School May Remove Lincoln’s Name Because He Did Not Show That “Black Lives Mattered to Him”

1438
"Abraham Lincoln Monument , Washington" (CC BY 2.0) by ozgecan

A high school in San Francisco may remove Abraham Lincoln’s name after a district committee says that the 16th U.S. President who abolished slavery, “did not demonstrate that black lives mattered to him.”

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Abraham Lincoln is only one of the dozen historical figures that the schools renaming committee argued to have led lives so replete with racism, oppression, or abuse that their names should be reflected in its buildings.


The chairman of the renaming committee and a first-grade teacher, Jeremiah Jeffries, told the paper, “The discussion for Lincoln centered around his treatment of First Nation peoples because that was offered first. Once he met criteria in that way, we did not belabor the point.”

Jeffries added and said that Lincoln and Native Americans’ history is complicated and not as well known as slavery and the Civil War. He continued and stated, “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.”

The chairman of the renaming committee then said that uprooting the “problematic names and symbols” that are in the buildings and streets all over the city is a “worthy endeavor. The school board plans to vote on the recommendations early next year.


On the other hand, Jeffries pushed the public to do its research, particularly on President Lincoln. He said, “There is a lot of scholarship out there. I encourage everyone to seek it out. Read.”

Meanwhile, Critics slammed the district’s effort to rename at least 44 sites as “amateurish.” They argued that the rationale behind these acts was derived from Wikipedia or other selective news outlets instead of relying on exhaustive research and historical records.

The committee also released a list of buildings that has to be renamed, although some names made sense, such as Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, who were slave owners, other names raised eyebrows.

Including among them were Herbert Hoover, George Washington, and Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. Their names were advised to be eliminated from an elementary school because she changed a vandalized Confederate flag in front of the City Hall as mayor in 1984.


Meanwhile, President Trump slammed these efforts to remove former President Abraham Lincoln’s name. In a tweet, the President said, “So ridiculous and unfair. Will people never make a stand!”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also wrote on Twitter, “Abraham Lincoln…George Washington…even Diane friggin’ Feinstein: NONE are woke enough for the America-hating radical Left.” Sen. Cruz then added that this would never stop until Americans say it is enough and call out these acts for the “ignorant nonsense that it is.”

“Ted Cruz” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

Abraham Lincoln is known to most people as the Great Emancipator and an inspiration to the Presidents that followed him. Among them is President Barack Obama, who used President Lincoln’s Bibdel for his inauguration in 2009.

A Lincoln scholar and director of Hunter College’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, Harold Holzer, told the Chronicle that President Lincoln saved the country from division and ruin. He added that the former President should be honored for it.


However, the movements of Lincoln with Native Americans are trickier to navigate, according to the Chronicle.

According to the paper, Lincoln’s administration supported the transcontinental railroad and the Homestead Act of 1862. These laws led to the loss of lands of the Native Americans. Historians also said that Lincoln would sometimes delegate a bloody response to Native Americans whenever conflicts would arise while at the same time focusing on the Civil War.

The renaming committee is expected to officially recommend removing the current names of the 44 schools in January.