UNH Hockey Fight Song Banned As Theoretically Racist - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-13-2006, 12:55 PM   #1
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UNH Hockey Fight Song Banned As Theoretically Racist

Considering the history of the song and what the students from the Black Student Union said, I think they could find several other "pump up" songs that could be used.


SI.com

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) -- Black Betty, a '70s rock song used to rally fans at University of New Hampshire hockey games for perhaps a decade, is no more.

Athletic Director Marty Scarano told the campus newspaper, The New Hampshire, the rollicking, 1977 song by the band Ram Jam was banned because it is "theoretically racist."

The NAACP deemed the Ram Jam version of the old song offensive to black women three decades ago, and UNH has received intermittent complaints about it for years, the Concord Monitor reported Saturday.

Two years ago, a student group that studied diversity at the school said it should be banned. Scarano said a more recent complaint pushed him to outlaw it, but he did say who complained.

Scarano did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Dominated by repetitive "na-na-na-na-nas," "bam-ba-lams" and the exclamation Black Betty, the song has been played at the starts of the second and third periods of UNH hockey games for more than a decade, according to a school Web site.

UNH plays in Hockey East. Spokesman Noah Smith said the league has received complaints and league members have had "a couple of discussions" with UNH officials and decided the song was "probably inappropriate."

But Smith said Hockey East couldn't force UNH or any other school to stop playing a song.

Student reaction on a campus where hockey is king have ranged from indifferent to angry. "Save Black Betty" T-shirts and banners have appeared at home games and someone has started a Web site called FreeBlackBetty.com.

Freshman Ryan Leach, who formed a similar group on the popular online college site Facebook.com, signed a recent e-mail "Ryan Leach, Save Black Betty Chairman."

"The true fight has not yet been seen," he wrote.

But senior Kelly Vogel said she hadn't heard about the flap until a story appeared in The New Hampshire soon after students returned from winter break Jan. 24. People talked about it for a few days until interest dropped off, she said.

"I haven't seen any rallies or anything," Vogel said.

Most students interviewed said they didn't realize anyone considered the song offensive.

"It's just a pump-up song," sophomore Brittany Clement said. "I never knew about the lyrics because I just associated it with hockey."

Sophomore Matt Connors is head of the Wild-Ice-Cats, the UNH hockey fan club. He said he was disappointed by the ban and plans to propose that the song be played without its lyrics.

But two members of the school's Black Student Union are happy the song is gone. Senior Stefanie Hauck and junior Ola Akinwumi said blacks were considered inferior in the United States when the song was written, and the song has no connection to athletics or hockey.

"If you look at it, basically the whole audience at these games is Caucasian," Hauck said. "For them to be singing a song like Black Betty, it doesn't make sense. It is kind of derogatory."
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:17 PM   #2
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Another victory in the fight for theoretical justice and equality?
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:24 PM   #3
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I can see how some black students would find it offensive, having just read the lyrics.

But I can see the side of the hockey fans, too. It's a great pump-up song (especially a great drinking song).
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:28 PM   #4
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lyrics


Whoa, black betty (bam-ba-lam)
Whoa, black betty (bam-ba-lam)
Black betty had a child (bam-ba-lam)
The damn thing gone wild (bam-ba-lam)
She said, "i'm worryin' outta mind" (bam-ba-lam)
The damn thing gone blind (bam-ba-lam)
I said oh, black betty (bam-ba-lam)
Whoa, black betty (bam-ba-lam)

Oh, black betty bam-ba-lam
Whoa, black betty bam-ba-lam
She really gets me high bam-ba-lam
You know that's no lie bam-ba-lam
She's so rock steady bam-ba-lam
And she's always ready bam-ba-lam
Whoa, black betty bam-ba-lam
Whoa, black betty bam-ba-lam

Get It!

Whoa, black betty bam-ba-lam
Whoa, black betty bam-ba-lam
She's from birmingham bam-ba-lam
Way down in alabam' bam-ba-lam
Well, she's shakin' that thing bam-ba-lam
Boy, she makes me sing bam-ba-lam
Whoa, black betty bam-ba-lam
Whoa, black betty bam-ba-lam
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:39 PM   #5
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Is this any worse than some recent music? Some of the objection to rap or hip-hop deal with lyrics - especially as they related to women.
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:43 PM   #6
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I don't understand... do they get offended by the lyrics itself or because most of the fans are caucasic?
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:51 PM   #7
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"If you look at it, basically the whole audience at these games is Caucasian," Hauck said. "For them to be singing a song like Black Betty, it doesn't make sense. It is kind of derogatory."

Do they not go to hockey games because of the song or because the crowd is caucasian? I guess I don't understand how that is even a relevant point to bring up. I don't think the crowd is there to put down black people, I think they're there to cheer on the Wildcats.
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:05 PM   #8
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I have never considered this song racist. Why should I now? This is dumb.
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail
"If you look at it, basically the whole audience at these games is Caucasian," Hauck said. "

honestly... that comment is so outrageus for me, i've never heard something like that here. I find it hard to understand the dinamic of racism in USA.
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail
"If you look at it, basically the whole audience at these games is Caucasian," Hauck said. "For them to be singing a song like Black Betty, it doesn't make sense. It is kind of derogatory."

Do they not go to hockey games because of the song or because the crowd is caucasian? I guess I don't understand how that is even a relevant point to bring up. I don't think the crowd is there to put down black people, I think they're there to cheer on the Wildcats.
Who gives a damn who's in the audience anyway?
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:24 PM   #11
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Huh?
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:38 PM   #12
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is brown sugar next?
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Is this any worse than some recent music? Some of the objection to rap or hip-hop deal with lyrics - especially as they related to women.


i think there's a difference between something on the radio, and a school's official "pump up" song -- i'm sorry, if, somehow, a song like, say, "Money For Nothing" were played as a pump-up song and i were in an area of drunk hockey fans and i heard everyone singing, "SEE THE LITTLE FAGGOT WITH THE EARRING AND THE MINK COAT/ YEAH BUDDY THAT'S HIS OWN HAIR/ THAT LITTLE FAGGOT GOT HIS OWN JET AIRPLANE/ THAT LITTLE FAGGOT HE'S A MILLIONAIRE!!!"

i'd feel really, really uncomfortable.

and this is with the knowledge that Mark Knopfler was just repeating a conversation he had heard between two blue collar guys watching MTV and probably meant nothing homophobic by it.

though i would imagine that most people don't know that.
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Old 02-13-2006, 03:28 PM   #14
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I doubt the song was selected as a "pump up" song for its lyrics.


And, I've heard that story about Knopfler. The song makes much more sense with the story.
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Old 02-13-2006, 03:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I doubt the song was selected as a "pump up" song for its lyrics.


And, I've heard that story about Knopfler. The song makes much more sense with the story.
I remember this song, and the controversy surrounding it. When the story came out the controversy quieted down.
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