Monday, October 3, 2011

After Further Review.....

In case you missed it late Friday afternoon, a Waukesha County judge struck down the Department of Public Instruction's order to the Mukwonago School District to change its "Indians" high school mascot.  Judge Donald Hassin, Jr cited all of the issues I pointed out in a "My Two Cents" after the Berlin School District received a similar order from the DPI a couple of weeks ago--mainly that the process is unconstitutionally biased against districts.

The attorney who represented the group that challenged the DPI ruling believes this ruling can now be applied to any of the other districts that have been forced to change their mascots in the same process--meaning Berlin, Kewaunee, et al can sue and expect to win (unless of course the case is heard in Dane County).  But I would encourage them NOT to take this back to court.

Since the mascot issue is tied directly to sports in high schools, then we should use this to teach the same life lessons kids learn by competing in athletics.  One of the main reasons rules change in sports is because something happens in the course of a game that makes people realize that the rule in the book is not entirely fair.  But once that changes, it's not like everyone who got screwed by the old version of the rule gets to appeal and have the game results overturned.  And sometimes you get a referee or an umpire that really is biased against one team or the other.  You don't get to play the game again with a different set of officials.

Besides, going back to the old mascot just sets the table for another round of fighting and anger somewhere else down the line.  Eventually, a Democrat will be governor again in Wisconsin--and Democrats will control both houses of the Legislature again.  When that happens, they will just pass the bill they didn't have the guts to pass last session that just says "All Native American mascots are hereby illegal"--instead of setting up the sham DPI "public hearing" procedure that is being thrown out in the Waukesha County ruling.

I've got a couple of suggestions for a new Berlin mascot.  One of them comes from an "Anonymous" (real gutsy there) respondent to that previous "Two Cents" blog:  "The Cavemen"--because that commenter believes anyone who doesn't see blatant racism and hatred in an Indianhead logo on a letterman's jacket is a "Troglodyte".

The other suggestion would be the "Old Hickories".  That would be in "tribute" to Democratic President Andrew Jackson--who initially rose to national prominance by defeating the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814--and then openly defied a Supreme Court ruling overturning the Indian Removal Act, and forced Florida's Native American population to march the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma--resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands.  It should be important that kids know the historic record of those pushing the mascot issue.

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