Student Newspaper Apologizes for ‘Racist’ Article About American Indian Event

A student newspaper at California State University, Long Beach, is apologizing for running a negative commentary on an American Indian campus event that was “construed by many as an assault” on Native American culture.

In the article, headlined “Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippy Yay,” the campus editor of The Union Weekly espoused an “unflattering view” toward a recent campus Pow Wow.  He equated the annual cultural event staged by the school’s American Indian Studies program and American Indian Student Council with a “large, Native American themed flea market.”

The student writer specifically mocked the food– at one point comparing frybread to “a Mexican pizza from Taco Bell, but sh*ttier”– and a traditional dance that involved some spectators throwing money to the performers.  As he noted about the latter, “The entire scene felt disingenuous and cheap.  Donations are great, and necessary, tossing them unceremoniously on the ground is crass and borderline obscene.  Even the homeless have hats and cups.”

Critics, including the CSULB president, deemed the article insensitive, “derogatory, racist, and ignorant.”  According to The Daily 49er, a separate CSULB student newspaper, concerns have been expressed that the piece makes the entire university “look bad to the American Indian community.”  The writer has even received death threats.

In a letter to readers published in the current issue (see pages 2-3), he explained, “What originally was meant as an unflattering view of the event itself has been construed by many as an assault on an entire culture.  That was never my intention and I meant no malice towards Native Americans.  What occurred was nothing less than a lapse in fact-finding, cultural awareness, and sensitivity on my part.”

In a separate letter, top editors noted, “It is clear that the article in question contains language that triggers strong emotional response with those familiar with Native American culture.  It was a lack of knowledge of these triggers that produced an article that many found fault with.”

Comments
56 Responses to “Student Newspaper Apologizes for ‘Racist’ Article About American Indian Event”
  1. Beth says:

    What a weak “apology”. It really isn’t an apology if you have a bunch of qualifiers such as ignorance of “triggers”. A lame excuse at best. He never meant any malice towards native americans? Yeah right, and it sure does make the school “look bad” – I would say it is worse than that, it shows the school to be lacking in standards if this student was the editor of the paper.

  2. Stephen Lindsey says:

    This was not a racist rant by a small minded individual, it was a failure to recognize emotional triggers. Awesome. How do I enroll for some of this journalistic alchemy that can turn racism into acadmeic gold? Or maybe your school is just peppered with spoilt, uppity frat boys who’s sense of sacrifice and service to others is replaced with the entitlement and arrogance of an only child raised by a nanny who can’t say no. Not exactly graduating men carved out of wood are we? The kind who can grow up to take responsibility for their actions or, I dunno, say storm the beaches of Normandy to save their freedom and way of life. Not exactly the greatest generation you have rolling up there.

    • Jayson says:

      CSULB’s student population is far from elite rich kids. It’s very diverse actually. Do you know anything about the University?

      • edgar wilson says:

        yes. It’s student union weekly newspaper is an ignorant, adolescent bully dressed up in a costume of yellow journalism.

    • James says:

      It’s as if the worst thing someone can be is an ignorant and lazy writer. Self righteous band wagons on the other hand, are completely acceptable. As well as your assertion that racism is confined to a population of “spoilt, uppity frat boys.”

      The writer apologized for being a terrible, insensitive, journalist. He took responsibility for the crappy article.

      “Racist” is our favorite thing to accuse someone else of being in America. If we would only look in the mirror for a moment, we might find some prejudice of our own lurking in the dark places of our minds; bigotry that is waiting for a moment of rage or a lapse of judgement to set it free.

      On the other hand, it’s much easier and more comfortable to throw stones at someone else from the moral high ground of denial.

      • Andre says:

        I would argue it isn’t that someone is racist, it is that an act they are performing is racist. Also, I differentiate between prejudice, discrimination, and racism. They do not mean the same thing, even though they still exist under the same umbrella term of “bigotry”. For me, prejudice is thinking a group of people is somehow “less” than another. Discrimination is acting out on that prejudice on a small scale. The “ism” (in this case, racism) is discrimination that is backed by systemic and systematic processes (institutional). Per esempio, if i feel that people with blue eyes suck balls, i am prejudiced towards people with blue eyes. If I choose not to pick someone to be on my kickball team because they have blue eyes, i am discriminating against blue-eyed people. However, if i live in a country where, historically, people with blue eyes have been marginalized in society while people with hazel eyes (like me) are privileged (which usually means that my hazel-eyed ancestors were behind the marginalization), then that marginalization is racism. Now, depending on who wrote this article, it can be construed as racist. It, of course, depends on the power structure in play. Now, in case someone reading this does not get my main point, I am basically saying that, IN AMERICA, people of color cannot be racist, women can’t be sexist, etc. (they can, however, be prejudiced and can also discriminate, which is true in many cases). For any who think i am crazy, please consider that i gave a coherent explanation and that it actually has scholarly backing, so i’m not just pulling it out of my ass. that is all. :)

  3. Kendra says:

    Now this is a prime example of what can be construed as “shitty” this lame excuse of an apology. I’m still extremely offended, dont know if the person who wrote it realizes that he is an immigrant on First Nations Peoples land. I would have more respect if I were him. I hope karma royaly kicks his ass.

    • Loretta says:

      Shows how small his mind is and if he even had a clue no squatter would even open their mouth to disrespect our culture

    • Raphael says:

      I wish this particular line of thinking would die. We are not immigrants on First Nations Peoples land. We are conquerors. We fought wars over this land and we won. Nothing new or strange about it. It’s the fact.

      • Donna says:

        We are a “conquered” people because we did not die and we were not all enslaved. However, this land and our beliefs that this land belongs to no one is the biggest misconception of “fighting” over what was ours in the first place. Of course you won a war that we were unwilling to fight and most of us still are. I would rather fight for our civil liberties, maintaining our sovereign rights, healthcare, religious freedom and education. “THE FACTS” as you would refer to what you learned in history books and what has been widely misconstrued is not correct. So the line of thinking that you are IN FACT immigrants in a land that isn’t and wasn’t yours is true! Most immigrants to this land have no respect for what existed before they came and still don’t generations later. Our thinking will not change and we will persevere, as we did hundreds of years ago and we will survive and so will our culture. Get use to that line of thinking.

      • Ray says:

        @Raphael, but your forefathers were immigrants on the First Nations Peoples land. They were just as bad as what your kind call “illegal aliens.” A matter of -fact-, your forefathers were the first welfare cases on this land. If it wasn’t for the natives, they would’ve starved. You are conquerors? So then I may speak of you and your forefathers. You and your forefathers cheated, stole, raped, enslaved and killed to get this land. The killing/genocide continues to this day. How many Jews were slaughtered by Hitler? Would tell a Jew to get over it. Well that’s exactly what you are telling us to do. Would you tell a widow/widower of 911 to get over it. Absolutely Not. Quit the denial of what you and your forefathers have done and continue to due.

  4. Amanda says:

    That’s the problem with journalists today anyway…They never put the facts or do their research and maybe that’s why it is so easy to get a degree in that field; “it does require any work, no brain cells and you don’t get paid much.” Thanks to people like this “editor” we as American Indians have such a hard time getting rid of stereotyping, maybe we wouldn’t have to put the word Indian in front of things if small minded people like this knew what they were talking about and didn’t need someone to spoon feed them all the time. Education is the key and obvious he was just passed along through school, because he was just unteachable and fell through the cracks. I would hate to think that school let him in on his writings from HS, because then I would have to blame the school for this article and then they deserve anything and everything that comes their way and I feel the same should happen to this editor. Just for the record, throwing money at a dancers feet as they dance is a way to honor them for dancing so proudly & in an honorable way.
    Don’t hate, just get educated!! -One proud Lumbee Woman-

    • Shooter says:

      So if I started off my comment, “that’s the problem with Indians today anyway,” that would be ok?

      A blanket denigration of journalists as taking the easy path and not caring about the people they cover is as silly and ignorant as condemning all native Americans as drunks.

      I know and have worked with many journalists who routinely risk their lives and safety covering people, places and events that may otherwise go unreported. My “go-to-work bag” consists of camera gear, a toothbrush, a bulletproof vest, a standing prescription for malaria meds and a willingness and desire to understand and interact with people of any culture where there is a story to be told.

      Please don’t be quick to judge the profession. Yes, this student was insensensitive and immature. As a “Proud Lumbee Woman,” use this as an opportunity to teach the journalistic community about your culture, not attack the entire profession. The road runs in two directions.

  5. Beezy says:

    I thought it was pretty funny

    • Scooter says:

      Just how funny do you think it is? Was the genocide the U.S. committed against the American Indian’s funny too? If you only knew the racism the we endure everyday in places like Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, etc.. where Indian’s are not hired simply because of their nationality. So the next time you have a good hardy laugh at the expense of a wiped out race of people that you and your ancestors help commit, at least let what little amount of Indians left practice and remember our native culture so that it not be forgotten. Oh, and what race would you be? I could make fun of your people, (who by the reply indicated inbreeding) and I would think that is would be pretty funny, too.

