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LETTER: Prejudice, scorn, lack of decency mar Grand Forks

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GRAND FORKS — As a new person in town, I am disgusted and troubled by the attitude of scorn, the lack of decency, the level of prejudice and the outright hatred against indigenous people, whose only fault was to be here when others wanted this land.

Some participants in Saturday’s Springfest celebration in Grand Forks ridiculed and made fun of American Indians at American Indians’ expense.

There is a deep-rooted fear and insecurity with many young people today that drinking, drugs, sex and anger give way to hate and violence in a culture that provides slippery boundaries. These students have been given an easy scapegoat in their differently cultured brothers and sisters, who have been marginalized as the enemy.

Grand Forks appears repressed in fear and racism, unwilling or unable to let students know that this behavior is just plain unacceptable. This display of racism is one of a long line of conscious efforts to humiliate, bully and make twisted fun of people who’ve done nothing to deserve it.

Are students here to be instructed, to learn something about where they are and how they got here, and that there are moral and ethical responsibilities to being with other humans on this planet? What action will be taken by the president of UND, the faculty who give guidance and the community that benefits from the students’ presence?

This is not the only serious problem that Grand Forks has, but it cannot be ignored. What is Grand Forks going to do with this?

Bradford Hansen-Smith 

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