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Old Jun 25, 2007, 07:31 PM   #1
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Politically Incorrect College Nicknames/Mascots?

I don't normally post here in the politics forum, but I wanted to see what other people thought about this.

The University of North Dakota's Nickname is the Fighting Sioux. The use of this nickname has been hotly contested since the 1970's, with certain people claiming that it is offensive, and others claiming that it is not. In 2005 the NCAA declared the University's nickname "hostile and abusive" and banned them (and other schools with tribal nicknames) from playing any playoff games at home.

My question is this:
If the nickname "Fighting Sioux" is such a hotly contested issue, why does nobody seem to care about the University of Notre Dame's usage of the nickname "Fighting Irish?" To me, both are the names of a specific ethnic group preceded by the word "fighting." Are the Irish in this country better sports? I'd like to hear some opinions on this. I'll attach some logos from the respective schools below.

North Dakota

Notre Dame

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Old Jun 25, 2007, 07:49 PM   #2
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Without defending the Irish mascots, I do think it's reasonable to get rid of the "Indian" mascots. No American military leaders ever ordered wholesale massacres of entire towns of Irish men, women, and children. No American president ever rounded up the Irish to march thousands of miles away, at great cost in lives, to be resettled into "Irish reservations." But American political and military leaders did both, repeatedly, to various Native American tribes.

Imagine if a German soccer team decided to name itself the Fighting Jews, and made their mascot a big-nosed man wearing a yarmulke and holding a fistful of money. It's the kind of thing that is already pretty offensive, but it becomes extraordinarily offensive when you take into account the history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Ditto for U.S. teams and their "Indian" mascots.
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Old Jun 25, 2007, 07:58 PM   #3
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Good point but misguided. The differences are enormous.

The Irish, it must be admitted were at one time considered "non-white" and were heavily discriminated against in the US. However, they're also immigrants from Europe. I think if the team were called the "Drunken Irish" it would be discriminatory based on ethnic stereotypes. Fighting Irish, amongst most non-English Americans is a point of pride.

Native Americans have had a pretty raw deal all around, and "Fighting Sioux" would indicate to most people a degree of aggression associated with such horrible crimes as rape, scalping, warfare, etc. Their end was anything but warlike, their confinement to reservations and decimation of their numbers by disease and murder at the hands of the white man was pretty dismal.

It also seems a little insulting to take the name of a group that one has conquered, don't you think? I really can't think of any parallel. In the end, it's their culture and their tribal name that UND is usurping. While it may seem petty, pride in one's ethnicity is generally a good thing.
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Old Jun 25, 2007, 09:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by adk View Post
Are the Irish in this country better sports?
Starting with a mistake, a remorseless logician can end up in bedlam
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Old Jun 25, 2007, 10:04 PM   #5
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Not a college nickname/mascot etc, but in 2007 in Australia we've just got rid of the Nig*ger Brown grandstand.
Each man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.
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