Clyde Bellecourt says U of M is "scholastically retarded" on Native American issues

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Bellecourt speaks during yesterday's news conference.
The National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media wants the University of Minnesota to prohibit the Washington NFL team from playing on campus at TCF Bank stadium on November 2 unless the team changes its nickname.

But U officials, citing the terms of its lease with the Vikings, say they don't have the authority to do that. Their stance prompted Clyde Bellecourt, a founding member of the coalition, to call everyone at the U from President Eric Kaler on down "scholastically retarded" on Native American issues during a news conference yesterday.

See also:
American Indian Movement's Clyde Bellecourt arrested in Mpls for seemingly little reason [VIDEO]


This morning, we contacted Bellecourt and asked him to explain that quote, which raised the eyebrows of one of the Star Tribune's Vikings reporters.

Bellecourt stands by what he said.

"They don't know anything about Indian people, they don't know anything about our history," Bellecourt tells us. "The Washington Redskins think they're honoring us, but if they knew the history of where that name came from..."

Bellecourt says the team's name originated with the way blood would trickle down the head of a Native American who had just been scalped by a bounty hunter. That aside, he argues Minnesotans' knowledge about Native American communities and their history is woefully inadequate.

"[The U of M] has a policy not to discriminate in any way, whether it be people of color, [GLBT] or any other protected class, but they're willing to violate their own policies to accommodate the Vikings," Bellecourt says. "So we're thinking that students, particularly student organizations, should know that and demand equality, but unfortunately they grew up not knowing any of that history."

"People know nothing," Bellecourt continues. "You don't hear anything about the [Native American] uprising in the state of Minnesota, about the scalping policies initiated by one of our first governors [Alexander Ramsey] -- Indians refer to him as 'long knife.'"

Bellecourt makes a forceful case that society wouldn't tolerate other groups of people being denigrated the way Native Americans are with names like the Redskins and mascots like the Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo.

"If the New Orleans Saints had a mascot dressed up like the pope, and every time there was a touchdown, instead of doing the tomahawk chop, he sprinkled holy water on drunks and said the Lord's Prayer, the church would never allow that to happen," Bellecourt says.

Bellecourt singled out President Kaler, who on August 1 wrote a letter to Rep. Betty McCollum saying, "I agree that the current name is offensive and should be replaced."

(For more, click to page two.)



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82 comments
Greg Applekamp
Greg Applekamp

regardless the fact that so many people are obviously seeing this as derogatory shows poor choice on his part for using it.

gulfport2012
gulfport2012

This whining is tiresome. If you don't like the Redskins, then don't watch them.

Shaun McTavish
Shaun McTavish

I find that bogus. Talk about the pot calling the cattle black.

Don Anderson
Don Anderson

Nice politically correct statement Clyde. Go back to your casino!

Ryan Roarty
Ryan Roarty

Norte dame should change their mascot. Viking never had horns, seriously, we should just name our teams with respect. The Minnesota Minnesotans!

Bethany Tait
Bethany Tait

You do realize that not all Natives get a check, right?

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell

Does anyone else really really want that to become the saints new mascot? That would be awesome!

Gina Hanson Staples
Gina Hanson Staples

Stfu. My husband and father in law say you are a candy ass whiney sob.

Lisa M. Garty
Lisa M. Garty

I took a class at North Hennepin Community College to learn about the Native American's and found out we American's know very little about their culture. Talk about genocide - that's exactly what happened to them. Talk about taking land away from a group of people (i.e.Ukraine), that's exactly what the US government did to these people - and is still doing! It's a crime. They deserve an apology. They deserve to be respected.

Cara Flora
Cara Flora

that's a broad generalization (and incorrect) for a headline CP.

Nancy Sallman
Nancy Sallman

I wish he hadn't used the R word. He could have made his very valid point without offending persons with intellectual disabilities.

Nancy Gustafson Harvey
Nancy Gustafson Harvey

You're wrong, Catholics endure all kinds of ridicule. It's intentionally mean. No one is being intentionally mean to native Americans. I'm so insulted by people being insulted all the time.

Michael Roach
Michael Roach

I hate to break it to you Clyde but not only would the church accept it they would probably endorse it and send them the holy water to do it with. give me a break

Darryl E White
Darryl E White

While I agree with the racial issue of the mascot insensitivity, I can't help but wonder if this "coalition" is just setting up students to commit an 'adrenalized reaction' towards people who just want to watch a football game.

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

he used the "ret ard" word


so therefor SINCE WE ARE TREATING PEOPLE EQUALLY,,,



NOTHING ELSE HE SAID OR SAYS IS LEGIT



Paul Gerst
Paul Gerst

I used to live on the Reservation and work at the Public Radio Station on the Reservation. I agree with their point...but having said that, I am so gonna start a team and call them the Holy Popes. This is a great idea! Thank you and I just bought the trademark and website! Oh, but not such a great move to go after the U of M...seriously, way to miss your mark! If you want real change, make a dent in what society pays attention to, especially Right-Wingers. Go after the hypocrisy of these so-called Christians. WWJD? I know what he'd do.

