Catalyst November Issue 1997
On October 4, a bigoted attack occurred against the Irish and Catholics by students from Stanford University. Before the game with Notre Dame and during half-time, Stanford’s band parodied the Irish famine and staged a mock confrontation between a Catholic cardinal and the devil; the Irish were labeled “stinking drunks.”
The Catholic League issued the following statement to the press:
“It was only right that Stanford’s athletic director, Ted Leland, apologized for the outrageous behavior of his band. But it is not enough. Not when everyone knows that if Native Americans had been parodied as drunks, the university would have taken a much more censorial approach. And just imagine what the reaction would have been had the band performed a mock debate between an Indian witch doctor and an evil spirit.
“The Catholic League does not desire to have the culprits forced into one of those mind-control sensitivity training seminars that are popular with the multiculturalists at Stanford. But it does demand that sanctions be taken against the offending students. At the very least, the students who partook in this bigoted exercise should be required to make a public apology to the Irish, Catholics and Notre Dame. Not to make this a precondition for continuing with the band would be to give the green light to bigotry.”
William Donohue asked Stanford president Gerhard Casper what he was going to do about the matter. President Casper wrote back saying that “The band has issued a public apology. The Athletic Department also has apologized, is revamping its procedure for reviewing band scripts, and has barred the band from field shows for the next three Stanford-Notre Dame games. I have apologized.”
The league is pleased with this response.