Arguing AGAINST repealing a new state law. State Representative State Nass wants to repeal a new state law which gives the state Department of Public Instruction authority to order schools to stop using Indian logos and nicknames. “I’m sorry to hear that Representative Nass is choosing to do that,” said Barbara Munson of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association.
Munson said the law, administered by the state Department of Public Instruction, has worked as intended. “Race based Indian mascots and logos are an archaic form of discrimination, that really should have left the culture along with blackface minstrel shows and Sambo’s restaurants,” she said. Nass, a Whitewater Republican, argues that while some find the mascots offensive, they are NOT discriminatory. He compares it to praying around a flag pole on school grounds. Nass says the courts have already ruled that, while people may object to them, schools are not discriminating against anyone by continuing their use.
Munson argued Nass’ effort doesn’t fit a legislative focus on jobs and the economy. “School districts that are basically teaching their students to adhere to a form of race based symbolism are not really preparing them very well for the 21st Century economy,” said Munson. “Not only is the wealth of Wisconsin tribes economic wealth, but it’s also a cultural wealth. To do something that’s harmful to the children of Wisconsin Indian tribes seems very counterproductive.”