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Indian Wars, Round 238

Inside Higher Education reports on the behavior of Dartmouth’s Native American group, which has tarred the campus as racist after a few cartoon t-shirts, an allegedly broken-up drum circle, and the crew team’s “Cowboys and Indians” party theme.

The Chronicle of Higher Education makes note of the Dartmouth Athletic Director’s apology for the mascot of another team.

UPDATE: The Inside Higher Ed report linked above quotes only one person—besides Dartmouth Athletic Director Josie Harper—in support of the view that Dartmouth should apologize for other schools’ mascots and team names because of the possibility of offense. That person is Bruce Duthu, who is inserted into the story in this way:

Others, however, are strongly backing the president ‘s response. Bruce Duthu, a professor at Vermont Law School who also teaches Native American law at Dartmouth and who is a member of the Houma tribe, said that he was unsure why, but this semester has seen €œhate-filled idiocy € of the sort that hasn ‘t taken place recently at the college. €œWe haven ‘t had overtly racist incidents, but for some reason we are. €

Duthu said Wright ‘s response was €œwonderful, € but said it should have come earlier in the semester, after the first incident. €œHe ‘s saying that this kind of intolerance is just not acceptable. € Noting that Wright has strongly supported the recruiting of Native American students over the years, Duthu said he believed the letter was sincere and that Wright would continue to speak out as necessary.

Wright was also correct to call for individuals to take personal stands against intolerance, Duthu said, rather than trying to legislate a solution. €œIn an educational setting, you have free speech and sometimes that means you have to put up with idiots, € he said.

The name Duthu did not ring a bell in my mind, but a reader e-mails in the following:
An interesting tale here. Duthu is hardly an uninterested party — so, who recommended him for quotes?

He did a brief tour of duty through the [Dartmouth] First Year Office and elsewhere years ago, is (I’m pretty sure) an alum [An ‘80 -jm], and — of note to you — was one of the establishment-backed candidates for Trustee back when [T.J.] Rodgers unexpectedly upset that little apple cart. Parkhurst was not pleased at this thwarting…I think that may have been the prompting for the “constitutional evolution” which has just, blessedly, come to an end.


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