In case you did not know, Steve nASS(R-I don't like paying child support), has authored and had passed the Racist Mascot Preservation Bill. Our friend Heather at Monologues of Dissent has been documenting this bill brilliantly:
When they aren't too busy focusing on
creating jobslegalizing rubber duck races, Wisconsin Republicans are actual drafting legislation that would turn back the hard-fought advances toward equity in public schools by "rewriting" the law requiring schools to abandon racist mascot names, and shift authority on the matter from the Department of Public Instruction to (guess who?) Scott Walker's Department of Administration. Because one belligerent district refuses to comply with the name-change requirement, our children will be subjected to continued humiliations and the unconscionably bad example of normalizing racism in the classroom. Even in their own press release, Sen. Mary Lazich accidentally betrays the true purpose of the backward-looking bill: to ensure total control so that no schools will have to change their mascots, to "avoid imposing costly re-branding on school districts." Using words like "treasured mascots" and referring to the "principled positions" of school districts who refuse to abandon their beloved traditions [of racism], the Republican legislators' complete disrespect for how deeply offensive these racist mascot names are to many Wisconsinites is now on display for all to see. The repulsive irony is best seen in the words of Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the blatant disregard for civility and equity is "the best path forward."
As he has been known to do, Republican Senator Dale Schultz(R-last bit of sanity), has seen how controversial this bill that overturns current law is and has offered up a compromise.
“As a member of the State Tribal Relations Committee for the past couple years, he has found a new appreciation and understanding for the Native American community,” said Schultz’s chief of staff, Todd Allbaugh. “He just thinks it’s the right thing to do.”
Schultz, of Richland Center, will offer a compromise when the Senate meets Nov. 5. His proposal would require the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to review all school nicknames and mascots, rather than waiting for a complaint to be filed. There are roughly 35 schools in the state that use Indian nicknames and logos.
Under the Schultz compromise, if DPI feels a name could be race-based, it would turn its findings over to the local school board. The local school board could then work with the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council to negotiate an agreement, arguably avoiding any lawsuit.
Allbaugh said Schultz had discussions with Ho-Chunk President Jon Greendeer, who testified against the bill at an Oct. 9 Senate public hearing. Greendeer worked with the Wisconsin Dells School District to reach a compromise on its use of the nickname Chiefs.
Greendeer's discussions with the district led to the tribe presenting a traditional headdress to Wisconsin Dells High School, where it is displayed along with a description of the school’s tribal connection to the community.
So Dale Schultz (R-only "R" listens to his constituents) has seen controversy and the need for compromise, has studied the issue, talked to all sides, watched how it has played out successfully in history and pulled all of this together into a palatable solution for all involved.
As Schult'z Chief of Staff correctly puts it:
“His bill forces a true discussion at the local level,” Allbaugh said. “As Republicans, we are always preaching about local control. So let the issue be worked out on the local level like it was in the Dells.”
Well palatable to all except for the furthest end of the right wing spectrum. Unfortunately, thanks to district gerrymandering, that is who is making our laws. Let's here from Steve nAss, I mean Mike Mikalsen speaking for Steve nASS or himself or well whoever does the thinking in their domestic partnership.
Mike Mikalsen, Nass’ chief of staff, said Nass does not support the compromise.
“At this point, he has already compromised as much as he’s going to,” Mikalsen said. “Remember, his bill was initially a complete repeal (of current law).”
The bill proposed by Lazich and Nass would largely undo a 3-year-old law passed under former Gov. Jim Doyle that required schools discontinue using their nicknames, logos or mascots if they were found to be offensive. Once one individual filed a complaint, a review process would be triggered by the DPI to determine whether the school's use of native imagery was offensive.
Through compromise, Nass has agreed to allow for a complaint process. However, it shifts the responsibility for proving something is offensive to the complainant by requiring an individual to collect signatures totaling 10 percent of the school district’s student population. Those who sign the petition must by 18 or older.
Nass’ bill also would cut DPI out of the process by allowing the state Department of Administration to assign a hearing examiner to the complainant’s case.