Last week Dartmouth College’s Director of Athletics and Recreation Josie Harper wrote a letter published in The Dartmouth apologizing for “offer the support of the athletics department in playing a leading role to combat racial, ethnic and sexist ignorance and intolerance on our campus.”
While she was at first apologizing for some questionable antics by some students on campus she used this as an opportunity to join the politically correct crowd calling for the elimination of offensive Indian mascots on college campuses across the country.
Another section from Harper’s letter refers to the Fighting Sioux of the University of North Dakota.
Let me state clearly that UND’s position is offensive and wrong. When we scheduled UND nearly two years ago to participate in our tournament, we did so without considering their team’s nickname and symbol. Perhaps we should have, but I deeply regret that we didn’t.
And I deeply regret that Dartmouth didn’t have any better sense than to hire someone with common sense to run their athletic department.
They scheduled the team two years ago and now they think UND is offensive and wrong for having an Indian mascot? Harper really isn’t as remorseful for inviting UND as she is fearful of being politically incorrect. Heaven forbid that political correctness not rule the day at Dartmouth.
When UND was invited to play they had one of the best hockey teams in the country and they still do. They are a great addition to the Dartmouth tournament and Harper is treating them as if the were the Ku Klux Klan.
To prevent something like this from happening again, she is planning on drafting “a policy for scheduling against institutions that support offensive nicknames and symbols,” according to her letter. I can’t wait to see what constitutes offensive nicknames and symbols beyond anything with an Indian in it.
While the entire episode regarding the Fighting Sioux is ridiculous is unlikely to affect a large number of people at the present time, the danger is that other schools will follow suit and create policies that in effect discriminate against teams with Indian based nicknames or mascots.
If Indian activists aren’t careful their campaign against names and mascots they consider offensive could become so successful that all team names and mascots that have ties to Indians will disappear leaving them with no images at al, positive or negative.
Don Irvine is the chairman of Accuracy in Media.