Scott Walker signs bill making it harder to change ‘racist’ school mascots

Associated Press, December 19, 2013

The Republican measure requires a petition to trigger a state review of a nickname — a departure from current law, which states a single complaint is enough to prompt an evaluation. It also wipes out all previous state orders for schools to drop race-based mascots.

Walker, a Republican, signed the measure privately Thursday afternoon. He released a statement saying he’s worried current law infringes on free speech. A person’s right to speak doesn’t end just because what they say is offensive, he said. The best approach is to educate people about how some phrases and symbols are offensive when used as nicknames and mascots, he added.

“If the state bans speech that is offensive to some, where does it stop?” Walker wrote. “I personally support moving away from nicknames or mascots that groups of our fellow citizens find seriously offensive, but I also believe it should be done with input and involvement at the local level.”

Barbara Munson, an Oneida Indian who chairs the Wisconsin Indian Education Association’s mascots and logos task force, said Walker’s free speech arguments make no sense. Government entities such as schools don’t have free speech rights, she said.

“(The bill) is an example of institutionalized racism in content and process,” Munson said. “It’s a poke in the eye with a sharp stick to all Wisconsin tribes, and it is an act of discrimination leveled directly at our children.”


The bill amends a 2010 state law that required Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction to hold a hearing on a school’s race-based nickname if the agency received a single complaint. The school district had the burden of proving the nickname wasn’t discriminatory. DPI, which is controlled by an elected superintendent, then decided whether the name had to go. So far, DPI has ordered the Osseo-Fairchild School District in western Wisconsin to drop its Chieftains nickname, Berlin High School in northeastern Wisconsin to ditch its Indians moniker and the Mukwonago Area School District outside Milwaukee to drop its Indians nickname.

Mukwonago officials have refused to part with their nickname, however, saying they’ve used it for more than 80 years and it would cost around $100,000 to change it. Rep. Stephen Nass, R-Whitewater, who represents a portion of Mukwonago, introduced the bill in August to help the district.

The bill invalidates all previous DPI orders forcing schools to drop their nicknames.


Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • MekongDelta69

    Barbara Munson, an Oneida Indian who chairs the Wisconsin Indian Education Association’s mascots and logos task force…

    Man – that sounds like one tough job…

    • Barbara Munson needs to go back to the reservation. But there is probably no decent shopping there where she can spend her tribal casino checks.

    • Sick of it

      Her name is not an Indian name nor is it an Eskimo name specifically.

  • D.B. Cooper

    Oh, you poor little Indians!! You cry about Indian mascots, and I’ll bet you’ll cry even harder if we replaced your mascots with white mascots. I have a question for you, Geronimo. Why aren’t white people offended by white sports mascots?

    • If anybody should be offended, it should be the French since Notre Dame has a drunken brawling Irishman as a mascot:

      Notre Dame was founded by a French order of priests: The Congregation of Holy Cross or Congregatio a Sancta Cruce (C.S.C.) is a Catholic congregation of priests and brothers founded in 1837 by Blessed Father Basil Anthony-Marie Moreau, CSC, in Le Mans, France.

      • D.B. Cooper

        He’s not just an Irish man, he’s a leprechaun too.

      • Oil Can Harry

        The Notre Dame mascot isn’t drunk, unlike many Injuns.

        • Katherine McChesney

          A retired priest neighbor of mine in Santa Monica told me that alcoholism is epidemic in the Roman Catholic faith.

          • I once heard an addictions counselor say “If i weren’t for the good Catholics and bad Protestants, we’d wouldn’t have any clients”.

          • Lagerstrom

            Do drunk Catholics seek help from ‘addiction counselors’ these days?

        • Lagerstrom

          That’s right. A ‘drunken brawling Irishman?’ I don’t think this leprechaun is drunk, he looks like he’s ready to defend himself and his lands. Ireland could use a few stout fellows in days like these.

      • Lagerstrom

        Those French don’t drink and brawl then?

        • Boris_baiter

          They drink, but they have long ago lost the will and ability to fight.

    • ShermanTMcCoy

      Detroit’s teams should all be called “The N*gg*ers”

    • gregCall

      If they ever managed to get rid of all the Indian mascots they would go after the white ones next.
      I can see it now “why are there only white mascots? That’s racist and eurocentic to exclude people of color.”
      The game of constantly moving goalpost is a game we can never win, so just refuse to play.

