Clyde Bellecourt

Recent Articles

My Country ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future

Ellison’s bio a cutting-edge tale of resisting bias religious and racial
By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer


Unequivocally a singular success, Congressional Rep. Keith Ellison is one of the more fascinating figures in contemporary politics — indeed, an unprecedented, historic presence. Anyone who doesn’t believe he’s capable of becoming the second Black president of these United States needs merely consider this: How likely was it that with the country still rankling from 9/11, he accomplished a virtually unthinkable feat — becoming the first Muslim elected to Congress? My Country ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future (Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing, $25) is a newly published memoir cum biography and, whether you admire or abhor his consistently controversial stands on hot-button issues — for instance, the proposed mosque at ground zero, downtown Manhattan site of Al-Kaida’s 2001 terrorist attack on America — the book is a significant, definitively informing work that belongs in the library of every American — Black, White, Brown, Muslim, Protestant, Catholic, whatever — who wishes to know what he or she is talking about when they discuss the consequence of Keith Ellison. It should surprise no one that a significant amount of the material here concerns itself with Ellison’s devotion to his religion. Along with being the first Muslim to hold his office, he historically is strongly vocal about Muslim Americans getting a fair shake in society. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Washington mascot protest heats up in Minnesota

Activists say R-word and N-word equally offensive
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Advocates who consider the Washington professional football team nickname racist and offensive believe that change eventually will come, but not without constant pressure on the team owner to do so. Since purchasing the team in 1999, billionaire Daniel Snyder consistently says he will not change the original nickname given by the team’s founder in the early 1930s. Some argue that Washington’s annual estimated revenue — at $245 million — is largely based on team merchandise and other apparel that feature a racially insensitive logo. But Snyder strongly contends that most fans support him and often refers to a 2004 Annenberg poll of mostly White respondents that found that nearly 90 percent of those polled were not offended by the name. “There is now a national conversation — politicians, journalists, sports figures, activists and leaders of all races — coming together to stand with Indian people in pursuit of respect and dignity,” proclaimed U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum

(D-Minn.) last week at a November 5 forum at the University of Minnesota. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Mr. Bellecourt is right!

‘Redskins’ controversy heats up again
This column identifies with, respects and supports Clyde Bellecourt’s request to NFL, Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, don’t use “Redskins,” even if the NFL does. We stand in unity against racism, for far too long a part of the American and Minnesota landscapes. The Jewish owner of the Washington NFL team, Dan Snyder, is doing one of three things: (1) carrying on the racist legacy of George Preston Marshall’s ghost, (2) being tone deaf to fans who understand how racist it is, or (3) at first didn’t know but now knows and doesn’t care, an example of both #1 and #2. This is a wake-up call to racism deniers: foul racism still exists. George Preston Marshall, the owner who gave the team its name in 1932, was a leader in the NFL movement that officially banned Blacks, league wide, in 1933, a ban not lifted until 1947. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

South High students walk out to protest lack of Native cultural activities



By Sheila Regan

Contributing Writer


The smell of burning sage filled the commons area of South High School on Monday morning, March 11, as what was planned as a student walk-out was turned into a school-sanctioned assembly — and then ended up being a walkout anyway. Students from the All Nations Program, which offers American Indian-specific programming at the school, were protesting the lack of visibility of the program, as well as a lack of cultural activities. They said activities such as drumming and “smudging,” a cleansing act using burning sage, were once regular parts of the program but have been discontinued. Senior Winona Vizenor organized the walkout, but called it off after speaking with Principal Cecilia Saddler, who allowed the students to have a round dance in the main commons area as well as an assembly in the auditorium. Toward the end of the assembly, after getting text messages from people saying they weren’t being let out of their classes, Vizenor went forward with the walkout anyway. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

History Theater scores another hit in cultural insensitivity



History Theater in St. Paul, headed up by Artistic Director Ron Peluso, continues its sham of supposed cultural diversity. This time around, Peluso is perpetrating a travesty called as part of an evening of 10-minute plays titled “1968: The Year That Rocked the World.”

The Corral purportedly is there because it was the year that saw the nationally renowned American Indian Movement (AIM) established in Minneapolis. On the face of things, that is a most sensible inclusion, bringing to the stage a script that acknowledges such an historic occurrence. The problem is that, characteristic of Peluso’s slick treatment of communities of color, The Corral, ostensibly respecting Native America, is in fact an affront. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,