Skip to main content

At The Last Real Indians, Ruth Hopkins (a Sisseton Wahpeton and Mdewakanton Dakota/Hunkpapa Lakota) notes the latest in-your-face racism displayed by students at the University of North Dakota's Springfest. Here's a photo that appeared on Facebook and was sent to Hopkins by another member of her tribe:


In [the photo], non-Native UND students are wearing shirts that say ‘Siouxper Drunk.’ Beneath it, a stereotypical ‘Indian head’ reminiscent of the retired Fighting Sioux logo is pictured drinking from a beer bong. What followed the post were a string of comments from understandably infuriated Natives, many of whom were from the Spirit Lake Nation, the Dakota Tribe located closest to the UND campus.

Dakota, Lakota and Nakota people comprise the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires), also known as The Great Sioux Nation. Oceti Sakowin were called ‘Sioux’ by their enemies.

The UND Fighting Sioux logo was retired after the NCAA concluded that the race-based mascot was hostile and abusive toward Native Americans. This decision was based on numerous complaints, affidavits, and an abundance of evidence collected over the years that proved the mascot was not only offensive, but detrimental and contrary to NCAA policy.

The drunken Indian stereotype is one of the more infuriating ones attached to us over the years. As a consequence of the European introduction of strong liquor to America, alcoholism, cirrhosis, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and other alcohol-related problems do plague Indians more than other ethnic groups. But the idea that Indians are genetically predisposed to become alcoholic, that we can't "hold our liquor," is a falsehood that just won't go away. The widespread and mistaken notion (boosted by these dreadful tee shirts) that we cannot as a people resist the allure of alcohol and are more susceptible to its effects, contributes to the idea that we are inferior, genetically and socially.

In fact, only a few points separate non-Indians from Indians when it comes to the percentages of people of all races who drink any alcohol and who drink to excess. While many tribes—the Navajo Nation, for instance—forbids sales of alcohol on their reservations, liquor is easily obtainable nearby. Whiteclay, Nebraska, for instance, an unincorporated community of 14 just across the South Dakota border, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of the Oglala Lakota, exists almost solely on the sale of liquor to Indians.



Native students at UND responded to the offensive tee shirts on Twitter. Some participants have apparently apologized. But the image remains on the Twitter profile page of one of the progenitors of the tee shirts, Samuel Revering, whose handle is @Sioux—Sam. He is also decorated in redface, which is as offensive to Indians as blackface is to African Americans.

Hopkins again:

University of North Dakota administrators: you cannot afford to remain silent in the face of such arrogant bigotry. This mockery against Native people, this repugnant spectacle of racial intolerance, took place at your Springfest. An apology for allowing ‘Siouxper Drunk’ tees to be worn at your Springfest isn’t good enough. Sensitivity training will not suffice. Racially motivated incidents keep happening on the University of North Dakota campus. Implement a zero tolerance policy for any and all words, actions, and depictions that discriminate against Native Americans. Only by imposing automatic, pre-determined penalties for clearly defined, racially motivated infractions will you finally purge such shameful conduct from your institution. The onus is on you, not the Native Americans who are being subjected to this harassment and abuse.
The UND episode is just one more example of how Indians continue to be treated with disrespect. Often, atop that disrespect comes a second layer, it's-just-a-joke-don't-you-have-a-sense-of-humor? And, why-are-you-complaining-about-this-and-team-mascots, when-there-are-so-many-other-issues-Indians-ought-to-be-concerned-about? As if we aren't fully familiar with all aspects of our situation in the 21st century.

