Trying To Ban American Indian Mascots Via A Budget Amendment Is No Way To Govern

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If the Massachusetts House of Representatives has its way, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will ban schools from having American Indian mascots.

This wouldn’t happen because of a bill that made its way through the legislative process. Instead, the House wants to force its will onto municipalities on this social issue via an amendment to the proposed fiscal year 2025 budget. It’s Amendment 1458, to be exact — and the legacy media and Democratic majority on Beacon Hill appears to have not said a word about it.

There’s no roll call on the amendment, either, meaning we don’t know who voted in favor of it and who opposed it. Odds are, we’ll never know. The majority party on Beacon Hill routinely opposes transparency measures, like making committee votes public, auditing the state legislature, and giving politicians and the public ample time to read amendments before they come up for a vote. Only Republicans and a smattering of progressive Democrats support that stuff, unfortunately.

Banning mascots is  a change liberals on Beacon Hill want to foist upon communities even though when this issue comes up for a vote at the municipal level, residents vote in favor of keeping theirs. That’s been true in Dartmouth, Wakefield, and Montague, among other communities. I bet if you polled the other 23 communities with high schools with Native American mascots in Massachusetts, you would get similar results.

Yet the Democratic Party, which claims to love democracy, cannot respect the most pure form of democracy on this issue:  direct democracy. The party wants to kowtow to political correctness and provide communities with an unfunded mandate.  (Changing mascots can cost communities hundreds of thousands of dollars.)

And why? A small minority of liberals want to find something to complain about. Many people think these mascots honor American Indians. If such mascots were about mocking an ethnic minority, then, odds are, virtually nobody would support having them.

The refusal to respect referendums has long been a problem on Beacon Hill. When Bay Staters voted to lower the state income tax rate from 5.9 percent to 5 percent, the state legislature enacted roadblocks that caused the change to take more than 20 years to go into full effect; the same was true of the charitable state income tax deduction approved by voters that same year. Plus, some lawmakers on Beacon Hill continue to push voter-rejected physician-assisted suicide — something Bay Staters voted against in 2012.

House Speaker Ron Mariano (D-Quincy) and his ilk should respect the lawmaking process and transparency in government. If they want a democracy, they should want an informed populace to have as much information as possible so that they can make well-reasoned decisions in the voting booth. Secret votes on woke social issues are the antithesis of that.


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