CSULB Newspaper Apologizes for Insensitive 'Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippy Yay' Report on Native American Event

See the update here.
powwowthumbnail.jpg


Another one for the Bad Ideas file. 

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.

powwowmainstory.jpg
Here are the apologies from Kelly, along with the paper's editor-in-chief, Kevin O'Brien, and managing editor, Andy Kneis. Click to enlarge. The issue can be read online here.
powwowapology.png

My Voice Nation Help
47 comments
acwarman
acwarman

He wasn't attacking Native American culture he was attacking the Imaginary Indian concept behind what was taking place around the cultural dance.... how it ironically was surrounded by bullshit Indian Tacos and a horrible representation of indian culture that hit a mass market instead of what was really supposed to be represented. 

Michelle
Michelle

His apology isn't even an apology. It's more of a "this is why I'm not wrong" statement.

What a dick.

Jordan
Jordan

This article makes me cry. It is proof that our country has not progressed far from removal days. This is not the first time I have seen something like this and it will not be the last. It is people like Mr. Kelly that take our voice away and no one has the right to do that. This apology is worthless to me. He will never understand the damage that something like this can do. One hundred years of white people misrepresenting Indians has put our culture where it is today, drowning in a sea of materialism. Ignorance is not an excuse, it is the most dangerous epidemic that humankind has ever encountered. 

Littlefoot1123
Littlefoot1123

Wait...I have missed the apology. Where was it exactly? Someone please show me.

Gregg
Gregg

As a former Journalism professor at CSULB (and tribally-enrolled), all I can say is wow, this is really sad and embarrassing for CSULB, even though it was not an official campus newspaper. My very first powwow was at this very campus, celebrating along and proud annual tradition which apparently went right over Mr. Kelly's head.

One can only wonder if his pseudo-edgy/ironic prose are just clippings for his job application to Fox "News."

Rmorrantia
Rmorrantia

What is really sad is that college students are writing comments and replies to the article and it is evident that they don't have a good grasp of proper English or the proper spelling of words. Sounds to me like ignorance reigns--what a great job our universities are doing! Furthermore, the use of profanity and vulgar language is a cover for the lack of a developed vocabulary. I don't believe that those involved in the writing, publishing and distribution of this racist drivel are journalism students--they're not smart enough. Perhaps their stupidity is only a reflection of how lazy we have become as a society--we're too lazy to properly research the background of a culture and are satisfied to rely on the garbage we are fed by the media about any group who isn't white.

Noah Kelly, his editor, the university he attends, the family that nurtured his bigotry and his whole, small universe should all be ashamed.

And yes, Indian people will continue to forgive those who insist on being stupid and racist because to do otherwise would be to lower ourselves to the level of those who attack us and insult us and we have too much dignity and pride to do that.

An old Indian woman.

sweetdreams
sweetdreams

I can not beleive that this student thinks he can write an artical about a subject and not find out anything about it. As you can see students your homework needs to be done first or you end up looking like as stupid as Noah Kelly.

Veeh.
Veeh.

What's even more insulting is this editors half - attempt to apologize. He couldn't pen out an original apology,except he cut and pasted his apology from the last time this paper was in trouble. "The Union Weekly is only here to propagate student opinion," O'Brien said. "And that student opinion is not always going to be insightful, or correct, or politically correct, or even clear. But it's always going to be honest or earnest. If sometimes that upsets people or scares people, I think that's okay. I think it's important that we discuss these topics openly and earnestly, and I think it would be a tragedy if people felt they couldn't use their right to free speech for fear of hurting people's feelings, because, in the long run, the damage will be far greater."

This week there was an opine in this trash heap to hang out with their smarter friends instead of hanging out with the community college students. It seems that with all that "Higher education" journalism classes, he could have learned to write an original paragraph.

Arghhh
Arghhh

NOAH KELLY, YOURE AN IDIOT. It makes me sick to even mention your name, however, the world needs to know who you are, how trashy your ideas, opinions and thoughts must be! Your name and reputation, if any, is tarnished and represent ignorance. Can't see how anyone would give you the opportunity to be an editor, of any sort!

~Guerilla Lifestyle

Celiaray-11 years old
Celiaray-11 years old

this guy dosent know what he is talking about he is a retared that doesnt belong in a uiversity, he should not use foul languge i read the article and im only 11 years old and im native american i think this is real stupid that people can be so racist against natives we never did anything wrong to them if you learnd about natives you would probley think there cool treat people the way u want to be treated how would he feel if us natives talked about his culture thats what i think i stick up 4 my culture and peolpe KISS OUR NATIVE BUTTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shawnau johnson
Shawnau johnson

he is so racist against natives i am 9 and i read this article maybe he should see how it feel say that about you he should talk about his own culture instead of other peoples cultures what did native americans noah kelly is probally gealous about us because we have something that he doesent

Shawnau johnson
Shawnau johnson

he should not be able to talk like that about native americas he has a very foul language and, he does not belong at a collage

