[UPDATED: Students Petition to Oust Editor] CSULB Newspaper Apologizes for Insensitive 'Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippy Yay' Report on Native American Event

UPDATE, APRIL 19, 11:35 A.M.: More than 1,000 CSULB students have signed a petition to pull Kevin O'Brien from his position as editor-in-chief of the Union Weekly. O'Brien is responsible for publishing the controversial “Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippy Yay” review, along with last year's “How to Get Laid: A Girls' Guide for Guys.” 

The petition, backed by campus groups American Indian Student Council and JAGed (Justice and Gender Education), was submitted to the Student Media Board, which oversees the university's student media outlets. In response to the “Pow Wow” article, the American Indian community also held a forum to share the meaning of native traditions. Writer Noah Kelly was invited to the event, but his class schedule conflicted with the time.    


ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 22, 12:13 P.M.: 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.

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.

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