Presidential Purge

What do George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, Teddy Roosevelt, William McKinley, and Herbert Hoover have in common?

If you said that they were all American presidents, you’d be right. But what else do they all have in common? Yes, they were all old, white men. But, come on. What else do they have in common?

Give up?

They are all historical figures who have San Francisco schools named after them.

Cool, right?

Well, apparently not. The San Francisco School Names Advisory Committee has identified more than a third of the city’s public schools that are named after people and places that don’t meet its exacting criteria for the honor. This august committee scrutinized every school’s name for any association with genocide, slavery, colonialism, exploitation, oppression, racism, or environmental degradation. The result is that the schools named for those presidents listed at the top of this post do not fall within the framework of what the committee deems acceptable and the committee wants to change the names of those schools.George Washington, one of the Founding Fathers and the first President of the United States, and Abraham Lincoln, who saved the union, are two of our most revered and respected American president. Yet the committee wants to blackball them and remove their names from the schools because the former owned slaves and the latter perpetuated brutality toward Native Americans.

It’s one thing to purge Confederate statues, monuments, and school names. Those “heroes” fought against the United States during the Civil War in the cause of slavery and lost. They don’t deserve to be memorialized. But American presidents? They founded this nation. They saved this nation. Were they flawed humans? Sure? But the “sins” they’re now accused of were, right or wrong, the customs of society at the time. Trying to erase these America icons from history is ludicrous.

All I can do is shake my head and wonder what has become of common sense.

28 thoughts on “Presidential Purge

    • Fandango October 20, 2020 / 10:20 pm

      It’s ridiculous. I would think that schools have more important things to consider than spending money to remove the school’s name and replace it with a different one.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. rugby843 October 20, 2020 / 7:35 pm

    I agree, my granddaughter, a history grad would not.  It’s such a mess and while we concentrate on this PC, people are still being discriminated against and in reality always will.  All I can think is that we do our best to help each other any way we can and try to survive.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marleen October 21, 2020 / 6:51 am

      That’s what I was thinking. It’s not like all this junk has ended.

      I think schools all have a code designation these days, no “name” needed. (I could donate to a particular school in my state when I did my taxes if I knew the code or looked it up.) But that seems kinda boring on its own. I suppose we could get used to it. But. I’m not for it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • rugby843 October 21, 2020 / 8:48 am

        PS 1- 1, 000,000,000? Who could argue with that? However, my son in law’s father who worked in the school system for many years, just had a new junior high dedicated with his name on it this year. Well deserved I add!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango October 21, 2020 / 12:31 pm

          I hope your son-in-law’s father has no skeletons in his closet.


  2. slmret October 20, 2020 / 7:42 pm

    It seems as if we are trying to rewrite history — perhaps it would be better simply to add to the existing writings a discussion of the flaws of our heroes.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fandango October 20, 2020 / 10:22 pm

      Yes, I think that’s a great idea. No human is without flaws.


  3. Mister Bump UK October 21, 2020 / 12:30 am

    I think you have to say “we are where we are” and question whether it is appropriate (in terms of time, effort and cash) to go through this process. Where the existing name is not offensive I think you’re right to just leave ’em alone.
    I think the question gets interesting when the figure *is* offensive.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango October 21, 2020 / 12:09 pm

      And who it is who defines ”offensive” and who is offended.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mister Bump UK October 21, 2020 / 12:25 pm

        absolutely. Their view should no more prevail than the views of somebody who named them in the first place.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. padresramblings October 21, 2020 / 12:38 am

    Well Lincoln is acceptable to African Americans, but bad for Native American. So we should avoid the problem and just number the schools. No wait, that might imply superiority: one over two or the other way around. We could just call it here. No that’s no good either as it implies a there. Well let’s just do away with education – we are on that pathway already.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. pensitivity101 October 21, 2020 / 5:53 am

    The world’s gone nuts, and now they want to re-write history. They should hang their heads in shame IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. CARAMEL October 21, 2020 / 7:55 am

    I am glad I went to schools named after pretty villages and not imperfect people.


    • Marleen October 21, 2020 / 4:54 pm

      That is a wonderful thought.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. rugby843 October 21, 2020 / 8:52 am

    Another shot at this from someone who has lived through a lot of historical events, just leave it alone. It IS history and it’s there to remind us, good or bad of what we should or shouldn’t do in future.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Melanie B Cee October 21, 2020 / 9:29 am

    Common sense? What’s THAT? It’s dead and buried somewhere around the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but no eternal flame burns on the site, and nobody mourns its passing…save a few of us who knew a time when common sense was the rule and not the exception. My sympathies for living in an ultra-nanny state!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Alice DeForest October 23, 2020 / 7:45 am

    Not to mention the tax payers who foot the bill for the school boards to waste time in these meetings, instead of working on ways to make schools better inside unity

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango October 23, 2020 / 10:16 am

      Exactly. What a waste of money.


  10. rugby843 October 23, 2020 / 10:12 am

    This is a conundrum…remember those? When I was little we had a very small leather bound book of them to read. It was fun at the time. I wish I had it now😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. leigha66 October 29, 2020 / 4:23 pm

    Just look at it this way… someone as important to history as Washington can’t have something named after him then the odds are against a school being called Trump Elementary School too.

    Liked by 1 person

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