Count on state lawmakers to stand up for racist sports nicknames for Tennessee schools.
The Senate State and Local Government Committee has just voted for legislation already passed by the House that would prohibit any state agency from ever banning any school sports nicknames or mascots, even if they are offensive to American Indians. Oh happy day! Chief Win-Em-All, the mascot of Murfreesboro's Riverdale High School, is safe.
Before the committee's vote sending the legislation to the full Senate, only Sen. Thelma Harper, a Nashville Democrat, expressed any reticence.
"American Indians felt like you were tromping on them with this bill," Harper told the sponsor, Sen. Dewayne Bunch, a Republican from Cleveland. "This is all about American Indians and the way they have been used as mascots. I'd feel the same way if it was African Americans being used as mascots."