The Herd’s Chant: Racism Inside the Dome

Our student section is a big reason we do well, but are we taking things too far?
Our student section is a big reason we do well, but are we taking things too far?

“That’s another BISON first down!”

“Move those chains…”

It is at these moments during the game when we must realize it is 2016 and we still have racism prevalent here at North Dakota State.

It is also hard to forget that is isn’t a new issue for the Herd.

Homecoming has come and gone here at NDSU. Rampant binge drinking, puking, unplanned pregnancies and parades, my oh my.

Be it the band or football team, NDSU truly dominated the Fargodome this past Saturday.

In between the awful overpriced food, drunk children and chants of “F—k Iowa” it is hard to not hear the other chant:

“Sioux suck shit.”

Look I am not claiming to be a smart person. I am not a Midwesterner either. On a good hot-dish day I might be a Minnesotan.

Be that as it may, I don’t understand why you guys call it pop. I also don’t understand why you insist on reciting this terribly racist chant.

This chant is embedded in the fact that our only true competition for best university in the state comes from our neighbors to the north, the University of North Dakota.

While this is something that would make sense in some cases, I fail to see the connection considering our lack of actually playing UND in anything meaningful.

As we sit in the stands cheering on our truly dominant football team, it is hard to not be sickened by this chant.

It is also worth noting that our Herd here at NDSU is not without controversy.

During a game in 2009 against Northern Iowa, the NDSU student section was noted for engaging with opposing players.

This caused athletic director at the time Gene Taylor (now the Hawkeye’s athletic director) to address the situation publicly.

Reaching back to 2002, the NDSU student section was accused by University of Minnesota-Mankato football coach of directing racial slurs at black players.

MSUM football coach Clarence Holley later commented, “I don’t expect that anywhere. It’s a game, a freaking game. There are two teams out there playing hard, kids on both teams playing hard and you’ve got a few idiots like that saying things in the stands.”

Although time has passed the question remains to this day in 2016. Is the Herd taking things a bit too far?

While it might seem like 2002 was a long time ago, one would only have to look back to last Saturday to find an example of racial slurs being used in the Fargodome.

When at the Dome it is hard to not fall into the crowd mentality being employed by the Herd. For Christ’s sake we stand and sit with the crowd. It should come to no one’s surprise that we chant with the crowd.

During my time as a freshman I admit to doing some stupid things. I once ate six pieces of pizza from West and I yelled this chant. I did not feel comfortable not chanting. I didn’t really understand the implications of what I was saying.

Time and time again though we have been told this is wrong.

“That’s another BISON first down!”

In the stands it is truly hard to be a free thinker. Caught in the pack mentality, or in this case, the Herd mentality. We stand, we chant, we utter racial slurs. Hey it is just football, right?

As we cheer on our team that we love oh so very much, a bad taste stagnates in my mouth. We are seeing national controversy arise from UND and their previous school mascot. We are also seeing social media take UND by storm in the form of a girl’s Snap story. So why do we insist on continuing a tradition that has been deemed “offensive”?

We stand, we chant, never really thinking about the words coming out of our mouth. In this case it does seem like we are refusing to let go of an old tradition. We seem to be ignoring new knowledge. Not too much unlike a neighbor to the north, and remember, they “suck shit.”

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  • Konstantin
    October 7, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    When the Boston Celtics go on the road, other teams fans shout “celtics suck”. Does this mean that they hate Irish people, and their mascot? No. It means they’re having fun at a game, like the students at ndsu are.

  • Jake
    October 7, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    this article is stupid. Really stupid.

  • Matt
    October 7, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Get this guy a safe space

  • John
    October 7, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Stupid article. Really awful. Time to look for a new hobby.

  • Marcus Hagness
    October 7, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    You should definitely go see Milo Yiannopolis speak at NDSU in December you triggered, SJW, “journalist”. Good for you to get clicks by being a professional victim.

  • Matt
    October 7, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    You write this article being a person that doesn’t even know that the chant “2’s a faggot” was a popular chant not that long ago! ” I ate 6 pieces of pizza” jesus, did you mom tell you Santa Claus wasn’t real last year too?

    • Jay
      October 14, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      Did you just get out of 5th grade? My brain started to ache reading your comment.

  • Aaron
    October 8, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Racist bison fans. The entire town of Fargo is due for some sensitivity training.

  • Jess
    October 8, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    maybe everyone should just stop being so sensitive? i feel like that would fix a lot of things.

