cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
This bill, when it becomes law, will make it possible for one person to lodge a complaint against the school district that will automatically cause the state superintendent to conduct a review. This requires that the superintendent decide if there is or isn’t ambiguity in the school’s team name, nickname, mascot or logo. If there is deemed to be no ambiguity, the school district is required to establish that the name, etc. was appropriate. If there were ambiguity found by the superintendent, then the complainant would be required to go through the process of proving it was inappropriate.
If the school district loses this argument, it is given a year in which to change to something that everyone finds acceptable.
There are supposedly some thirty-six school districts that could become involved given their choices of names, nicknames, mascots or logos.
Our state has a rich heritage of American Indian names and inferences. I grew up in Viroqua and we had much signifying the heritage that we derived from the Blackhawk tribe. In this new world, the name Blackhawk couldn’t be used unless a tribal council had given its approval. We were proud of the name Blackhawks; we didn’t cheer on our teams thinking that we were mocking the tribe it named.
The movement toward political correctness in school names and mascots has been noticeable for quite a few years. Many schools have already rolled over in the face of public protests by the few who find these names and mascots offensive. I don’t recall that much, if any, of these actions have been brought by the members of the tribes or their governing councils. Most of these actions seem to be brought by those who always profess to know what is right for the rest of us.
If a team name, nickname, mascot or logo were offensive to those people with American Indian blood flowing in their veins, I would be much more amenable to this legislation. That having been said, the do-gooders would then simply find an American Indian to front the complaint for the group.
There may be some names in use that are offensive. One such is reported to be the Rib Lake Redmen. That sounds offensive to me. The term “Redmen” appears, to me, to be racist. Would we today tolerate a team named the “Blackmen”? I doubt that any community would permit such a name; if there were one, it would be so quickly vilified as to make it a pariah.
I see festivals showcasing our American Indian heritage and I see the American Indians celebrating their heritage so that we all can learn a greater appreciation of that heritage.
Will we next see an uprising by one person who finds the term “Swede” offensive? What about “Norske”? How about the “Fins”? What about those nasty “Vikings” who pillaged and plundered?
Can we not rely on the localities and their elected school district officials to make these decisions based on community mores? Do we need to empower single-person initiatives by do-gooders? What happens when the elected superintendent of schools is a person whom the do-gooders despise? Will this law then be repealed until another like-minded person occupies that office? Is it wise to place this kind of power in the hands of one person?
Where will this end? Will it ever end? Will we someday finally get to the point where there is nothing left that is offensive to anyone? That seems highly unlikely given the do-gooders’ propensity for finding new “issues” or even old “issues”.
When will our textbooks need to be made ‘correct’? Oh, wait. That has already happened.