“YOU SUCK!!”

So this whole logo thing is something I heard about before I arrived to UND’s campus three years ago and something I was not looking forward to having to deal with.  Yep, I said dealing with.

The only UND hockey game I have watched is when my dad had the Wisconsin team up here to play.

I haven’t watched any other UND sport.  All of which on purpose.  I don’t want to have anything to do with the logo.

 

For a long time, I knew that I felt strongly this way, but I have always also understood while those who are from this area and have gone to school at UND have taken so much pride into the name.  UND is not a school of many traditions so when something like a powerful name/logo comes alone, we hold on tightly.

I also believe strongly that all individuals, no matter how similar or vastly different from me they are, deserve to be treated well.  They deserve to be loved, respected and appreciated.  And this too goes for everyone on both sides of this issue (and everyone in between).  So when I watched a co-worker break down in tears after I had watched her experience things that I first thought were much more difficult than this, and share that she truly feared her life and questioned if she should continue her work and education at UND because of the logo “issue”, my eyes and my heart opened a bit wider.

The issue comes up regularly and I see all sorts of things with it.  One thing that is very evident is that you had better be able to defend your standing point.  And, it seems, you must also be willing to ALWAYS explain why you have taken whatever stance you have taken- no matter what it is.

So now we are making those who are oppressed defend themselves and explain why the fact that they are being oppressed is offensive to them.  This outrages me.

I listened to a presentation that the Director and the Assistant Director of the American Indian Student Association gave on this very topic and what I heard and saw are things that I will never forget.

I never realized that Native Americans are the only race that are still used on food products (Land O Lakes), as types of car (Jeep Cherokee) and really the list goes on and on. Why is this?  Why is it okay for us to say that it is not okay to use any other race as products but for this one it is okay?

I knew that the name is discriminatory and it hurts many, but when I thought of going to the stadium and cheering on my team, I envision everyone cheering “GO SIOUX” and struggled to wrap my head around the oppression in that… But when I heard the Director explain that what the other team was saying…”SIOUX SUCK”, I had an “OH DUH!!!” moment.  Never would I want to hear a crowd full of people yell “Blacks suck!” or “Gays suck!” or “Christians suck!” or “Asians Suck!” or “Women suck!” or “Grandma’s suck!”

I am an incredibly visual person and I readily put myself in the shoes of whomever I am thinking about.  So all of a sudden I start thinking about what my response would be if I walked into the bathroom and saw a picture of a cross in the bowl of the toilet for men to pee on… Because they do that with the Sioux logo. Or I think of walking across campus, taking the student I was helping the other day, when all of a sudden I heard a large crowd chant “Blacks Suck!”.  I would stop dead in my tracks.  It wouldn’t matter that they maybe weren’t talking about me or the person standing right next to me.  It would matter because no one deserves to be treated that way.

Before I understood why there was question and debate over the logo.  Now, though, I literally have no clue as to why anyone would want to make others experience that kind of pain.

Money isn’t worth it.

D1 isn’t worth it.

History isn’t worth it.

Nothing is worth it.

Posted on April 12, 2012, in Emotional, Intellectual. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I see what you are saying, but a lot of people are angered by the fact that other cultures are allowed to be used as mascots/nicknames/logos. I mean, I totally understand that Native American groups would take offense at opposing teams cheering “Sioux suck” or other more derogatory things, but why does the NCAA only outlaw Native American nicknames, becomes the question. For example, Notre Dame is the Fighting Irish. I guarantee that at Notre Dame Games, the fans of the other team are cheering “Irish suck” or again, other, far worse things. Why can they keep the irish name, then, if UND cannot keep the Sioux name. And there are more examples than the Irish. The vikings or norse are a common nickname choice for schools, especially in the midwest region. “Vikings suck” or “Norse suck” are insulting on the same level to people of Scandinavian decent and “Sioux suck” is to those of Native American origin. Spartans, Trojans, Senators (referring to ancient Romans), cowboys, even MinuteMen, for that matter, are all nicknames used by schools that reference cultures of old. They all have fans of other teams cheering against them with “spartans suck” “trojans suck” “senators suck” “minutemen suck” and worse, but the NCAA does not care about that.

    What I’m trying to say is, most of us Sioux fans see the aspect of discrimination that our nickname and logo brings, but, if that were truly the reason that the NCAA wanted to ban it, then they would also be going after these other schools who have nicknames that relate to peoples’ cultures. We want to see a legitimate reason for the NCAA to only retire Native American nicknames, or we want all names derived from cultures to be retired, or, best case scenario, we’d like to keep the nickname.

    We legitimately feel that we as fans, players, coaches, and a school, are honoring the Sioux, and how they have contributed to the past, and how they continue to be a part of our future. We are willing to work with the tribes to change our logo in order to make remove any offense it causes to them, and remove the “fighting” from the name, if they feel that portrays them in a wrong light.

    Yes, there are the opposing fans who will say things like “Sioux suck,” however, I do believe in people’s ability to differentiate between the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, and the real tribes of Native Americans who roamed and roam the plains of the Dakotas. (I strongly dislike the University of Minnesota gophers, for example, and would join in on a “gophers suck” chant at a hockey game, but I understand that the U of M gophers are very different from actual gophers)

    You make a very good point, but fans of the logo have already considered the point, and that is one of the reasons that we are fighting so hard to keep the logo.

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