Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Fighting Sioux Fight Back

Charles Kupchella, president of the University of North Dakota has come out swinging against the slaves to political correctness at the NCAA. In his hard-edged letter, Kupchella drops any pretense of working together with the NCAA in order to come to a mutually beneficial agreement regarding the nickname "The Fighting Sioux." I last touched on this issue here. Here is an early paragraph in Kupchella's latest salvo.

We certainly do not believe that we agreed by our membership that – as a condition of full membership privileges – a small committee would have the authority to change the architecture of sports facilities that we do not even own or cause us to modify our very history. Athletic issues of even far less magnitude have been handled through legislation, not executive fiat. It appears there may be no recourse but to try to clear this up through litigation.

And that, friends, is just the begninning. Here's another excerpt from the rather long, but highly entertaining letter:

The fundamental irrationality of calling what we do hostile and abusive – on the basis of no basis at all – and then saying that a white guy in war paint, carrying a flaming spear while riding a horse into a stadium, leading fans in a tomahawk chop while singing an Indian chant is okay should be obvious to any jury. Any who try to swallow this convoluted logic will choke on it.

The NCAA’s organizational arrogance extends to the innovative and abusive use of the English language. You indicated that Florida State University was exempted because it has a “special relationship” with the Seminoles. At the time you said this, Florida State enrolled just four Seminole students. We have one-hundred times more Indian students here, yet FSU’s is a “special relationship” while ours, you say, is “hostile and abusive.”

Kupchella continues on, making note of the strong Native American presence at the school, its excellent relationship with said group, and, most persuasive of all, the support the nickname has received from North Dakota's Native American community. Then there is Kupchella's most-excellent rib-stick regarding the NCAA's Pontiac sponsorship:

By the way, it was widely and cynically noted here that “Pontiac” is a corporate sponsor of the NCAA. But perhaps this is unfair; both the NCAA and General Motors may well have gotten the permission of the descendants of Chief Pontiac or the Ottawa Tribe.

Man, I really love this guy.

Then there is this: (I can't seem to stop myself)

...even if we were to stop using the nickname we have used with pride for nearly eighty years, and decided to forgo any nickname – since they may all be at some future risk – and simply be known as the University of North Dakota and used the University’s seal or even the State Seal, we would still apparently be in violation of your policy. “Dakota” is what some of the Sioux actually call themselves. Our University Seal and the State Seal have images of American Indians on them.

Okay, enough. Go read for yourself. It is one of those letters everybody hopes to get the chance to write someday. The kind of letter that gives free license to use words like capricious, arrogant, arbitrary, injustice, and more, with cause.

I hope UND sues the living daylights out of the NCAA. Seriously. They deserve it like few other organizations do for their heavy-handed dictatorial policies.

No comments: