Fargo Forum: How Dare Sioux Indians Have The Wrong Opinion About The Fighting Sioux Nickname

The Spirit Lake Sioux tribe has certainly become the fly in the ointment in the on-going controversy over the University of North Dakota’s “Fighting Sioux” nickname. They seem, in particular, to have gotten under the skin of the Fargo Forum’s editorial board which, in a fit of pique no doubt brought on by a declining sense of relevance, suggested that the Spirit Lake Sioux are a “cabal of North Dakotans who won’t accept the reality that the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux logo is history” who are “aided and abetted” by “obtuse bloggers” like myself.

I’m not sure why they made “bloggers” plural. The only blog that has weighed in on this matter is this one, but whatever. A North Dakota reader on Twitter called this “one of the most arrogant and condescending pieces I’ve ever read on any media,” but it’s really just par for the course for the folks at the Forum who have raised editorial incivility to an art form.

What has their collective panties in a twist if the audacity of actual Sioux Indians disagreeing with their editorial position about the “Fighting Sioux” nickname and logo, which is that it should go. The tribe wrote a letter to the Big Sky conference (read it here) expressing their support for the nickname, and communicating their sense that efforts to get rid of it are an attack on their heritage.

“The letter purports to represent the sentiments of the Sioux tribe in favor of keeping the logo,” writes the Forum. “There is no convincing evidence, however, that the self-styled group is representative of anything but itself.”

No convincing evidence, that is, except for the vote the Spirit Lake Tribe took in 2009 in which 67% of the tribe approved of the nickname. But so much for inconvenient facts.

Remember that this fight over the nickname was picked by people who told us that it had to go because it was insensitive to and intolerant of Native American culture and heritage. Yet, come to find out, a great deal (if, admittedly, not all) of Sioux Indians like the nickname and consider the pipe ceremony in which it was bestowed upon the University of North Dakota in 1969 to be a significant part of their history in North Dakota and relationship to the state.

And now we’re told by the oh-so-tolerant folks at the Fargo Forum in an intemperate editorial tirade that not only are these feelings of heritage and tradition irrelevant, they’re the ginned-up concoction of political ideologues. As if actual Sioux Indians somehow don’t have the moral standing to have an opinion on the use of their own namesake.

Talk about turning an issue on its head. The proponents of retiring the nickname in the name of tolerance to Sioux Indians are utterly intolerant of the opinions on the matter of actual Sioux Indians. Or, at least, the Sioux Indians who don’t have the right position, I guess.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

Related posts

  • RCND

    The arrogance of the academic elite coupled with the righteous indignation of traditional media editorial boards is what has drug this issue on and on… they can’t admit their initial first assumptions about the use of the Sioux name were wrong, so they choose to drag this fight on rather than do the hard right thing and support keeping the name.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I think that’s right.  They picked this fight, and now they’re upset because the nickname supporters – up to and include the very people who are supposedly victimized by the nickname – won’t just roll over for them.

  • Dakotacyr

    They can’t make the NCAA change their minds, it ain’t gonna happen.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      The arrogance of you guys shocks me.

      This was supposedly about protecting the Sioux people from a hateful, bigoted nickname/logo. Now the Sioux people are, inconveniently for you guys, not going along with your narrative.

      And you want us just to dismiss them.

      Unbelievable.

      • Jimmy_Wildcat

        So it looks like a mandatory injunction would be ineffective and the court would essentially be powerless to enforce an injunction against the legislature. However, if the court imposed a mandatory injunction against UND, the school would be in an extremely awkward position of having to decide if it would follow state law or the federal injunction.

        Either way…this could get messy.

  • LRJ

    I posted the following on the Forum areavoices. Needless to say everyone at the Forum must have given it the thumbs down.

    I find it disturbing that the writers of this editorial are insulting bloggers and native americans with this editorial. They call bloggers they do not agree with “obtuse” and call the Sioux “Johnny-come-lately”  “an ad hoc group” “self styled group”. If you have to resort to insults instead of facts you have lost the debate.

    Here are a couple of meanings for the word Obtuse.
    ob·tuse ( b-t s , -ty s , b-)
    adj. ob·tus·er, ob·tus·est
    1.
    a. Lacking quickness of perception or intellect.
    b. Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity: an obtuse

    The above would properly describe the following paragraph.

    “The latest wrinkle is a Johnny-come-lately letter from an ad hoc group on the Spirit Lake Reservation near Devils Lake to the commissioner of the Big Sky Conference. The letter purports to represent the sentiments of the Sioux tribe in favor of keeping the logo. There is no convincing evidence, however, that the self-styled group is representative of anything but itself.”

    The PC crowd has always said this was about the Sioux and now when the Sioux are standing up for themselves they get insulted.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      The PC crowd has always said this was about the Sioux and now when the Sioux are standing up for themselves they get insulted.

      You nailed it.

      I posted the following on the Forum areavoices. Needless to say everyone at the Forum must have given it the thumbs down.

      Don’t worry. Here at SAB, we welcome all commenters and don’t let people’s comments be voted off the page.

  • Leh1369

    What is the new nickname they want to use?  Ask from a dumb country boy from Alabama.

    • RCND

      Not a dumb question beacuse that hasn’t even entered onto the radar screen

    • Ndberi

      I think the liberal elite would like “sheep” as a nickname.

  • Clint F

    Not that I feel the need to toot my own horn, but you’ve forgotten that I’ve been blogging the Fighting Sioux Logo controversy for years – it even has its own category on bismarck-mandan.com in fact:

    http://www.bismarckmandanblog.com/index.php?category=19

    Many of those posts were cross-posted to SAB as well.

    I’ve been quoted in the Dartmouth Review (remember when their AD had the audacity to apologize for UND coming to play there?) and when the president of UND wrote an op-ed in support of the nickname he used many of my arguments…this could have been coincidence, but you and I both see how many hits from state government IP addresses we get…

    I don’t necessarily think I’m all that relevant, but you haven’t been the only guy out there on this one. :)

    Cf

    • RCND

      Who else besides you and Rob are? If there are not any, is there opportunity for a partnership of the willing with other bloggers to help further get the word out there?

  • exsanguine

    What is this “Forum” you speak of?

  • Kcfreakazoid

    Dead issue, move on.

Top