Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Breaking News:NDSU President Calls for Review of School Song Due To "Troubling" Lyrics

Well, well, well. What do we have here? Hmmm. Looks like our brothers and sisters to the south are going to need to pick a new school song. Or edit out the offensive language. I am just shocked that it took them this long to figure it out. On second thought, no I am not. Not shocked at all.

Apparently, the NDSU schools song uses racist racial references to Native Americans.

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If you look at the song, the offensive words are pretty obvious to most people.

Ho! a cheer for Green and Yellow, Up with Yellow and the Green; They’re the shades that deck our prairies Far and wide with glorious sheen, Fields of waving green in springtime, Golden yellow in the fall— How the great high-arching heaven Looks and laughs upon it all!

Here in autumn throng the nations, Just to gather in the spoil, Throng on freight cars from the cities, Some to feast and some to toil, Then the yellow grain flows eastward And the yellow gold flows back; Barren cities boast their plenty And the prairies know no lack.

Hushed upon the boundless prairies Is the bison’s thund’ring tread, And the red man passes with him On his spoilers’ bounty fed. But the Norse, the Celt and Saxon With their herd increase, and find Mid these fields of green and yellow Plenty e’en for all mankind.

Ho! a cheer for Green and Yellow, Up with Yellow and the Green; They’re the shades that deck our prairies Far and wide with glorious sheen, Fields of waving green in springtime, Golden yellow in the fall— How the great high-arching heaven Looks and laughs upon it all!

Campus Community-

Here's the letter that President Dean Bresciani sent out.

I recently had a troubling matter brought to my attention which I felt called for immediate action. While some may initially find it an overstated concern, others will find it central to a deep and sober examination of our campus history. I believe it is important to share my reactions with you, as they reflect a commitment to maintaining the diverse, welcoming and supportive campus community we all value.

Our school song, the “Yellow and the Green,” has been a long-standing and broadly enjoyed tradition of our campus since 1908. Typically it is only performed through its first stanza; to be honest I have never heard it beyond that and I suspect most in our University community are like me. However, through our University’s system for confidential reporting of bias issues, I’ve learned that the third stanza contains a variety of cultural and ethnic references (toward both majority and minority populations) which by contemporary standards are troubling.

While we cannot “un-write” history or a song, as an academic community I felt it was appropriate to take two actions. The first action was the intermediary but immediate removal of all but the first stanza from NDSU websites and publications. The second action was asking Provost Ingram and Vice President for Student Affairs Alvarez to bring together a faculty, staff and student group to study the song in its entirety and offer recommendations on the balance between our history and tradition of the song with contemporary concerns for its appropriateness. My intention is that the thoughtful and respectful conversation our campus community has traditionally valued will come from doing so.

Dean Bresciani

1 comment:

  1. While I do not like the term "red man" it seems a bit of an over reaction. Change the term to Native and is it still bad? I am not exactly sure what they are saying anyway. Of course as an engineer I always had trouble understanging literary prose etc. anyway.

    ReplyDelete

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