Go, Mukwonago Palefaces! Home of the white people! | WisCommunity

Go, Mukwonago Palefaces! Home of the white people!

Busy-beaver Senate Republicans passed a couple of nauseating bills this week, including the controversial measure to make the Gogebic mining site off limits to the public, even though it's on public land and the owner gets a property tax break for allowing hikers passage thorugh the as-yet mostly pristine woodlands. That vote no doubt upset nearby tribal residents on the Bad River reservation, who say the mine would be an environmental disaster for them and others. But the dumber, meaner Republican move was to approve another measure that even more grossly ignores the feelings and rights of native Americans:

With only one Republican in opposition (the inimitable Dale Schultz), the state Senate passed a measure Tuesday making it much easier for schools in Wisconsin to keep Indian team names and mascots. All Democrats joined Schultz in opposing the measure. This is just the latest Republican goofball populism. What a laughing stock this state is becoming nationwide, and in such a rush, too. But the mascot issue isn't just about laughs, it's about denigrating a certain class of citizens in this country by discounting their view that such team names are often abusive and distasteful.

Both bills now go to the Assembly and likely will pass through the GOP majority there. Then on to Gov. Scott Walker, who says he has not yet decided whether he would sign the school measure. This is, of course, the governor who is also treading water as he considers whether to approve a new tribal casino in Kenosha, despite his past efforts to defer on the matter to the tribes themselves. Campaign money truly does talk, apparently.

The GOP is also the political party in Wisconsin that has been quite aggressive in taking away local controls on matters like mass transit or environmental protection or running local government itself ("home rule"? we don't need no steenkin' home rule!) but which paradoxically seems all too happy to protect local decisions if they are in accord with the GOP ideological mindset.

Well, here's a thought experiment for the governor and his party: You don't think the Mukwonago High School "Indians" mascot and logo is racist and insensitive to many native American citizens of this state? Well, then, do you think an NFL team in Green Bay named the "Redskins" would have been okay?

And if those monikers are okay by you, then would it be equally okay if a native American high school in this state today decided it would begin to use for its team name the "Palefaces"? Of course you wouldn't. You would instead be outraged. Well, many of your constituents (and not just native Americans) are outraged at the implicit racism of allowing allusions to native Americans for mostly or all-white sports teams, without measure or consultation.

Hey, at the very least, you'd think fiscally conservative profit-takers would insist that the schools license those names in exchange for giving willing tribes cold cash. I doubt any tribe would ever agree. But the thought experiment is not over. Try naming your team the Mukwonago Oreos and then see what happens.

This is no small matter. The online Racial Slur Database lists "indian" as a slur against native Americans, because "Indians come from India, not North/South America. Offensive because original American settlers from Europe completely misnamed them."

Thus, State Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), an African American, nailed it when she said on the floor during debate:

"You can't call me a nigger and it's OK. We should not be able to call them savages, redskins or even Indians."

Blogger Democurmudgeon had it right last June: "Conservatives aren't racists, they just like racist mascots."

That's about the size of it, in the increasingly coarse, you-versus-him state of Fitzwalkerstan.


November 6, 2013 - 10:51am