  6. ae says:

    The Editor should resign after allowing that article to go to print.

  7. Sahli says:

    The only thing funny about this article is the fact the person remains anonymus. If you don’t apologize then you didn’t do anything wrong. This person is pathetic just as “Beezy” is. Clearly, Beezy knows nothing as to ignorance b/c she is referring to herself as bitch or hoe. That or this person wants everyone know they smoke weed, either way I’m guessing highly educated. The writer says he needed to do more research…he didn’t know frybread and indian tacos are popular and have historical significance for all indigenous people of upper North America. Few native cultures were agrarian, but rather were hunters and gatherers. For those really ignorant it means they constantly moved to control stock numbers of natural resources. This prevented the over use or over consumption of the land. When native people were being colonized and forced on to reservations they were no longer able to move with the migration pattern and vegitation growth. Moreover, many tribes main source of food, fish buffalo deer etc., were being over consumed by settlers depleting their stock. This forced them to accept rations from the government as their means of survival. They were given cow, lard (sometimes from their cow), and flour. This was their only means of food and even this was often times scarce. However, as a result of the limited resources for consumption the Indian Taco was created. Yes, it is incedibly unhealthy as it contains simple carbs and saturated fat…..Funny thing about colonization they don’t care if people die as long as they meet treaty minimums and its cheap. The diet of almost any First Nations peoples was traditionally very lean meats and complex carbs. So much so “nomatic” tribes such as Lakota Dakota and Nakota had to add fats inorder to keep the calories necessary for their lifestyle. However, when they were forced onto reservations their activity was minimalized within the border (or they would be shot or hung) and their diets were reversed into high fat high carb. The lasting result of these changes are seen today with high percentages of indigenous peoples having diabetes and heart disease. This article proves racism is fueled by one major factor, ignorance. If people would listen rather than talk they might learn something, and be more accepting of other cultures. I am from South Dakota, one of the least diverse and most discriminatory states. I am white and every person in my family is white. I have made the concious decision to learn the cultures of others around me, and dispite scrutiny I face at times I am undoubtably a better person they will ever be.

    • Jason says:

      He wasn’t anonymous, he was credited in the article and in the apology letter. (Noah Kelly in case you still couldn’t find it.)

  8. Peter says:

    what an idiot!! he should definitely be fired!! whoever allowed his racist posting to be published should be fired, too!!

    this punk kid’s racist, insensitive and downright repulsive commentary on the event shows just how ignorant he is to other cultures, specifically native american. the traditional dances of many cultures include gifts of money as a sign of respect or a gift to those dancing on behalf of their efforts or the ceremony itself. for this a$$hole to not know that shows just how ignorant he must be! he must’ve never been to really any multi-cultural events ever or he would’ve realized that. that’s like 101 right there. i mean, come on!

    his narrow, privaleged, ignorant and offensive point of view is unacceptable. the school needs to set up policies to ensure that this type of racism never happens in their newspaper again. hire better editors, enact a zero-tolerance policy and read through each article BEFORE it is published, for goodness sake!

    until such policies are enforced, i encourage all the students there and any others who read this newspaper to boycott it!

    • Jason says:

      He’s not getting paid for writing in this publication. It’s run entirely by volunteers.

      • Erica says:

        @ Jason. It appears that you are going through great lengths to defend this publication and Noah Kelly.

        Do you agree with what was said or is this merely your friend?Possibly you work for The Union? Maybe you agree with his right to free speech and irresponsible journalism? Maybe it’s the protection of one journalist to another, but whatever the case may be…you are beginning to look like a big douche bag too. And if you think that article made Noah Kelly look like anything but a douche bag, then you are mistaken. This was Noah Kelly’s distasteful attempt at writing for an unknown school’s paper and he made an ass of himself. You need not defend his actions nor the other douche bags who allowed this to be published. But if you want to be associated with what people call a racist publication..you are entitled…just as I am entitled to my free speech. If you get offended by my ONE comment…join the group of people who were offended by Noah Kelly’s ONE article.

  9. Kris says:

    Wow. It’s unfortunate that none of the letter writers to The Union attempted to enter into the discussion of what the intentions of this article were before flying off the handle and damning the author for what they’ve misconstrued as intentional racism.

    Fair enough, ignorance is no excuse, and the the onus is on the editor to do his fact checking, but the ‘bring me his head and a pound of flesh’ commentary emerging from the back lash doesn’t do the readership any credit, and it shuts down dialogue before it can even begin. It helps no one’s cause, it leads absolutely nowhere, and it does not promote further understanding of a public event on a public campus that is still apparently a mystery to members of that public it is ostensibly supposed to educate.

