Wisconsin Mascot Law Having an Impact

on Aug 04, 2010 in Blog by

The Kewaunee School District in Wisconsin has decided to formally discontinue the use of its Indians team name and logo!  We think this is an extremely important issue for public education today.

This decision comes after Wisconsin passed the historic Race Based Nicknames, Mascots, and Logos Law.  Here is some background (from the Wisconsin State Human Relations Association):

On May 5, 2010, Governor Jim Doyle signed into law SB 25, the Race Based nicknames, mascots, and logos law.  The signing of this law was the culmination of a 16-year collaborative process.  Rep. Jim Soletski, and Sen. Coggs introduced this critical piece of legislation in 2009.

Bill co-sponsor Democrat Sen. Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee) said, “If we use that logic, back in 1954, when Rosa Parks got on a bus and she decided it was not right for black people to sit at the back. … Would it have been okay for another black person to say, ‘Hey I like sitting in the back of the bus. It’s okay with me – let’s cancel out what Rosa Parks is talking about?'”

Rep. Jim Soletski (D-Green Bay) stated that, “It’s 2009. It’s time we put this behind us. It’s the Native American’s heritage, first and foremost. If they’re not feeling honored, then it’s time to get rid of it.”  Wisconsin is the first state in the United States to pass such an important legislation.

Indian County Today’s article on the signing of the bill

Indian Country Today’s 2009 article on the content of the bill

For additional information about the importance of the issue, go to Students and Teachers Against Racism or you can view our presentations on “Othering.”

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