    • Pro_Whitey

      I understand some Indian came up with the logo below, thinking we’d all be offended. I likes it!

      • Pro_Whitey

        Sorry, the image did not come through. Look “Fightin’ Whities” and their motto, “Everything is going to be all white!”

  • Spartacus

    “It’s a poke in the eye with a sharp stick to all Wisconsin tribes, and
    it is an act of discrimination leveled directly at our children.”


    Can I be next ?

  • FWSauerteig

    This is exactly why the bid to change the Redskins’ name must be resisted at every turn. They won’t stop there, they will only be encouraged until every single mascot with any relation to American Indians is changed.
    Oh and as for white sports mascots, I for one am offended by the Minnesota Viikings, both as someone of Danish-German descent on my fathers side, and as a hardcore, maniacal Packer fan. That team shares nothing whatsoever with its Norse moniker. But I digress.

    • SFLBIB

      “They won’t stop there, they will only be encouraged until every single mascot with any relation to American Indians is changed.”

      You are wrong. They won’t be satisfied even then. They will move on to some other manufactured grievance, for

      “Victimhood is where it’s at. If there are not enough real victims, then fictitious victims must be created.” –
      Thomas Sowell

      • RHG

        Yep, this isn’t about Indian mascots, it’s about “power” and once you give in, like extortionists the demands will never end and it’s on to the next grievance.

  • Alexandra1973

    I can see being a little miffed at the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo (looks like a grinning idiot)…but personally I would view it as a compliment to be considered as a mascot. You want something that’ll strike fear, so to speak, in the hearts of the other team…you sure don’t want to come across as wussy.

  • Strike_Team

    Once in a while a politician does something right.

    At the moment though, Mr. Walker is shoveling sand against the tide. But that tide will turn. At that point, it will be up to whites to have the gumption to take the initiative.

  • John K

    It’s a step in the right direction, but it should be changed to make it impossible to change the names. Southern states would greatly benefit from a bill like this, as the black race hustlers are trying to erase General Robert E. Lee and all other Confederate generals, and Southern heritage and culture in general, from history.

  • AngloCelt

    Stands up to Marxist unions and has a common sense approach to race-hustlers? Scott Walker for President.

    • Not so fast.

      He’s open borders.

      • LeGrandDerangement

        Typical Republican; concentrate on crap like team names while the border’s wide open. Fiddling while Rome burns.

        • To be fair, thanks to our wonderful SCOTUS, states have almost no real power on immigration. I don’t mind at all that he fiddles around with team names while he’s a state governor, because that’s one of the few powers that state governments have these days. But I don’t want him to be President, because I know he’ll do just like ObamaBushClintonBushCarterFordNixonJohnsonKennedy and about half of Reagan: Refuse to enforce existing immigration law, enact amnesty by means of non-enforcement.

          • LeGrandDerangement

            My mistake. I forgot he was no longer a Senator.

          • He never was.

            And because the Senate has power over immigration law, let’s hope he never is.

          • LeGrandDerangement

            I need to read more carefully. I thought they were talking about Scott Brown, of MA 🙁

          • Another open borders one. He’s moving to New Hampshire to run for Senate there next year.

          • LeGrandDerangement

            Just like Hilary and New York. These people are just shameless mercenaries.

        • Alexandra1973

          And Obama’s shucking and jiving while America burns.

    • LeGrandDerangement

      I like his stance towards the public unions, but I don’t like his coziness with big-money, out-of-state libertarians.

    • john ellis

      The last GOP Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson was pretty good. Can’t understand how he lost the WI US Senate race to Tammy Baldwin an openly lesbian Lib Dem.

  • Chris Granzow XI

    I’m proud to say I voted for him.

    • D. Bag

      As am I.


    It’s worse than that. It is an attempt to control the language. If you control the language, you control the debate by limiting what your opponent can say.

  • Alexandra1973

    Still looks like a grinning idiot.

    I have a touch of Cherokee ancestry through my mother and she complains about Chief Wahoo all the time…especially since I’m in NE Ohio and she’s in Detroit. I told her I have more important things to be concerned about…yeah, the mascot looks stupid, but you know what, if that’s the only thing you have to worry about in life you are extremely lucky!

    • LeGrandDerangement

      I have Norse ancestry and am more than a little miffed at the institutional racism of the Minnesota Vikings. I have cats, and we’re none too happy with the Detroit Lions and Tigers, as well.

  • Alexandra1973

    As David Yeagley terms it, “professional bellyaching.”

  • Katherine McChesney

    I think he looks like a black man.

  • Katherine McChesney

    Funny that the Indians are in business with the Mafia.

  • RHG

    Barbara Munson probably has about as much Indian blood as Elizabeth Warren does. But, if we’re going to do away with Indian mascot names lets go all the way and start changing the names of states named after Indian tribes. In fact lets get rid of all things Indian and whitewash them from history as if they never existed in the first place, of course all done under the guise of “diversity” and “tolerance”.

    • Alexandra1973

      There are quite a few counties in Ohio named after Indian tribes.

      Mine, though, was named after “Mad Anthony” Wayne.

  • john ellis

    Wisconsin Conservatives/GOP need to step things up. The racial demographics are very good, but with brutal racial realities in Milwaukee, Racine and to a lesser extent Madison. Wisconsin is close enough to my violent city of Chicago that White Republicans in Wisconsin should be able to campaign and win on platforms of “We don’t want to be like violent, lib Democrat Chicsgo, we’re for the GB Packers, country music, not the Chicsgo Bears, Obama, laRasa, Chicago Jessie Jackson, Rev. Wright.

    Also lib Marxist Madison pisses off the rest of the Wisconsin White state.

    My second choice for White American traitor of the year is Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Not content with losing the Presidential campaign as the Libertarian loon VP who couldn’t carry his own state, Paul Ryan was proud to be a Gang of Eight traitor posing with Chicago’s LaRasa Lib Dem Rep. Gutierrez . Seems like some proud White Wisconsin Packer fans ought to be able to take out traitor Rep. Paul Ryan who prefers the Chicago Bears, Chicago’s sanctuary city, free reign to the Latin kings street gang to regular Wisconsin folks.

    • D. Bag

      Milwaukee remains fairly segregated (there is VERY little government-manufactured middle class here, and blacks of middle class nature are a fraction of that in many other large cities), which keeps us from falling over the cliff. We have been fortunate in that regard, the divide between us is quite clear in most areas and whites in the suburbs tend to grow up with a natural distrust for blacks. That is, until the schools get to them, at which time there is less chance for them to turn out remotely normal than without pre-programmed agenda to screw them up for years to come.

      I agree, screw Paul Ryan, there was a time I thought I may be able to back him, but his stance on immigration killed it for me. I’d sooner not vote than cast my vote for a traitor.

      • LeGrandDerangement

        His take on Federal spending is breathtakingly hypocritical, as well. Typical Republican, doesn’t consider the Pentagon as part of the government.

      • john ellis

        Does Paul Ryan have a GOP primary opponent ? Can we help?

    • You might be getting your wish, but not quite for the reason we want.

      A lot of people in his district are coming unhinged at him.

      Over immigration? No.

      Because of the budget he helped negotiate, the one that locks in ObamaDontCare spending into the budget baseline, the one that, if followed literally, will never lead us to a balanced budget.

      That budget has slight cuts in veterans retiree benefits. That’s what they’re coming unhinged over.

      • Pro_Whitey

        What a tool Ryan is. Agreeing to cut veteran’s benefits to pay bills for illegal aliens so Sheldon Adelson doesn’t have to. I like that Jeff Sessions joined up with another Republican senator, can’t recall who, to try to restore the funding with an offset to cut out spending on illegal aliens. It was likely a useless gesture, but it at least exposed that the Democrats care more about illegal aliens than Americans.

  • Rick Brooks

    Without the crucial aid of the left-wing media these huxters would be virtual unknowns.

  • Andrew

    I’m personally offended by the name of the Washington Redskins. I demand they take the Washington part out.

  • LeGrandDerangement

    I don’t know about WI, but in MI 40 years ago, 1/4 Native blood qualified you for state benefits.

  • Paleoconn

    Ah, just like a good Conservatism Inc. lackey, Scotty signs some useless bill about sports mascots (rightfully dubbed the opiate of the masses by Paul Kersey), while prostrating himself before the Koch’s and their amnesty-obsessed corporate buddies.