    So those of you who know more: why not take this opportunity to do that? The apology, front and centre, is as loud as it can be and in bigger print than the insult. Make something positive of the whole affair.

    Indeed: Don’t hate, just get educated!

  10. Linda Dunn says:

    This non-apology is almost as insulting as the article itself. Let me be clear. I am not a Native American. But even I know that this article was completely insensitive, derogatory, and racist to the extreme. You do not need to be Native American or even familiar with Native American culture to be aware that this language might “trigger” emotions. They have the nerve to act surprised that this article would trigger such emotions. I’m sorry but ANYONE reading this can see how insulting it is. My 10 year old nephew could figure that out! And the method of apologizing…basically saying “I’m sorry you ‘construed’ my meaning incorrectly.” That is just cowardice. No “construing” needed to be done as this was blatant, obvious, and not even remotely subtle. This was not meant to be a funny satire or even to legitimately offer a critique of an event. How did any responsible faculty on that campus allow this? And, by the way, the last sentence doesn’t just insult Native Americans; it is arrogantly insensitive towards the poor and homeless. GEESH – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? Even the headline and choice of photograph are OBVIOUSLY meant to convey denigration of the people and the event. I WEEP FOR THIS GENERATION IF THIS IS THEIR LEVEL OF INTELLIGENCE!

  11. Faith says:

    So, This is the best and brightest Journalism student that
    California State University Long Beach can produce. Noah Berry, who does not research his subject. Who uses foul language because he lacks language skills. Who gets by
    using Cliff Notes in his studies, I would guess. What a disgrace. I think that if I were one of the Professors of Journalism at CSULB, I would review this man’s position as
    ,”editor” of the school’s newspaper. Surely, the Department of Journalism must know that once something is put in print it
    is difficult to erase from public opinion. In my opinion, the Dept. of Journalism has failed your community, by serving up such a poorly prepared student.
    Native Americans are a kind and gentle people. Had Mr. Berry been there for the grand opening, he would have seen a dance honoring the US flag and VFW’s. I am in awe of the patriotism that Native Americans express in view of how they are treated.

  12. Michael Joseph Donoghue says:

    I don’t see the problem… Oh wait, I forgot you can’t be critical of anything non-white, now I’ve got it. He should have known better.

    • LC says:

      I agree, Michael Joseph Donoghue. I reread Noah Kelly’s article and it was clear to me that he was criticizing the event itself. He got slammed because he criticized a cultural event and was clearly doubting its authenticity.

      The headline “Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippee Yay” is clearly a play on the lyrics of that famous oft-sampled George Clinton song, “Atomic Dog.” He wasn’t trying to imitate how Native Americans speak.

      I think it’s incredibly unfair that people get to take offense so quickly and easily in the name of “racism and insensitivity” instead of actually thinking about the author’s intentions and reading between the lines.

      Noah Kelly is not a bigot, merely a critic of the way the event itself was carried out. And it was an opinion piece which meant that he could make provocative judgments about the event. Why it never occurred to anyone that the event could very well have been “underwhelming” is beyond me. Sometimes cultural events smack of gaudiness. It’s just easier for people to run around yelling, “Racist!” without first attempting to be open-minded themselves about the context in which the person spoke.

      And it’s unfair of people to make all these far-reaching judgments about the character of the university and of journalists in general. Being offended by something does not mean that we can

      With that said, the opinion piece was not particularly good and as a poster stated, “fails miserably to achieve anything other then childish name-calling. The writer should be embarrassed, if not for his 8 year old assessment of a Pow Wow, for his clear failure to demonstrate competence in journalism.” I’ll agree with that.

      I’m just disturbed by the trend of people to take up arms and shout racist at anything that demonstrates a tinge of disapproval of something culturally/racially-associated.

      I know some people will freak out and call me racist or proceed to lecture me about cultural insensitivity, but that is not necessary. I’m a Pacific Islander whose family is from a tiny little island that few people know about. I get asked ignorant questions all the time.

      In the end, I’m not defending the quality of the writer’s article, but rather, I don’t feel like “racist” is appropriate.

      With that said, this might have been better suited to a blog post than a university newspaper. The college paper I write for won’t even allow us to print expletives.

