Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Walker Mulling School Race-Based Mascot Bill; Expect Signature Satisfying The Right

It'll be two weeks tomorrow since the Wisconsin State Senate sent Gov. Walker the Assembly-approved bill that helps local schools keep their Native American logos, mascots and names - - but Walker has yet to signal whether he'll sign, veto, or let it become law automatically next month.

I'd expect him to sign it, as the measure was written by far-right Walker supporters, like State Sen. Mary Lazich, (New Berlin): Walker's goals and those of his strategic handlers are to please right-wing talk radio, his ultra-conservative Waukesha-area voting base, and white reactionaries coast-to-coast, too.

Lining up with a small minority is hardly their style.

So look for a signature behind closed doors, on a Friday afternoon, a weekend or holiday - - Thanksgiving would do, despite the ironies - - embellished with talking points about local control, despite those post-Act 10/mining/forest closing local control wipe-out bills, and other ironies.

Remember - - that's how he signed the controversial, forced ultrasound bill in July. Quietly. Shhhh:

Madison — Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Friday requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges, and abortion clinics responded by immediately suing state officials over the measure.

The law — signed Friday by Walker in a private ceremony...
There have been some powerful op-eds explaining how the stereotyping perpetuated by school mascot images and cultural nicknames is particularly harmful to Native American children.

I'd recommend this commentary:
Wisconsin tribes and tribal educators have been very clear about their position regarding the use of race-based "Indian" stereotypes in the schools. The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council along with Wisconsin Indian Education Association filed an amicus brief in the Schoolcraft and Vertz case. This brief is being used in classrooms throughout our state to teach about contemporary Indian issues while fulfilling their requirement to provide accurate and authentic information about Wisconsin tribes and tribal sovereignty under the Wisconsin American Indian Studies Act 31 of 1989.
This, educator's personal story, too:
Stereotypes reduce groups of people to a vivid and memorable representation that is then seen as "natural" for the group. The Indian mascot in Mukwonago is not representative of the tribes that lived there before their removal. This excessive, archaic portrayal of Indians — the noble savage — is a component of team uniforms, diplomas, the sign outside the high school and many other places here.

It is a picture of Indians as white people want to remember them. These images are imposed and determined by whites. It presents Indians as of a simple nature, improved by the intervention of Europeans. This is white supremacy in action, controlling the image of the "other," central to the maintenance of racial domination.


Anonymous said...

We'll see when he signs it. When is he going to make a decision on the Casino? Once he decides which tribe to dismiss (starts with an M! Not an H or P) he can go ahead and sign the Mascot Bill with impunity. Then wait for someone to challenge him on it so his bought and paid for Supreme Court can uphold it. Lots of money to collect in the meantime.

CC said...

Perhaps Walker's waiting for all 12 Wisconsin tribes to agree on this. Oh, wait! They did. They ALL said such nicknames were offensive.