Monday, April 07, 2008

Now some want to throw Hillary under the bus for uttering Fighting Sioux.

I am not a Hillary Clinton fan nor a democrat by any means but this is absolutely silly. The anti-nick name foes are always stirring something up and always seem to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Come on; honestly folks! Hillary Clinton is a liberal Democrat and I am sure she didn’t mean anything disrespectful by uttering the Fighting Sioux nick name at a rally for DEMOCRATS. Again I am not a fan of Hillary but some of the stuff she has had to face because the main stream media’s being in Barack Obama’s corner is down right ridiculous. It is surprising she isn’t down by 20 percentage points to McCain or Obama.

But Sele and the rest of the table said Clinton “stumbled” when she repeatedly used the full, and controversial, nickname of UND’s Fighting Sioux hockey team. Sele called herself a serious sports fan who’s not a nickname advocate, but not forcefully opposed to the nickname either.

By using the controversial nickname, Sele said, Clinton invited a divisive issue into the conversation that needn’t be there.

“I don’t think she recognized how contentious that is,” Sele said. “Unless you’re here, you can’t know that.”

A variety of UND student and faculty groups and many of the campuses’ American Indians have long opposed the school’s nickname. A legal settlement with the NCAA requires UND to retire the nickname within three years if it cannot win the endorsement of both the state’s Sioux tribes.

Clinton used the Fighting Sioux nickname at the opening of her speech after Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., presented her with a hockey stick signed by the entire UND men’s hockey team. She used the nickname again at the end of speech, comparing the determination that sent UND men’s hockey players to the upcoming Frozen Four competition in Denver with her own determination to stay in the presidential race.

Obama was also presented with an autographed hockey stick, but did not use the nickname while accepting it, joking instead that he’s a worse hockey player than he is a bowler.

Glassheim also called the Fighting Sioux statements an “error,” noting that Sen. Byron Dorgan called the team the “UND Sioux,” when presenting the hockey stick, considered by many to be a less offensive version of the name.

“I’m not violently anti-nickname, but it disturbed me a little,” Glassheim said.

Glassheim speculated Clinton was likely poorly prepared for the hockey stick acceptance, by staffers that aren’t sensitive to local issues.

However, he said, it’s just possible Clinton’s use of the nickname was a calculated appeal to her base. In primaries and caucuses nationwide Clinton’s supporters have tended to be more working class and socially conservative than Obama’s.

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