Monday, November 27, 2006

Genuflecting towards the Dakotas 

Joe Malchow and Scott Johnson have been covering a twist in the UND Fighting Sioux story. Dartmouth College, of which the Powerguys are alums (and I believe Joe is still a student there) has apologized for scheduling UND to a hockey tournament. The scheduling was done two years ago, and only now does it dawn on the college to check out the team's mascot. In a Manchester Union Leader piece about the school's apology is an observation by a UND official:
Don Kojich, executive associate vice president for university relations at North Dakota, referred all questions to the state's attorney general, but did say that he has never heard of another school publicly apologizing for playing the Fighting Sioux.
Hello? I assume the meager readership of this blog does not include the upper administration of UND, but I'd hope someone was aware of the coverage we've given this issue. This school not only has apologized for playing the Sioux -- if in no other way than helping with the organization of the protestors when UND comes here for hockey and football (though the latter will not be a problem when North Dakota goes to D-1 for all sports while we play the Little Sisters of the Poor) -- it has been home of the university president singly responsible for the mascot issue becoming part of the national debate. Indeed, Dartmouth's president has adopted our president's own words.

Scott's co-blogger Paul Mirengoff thinks there are behaviors that are demeaning to Native Americans in the usual rivalry-stoked insults hurled between contesting universities. Paul thinks it's backlash to the PC-induced censorship Saigo's policies have helped create. Perhaps -- if it's OK to go to a Penn party dressed as a suicide bomber but not have a cowboy-and-Indian fundraiser, you have a case there. But the desire to regulate mascots wasn't present unless and until the mascot becomes a representation of a victim group.

Speaking of which, the Irish sure played like famine victims last weekend.