Nevada Passes Law Banning Racist School Mascots and *Checks Notes* 'Sundown Town' Sirens...in 2021

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks at the 23rd Annual Lake Tahoe Summit, Tuesday, at South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. The summit is a gathering of federal, state and local leaders to discuss the restoration and the sustainability of Lake Tahoe.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks at the 23rd Annual Lake Tahoe Summit, Tuesday, at South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. The summit is a gathering of federal, state and local leaders to discuss the restoration and the sustainability of Lake Tahoe.
Photo: Rich Pedroncelli (AP)

Here’s a question: If America isn’t and never has been a racist country (it is, but stay with me) as the massive Republican swath of white and fragile Critical Race Theory opponents claim, then why are there still entire states that are just now getting rid of its “sundown town” sirens? Why TF did American states ever even have the sirens if America wasn’t and isn’t a racist country? And we’re not just talking about states in the deep south full of people clinging to their precious antebellum roots (not that they’re racist AF or anything)—we’re talking about fucking Nevada.

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CNN reports that Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak “was joined by members of the Nevada Indian Commission and tribal elders during the signing” of Assembly Bill 88, which basically bans “racially discriminatory” shit like racially and culturally insensitive school mascots and—oh yeah—sirens that historically meant that it was open lynching season on any person of color caught on the street after dark.

From CNN:

Assembly Bill 88 specifically prohibits using “a name, logo, mascot, song or other identifier associated with the Confederate States of America or a federally recognized Indian tribe,” except when a tribe has specifically given a school permission to do so.

The law also orders the State Board on Geographic Names to recommend changes for “any geographic feature” that has a name which is considered racially discriminatory.

Additionally, the new law prohibits communities from sounding signals associated with a past law “which required persons of a particular race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin or color to leave the town by a certain time.”

This measure is directed at the town of Minden, where a fire siren blast at 6:00 p.m. every night has been associated with a racist law dating to 1917 that ordered members of the Washoe tribe out of town by 6:30, according to the Record-Courier newspaper.

If you were to guess what year the state ordinance that basically told non-white people, “if you’re caught out here after dark the best you can hope is that a nice white mob lets you choose your own noose” was eliminated, what year would you say? 1930? 1950? 1964, when the federal Civil Rights Act was signed? How about ten whole-ass years after that?

According to CNN, the ordinance wasn’t done away with—in this totally not racist country—until 1974. The fight to remove the siren in Minden has been controversial because white people love their white supremacy memorabilia the siren is now used to honor volunteer firefighters, according to what Minden town manager J.D. Frisby told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Listen: Kudos to Nevada for finally doing the right thing, but my question still remains: If America is not and has never been a racist country, why are white people still fighting for the preservation of monuments, flags, sirens and the like that are indisputably tied to slavery and legalized racial discrimination? How did slavery and legalized racial discrimination ever exist in a non-racist country? CRT began as a study on how racism has affected law. How is Nevada not, right now, a perfect example of why it’s a valid study?

The answer to all the above questions is the same—white fragility, racism and denial. That’s it and that’s all.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

DISCUSSION

sigmapapi
sigmapapi...(No me importa!)

Because this is a racist country. That is all. You can cite chattel slavery, lynchings, KKK, Jim Crow, Red-lining, internment, reservations, the drug laws (don’t get me started on those), police brutality, hiring practices, exclusion from higher education, housing/car loans, credit practices, inequality in schools, environmental policies (see where every landfill, factory, or prison is historically located), the southern border... tired of typing now.

They won’t believe it and they will say it is in the past, but in my short list, 88% of those practices still exist in 2021.

This is a racist country.