In the latest excess of radical left cancel culture, the San Francisco School Board has voted to rename 44 public schools after a biased and historically inaccurate report judged their namesakes to be unworthy of the honor.
Famous Americans whose names are to be stricken from the schools include Founding Fathers George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as well as less obvious targets such as California Senator Dianne Feinstein, a radical Democrat. Feinstein’s crime? While mayor of San Francisco in 1984, she replaced a Confederate Flag which stood as part of a larger display outside City Hall, after it was vandalized and removed by activists. The display featured 18 flags and was intended to showcase the stages of America’s history.
So flagrantly politicized were the renaming decisions, that they sparked the furor of Democratic activist group, Families for San Francisco, which denounced the school board’s decision-making process in a lengthy report.
Families for San Francisco condemned the School Names Advisory Committee which selected the 44 schools to be renamed, noting that “The Committee was not guided or informed by professional historians or any other parties with the historical expertise required for the Committee to do its work” and “As a result…The Guiding Principles used by the Committee was a ‘Just One Thing’ test, where a historical figure was to be removed from a school name on the basis of just a single incident from a list of criteria.”
The similarities to leftist cancel culture did not end there. Additionally, the report points out that “The research process consisted of reviewing the names of schools ‘pretty quick with some really casual Google searches,'” and “numerous factual errors were made, and relevant historical context was often not processed or considered.” Zoom recordings of the naming committee’s meetings show that Abraham Lincoln was discussed for under five seconds before being rejected as a suitable namesake for San Francisco schools.
The “Guiding Principles” used by the Committee to make its decisions held that “We will seek to change the names of schools that are named for: Anyone directly involved in the colonization of people; Slave owners or participants in enslavement; Perpetuators of genocide or slavery; Those who exploit workers/people; Those who directly oppressed or abused women, children, queer or transgender people; Those connected to any human rights or environmental abuses; Those who are known racists and/or white supremacists and/or espoused racist beliefs.”
As overarching and subjective as these guidelines are, the Naming Committee compounded their failure by failing to apply their own rules equally to all historical figures. Families for San Francisco points to the case of civil rights leader Malcolm X as an example: “The Committee was going to decide quickly not to recommend Malcolm X Academy for renaming, until one of the members pointed out there was historical evidence that Malcolm X had “directly oppressed or abused women.” A ten minute discussion followed that rationalized reinterpreting the Guiding Principles to consider all Malcolm X had done in his life in order not to recommend the school for renaming. To be crystal clear, we agree wholeheartedly that Malcolm X should be judged by the entirety of his life. The same is true of all other historical figures.”
“We are applying impossible standards for naming when even Abraham Lincoln doesn’t qualify for this honor,” Jennifer Raiser, a longtime San Francisco author and activist, told the New York Post. “We are sending a message to our kids that even if you do your best and make some mistakes, you are not good enough.”
When even San Francisco leftists think your attempts to rewrite history and erase America’s founding have gone to far, maybe it’s time to give your crusade another look.
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