Mr. Unintimidated has decided to “punt” when it comes to doing away with racist mascots.
That takes real courage.
If it were up to Walker, local governments in the 60’s would have had to deal with racist policies, because racism is all about free speech. Who’s to say “where do you draw the line” when it comes to racism.
Walker’s real colors are showing, whether he appreciates the spot the legislature just put him in or not. We're finally seeing the weak career politician we knew was lurking underneath that empty unemotional gaze:
jsonline: Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday that school districts should drop Indian team names and mascots on their own and questioned whether the state should force them to do so, signaling that he will sign a bill this week making it harder for state officials to end the practice.
Walker is full of advice and supposed good intentions, but it’s a smoke screen for a much more radically mean spirited tea party agenda, and it stinks with racism.
…he said he would prefer to see schools do that voluntarily. He said he empathized with those who are offended by Indian team names, but cast the ability of schools to choose their team names as a First Amendment right.Mascots objects and logos. But an even better, more legal point of view was offered up at Uppity Wisconsin:
"I get the concern" of opponents, Walker said. " But the counterbalance to that that I'm looking at is, by the same token, from a free speech standpoint...where do you draw the line on free speech? While I may not like or necessarily approve of others' speech, where do you draw the line to say, 'It's OK to do things that you like but not that you don't?' " he said.
Wisconsin public schools aren't businesses-- at least not yet. Public schools don't have any First Amendment rights-- they're part of a larger statewide school system and can be regulated the same way the state can dictate statewide standards such as the number of hours per week of physical education. As Milwaukee attorney Brian Pierson correctly points out, "A school district doesn't have a First Amendment right to adopt an Indian mascot any more than it has a First Amendment right to adopt the swastika as school symbol or 'white supremacy' as school slogan."This opinion was forwarded by the ACLU today:
Today, ACLU of Wisconsin executive director Chris Ahmuty issued this statement:
“This is a bogus appropriation of the First Amendment. The governor apparently does not understand that the First Amendment protects citizens from government censorship. Government programs are not allowed to offend, harm or otherwise discriminate against citizens on the basis of the First Amendment. The First Amendment simply doesn't apply when it’s the government taking action.
School team names, mascots, logos and all that go along with them are the responsibility of the public school district. It’s highly likely they are discriminatory. If the public school district doesn't change them, it is necessary for the Department of Public Instruction to do so.
Why would a public school district want to harm some of its students? Free speech is no justification.”