      • Sahli says:

        You have got to be kidding me he was only criticizing the event….he literally says the take regular food and add indian to “what ever food they were peddling”, in reference to indian tacos. That is what they are called. Then criticizes the food without understanding the historical significance of it. Moreover, uses the language “What the fuck are indian tacos” which anyone familiar with the culture understands. Not only was he derogatory to the event as a whole, but reading between the lines does in fact point to the idea he is critical, ignorant, and disrespectful of the culture. Not saying he or you is racist, but look at what you a both saying. You are apologetic for the for someones ignorance which make you ignorant for doing so. This is an extremist position but im not sure you can connect the dots without it. However, every major human rights violation happens because those who do it don’t believe it is all that bad. However, if those impacted and a majority of outside spectators view it as wrong; than deal with it its wrong. Don’t tell me to use this as a learning experience bc you are the people who aren’t educated on the issues. Look at my post that is in fact what I tried to do

  13. Dalton says:

    Beezy – “I thought it was pretty funny”

    Bigots find all kinds of things “funny,” that educated people do not.

    Get lost, fool.

  14. Whiny says:

    Smarmy, smart ass remarks made from a position of superiority is not the same thing as wit. Great writing is not adolescent bullying put on paper, having the ability to show the worst you have is not a privilege, it is a dangerous hole into which the writer and editors have fallen.

    What is it that would make the writer and editors who okayed this in the first place think their smarmy, superior, smart ass substitution for thinking and writing is worthy of printing for others to see? Something must explain their sense of privilege and exceptionalism that allowed them to do what their father’s would have spanked them for doing if it was done at home about one of their neighbors, family members, or co-workers. It is not ignorance at work here, it is something much darker and much worse and we all know it.

  15. formerStudent says:

    Both of the school papers are rags. While their purpose is to give student writers an opportunity to practice for real-life professions, they both fall short. Sometimes I wonder if anyone even bothers to read and edit any of the articles. Rarely is the content mature or well-thought.

    The Union, in particular, is just plain smut and regularly offensive to any mature, educated person. I have wondered for years why it is even allowed on campus. I personally can make a truck-driver blush; I’m not a prude. But the Union is filled with expletives that easily rival any early Eddie Murphy movie. Most of the articles sound like tirades from children who have little life experience and no common sense who have glommed onto a radical thought and turned into a revelation on life. Often the vernacular is also childish and poorly crafted.

    The worst part is that most of the articles are literally littered with curse words and other terms meant to shock; a style and frequency that is unlikely to be tolerated in any professional publication. It almost seems as if these college “journalists” are just plain dying to be able to print those words that mom and dad would not let them use at home and are rapidly making up for lost time.

  16. Beezy says:

    Dalton: get a sense of humor- it’s obviously more of a commentary on the event itself than the culture. If I saw people tossing wadded up bills to the performers like that, I would think it was disrespectful or “crass” too. Jeez if you ever ran across a Richard Pryor tape i’m sure you’d think it was “terribly uneducated” stuff too

    • Scooter says:

      Richard Pryor is a comedian and has nothing to do with your lame comment. The only thing “crass” about this event is the fact you attended. Your lucky. in other southwestern states would have dealt with you harshly, and not from the school itself! Ever had a tribe of Indians chasing your arse?

  17. Unioner says:

    President F. King’s quote was taken out of context. He said that it was construed by SOME to be racist, not that it WAS racist.

  18. Bryan says:

    After reading the article I must say that it clearly demonstrates a serious lapse in judgment on the part of the writer, editor and anyone involved in the decision to let that article go through. Heads should roll for this and a simple apology letter should not be suffice.

    It fails at every level. It is not just culturally insensitive/ignorant, it is lousy journalism or opinion writing and fails miserably to achieve anything other then childish name-calling. The writer should be embarrassed, if not for his 8 year old assessment of a Pow Wow, for his clear failure to demonstrate competence in journalism.

    Journalism is intended to educate readers on current events. Trashing an event that you don’t like doesn’t just spread an inaccurate account, it works as self-indulgent, ego-elevating propaganda that undermines the credibility of the paper and the institutions that the writer represents.

    The article was not humorous, nor was it clever. It did not point out glaring cultural ironies, it just devalued everything about the event with the mean-spirited tone of a bully.

    As a citizen of the Muscogee Creek Nation, I must admit that I find the ignorance alarming. Despite the about-face towards Native American culture 50 years prior, it seems that the issues facing the Pan-Indian movement are still misunderstood and perhaps they always will be.

    Yet it is this rising trend of similar statements directed at minorities in general that disturbs me the most.

  19. DuWayne Smith says:

    Relax folks,

    I would imagine that Native writer Sherman Alexie would find more irony in this article than offensive stereotyping. Native American, American Indian, Indigenous (take your pick) identity can be very complex these days. Part of Indian identity in contemporary America is commercial in nature. Read Paul Chaat Smith’s EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT INDIANS IS WRONG. The author is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma and an accomplished art critique and writer. He talks about the “Indian business” and how Indian culture can be, and is, commercialized. While the author of the newspaper article is plainly ignorant of Indigenous culture, remember that a Pow Wow is not only a social event, but a commercial one. Commercial events are not off limits to critique and not everything Native people do is sacred. In fact, many Indian people resent the old white “romantic” view of Indian identity that proposes that all Native people have to be somehow “authentic” as judged by non-Indians.

  20. Mari says:

    I feel there is a critical point left out of this article. “The Union” is a student-run paper similar to any club on campus and is only associated with the school in that they are allowed to organize there and distribute their paper, which means anybody can try to voice their opinion. The far more formal and objective “Daily 49er” is the official newspaper of the school and the tasteless profanity and indecency that is the shtick of the controversial “Union” would not have been found in the official journalistic publication of the university. Note that “The Union” also published an entire volume this past year under the pretense that its writers were drunk on 4 Locos. So, while there is no justification for the insulting and shameful article in question, please keep that in mind.

    Do not confuse the morals and quality of the school and its diverse student body with the unfortunate opinions of a single student. The University cannot monitor the articles published in “The Union” because it was founded on the idea of personal expression, not journalistic integrity.

    That being said I completely agree that this article is down right insulting, ignorant, and devoid of cultural sensitivity.

  21. Dave says:

    They need a copy editor. One does not “hock” wares; one “hawks” wares.

  22. Amanda says:

    Well, as I stated in my earlier comments; journalist’s should do their research, do interviews and find the facts before putting things in print, unless they state at the beginning that the following article/story is fiction, my opinion or I really have no idea what I’m writing about! Yes, to the one who remarked that there are more important things in the world that we should be worried about, but I have a 20 year old American Indian (Lumbee) son, serving in the Marines and over in Afghanistan and the only information that I receive is what I hear on the news or “read” in the papers and I rely on the fact that whomever is reporting, is reporting the truth, so I can have some peace of mind at night knowing he is there protecting this country so we can have our freedom. Atleast, out of respect to help me and other families be somewhat at ease at home, a writer could print the facts & truth. So, if this is the kind of writers The Post, Time or even a local hometown paper will hire we are in for big trouble. I say it again the truth and facts are important…I may not agree with the war, but I support our troops and want them home safe and sound and if I had the power that some journalists have to inspire and help make peace, it would be stupid for me to go to a terrorist and goud them into bombing or killing more people. These guys have a lame way of apologizing, so maybe they need to walk in our shoes for awhile or as I like to say: “Try living in 2 worlds” as we do and stop being narrow-minded.

  23. Sean says:

    For heaven sakes, this is a college newspaper. I would expect a little more intellectual expression rather than this sad editorial that’s not even worthy of Romper Room.

  24. Kelli Rae says:

    Well this article does make me upset, especially being First Nations myself, all I can say is I feel sorry for the lad because he doesn’t know any better and probably doesn’t have a culture to belong too beside the one created in North America. Big Whoop!!

    I spend hours and hours learning about western philosophy for my degree, the least he can do is take an introduction to Indigenous course. Gees, hes really making western society look stupid!!

    We really do live in a small minded world!

  25. Jorge Haynes says:

    Dear Noah Kelly:
    Your depiction of the Pow Wow at CSULB is of the poorest jounalistic quality. I concur with President Alexander that your article was “insensitive, derogatory, racist & ignorant.” In fact, your article does make the entire Univeristy look bad because you are insensitive to the guests on campus that came for the Pow Wow. A Pow Wow is a time of pride for Tribal Communities and you flushed that pride down the toilet. Why on earth would the student paper send a reporter to cover an event that he knew nothing about!
    If the sound of drums remind you of T-Rex then you don’t belong at a Pow Wow. If the gathering of tent vendors is misunderstood then take a walk along the walkway in front of the bookstore any day ; it’s full of tent vendors; bottom line you don’t belong at a PowWow. If you don’t know what fry bread is then you don’t belong at a Pow Wow. And if you don’t know what an Indian Taco is then you definitely don’t belong at a Pow Wow.
    So my question is what were you doing there? It seems sending you to a Pow Wow would be like sending an athlete to cover the LA Philharmonic or sending a concert pianist to cover the Lakers. Is there no one on the staff that knows about the tribal communities? Shoudn’t you have reporters that know their subject area. If you are the Campus Editor should you not take license to be more, much more, sensnitive to the inititiative of the AISC and the American Indian Studies Program to bring the Pow Wow onto campus. Did it ever occur to you that the tribal groups on campus want to educate you about tribal culture? So instead of a teachable moment yours was a time to denigrate an entire culture.
    Hmmm, journalistic ethics where were they when you took out your poison pen to describe what you were not willing to learn about. Remember you are at an institution of higher learning. Your commentary is shameful and I hope you can learn something from this because other groups on campus may well have celbrations of their cultures and I just hope you do not put yourself as the reporter and evaluator of those celebrations.
    FYI Cesar Chavez Day is coming up, please do not cover these events what with Mariachi Music, enchiladas, tacos and rice with beans it scares me what your interpretations might be. Instead send someone on staff that knows about the culture and Cesar Chavez, surely you have reporters that know about Cesar Chavez, don’t you?

    Jorge Haynes
    Sac State MEChA 1972

  26. Mr. Van says:

    The fact that this article made it that far to mass production is beyond me. How unprofessional and disgusted I am with the writers ignorance and how the newspaper’s filter didn’t catch this. Not only has his meager attempt showed how apologenic the writer was. The fact that the newspaper took no action for the writers ignorance, is by far even more profoundly degrading in the aspects of the newspapers reputation. I am for free speech. In fact, I am and many others are the reason you disgusting civilians have this freedom. I thought newspapers were suppose to remain neutral and only report news. Not someone’s opionion. Boycott that newspaper, what’s a newspaper with out readers. Trash, good for potty training puppies.

  27. Michelle Shining Elk says:

    Mr. Kelly is making a futile attempt to apologize and both he and his editor-in-chief are delusional if they think that by admitting or making excuses that Mr. Kelly “did not do his homework/research” or “what he meant to say,” is or was, going to make it okay. As if we are all going to go…”ohhhh okay, you didn’t do your research; you were talking out your buttocks on a matter you know nothing about; and you did not bother to look further into your subject matter so as to write a fair balanced piece…oh shoot, well then that’s alright?” Freedom of speech does not excuse ignorance of speech, just as ignorance of the law does not excuse the crime.

    Unfortunately for Mr. Kelly and the UNION WEEKLY…you can’t “unfry things” and and Mr. Kelly done fried his own fry bread but good. His ignorance has entered perpetuity for all to see…The positive: he will forever look like an a-hole and hopefully never get a job writing professionally for anything. The negative: those who don’t know any better will read his damaging rhetoric and believe everything he says because they “read it in a newspaper.”

  28. Max says:

    Well I think the writer in question should find a way to say he is “honoring” the Indians, this will allow him to say whatever he pleases now and in the future. The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks does it all the time, and they have even managed to convince some of the local Sioux tribal members to join in on their little “honoring” activities.

    Further, maybe CSU-LB should find a way to have more programs for Indian students, thereby proving their “love, honor, and appreciation” for diverse populations, particularly the Indigenous one. This too has worked quite well at UND. This will allow students – and faculty, too – at CSU-LB to express their ignorance of Indian issues/history at will, without fear of being called racist, much like it does at UND.

    I know of which I speak. I was there at UND during one of the Homecoming parades in the 90s when the Greeks were shouting “go back to the rez!” among other things, at a float of local Indian kids, grades K-12 from the Grand Forks School district. Later, of course, the same crowd was among those “honoring” the Indians at the Homecoming game with their little Indianesque chants and whatnots. All colleges should find ways to “honor” their local minority populations, like they do in North Dakota; they will find it a good cover for times like these.

  29. Gary A. Johnson says:

    I just read in the local Native American newspaper the story of the news from CSU Long Beach. This is totally unacceptable and reinforces the fact that Journalist/Students today are NOT reporting the news but their feelings. Since my time as a student reporter for a college news which has been more than 30 years ago, it is very easy to see that things have changed for the worse. Those reporting like this story was and those who feel that way too, all I can say is I hope you never have to live on survial skills as you don’t have them and I doubt you ever will. Some years ago I invited Dan Rather to come to where I live and see what “real life” is all about here in “fly over country”. Needless to say he never showed up, acknowleged me or anything regarding this and is still in my opinion, a very narrow minded drug store journalists who got lucky to get on TV. Never would he ever make the ranks of Cronkite. I hope some of you young readers of this decide to wake up and quit living in the bubble of the University or Metro place you inhabit and learn there is more to world than the campus or city you are in. If you haven’t experienced an Indian Taco, they don’t make them at Taco Bell. Come to Interior, SD and see where the best are made and see what I’m talking about. Good luck to all of you.

  30. WoW!!!!I for one would like to see what would have happened if this editorial had been done in reference to a
    ” Martin Luther KIng ” gathering and celebration??? There would have been a riot in the streets of Long Beach and on the campus there. This ignorant person would have been hung in effigy!
    Let this be lesson to everyone: THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK OR WRITE SOMETHING!