Brian Todt Westrick
Brian Todt Westrick

You know that "retard" is a verb that means something has had an artificial barrier to full development, right? And that this word is entirely separate from the offensive noun?

Zach Weaver
Zach Weaver

Let's make a treaty. That might work...

Karen Peterson Mandt
Karen Peterson Mandt

I did learn about Indian history and uprisings and all the negative things my ancestors probably did, and I dont agree with using names for mascots that offend people, there are alot of other choices for names. However, law is law, contracts are contracts... Im not convinced the U of M can make the Washington team change their name, etc. But... The U of M could make a formal request in conjunction with the native Americans who are offended....

Heidi Rich Noriega
Heidi Rich Noriega

I'd be inclined to be sympathetic to their argument if they hadn't used the "R" word to punctuate their point. Equal ignorance in my book.

tishkinoyzer
tishkinoyzer

We've heard this old beat-up-on-whitey crap from the Indians and the blacks for waaay too long. All it does is make we ruling white folks mad. 


It was the white Europeans that settled this country and brought it out of the primitive wilderness. Not the Indians and not to blacks. 

Chris Coffman
Chris Coffman

Well there you have it...we can change the definition of redskin in dictionary and all will be good

Damian Amberg
Damian Amberg

Wow.. that hatred on some of these replies.. lol. Just wow.

Tasha Rose
Tasha Rose

Clearly you lack the understanding that the word "retarded" is not necessarily making fun of people who are handicapped. There's a book called "The Dictionary" and looking up a word for thorough understanding of it may do you some good.

Juliana Christa Berg
Juliana Christa Berg

This is probably going to sound mean, but it's not. He says we don't hear anything about a Native American uprising in Minnesota, you know why that is? Because they're being paid off very very handsomely and not allowing the state to have any gambling or gaming (thanks to some jackass lawmakers 30 some years ago). I do sympathize about the team name being racist, but go after the team not a school/university/institution that has no say.

JM Griffin
JM Griffin

No, Clyde Bellecourt is the "retarded" one. He is also one of the most racist people I have ever met.

Aaron Frederickson
Aaron Frederickson

"Scolastically retarded?" I think this groups needs a new spokesperson. What a dumbass!

Jesse Meyer
Jesse Meyer

Tony Payton: Could you explain what's wrong with the etymology that traces "redskin" to letters from chief Maringouin and chief Hannanas in 1769. There's also chief Tetobasi using it in a letter to president Madison in 1812. And most famously, chief Meskwaki using it in 1815, which is speculated to have reached James Fenimore Cooper, thus passing the term into widespread use among Americans.

Christopher Hyde
Christopher Hyde

So fed up with people telling what I can and cannot say.

Tony Payton
Tony Payton

You have no idea of what you are talking about.

Del Bauer
Del Bauer

In the same way that the word "redskin" simply means any individual that has red skin.

Jamie Grimm
Jamie Grimm

New York Kikes, Alabama Klansmen, Atlanta Spearchuckers, Arizona Wetbacks, San Francisco Chinamen, Nashville Niggers, New Jersey Wops, etc.

gulfport2012
gulfport2012

I also realize that the football team is majority Black, and that the Amerindians are racists. 

gulfport2012
gulfport2012

You wasted your money at that school and you are infantilizing the American Indian. In the first place, there was no genocide of the American Indian. The trail of tears was a relocation, if it had been genocide they never would have left Georgia and Florida; they would have killed them in place. 


IN reality, the American Indians were a Stone Age people who rapidly assimilated to modern time, seeking weapons and technology to give them an edge on other tribes. It was their refusal to adapt to European government which triggered their incompatibility with society. Even then, the Cherokee were allied with the Confederacy.

misterrosewater
misterrosewater

@tishkinoyzer If this wasn't so blatantly trolling, I'd almost think to engage in a debate.  Nah.  Not with you, loser.

tishkinoyzer
tishkinoyzer

He is a MOOCHER, just like the Jess Jackoffsons and others. None of them had a real job in their lives. Clyde is a fat, bloated moocher, who should be in a chain gang.

misterrosewater
misterrosewater

You can, contrary to your self-victimy assertion, indeed say whatever you wish and like to say.  Just prepare yourself for natural consequences when you say things that make you out to be a douchebag.

Alirox
Alirox topcommenter

The Fridley Gaywads.

Sarahuntley
Sarahuntley

@gulfport2012  The genocide happened in Minnesota the whitest state in the union. Kill on site and money for scalps recovered.

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