Tag: Local Policy

Wisconsin Mascot Law Having an Impact

Wisconsin Mascot Law Having an Impact

Reading Time: < 1 minute

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.”

A guest shares her thoughts on the proposed curfew

A guest shares her thoughts on the proposed curfew

Reading Time: 2 minutes

by Brandy Johnson

Tomorrow (December 1), a proposed curfew for minors in Iowa City will come up for consideration by our City Council. I was recently asked if I felt that the curfew proposal was focused on black youth.  My answer was “ABSOLULTELY YES!”  The violence that people talked about during the curfew debate has been taking place in our part of town, so it seems pretty clear that the curfew is more towards the African American kids on the Southeast side than any other race or location.

I am a minority student attending City High School and I am a member of the FAS TRAC program.  The choice of a juvenile curfew as a response to crime that affects all of us in my neighborhood–instead of choosing to invite me and my family and others of us to help figure out a solution–makes me feel like blacks aren’t to be trusted.  This makes me feel that our community isn’t welcoming me here, like I am being judged by other races (mostly Caucasians) and the decision being made is that I’m not wanted in my neighborhood.

Not only is the curfew affecting blacks in general, it is also affecting minors who have done nothing wrong.  I fit in both categories. I am not a troubled student or a violent person.  Why am I being punished for doing nothing wrong?  If the curfew is going to be a new law, it shouldn’t be toward one race or non-violent kids, it should be forced on the individuals who caused this.

It would be better to get to know minors as a new generation, understand what we are about, and hear our voices when it comes to making new decisions about us in our community (which don’t even affect the adults who make them). Again, why punish me and others who have done nothing wrong?

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