  31. Simone says:

    My heart goes out to those who do not know what they say, whose words continue to hurt. May the creator be with those who are suffering, and those who do not know they are suffering. May health go towards your people so they may find what they are seeking. I pray that you may find a path which will lead to a better world. Aho~

  32. lisa says:

    wow NOAH ~ take your silly little spoiled a$$ to a real reservation ok and spend a month and drink some of their water OK. I hope you do know that the reason they eat that crap is because of the great american govt gave that $hitty stuff to them right? wow you are so dumb. I hope you never get a job in in reporting because you need a fact finder to help you write your stuff for you. oh well, you are young and dumb, so I will give you some time to learn. Maybe you should go to this tribe IN person and apologize. Not a letter. Their kids would appreciate your time more than that. Mentorship goes a long way kid.

  33. N. LeGaspe' says:

    The basic structure stays the same
    In a society where political correctness has become the status qua for all ethnic groups and a level of modernity for all people, there is always an exception. That exception is the American Indian. In this modern society, you’ll find American Indians are still mascots, alcoholics, savages, and marginalized to the highest degree in contemporary society. American Indians are still viewed as non-existent, which is created by cultural myths. The American Indian is the only ethnic group where society permits these racists scrutinies. The central idea is that all in-tolerances are equal and structurally similar and that in marginalization there is a projection of a mythological set of ideas. Just as Noah Kelly, Kevin O’Brien and President of California State University Long Beach, F. King Alexander, project a bunch of stereotypes on to American Indians that do not fit into their view of society and in every case, that basic structure stays the same.

    President Alexander supports and protects Noah Kelly and Kevin O’Brien, which projects this idea that introduces a concept to describe a specific way that this kind of stigmatized mythology is produced for the American Indian. This view points out a stereotype, as all stereotypes do, is generalizes a set of mythical traits that are applied in general terms; such that particular individuals have, their personality overshadowed, by this supposed characteristics of this entire group. The idea behind this concept is that the American Indian are subjects, the meaning of their identity is inscribed by myths and marginalized.

    This is not free speech and crosses the line with absolute no moral ethics within journalism. This is a seditious undertaking that marginalizes American Indians. Free speech does not allow a malicious act of hectoring and metanarratives. In supporting this idea, Kelly, O’Brien and Alexander describe a specific way that this kind of intolerance and mythology is produced for American Indians. This particular process of marginalization is somewhat different for American Indians than it is for maligned ethnic groups because the contrast thinking between other ethnic groups due to the mythological identity politics.

    I am part of a grand civilization of the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Nation that has existed for centuries. None of that is a meaningful part of the struggle but what is important is erasing the marginalization and mythology that takes a leap into the future where the basic structure is the status qua for all ethnic groups.

    Mr. Karris Wilson (Quechan)

    the above was written by a good friend of mine…sums it all up…no other culture can be mocked, imitated, used as mascots, have racial comments made, hate crimes committed without any ramifications. We are the only ethnic group that has …this done to everyday and it seems to be OK….no one stands in protest when they hear The Washington RS, or the Cleavland I@#$%^s….so thinks…does the article piss you off more if you put any other ethnicity in the place of the terms “Native American”? We come in all shapes, sizes and colors…we are from reservations or raised in the cities…but WE DO EXIST. The article would not have been written with reference to any other ethnic group without a tirade of protest and media coverage…but for us American Indians…it happens everyday!!

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  1. […] Read the rest of this article at College Media Matters… FOLLOW HUFFPOST COLLEGE ON Facebook: Like 2K jQuery('#fb_like_bnpage').mouseenter(function() { var html = 'Follow us on FacebookGet updates from HuffPost posted directly to your News Feed.'; var coords = [-5, -72]; // display fb-bubble FloatingPrompt.embed(this, html, undefined, 'top', {fp_intersects:1, timeout_remove:2000,ignore_arrow: true, width:236, add_xy:coords, class_name: 'clear-overlay'}); }); Twitter: […]

  2. […] College Media Matters summed up the incident and ran a link to the apology from the publication. In a letter to readers published in the current issue (see pages 2-3), he explained, “What originally was meant as an unflattering view of the event itself has been construed by many as an assault on an entire culture. That was never my intention and I meant no malice towards Native Americans. What occurred was nothing less than a lapse in fact-finding, cultural awareness, and sensitivity on my part.” […]

  3. […] the article that sparked the controversy, headlined “Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippy Yay,” Union Weekly campus editor Noah Kelly espoused […]



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