I attended the University of North Dakota (aka The Fighting Sioux). Amazing school with passionate people. Well the NCAA went after my school and (short story version) said we either pay a small fortune or we lose our logo… we lost our logo. We are now Fighting UND. People still wear their Sioux head gear with pride, myself included. Everyone in this town from the very young to the very old has at least one piece of Sioux gear. I am not a Grand Forks native and I have 5 hoodies, 5 tee shirts, 2 sweatpants, and lots of wall art myself. One of my dearest friends is getting a Sioux head tattooed on her. We love the Sioux head. It is a sign of pride and strength and it has united countless people as we cheer on UND’s various sports teams. Well now there are some people (as far as I know it is less than 10) trying to get the Sioux head banned period meaning that faculty and staff and students cannot wear it on campus or to any university events. That is such crap. There are a small group of people on the campus who say the use of the Sioux head is offensive and disrespectful and that it needs to go away forever.
This logo is beautiful. He is strong and proud. A warrior. He has determination in his eyes and strength in his jaw. We wear this proudly. That logo has united more people than it has offended. It brings students (and members of the community) together… so how can something that has done so much good be so terrible? No one wears their Sioux gear out of disrespect. I don’t have a Sioux head blanket hanging in my living room because I want to offend and oppress anyone. The fact that that is what this issue has become makes me sick. There is a small group on UND’s campus trying to turn this into a dog fight. They want to tar and feather any and everyone who wears the Sioux head… yet they claim they are against oppression and discrimination. Sounds like a whole bunch of hypocritical horse hockey to me. When you manipulate a situation so that is works solely in your favor you aren’t fighting injustice. You are not being a selfless warrior. You are creating a problem. You are spitting in the faces of people. You are being absolutely ridiculous.
I find this image more insulting and worthy of people’s anger. Both images were found simply by going to Google and typing in “Fighting Sioux” and clicking images. So what these witch hunters are saying, is that wearing the Sioux head and proudly calling yourself a Sioux is more disrespectful and wrong than defacing the Sioux head? They would rather we run around like anarchists and black them out? Rip them off anyone wearing them? That we hiss and boo and anyone wearing the logo? We should suddenly ostracize this amazing logo and those who choose to wear it? Refuse to engage with those wearing it? Wow. Maybe these people need to take a trip down history’s memory lane and see just how oppression works. Maybe I am being a tad extreme… but remember when PETA threw paint and flour on little old ladies wearing their fur coats? Is that what this group wants? My take is this: you want me to stop wearing my Sioux head gear. You want me to stop representing something I find beautiful. You want me to turn my back on one of the things that made me feel accepted here. You want UND and the townies to abandon something we love. You can want in one hand…
This debate will most likely never end. And there really is no way to appease both sides. The university removed the logo, you would think that would be enough but now we must target the fact that people refuse to let their mascot go. You can take away our mascot, but you can never take away our pride. Please (I beg you) tell me how that is racist and demeaning and disrespectful and oppressive. PLEASE. We force people to take “sensitivity training” (which is what this group wants… that all incoming students have to take sensitivity training) for standing up for themselves and what they believe simply because someone else gets their feelings hurt… tell me how that makes sense? We are supposed to be the land of the free and home of the brave. We are supposed to have rights that allow us to do things (like wearing a shirt or sweatshirt) without being attacked. I think these people who have made completely erasing the Sioux head their mission and selfish and cruel. Instead of choosing to see the unity (because the entire town rallied together when we first heard we might be losing our logo) they choose to see their own agendas. Sometimes learning to see past the end of our own nose is difficult. I think that whole sensitivity training goes both ways.
All I know is this: I was never really into school spirit before I came to UND. Sure, I would cheer for the home team at games… but I never really invested myself. Coming to UND completely changed that. Being a UND student was like joining an amazing family… and what united us? We were wearing Sioux shirts. That was all it took for people to take an interest and talk to me. Seeing the passion the entire town of Grand Forks has for The Fighting Sioux is really amazing. It gives you chills. Young and old come together to wear their gear proudly and cheer our teams to victory. How is this wrong? Anything that unites people and closes gaps is a good thing in my eyes (people coming together to cheer on college students IS a good thing. Don’t come at me saying things like “people think war closes gaps”. Do not take my words out of context. I am talking about UND and the Sioux logo uniting the community). And the only way you will get my Sioux gear is to remove it via force.