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“A Little Silly”

The fellers at the Deadspin sports blog—a peon under the Gawker media empire, and thus not right-wingers by any definition—make note of this odd letter to the editor in The Dartmouth. The letter is the latest in a sort of placation offensive being conducted by the Dartmouth administration in response to complaints from the Native American community, who have essentially accused Dartmouth at large of being racist. (Their evidence? 1) Cartoon t-shirts, 2) a small photograph in a fundraising pamphlet, 3) a famous and ancient mural which, to please them, Dartmouth carted up decades ago, and 4) a band of fraternity members who interrupted their anti-Columbus Day drum circle.)

The letter was written by Josie Harper, who is in charge of the Dartmouth athletics program. Almost unbelievably, she apologizes to Dartmouth’s band of offendees because Dartmouth’s fantastic hockey team may at some time in the near future play the University of North Dakota. Their mascot? The Fighting Sioux. “Let me state clearly that UND’s position is offensive and wrong. When we scheduled UND nearly two years ago to participate in our tournament, we did so without considering their team’s nickname and symbol. Perhaps we should have, but I deeply regret that we didn’t.”

The writers at Deadspin call this silly. It certainly is: Ms. Harper has herein created a policy whereby Dartmouth shall no longer play any teams whose mascots have anything to do with Native Americans.

Oh, and a moment or two of research shows that North Dakota has a large Native American population. Folks just don’t seem to be too miffed with that UND mascot. In fact, a delegation from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation traveled to campus more than thirty years after UND adopted the mascot. The delegation inducted the university’s president into the tribe as an honorary member, so that the mascot would be ‘official.’ An Indian artist designed the logo itself.

Just like the Fighting Irish. Some folks just don’t allow the mascot of their closest university to define them.

NOTE: Be certain to read the comments at the above-referenced Deadspin post.


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