CSULB Newspaper Apologizes for Insensitive 'Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippy Yay' Report on Native American Event
A student newspaper at Cal State University Long Beach is under fire for publishing what many are calling a racist review of a recent Native American campus festival. Noah Kelly, campus editor of the student government-funded Union Weekly, penned the March 14 piece titled "Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippy Yay" (pretty much the Native American equivalent of "Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong"), which brims with unfiltered observations such as, "Indian tacos? What the fuck are Indian tacos?" and "Even the homeless have hats and cups," referring to the way spectators tossed donations on the ground during a traditional dance ceremony.
The school's American Indian Student Council, which co-hosts the annual Pow Wow, called the piece biased against the American Indian community and wrote a letter to the CSULB administration demanding that the university and Union Weekly officials "condemn the ignorance and racism shown in the article," reports the Daily 49er, a separate student publication.
One reader wrote to Kelly in a letter to the editor: "Next time you go to a cultural event, why not make an effort to understand what is going on before spewing your bigotry?"
In the following issue of the newspaper, Kelly offered an apology, explaining:
What originally was meant as an unflattering review of the event itself has been construed by many as an assault on an entire culture. This was never my intention, and I meant no malice toward Native Americans. What occurred was nothing less than a lapse in fact-finding, cultural awareness and sensitivity on my part.
According to the Daily 49er, Kelly met with the American Indian Student Council to read his apology, and the group formally accepted it.
Union Weekly, an irreverent alternative campus publication, was condemned last year for its piece titled "How to Get Laid: A Girls' Guide for Guys," which gave the advice "When you get to her place, just get to the fucking, no dilly-dallying. You don't want to give her time to really think about it. Don't be afraid to be aggressive."
You can read the original review of the Pow Wow here. Click to enlarge.