• July 25, 2024

Why A City Renamed Abraham Lincoln High School Is Beyond Insanity…

These are complex times. Even the question “How are you doing?” is complex. But this is not complex: In a 6-1 vote late Tuesday night, the San Francisco Board of Education decided that it’s okay to name a school after Willie Brown or Philip Burton, but not Abraham Lincoln.

Their reason? Lincoln and other prominent figures“engaged in the subjugation and enslavement of human beings; or who oppressed women, inhibiting societal progress; or whose actions led to genocide; or who otherwise significantly diminished the opportunities of those amongst us to the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” according to the text of the resolution.

Activists claim that Lincoln failed to demonstrate that “Black lives mattered to him,” with this his name will be removed from the school.

A “blue ribbon panel of community leaders” recommended 44 school names be changed, joining many other renamed institutions across the country, as the U.S. reckons with its history of racial injustice. But the move has also sparked debate in San Francisco about its timing and whether the list is overly broad.

According to reports, Lincoln’s name will be removed along with politicians like George Washington, Herbert Hoover, and Senator Dianne Feinstein. Feinstein’s name will be stripped from the Dianne Feinstein Elementary School because she allowed the San Francisco City Hall to fly the Confederate flag while she was mayor of the city back in 1984.

School board president Gabriela López called it “an opportunity for our students to learn about the history of our school’s [sic] names, including the potential new ones.”

“This resolution came to the school board in the wake of the attacks in Charlottesville, and we are working alongside the rest of the country to dismantle symbols of racism and white supremacy culture,” she added in a statement.

More details of this report from AWM:

The school district decided that the Abraham Lincoln High School needs a new name because “the majority of (Lincoln’s) policies proved to be detrimental to [Native Americans]. Abraham Lincoln is not seen as much of a hero at all among many American Indian Nations and Native peoples of the United States, as the majority of his policies proved to be detrimental to them.”

Although Lincoln went down in history as the president who helped end slavery, he passed several laws that resulted in the direct disenfranchisement of Native Americans and Black people.

For example, the Pacific Railway Act and the Homestead Act of 1862 allowed white Americans to steal land from Native Americans. These policies “led to the significant loss of land and natural resources, as well as the loss of lifestyle and culture, for many Indigenous peoples,” the committee said.

Again in 1864, Lincoln exhibited disdain for people of color when he ordered the Navajo tribe to abandon their ancestral lands in present-day Arizona and take a brutal 450-mile march on foot to their new home in Bosque Redondo, New Mexico.

“The history of Lincoln and Native Americans is complicated, not nearly as well-known as that of the Civil War and slavery,” Jeremiah Jeffries, chairman of the renaming committee and a first-grade teacher, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Lincoln, like the presidents before him and most after, did not show through policy or rhetoric that Black lives ever mattered to them outside of human capital and as casualties of wealth building.”

Meanwhile, more than 9,000 people have signed an online petition asking the school board to “stop wasting time and money renaming the schools and focus on educating our kids.”

Advocacy group Families for San Francisco also opposed the move, saying it was a top-down process in which the board made the decision without properly consulting experts and the wider community.

Watch the video report below for more details:

Source: AWM

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