  • Kristian
    October 8, 2016 at 2:43 pm


  • Nate Nelly
    October 8, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    What is your problem? Is this very first time you have ever been to any college game? This is college, these types of things are to be expected. I believe you need to stop being one of those individuals that gets offended by everything. We don’t need one of these safe spaces for football. By the way, you are writting for a paper that should be backing NDSU. These chants are something that we just do. I recommend that you chill out, stop being offended by nothing at all, chant Sioux suck s*** at the next game, and get drunk. Now the next article I read from you better start supporting our team or you can find a new State and a new paper to write for.

    • James
      October 15, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      “Chill out and don’t be offended,” said the butthurt, angry man. Oh, the irony hahaha. For some reason, you people get so offended and upset when people try to speak up for social injustices (REAL ISSUES), yet you tell others to not get offended. Talk about being offended by nothing at all. Please explain to me how that affects you. And the empty threat at the end really has me in stitches!

      • John
        October 22, 2016 at 11:33 am

        Butt hurt is offensive to gay people… See how this sensitivity stuff never ends. You’re a culprit too. Life is too short to get upset about such little things like verbiage

  • Brandon
    October 9, 2016 at 11:00 am

    So when UND yells “Sioux” over their PA guy saying “Fighting Hawks” is that racist or are you just trying to be a professional victim?

  • Ruben Flores
    October 14, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    I love how all the racist don’t leave contact information or identityfying information. It’s almost like they want all of things they know are wrong to be hidden. If you believe in what you say prove it! Identify yourself. I am a Junior at NDSU and I am a music and international studies. My phone number 218-230-9007.

  • Seth
    October 14, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    I didn’t realize UND students were a race now. Grow up a bit and step out into the real world, constantly playing victim for every “insult” makes you nothing more than a whiny child. Can’t wait to read your article about how much you cried when Milo comes to NDSU.

  • Josh
    October 14, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    This article is hard to get through and makes me cringe. The author tries so hard to come off as haughty and condescending but it’s quite obvious he does not know much about journalism, football, or real issues our society faces about racism. Pull your head out of your own ass and go make a difference instead of whining about petty things because of your probable inability to do well in real education.

  • Courtney
    October 14, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Thank you for writing this. it takes courage to stick up for something that needs to be addressed especially when the loudest critics are wrong. You have already made a difference and Dean Bresciani has taken note. Keep up the great work!

  • Darin Zimmerman
    October 17, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Look, I’m a conservative Republican. I’ve voted Republican in every election since I was a college freshman in Minnesota 32 years ago. As a fraternity member, I remember the joy of acting in a aggressively stupid manner just for the shock value. So you’d expect me to be the last guy to take the author’s side; nevertheless, this is a very reasonable article. UND was forced to change their mascot from The Fighting Sioux to the .. the adorable pansies? Whatever the hell their new mascot is I get refusing to accept the tyranny of the politically correct imposing their social religion on us by continuing to denigrate the former, politically incorrect mascot. But with the advantage of a few decades of maturity under my belt, I can tell you, it’s a fight we deserved to lose.

    The analogy from my school days was the prevalence of anti-gay slurs. It was nothing like today. Every other joke was homo-this and fudge-packer-that and we roared with laughter. Then about 15 years out of school I found out our RA was gay. He was one of the nicest, most caring, helpful guys on campus. He was a guy I really looked up to, and I was unknowingly saying hateful, ignorant shit to his face, practically every day. There is nothing I did in my whole college career that I am more ashamed of.

    Now, I’m sure he knew I wouldn’t hate him had I known; he probably just dismissed my ignorance with a lot more grace than I deserved. Just as I’m sure the dozens or hundreds of people with Sioux ancestry in the crowd last Saturday probably dismissed the chants as just college kids being aggressively ignorant for the shock value. Football rivalries today are play-acting of wars past. We do this because millennia of evolution have hardwired our brains for the need of a defined “tribe” or in group to be treated differently from the rest of the out group. And the first rule of war is to dehumanize the enemy, which is what the chant, “Sioux suck shit” is designed to do.

    I think the author of this piece understands the play-acting nature of football rivalries; but I still respect his attempts to remind us of the collateral damage we inflict with our dehumanizing efforts. Surely there were Bison in the crowd with Sioux ancestry. How comfortable would you have been if one of your best friends had revealed his or her ancestry to you during the chant?

    BTW, props to the Bison for defeating my (adopted) Hawkeyes at Kinnick this year. Good luck in your bowl.

  • Marvin
    October 31, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    UND will go to a bowl game way before the Bison ever get close.

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