. The NCAA answered by threatening UND with penalties.
The NCAA is nothing if not inconsistant. The NCAA allows Florida State to keep the Seminole as their mascot, because the Seminole tribe of Florida endorses FSU’s use of the Seminole name. FSU and the Seminole tribe enjoy a great relationship because FSU respects the tribe, much like UND does.
To be fair the ruling the NCAA uses says UND must have an agreement from both the Spirit Lake tribe and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe which does not support the Fighting Sioux name. Again the NCAA displays great inconsistency as in FSU’s case, they are supported by the Florida tribe, but opposed by the Oklahoma tribe.
Both of these Universities respect the traditions and customs of the tribes they are honoring with their names. This is much different from a high school in a town I used to live in, their nickname was the “Savages”, using a Native American Indian warrior as their mascot. That is an example of a demeaning, offensive mascot. I believe the school did alter their mascot slightly changing the nickname to the “Economic Savages” using a rotating liberal democrats as their mascot. One week its Harry Reid, then Nancy Pelosi, followed by Barack Obama and Ben Nelson. The mascots strike great fear in the opposing team, the opposing team usually wins the games but lose the contents of their wallets.
There have been legitamite cases against some schools, like the High School I mentioned, but the University of North Dakota seeks to honor the sioux nation. Using the Native American mascots with respect to said nation serves to open up a great relationship between these schools and the involved Reservations in understanding and keeping the Native American culture alive.
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