Offended by Jefferson

Parents, students and teachers will vote on a new name for Berkeley’s Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, because several teachers complained Jefferson was a slave owner. The change has been debated for two years, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Contenders for the new name included Ralph Bunche, the African American diplomat at the United Nations who was the first person of color to win the Nobel Peace Prize; farmworker organizer Cesar Chavez; and Florence McDonald, the late Berkeley city councilwoman, leftist political leader and mother of singer Country Joe McDonald.

Other names suggested were Sojourner Truth, a woman who fled slavery in New York in 1828 and became one of the best-known abolitionist orators; Ohlone — for the indigenous people who lived in Berkeley before European settlers arrived; Peace; Rose; and Sequoia.

In the 1970s, Berkeley’s Abraham Lincoln Elementary was renamed for Malcolm X.

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  1. How about the late Eldridge Cleaver? He was even a local personality (except when he was on the lam in Africa).

    I don’t suppose it’s necessary for the person to be dead. I’m flying out of Mineta Memorial Airport in a couple of weeks.

  2. If people like Jefferson did not found our Nation on Democracy, perhaps we would not have had the problem we now have with slavery.

    Think about it.


  3. Another case of Political Correctism Run Amok. Next thing you know, they’ll want to remove Washington’s portrait from the $1.00 bill for the same reason…

  4. I made a lengthy comment over at my website. Have thick skin, because I hate this crap. Want to argue and debate Jefferson? Excellent! But if you know anything about Jefferson, you’d realize that he should have his name in huge bold letters above that school. Most historians agree that Jefferson faced a moral problem with slavery, even though he owned them. And this was during a time when slavery was accepted! This decision shows bias agenda, ignorance, and apathy towards teaching the students about facts and mores in history.

  5. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Communism held many more slaves than did all the American slave owners put together. Wy not name the school Idi Amin school or Mugabe academy?
    Time to set up a repatriation fund.

  6. Why do schools need names? Number the things.

  7. BadaBing says:

    How about Kinta Kunte High School? Has a nice ring.

  8. nailsagainsttheboard says:

    Wow…so no more dead white American slaveowning male school icons…here are my picks for renaming our illustrious public skools:

    Michael Jackson Elementary
    Escuela Revolucion de Fidel Castro
    Elizabeth Borden High
    Noam Chomsky Special Education Center
    Ward Churchill Center for Pseudonativeamerican Ethnic Studies
    Gary Coleman Perpetual Junior High
    Only The Illegitimate African-American Children of Thomas Jefferson High School
    Tupac Shakur Prepratory School 4 Boyz
    Lil’ Kim School For Unwed Pregnant Preteens
    Genghis Khan Middle School
    Chaka Khan University
    Richard Ramirez Adult Night School
    Bin Laden Continuation School
    Mary Kay LeTourneau School for the Gifted/Talented/High Achiever