[I]n Wisconsin... a Democratic governor and a legislature dominated by Democratic majorities in both houses passed a bill in 2009 that opened the door to force dozens of schools to change their Native American names.... In 2010, Republicans took control of both houses of the legislature, and this month they passed a bill that would require a complainant to collect signatures of 10 percent of the population of a given school district to change a name.That's right, the new burden on mascot name changing is that you need to get 10% of the people in the district to sign a petition. And Gov. Scott Walker has to decide whether or not to sign it. His main problem with it seems to be that it's a "weird hybrid" instead of an outright appeal of the current law, which requires a hearing before before the state’s Department of Public Instruction if one person complains.
“What we found was that school districts in Wisconsin didn’t have a chance in front of the Department of Public Instruction in Madison,” said Sam Hall, a lawyer who represented Mukwonago [School District] in a lawsuit. “They had taken a position, and they were categorically opposed to all Indian-related mascots in all cases. It didn’t matter what the facts were. If DPI found that there was even the potential of a risk of harassment or discrimination based on a nickname, even if there was no actual harassment or discrimination inside the schools, they would rule against the district.”...
Political observers in Wisconsin said, however, that Walker is likely to sign the bill—it is red meat for his Republican base.Red meat... cubed... sounds like cube steak!
“This is like the nanny state cubed for the base."
"This is the ultimate proof of the ‘we don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings’ mentality,” said Mordecai Lee, a professor of government at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a former Democratic state lawmaker. “People resent being told that the nickname of their high school is offensive. Compared to the eye-glazing public policy that is most of what government does, this is like the death penalty. There is a yes and a no, and everybody has an opinion about it.”The Democrats should have had the nerve to abolish all Indian mascot names, and the Republicans should have the nerve to repeal the Democrats' pusillanimous legislation, so here we are, with one roundabout, blame-shifting, pandering law tweaked into a differently structured but also roundabout, blame-shifting, pandering law. I find I must agree with The Daily Beast. It is Situation Normal All Fucked Up.