BABYENA14
BABYENA14

u no wat i think people cod be really dumn writng up these thingz about native im 14 years old nd i herd about this i was so pist i think white people are just gelous cuz we have sum thing they dnt have so for those white pppl that hate on natives kiss are flat indain asses k!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kimberly Redding
Kimberly Redding

All he did is cofirm what a piece of crap he is. Bravo, I actually think its great he did it. I guess it doesn't take being a decent human to be a journalist.. hell anything but from what you usually read. He's right where he should be. A career with Star would be right up his alley.

proudnative
proudnative

Why is someone like Noah Kelly an editor in the first place? Noah's not even that good of a journalist let alone an editor. They shouldn't let him write any more articles unless he actually has the inteligance to get the complete story or understanding of what he is trying to write about.

AIM-American Indian Movement
AIM-American Indian Movement

Noah Kelly should be fired from the Union Weekly and booted by Cal State University Long Beach for his racist and insensitive article. Complain to the University's President F. King Alexander @ 562-985-4121 or email cfollowe@csulb.edu

reglrNDN
reglrNDN

In reading other articles in the publications, I dare to say the contents in Kelly's or Kevin's apology is something they practice. It's toilet mentality...Peace--

Mandiboo96
Mandiboo96

Thanks for the apology. :/ Way to totally make my race look like shit. But thank you very much, I am PROUD to be a Native American! Your approval is not needed, nor do you have to be there to down talk the way we do things, we do not write papers about how sufferer the white people are. I, along with all other natives would appreciate the same respect.

Vinnicuvwesiatchsavani
Vinnicuvwesiatchsavani

Frybread is unhealthy, but when your food source is taken from you. Most intelligent people will make it work, so to survive that's what first nation people did. For the ignorant people that don't know their own culture to try and under mind another makes them or anyone look like an idiot. Native American people are very proud to be who we are! We might not have a lot but we will always always have our traditions ceremonies and our culture!!!

dcmeteor
dcmeteor

That particular paper makes way too much use of vulgarities, but the facts and perspectives in the article were pretty reasonable. Fry bread is not healthy, and throwing wadded up dollar bills at dancers feet is something that happens in places that are not intended to be dignified. If Fry Bed is to Native Americans what unleavened bread is to Jews, then it should have been presented differently, not as a substitute for funnel cakes at the fair. The outrage of some readers would suggest the organizers of this event made an honest effort towards culture and education, but apparently that was lacking. I can understand the cynicism, when you go to an event thinking it will be enlightening, and it turns out to be just another county fair.

beizhua
beizhua

Dear customers, thank you for your support of our company.Here, there's good news to tell you: The company recentlylaunched a number of new fashion items! ! Fashionableand welcome everyone to come buy. If necessary, pleaseinput:

http://www newgoing com

T-shirts (ed hardy,lacoste) $14

New era cap $10

Air jordan(1-24)shoes $30

Handbags(Coach,ed hardy,lv,d&g) $35

Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $35

Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini)$14

Bikini (Ed hardy,) $18

http://www newgoing com

J.Draisey
J.Draisey

Noah's article is hilarious, mostly because of just how bad his observation of the event was. This is not supposed to be an opinion piece, and I'm surprised CSULB let this get published with all the cursing (I'm guessing that policy has now been changed). It's not intentionally racist, but there's nothing in it to suggest otherwise.

Michelle Shining Elk
Michelle Shining Elk

Freedom of speech does not excuse ignorance of speech; just as, ignorance of the law does not excuse the crime.

The bottom line...Mr. Kelly's article was one-sided, hugely racist, offensive and ignorant. We as American Indian people fight, tirelessly, everyday against stereotypes and racist writings such as Mr. Kelly's. An ignorant article like this written from a buffoon like this IS threatening to us. It perpetuates further stereotypes and misunderstandings of who we are, what we are about and what our culture and traditions mean to us. Mr. Kelly wrote his article in such a way that it almost seemed that he felt it was absurd that we engage in such events in a public setting and I kept expecting Mr. Kelly to say "these practices should be banned and par-taken in private settings in the middle of no where so we don't have to be exposed to such non-sense!" As he pounded his chest.

Mr. Kelly's attempt at an apology is futile and it holds no water, let alone sincerity. Both he and the Editor-in-Chief of the the UNION are delusional if they think that by admitting or making excuses from Mr. Kelly like “I did not seek out and learn" or "what I [Mr. Kelly] meant to say,” makes any of this okay, it doesn't. The article should have never made it to print. The absurdity of their apology is about as absurd as expecting us to sit back take a look at one another and and say ”oh!!! okay...so, 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. Well then...shoot! Dog gone it...that’s alright!” Side note: That is not going to happen.

Unfortunately for Mr. Kelly and the UNION WEEKLY…you can’t “unfry things” and Mr. Kelly done fried his own butt, 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.” And there will be more stereotypes and racisms we will have to correct or deal with.

