Opinion: Wisconsin's new anti-Indian mascot law too vague
"A signature by Gov. Jim Doyle created a first law of its kind in the nation, governing the use of American Indian nicknames, logos, and mascots in public schools.

Any resident may file a complaint concerning use in a school district of an American Indian name. Should the state superintendent find the usage offensive, a hearing will follow.

The law aims to end cases of race-based nicknames that may perpetuate "discrimination, pupil harassment, or stereotyping." It has the potential to affect 36 Wisconsin high schools, including the Mukwonago Indians, the Muskego Warriors, the Lancaster Flying Arrows, and the Tomahawk Hatchets.

But consider the names of some well-recognized teams, such as the Minnesota Vikings and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Surely not everyone of Scandinavian descent would appreciate being stereotyped as a Viking when this conjures images of barbaric Norse raiders.

Nor would all Irish-Americans appreciate being associated with a nickname that connotes violent behavior.

But the names were selected because they suggest strength and aggressiveness, characteristics that are desirable in competitive teams."

Get the Story:
Nick Roetker: Mascot law too vague (The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 5/30)

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