Absa Bank Kenya Partners with Huawei to Build a New Digital Foundation for Branch NetworksRead more Stylish and compact, these new Canon instant printers make creative pursuits easyRead more Nigerian Law Enforcement agencies open investigations on Hawilti and company executives for criminal breach of trust, cheating, defrauding investors schemeRead more Famine looms in Somalia, but many ‘hunger hotspots’ are in deep troubleRead more Launch of the 3rd Edition of the Choiseul Africa Business Forum, a Must-Attend Event for the Business Community in Africa October 19th & 20th, 2022 in Casablanca, MoroccoRead more World’s Biggest Afrobeats Music Festival Afro Nation Extends Partnership with APO Group until 2025Read more Master Trainer (MT) National Meeting on Sustainable Coffee Practices Organized by The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation in Collaboration with The Sustainable Coffee Platform of Indonesia (SCOPI)Read more Thai Ambassador met the Thai Community in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar and visited the Buddhist Temple in TanzaniaRead more Generation Africa awards US$100,000 to two young agripreneurs from Kenya and Uganda in the fourth annual GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition at the African Green Revolution Forum Summit in Kigali, RwandaRead more Medicaid Cancer Foundation and AstraZeneca celebrate Prostate Cancer Awareness month with the launch of Project Icon NigeriaRead more

San Francisco to scrub Lincoln, Washington and other names from 44 schools

show caption
A statue of US president Abraham Lincoln is seen inside San Francisco's Abraham Lincoln High School in December 2020./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Jan 28, 2021 - 12:47 PM

SAN FRANCISCO — Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are no longer in favor in San Francisco, where the school board has voted to change the name of 44 schools it says bear the monikers of people associated with racism, slavery or colonization.

The move, which has sparked much controversy locally, dates back to the creation of a commission in May 2018 to revise the names of public schools, long before statues of Christopher Columbus or figures from the US’ Confederate south were toppled by anti-racism protesters in the wake of George Floyd’s police killing.

The commission created a list of 44 schools to be renamed, such as that bearing the name of Spanish missionary Junipero Serra.

Among them are schools named for presidents Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom owned slaves, as well as Francis Scott Key, the author of the US national anthem.

Surprisingly, Abraham Lincoln — the symbol of the abolition of slavery in the US — is also under fire, accused by some of having played a role in the massacre of Native American tribes.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, 87, is also on the list, which the school board approved in a six-to-one vote.

The commission accuses her of replacing a vandalized Confederate flag that flew among approximately 20 others in front of San Francisco’s city hall, while she was mayor in the 1980s.

The flag, which originated in the pro-slavery south during the US Civil War, has become a symbol of racial discrimination and white supremacy.

The decision to rename schools has sparked sharp criticism, including from the current mayor of San Francisco, London Breed.

Breed, who is the city’s first Black, female mayor, criticized the school board’s decision to focus its energy on renaming schools at a moment when the education system is facing an uphill battle to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic as well as hardships associated with virtual homeschooling.

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.