Caesar Chavez day is coming up...I sure hope that Mr. Kelly leaves that one alone, and if he doesn't that his Editor-in-Chief has enough sense this time to think twice before putting that weekly to bed.

PFreeman
PFreeman

The fact that Indian people continue to be forgiving, accepting and have a desire to get along in this world despite the shit that gets thrown at them constantly (this brainfart of an article for example) is why this has always been how it is for us, is happening now and will always happen, this is why it is the way it is.

I doubt that this article would have been published or even written for that matter had it been an article on Black or Hispanic students. They would have protested in numbers and made sure it never happens again. So much for the warrior spirit...it died a long time ago.

clinnays
clinnays

Never apologize for your opinion. Just apologize to those offended.

Lille Bose
Lille Bose

Funny on the Internet=Not funny in print, unless it's the Onion

Prdaa
Prdaa

I was supposed to teach journalism and PR at CSULB this past year, but supposedly its funding disappeared. So sad that whoever was advising these students either was too ignorant to intercede or worse, thought the headline and review were humorous. Either way, what an insult to Native Americans.....and what a slap in the face to those in the Ivory Tower at CSULB.

Michelle Woo
Michelle Woo

That was an excerpt of the apology. Added the message in its entirety if you'd like to take a look.

Eugene
Eugene

that wasnt even an apology!

Conrad Heiney
Conrad Heiney

That guy's apology is a classic example of a non-apology. Props to them for just accepting it and being the grownups.

Darlee_4
Darlee_4

Oh great, what the world needs is a few more Noah Kelly's.

Gregg
Gregg

"...celebrating a long and proud annual tradition.."

Michelle Shining Elk
Michelle Shining Elk

Ignorance begets ignorance. Am sorry for you that your mind is so closed that you, like Mr. Kelly, fails to get the meaning behind such a celebration or the stories behind the food, or the reason for a blanket dance (throwing wadded up $$ at dancers).

Can't We Just All Get Along
Can't We Just All Get Along

i think you are being a bit harsh. These are students, and if you ever read the Union in general, all they do is rip on other people. This, unfortunately, went too far. I believe in his apology. We all make fun of each other one way or another and his just happened to be on paper with bad judgement.

For one thing, the Union is never really taken seriously. Plus, if people believe the obvious bigotry of this type of writing, then they are probably not the educated types anyway.

I'm not saying I don't know how you feel. Being Asian American and hearing the "Ching Chong Ling Long" from Alexandra Wallace from UCLA obviously upsets me. Her apology was not believable, but to wish ill on her is no better than the writing that was done.

Let's hope this is a learning experience for Mr. Kelly and Ms. Wallace from UCLA and that they don't make the same mistake twice.

Michelle Shining Elk
Michelle Shining Elk

I disagree...our warrior spirit is alive and well. Perhaps we can't show up in numbers like the Black or Hispanic students can, but our spirit still beats strong. Have you ever crossed a strong Indian woman?

CDS
CDS

Never offend anyone with your opinons. More importantly, understand that there are more humans and experiences than your own, and that peoples lives are not "opinions". Also, especially if your opinion can damage you beyond the 30 seconds it took to spew them.

Proudmommy_of4
Proudmommy_of4

This was not an opinion piece. It was however ran as an article based on a traditional Pow Wow, there was no report of culture, tradition, or information. The content of the article was insulting to a Nation of people. Any respectable reporter does their homework before placing an article. Culture awareness for any group is a must. This was not placed as a critical review, the words that he used should have him removed from the paper for the content alone. Noah can try the PR bit and turn his words, you can't take it back and it is not an apology that you are giving, it is an excuse.

Christine Chan
Christine Chan

Just an FYI, the Union Weekly has no association with the journalism department at CSULB. The Union is funded by CSULB's ASI.

Ray Wilson
Ray Wilson

He tried to make it sound like we all took it wrong or we all misunderstood him. If it is true what he says in his so-called apology, that we took it wrong, then he needs to find another major other than journalism. There was no reading into what he wrote; it was in plain english. It was racist. But then we are the only ones that it is acceptable to be hated and beatin verbally like he did. Has anyone every heard of the Cleveland Jews or the Washington Islams? No and you never will. We are up for slams because this government still doesn't give a crap about us. Freedom of speech?

Ampowakiyanwi
Ampowakiyanwi

This apology was not sincere. for she was forced to apologize...we the 1st people of this nation... born and raised here...know the disgrace it is to hear others make fun of who we are.. because of their concise ignorance. you people are the ones who want to live here among us... we are not asking you to be here...we have our way of life and we show are customs in many ways... be careful of the savage.. renegades ..ways...we are the sacred life from which you come to destroy with your ignorance.....if you can walk through the college university with a sack over your head and written on it... ignorance looking for freedom...in a red mans country... that is who I am....... I will except your apology...we the Indian people... have tried to get along with the foreigners since the coming of the first ship that came to our shores... they had been taught many survival Technics by many tribes...but its people like this that tear down the curtain of Diversity...

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...