It’s fascinating to watch the stream of news items coming out of California these days, though I’ll confess that most of them have me wondering if that big earthquake we’ve all been waiting for isn’t somewhat overdue. Just in the past week alone we saw California’s Governor preparing to register everyone who comes within fifty feet of a DMV to vote and turning all of the state’s schools into free range shooting zones. But with piddling little issues such as those sorted out, Jerry Brown has finally set his sights on solving the big problems plaguing the Golden State. It will soon be against the law to name your high school football team or mascot “Redskins.” Our long national nightmare is finally over.
Amid national debate about the use of a term many critics call outdated and offensive, Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed legislation banning the use of “Redskins” as a school mascot or team name.
Assembly Bill 30, by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, will affect only four high schools in California – in Calaveras, Merced and Madera counties. The bill will let schools keep uniforms bearing the name if they are purchased before 2017 as long as the school selects a new team name, mascot or nickname.
Making this story all the more bizarre was the fact that Brown simultaneously vetoed a second bill which would have banned the naming of public buildings or roads after Confederate leaders. It’s possible that the septuagenarian governor is getting a bit past his Best Sold By date, considering the reasoning he offered for nixing the second bill.
Brown himself appealed to local control in vetoing Senate Bill 539, the Confederate bill. He said in a veto message that the issue is “quintessentially for local decision makers.”
“Local governments are laboratories of democracy which, under most circumstances, are quite capable of deciding for themselves which of their buildings and parks should be named, and after whom.”
If local governments are “laboratories of democracy” which are capable of deciding for themselves, how are the taxpayer funded schools which fall under the control of state and local government bodies for all manner of things not also capable of such experimental thinking? The office of the Governor is turning into a bad episode of the Dr. Phil show. In the end, of course, what it all comes down to is the politically correct stance of opposing the NFL franchise in Washington. Liberals have been seeking some sort of toehold in that battle for years to no avail. In fact, the team is looking for options for a new stadium in the near future and their president was asked if he might consider a new moniker if it meant getting a deal approved for a new place to play. No dice, folks.
Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen said the team will not reconsider changing its name — even if it’s a political barrier to a potential new stadium.
The Redskins have started the process of finding a new home, exploring potential sites in Maryland, where they now play; Washington, D.C., where they used to play; and Virginia, where they train. But Allen supplied a short answer when asked about changing the name stance to build a new home.
“No,” he said.
Maybe Jerry Brown can try enacting a law banning the Redskins from traveling to California to play against the Chargers or the 49ers. That should work out brilliantly.