NEWS BLOG (WSAU) If you build a brand new school, you wouldn’t name the sports teams the Indians or Chiefs. That would be tone deaf considering how controversial race-based mascots have become. The real issue is what to do for districts that already have team names that, for some communities, date back decades and are a source of local pride.
Native Americans are not of one mind on the issue. The
Seminole tribe said it was honored to have
Governor Walker faces a decision about an Indian mascot bill that’s reached his desk.
Democrats rammed a bill through with then-Governor Doyle’s support that would have doomed all Indian mascots in the state. Under that law, only one person need complain to start an “investigation”. The Department of Public Instruction would hold a hearing – even though its leader Tony Evers was on-record saying he thought all Indian mascots were biased on their face. Out-of-district activists were prepared to go from one district to another to claim to be offended and to file challenges.
This was an over-reach and a political mistake. If democrats had passed something reasonable – perhaps a petition drive would spark a community vote on whether an Indian mascot stays or goes – the issue might have been left alone. But now Republicans are trying to undo an excess. Governor Walker could sign the bill and say he’s merely trying to restore balance and fairness. Or he could do nothing and allow the bill to become law without his signature on Thursday. That’s what I predict he’ll do.
Image: By http://gallery.mac.com/marchingchiefs (http://gallery.mac.com/marchingchiefs) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons