If you thought the Washington “Redskins” name, or the Cleveland Indians “Chief Wahoo” mascot were offensive, you haven’t seen anything yet. Students at the University of North Dakota have been sporting perhaps the most racially offensive shirts to gain traction on a college campus in history. Now, students and others are planning a protest walk through the University of North Dakota campus this Friday.
The purpose of the protest is to call attention to “inaction” by UND leaders and administration, after scores of students have been wearing the blatantly racist t-shirts sporting the phrase “Siouxper Drunk”, along with a widely-used Native American mascot (though not UND’s particular logo), along with two beers and drinking from a beer bong.
The region is well-known for having a relatively large Native American population. The protest is scheduled to start at 11:00 am, Friday morning, beginning at the American Indian Student Services Building.
The American Indian Student group told local Valley News Live that they are expecting a huge protest, including many members from nearby tribes.
The president of UND, Robert Kelley called the T-shirts derogatory and harmful but he stopped short of mentioning any action the school would or should take against the shirts which are a violation of school policy. In effect, he was giving students carte blanche to violate policies on racial harassment as long as they are targeting Native Americans.
Native American tribes are now calling on the school to fully ban the Fighting Sioux logo from all academic settings across the board, and to select a new nickname and logo immediately. They are also calling on the school to instituted mandatory racial sensitivity training for all incoming students.