Saturday, July 11, 2015

Grand Forks Herald Letter: Roosevelt's racism puts 'Roughriders' off-limits



I honestly don't know what to make of this Letter to the editor, but it seems we're reaching here or that we are quick to find something that offends us. 

First, I love the Fighting Sioux nickname and wore it with pride this past week in Michigan. That being said, the Fighting Sioux nickname isn't coming back. I see no way that it does. Here's the latest letter from Tom Anderson from Fargo, ND. What do you think of this? 
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As a UND alumnus, I find it interesting how much faith and money UND has placed in an outside consultant. After seeing the final list of names, I conclude that the consultants should be fired for incompetence.
To forward the name "Roughriders" and any connection to Teddy Roosevelt would be a greater travesty than removing the 85-plus year tradition of the Fighting Sioux name.
Doesn't this highly paid consultant know that Roosevelt was a self-admitted white supremacist? Just look at his writings to see glaring examples; such as, "I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indian is the dead Indian, but I believe nine out of every 10 are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth. The most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian."
Further examples of his racism are found in Vol. 3 of "The Winning of the West," in which he viewed American Indians as savages, unworthy of citizenship. In Roosevelt's letter known as the "race suicide letter," he wrote, any white person who did not have children was "in effect a criminal against the race." His thinking was that reproduction was the only way the white race could conquer colored races.
We can't rewrite history. We can't ignore these facts about Roosevelt—or the historical fact that in a Sacred Religious Pipe Ceremony, the Sioux Tribe gave UND the use of the name Fighting Sioux forever.
With UND President Robert Kelley leaving, this is the perfect time to take a deep breath and wait for the name change until a new president is selected. "North Dakota" is the most popular choice by the general public. Don't throw salt in our wounds by selecting a name no one wants or will support.
Tom Anderson
Fargo

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