Friday, December 01, 2006

Aggrieved Native Americans Pitch a Fit At Dartmouth


The Dartmouth Review, an independent conservative student newspaper, is not affiliated with the Ivy League college and has had a sometimes adversarial relationship with minority students.

Students said the paper's latest issue, ridiculing Native American students' complaints about a string of incidents seen as racist, was the trigger for the demonstration, held on the last day of classes before exams.

Honestly, I sometimes think that college students go to these stupid protests because that's what they think college students are supposed to do.

[E]arlier this month, the crew team held a party with a "Cowboys and Indians" theme. Team captains later apologized.

Gads! Not a "Cowboys and Indians" theme! I hope there was no Village People music being played. And the apology? Pathetic. I hope they didn't mean it.

Honestly, is such a party truly "insensitive"? Or is it something that someone with a chip on his/her shoulder says is insensitive, and to prove our sensitivity, we have to support the so-called aggrieved party? What crap. You don't like the theme of a party? Don't go.

The college also apologized for scheduling a December 29 hockey game against the University of North Dakota, whose mascot is the "Fighting Sioux." The university is one of several schools whose use of American Indian imagery has been labeled "hostile and abusive" by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

So the Dartmouth Indians don't like UND's "Fighting Sioux" mascot. Who gives a damn what the Dartmouth Indians think? I'd be slightly more concerned, but not much, about what the Sioux themselves think.

So anyway, here's what one of the bigoted right-wing white racist yadda yadda yadda conservative editorialists said in the dreaded "independent conservative student newspaper":

In an editorial, Linsalata wrote: "While the onus may fall partly on the student body to facilitate an environment more hospitable to Indians, nothing can be done until the Indians themselves lay out measurable goals and steps for how this harmony can be achieved. Patronizing advertisements and excessive use of the race card are antithetical to this goal."

And here's the response it got:

At the rally, Kohn, a member of both the Crow tribe and of the student group Native Americans at Dartmouth, urged administrators to pursue disciplinary action against offenders.

I know Dartmouth isn't a public school and isn't held to 1st Amendment standards, but I'd like to think that as a university, the free and open exchange of ideas would be tolerated. But apparently, speech at Dartmouth is tolerated only if it conforms to certain rigid ideological standards.

I think someone needs to smokem peace pipe.


Anonymous said...

Actually, private universities ARE held to First Amendment standards, or are supposed to be, because they accept millions of dollars of public funds.

Whether a school is public or private is actually pretty arbitrary, and is determined by the percentage of the general operating budget represented by tax money. That does not include most sources of federal and state funds, such as grants, etc.

So Penn State is technically not a public school -- though in fact, it is. Many state universities are technically not public schools for that reason. But they accept millions of dollars of state and federal monies each year.

And so do the private schools.

Darren said...

As I understand it, if the state government establishes and operates the school (a la the CSU and UC systems), they're considered, like public schools, arms of the government, and hence the 1st Amendment applies.

USC, however, was not created by an act of the legislature. It can walk on student 1st Amendment rights all it wants. The only caveat is that if their brochures and other advertising discuss the wonders of the free flow of ideas at the (private) university, they can be sued for breach of contract if they don't live up to it.

Anonymous said...

Actually, courts ruled back in the 70s that private universities are held to the First Amendment -- because they accept federal funding.

Whether one agrees with the ruling or not is, of course, a separate issue.

Anonymous said...

Actually, all Sioux tribes oppose UND's "Fighting Sioux" racial nickname (contrary to the claims of UND). Moreover, every major national and regional American Indian organization opposes these race-based athletic nicknames. Unrefuted empirical research shows that these race-based nicknames/logos lower the self- esteem of American Indian students while raising the self-esteem of European American students (which helps explain why European Americans have such difficulty understanding why these racial nicknames are opposed by American Indians).

As a teacher, rightwingprof should be a more responsible educxator and base his conclusions on evidence rather than a knee-jerk right wing reaction.


Darren said...

Gunderso, you're not correct. The Seminole tribe approves of Florida State's use of the term, and a Midwestern tribe (don't know the exact name, but it's long) approves of the Illinois mascot.

I'm sure that low self-esteem you claim that Native Americans feel at these names is assuaged, somewhat, all the way to the bank on the trail from the casinos. I haven't heard any Irishmen whine about Notre Dame's mascot. Perhaps evangelical Christians avoid Duke and Arizona State.

Anonymous said...

"Actually, all Sioux tribes oppose UND's "Fighting Sioux" racial nickname (contrary to the claims of UND)."

Unless they're alumni of the university, who cares whether they oppose it or not?

"Moreover, every major national and regional American Indian organization opposes these race-based athletic nicknames."

Untrue. The Seminoles support the use of their name.

"Unrefuted empirical research"


"shows that these race-based nicknames/logos lower the self- esteem"

Don't care. "Self-esteem" is for weak, whiny weenies, not adults.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Irish folk don't object the way Native Americans do because they weren't murdered en masse and forced off their land by the progenitors of the people who want to use their likeness as a school mascot.

Imagine, if you will, a frightening future in which the Muslims have taken over and forced Christians on to reservations--for their own good and the safety of all. And the madrosses start using mascots like "The Biblethumpers" and "Evangelicals," etc.

Sitting there on your res, I'm sure you'd be happy with the verison of history taught in the madrosses and the use of *your* tribal affiliation as a mascot.

Wouldn't bother you in the least, I'm sure.

Darren said...

I guess not, since you're so sure and everything.

Anonymous said...

Opposition to native mascots and depictions of Indians in popular culture aren't opposed primarily because they "cause low self-esteem."

They're opposed for the same reason society doesn't slap Sambo on a package of malt liquor or cigarettes. Why? Because it's tasteless and demeaning and such images have a racist history at their roots which can never be shed.

I don't think of this as a "right" or "left" issue. It's more of an ethical question than anything. And what happened at Dartmouth, particularly with the front page of the Review, was clearly racist. Hate speech is not protected speech. If the editors sincerely didn't know what they were doing by publishing such a picture and headline, particularly in the context of tensions at Dartmouth, they are at best incredibly stupid and worst racist.

Darren said...

So-called hate speech certainly *is* protected speech. If it isn't, then the 1st Amendment has no meaning at all.