By The Milwaukee Courier Editorial Staff
A cow at the Wisconsin State Fair named after a racial slur for Black people led to the removal of the exhibitor from the fair.
The award winning cow named Milgene Tatio Jigaboo was exhibited by Tianda Hildebrandt, 17.
The Wisconsin State Fair apologized for the situation and apologies came from the Hildebrandt family to the Black community, the State Fair and fellow dairy farmers stating that they “now” recognize that the use of this word is unacceptable and harmful.
It is not a surprise to the Black community. It’s not a surprise that this derogatory name got by the Wisconsin State Fair. Our question is was this an example of blatant racism or did this family from Hustisford, Wisconsin have no idea of the history of Black people in America?
This is a prime example of how history isn’t just a collection of facts, but a living narrative that affects our present. Ignoring or glossing over sensitive language and topics diminishes the opportunity to engage in critical discussions about our past and its impact on the present.
This incident shows how whitewashing history as some states such as Florida is working to do is not the answer. How can banning books or teaching false truths to students and keeping them ignorant from the truth make anything better for the future of this country? To paraphrase philosopher George Santayana “Those who do not learn history are destined to repeat it.”
Education is what’s needed. History needs to be honest and transparent even though it is uncomfortable. Diverse perspectives, and conversations will teach all to be more respectful of each other and their cultures.
Our shared American History is the step to stop the insensitive language and treating each other with misguided disrespect and organizations like the Wisconsin State Fair can be more vigilant to harmful speech.
The harmful language and attitudes of the past should not be resurrected.
It’s unnecessary and unhealthy for this ever evolving diverse American.
The Hildebrandt family stated that immediately upon learning the meaning of the insulting term, they changed the cow’s name and said that they are committed to educating themselves further. Education is the first step.
We can’t just get mad about it, we need to make sure that society learns from it.