UPDATE: The latest tweet from @Sioux—Sam:

Indians be all sideways with me cuz they already spent their welfare this month. Wtf more do they want from me
@sioux_sam

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon May 12, 2014 at 02:42 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges, White Privilege Working Group, Inherent Human Rights, Baja Arizona Kossacks, South Dakota Kos, and Native American Netroots.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

skybluewater, Bob Johnson, Mike S, Mark Sumner, Pat K California, JekyllnHyde, paradox, Angie in WA State, Sylv, Alma, Trix, Bill in Portland Maine, Sean Robertson, Chi, jotter, melo, deben, AaronInSanDiego, mickT, Joan McCarter, Powered Grace, mimi, greenbird, dengre, Shockwave, Fabienne, cotterperson, UTLiberal, hyperstation, Stein, eeff, dsb, polecat, Sandy on Signal, red moon dog, Matilda, Ahianne, Creosote, tarminian, missLotus, brillig, whenwego, Agathena, ask, CalNM, Pithy Cherub, boadicea, shanikka, otto, Aquarius40, farmerhunt, roses, ivote2004, Miss Blue, mollyd, splashy, navajo, antirove, sidnora, dksbook, wader, Texknight, NMRed, RLF, kharma, psnyder, emmasnacker, pat bunny, Eyesbright, draghnfly, brainwave, exiledfromTN, churchylafemme, niteskolar, Jujuree, Steven Payne, Catte Nappe, betson08, 2dot, Bendra, zerelda, Curt Matlock, randallt, KayCeSF, xxdr zombiexx, Frank Vyan Walton, TexMex, oortdust, Gowrie Gal, sb, Brecht, vcmvo2, davidincleveland, maybeeso in michigan, Bluesee, Tinfoil Hat, Progressive Witness, NoMoreLies, Unit Zero, UncleCharlie, LakeSuperior, blueyedace2, Tonedevil, sap, Alice Venturi, Simplify, basquebob, YucatanMan, Laurence Lewis, owlbear1, bleeding blue, SaraBeth, Pam from Calif, Sun Tzu, Sara R, where4art, GreyHawk, quaoar, lotlizard, Ice Blue, most peculiar mama, blue jersey mom, ivorybill, kaliope, PinHole, Tool, LieparDestin, Ginny in CO, Pluto, Rogneid, Ekaterin, kathny, Jim R, ThatSinger, Jim P, begone, kishik, third Party please, poco, golem, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Mr Bojangles, Illinibeatle, BlueInARedState, dharmafarmer, emeraldmaiden, mr crabby, Dvalkure, koNko, ruleoflaw, smokeymonkey, AoT, KenBee, The Wizard, arlene, triv33, praenomen, global citizen, StrayCat, philipmerrill, 4Freedom, novapsyche, JVolvo, ER Doc, Unitary Moonbat, middleagedhousewife, justiceputnam, llbear, onionjim, suspiciousmind, blueoregon, Ian Reifowitz, Statusquomustgo, FrankieB, Friend of the court, markthshark, Little, HM2Viking, ZenTrainer, Aaa T Tudeattack, cpresley, BentLiberal, tegrat, old wobbly, pgm 01, BeninSC, jessical, peagreen, SpecialKinFlag, Debs2, devis1, Dartagnan, EdSF, aravir, FishOutofWater, Mary Mike, Mark E Andersen, la urracca, wildweasels, david mizner, flumptytail, Dave in Northridge, shesaid, sfbob, joedemocrat, HCKAD, second gen, bobswern, jnhobbs, gchaucer2, rovertheoctopus, CT Hank, Timmethy, leonard145b, Azubia, kdnla, Assaf, on the cusp, TomP, gizmo59, fb, mayrose, mconvente, BobBlueMass, kimoconnor, hulagirl, GAS, dsnodgrass, OleHippieChick, Sixty Something, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, bythesea, Buckeye Nut Schell, lineatus, tofumagoo, Cassandra Waites, MrJayTee, TokenLiberal, Jeff Y, Drewid, petulans, BYw, Quilldriver, sagansong, Mayfly, jlms