Becoming a Caricature of Ourselves
I’m pretty left of center when it comes to the majority of issues, specifically those that are socially engineered. But a recent AP story caught my attention and made me shake my head in a befuddled sort of way.
The article referenced the San Francisco school board and its decision to rename 44 schools in the district that bore the labels of such American tyrants as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Paul Revere due to perceived racial or social injustices that run hundreds of years into the past. Included in the name-wipe is current California Senator Dianne Feinstein over a 1984 incident in which she replaced a confederate flag that had been stolen from a city hall display used to symbolize the different stages of American history. To be clear, I’m on the side of removing Confederate monuments and symbols from public places, wherever they may be, and while that in and of itself is a separate article, what Feinstein did 37 years ago is hardly a sin of racial injustice, especially considering she’s been at the forefront of progressive ideas and social causes for decades.
The real issue lies with a liberal bastion like San Francisco becoming a caricature of itself. So left of center that Abraham Lincoln isn’t worthy of honor because of perceived mistreatment of Native Americans. Not being able to comprehend that the name Washington is all over the country because he was an instrumental general during the American Revolution in spite of the fact that he owned slaves, and not because of it. History is important, and I’m a fan of its place in our culture and heritage. One should celebrate these figures from the past for their great accomplishments, understanding also that they (live everyone else) has negative aspects attributed to them.
Most sane people on all sides of the political spectrum would agree with me, but a counterproductive move like this gives all of us progressives a bad name. 74 million people voted for Donald Trump this past November – and this is just a guess – 70 million of them did so against their own best interests. Why? It’s because The Right has the ability to snatch up stories like this and exploit the ridiculousness of them. Yeah, Joe Biden will provide me with health care or a better cost of living, and won’t act like a fool on the world’s stage. But he’s also on the team that wants to excommunicate Paul Revere from the history books because (and I had to look this up) he was a commander in the Penobscot Expedition of 1779 and mistakenly believed to have stolen land from a native tribe.
Moves like this add ice to the already slippery slope of Cancel Culture and retroactive modifications to history. If the students of San Francisco can’t handle attending a school named after the first president, how are they going to handle the currency with his image splashed across it? Deleting the founding members of our history doesn’t accomplish anything positive, but the downsides are endless. You want Donald Trump or someone like him (or worse) to win again in four years? Keep doing things like this and it will happen.