qkw, LaFeminista, 207wickedgood, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, Louisiana 1976, Ran3dy, MufsMom, J M F, Satya1, ceebee7, greengemini, nchristine, LinSea, bsmechanic, TheFern, Pale Jenova, maryabein, janmtairy, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, WakeUpNeo, earicicle, shopkeeper, UnaSpenser, bfitzinAR, papahaha, Denise Oliver Velez, kevinpdx, Shelley99, histOries Marko, winkk, stevenwag, lu3, moviemeister76, sfarkash, Flyswatterbanjo, ArthurPoet, mahakali overdrive, hamsisu, jpmassar, citisven, catilinus, Words In Action, Just Bob, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, commonmass, smileycreek, rb137, Mokurai, FogCityJohn, flitedocnm, TFinSF, NJpeach, gramofsam1, Susan Grigsby, PurpleMyst, David Harris Gershon, catwho, LOrion, mookins, BenderRodriguez, Lost and Found, renzo capetti, JoanMar, samanthab, Lady Libertine, paradise50, DerAmi, Yasuragi, addisnana, Betty Pinson, ericlewis0, Oh Mary Oh, soaglow, not4morewars, Actbriniel, mallyroyal, slice, Wisdumb, indubitably, Pakalolo, Onomastic, annieli, Maximilien Robespierre, Jasel, Colorado is the Shiznit, kerflooey, Lost Left Coaster, StateofEuphoria, slowbutsure, lady blair, implicate order, FarWestGirl, asterkitty, Situational Lefty, OhioNatureMom, Nicci August, mrsgoo, marleycat, sethtriggs, Carolyn in Oregon, IllanoyGal, thomask, Santa Susanna Kid, dle2GA, Ojibwa, BarackStarObama, blw, tardis10, enhydra lutris, peregrine kate, stargaze, Calvino Partigiani, PhilJD, Imhotepsings, poliwrangler, Andrew F Cockburn, StateOfGrace, Joe Jackson, Marihilda, Democrats Ramshield, ratcityreprobate, Miggles, SteelerGrrl, imlpdx, weinerschnauzer, Alfreda89, jadt65, Regina in a Sears Kit House, jaebone, MichaelNY, allergywoman, deltadoc, Mathazar, BlueDragon, YaNevaNo, AnnetteK, quill, GrumpyOldGeek, ridemybike, anodnhajo, sow hat, DeadHead, angry marmot, Chrislove, Siri, IndieGuy, Eric Nelson, AnnieR, Joieau, a2nite, 2thanks, FloridaSNMOM, JGibson, Horace Boothroyd III, martinjedlicka, Darryl House, This old man, InAntalya, peachcreek, Forward is D not R, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood, Free Jazz at High Noon, Johnny the Conqueroo, Arahahex, MartyM, doroma, parakeet, OllieGarkey, wxorknot, tytalus, terrybuck, oldpotsmuggler, avsp, etherealfire, jeannew, ItsaMathJoke, Glen The Plumber, Spirit of Life, OldJackPine, wasatch, mumtaznepal, RonK, James Wells, Robynhood too, Portlaw, sunka, mzkryz, pointilleux, Lily O Lady, nomandates, John Crapper, jusjtim35, countwebb, Lurker in the Dark, remembrance, JayRaye, Thornrose, poopdogcomedy, 3rock, Joy of Fishes, HedwigKos, Coastside Scout, aresea, Yo Bubba, Alhambra, sfbaytransplant, Aunt Pat, Ree Zen, knitwithpurpose, Jollie Ollie Orange, howabout, Jon Sitzman, northerntier, GreenMother, Mannie, Avilyn, GrannyRedBird, Patango, LilithGardener, htowngenie, CenPhx, The Marti, El Bloguero, eagleray, jbsoul, Kit RMP, Penny GC, occupystephanie, Yang Guang, lehman scott, Courtney Barton, thanatokephaloides, LilPeach, Independent Progressive, JourneyInside, hbk, cjtjc, P E Outlier, Darkchylde, ypochris, Cynthia Hobgood Strauss, Shawn87, kobaltkween, NewRomeIsBurning, graynox, ravenosky

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site