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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

With the school name changes, the district sets up the racists to win even if they lose (draft)

DCPS has set up a system where people can vote to change the name of Lee High School, but Robert E. Lee can still get the most votes. This is failure a failure in leadership and it would not surprise me if it was by design.   

I wish I could vote to change the names of all the schools, as a citizen of Jacksonville it is an embarrassment that in 2021, we have any schools named after slavers and traitors let alone six. Furthermore, four of the six schools are minority-majority too which means most of the children that attend them attend schools named after somebody who thought they were subhuman. 

The process that DCPS has set up has been a slog. I guess they have never heard of just ripping the band-aid off and instead went with the slow painful way, a way that has seen racists emboldened, teachers doxed and a community unnecessarily divided.     

All of this could have been avoided had the district had any sense of urgency but of course, they had none. 

When the district decided to go on this arduous journey, who exactly was it for? It was not for the communities of color that many of these schools are in or serve. No, it was for the guy who thinks Jesus supported slavery and the people who nodded along. This has been for them, they are the constituency the district has been playing to and it is shameful, but it may just get even more so as the district has set up a way for them to win even if they lose. 

When voting, the first line is to change the name or not. Do you want it to stay Lee high school or be named something else? Yet inexplicably the next question gives you a choice of names and one of those is Lee high school. This means where even if most people vote to change the name, Lee can still get the most votes. How is this even an option?  

Can you imagine what will happen if Lee does get the most votes? It will embolden the racists; it will give them the credibility that thus far they have not had and diminish the credibility the next name will have. It will also further divide the community that has already been torn apart by a year of this fiasco. I can see it now, they might call it Riverside High, but most of the people wanted to keep it, Lee. This stain was created because we have a district that both does not think ahead and who kowtows to a loud minority who hasn’t figured out the south lost the war.  

We could and should be doing better, but time and time again when in a hole instead of climbing out the district chooses to dig deeper.   

The district is complicit or incompetent, I will let you decide which you think more. 


How does that make any sense? The answer is it doesn't unless the district is trying to give the racists a second bite at the apple.

In fact, very little of the entire process, which will stretch on for another six weeks, makes sense.

This should have been easy, and it should have been done last summer. The fact that it didn't makes me wonder what who all this has been for? Not the communities of color which have had to endure this slight for way too long, that's for sure, and all the leaves are the people who want to live in a past where people of color were treated as if they were subhuman.

The thing is, you don't reward the baby for having a tantrum, and that's what the district has done to a small vocal minority for the last few months. You also do what's right because it is right, even if a few people stuck in the Jim Crow era don't like it.

This shouldn't have been this hard, but for some reason, the district decided to make it so.

I think Greene and the school board have some explaining to do. 

1 comment:

  1. They should've done it over the summer when wreck it Lenny tore down the confederate statue in what was formerly hemming park. They could've blamed Lenny for being so 'woke' but they were scared of rocking the boat before they got their special sales tax passed. I think the school board must have a team of 3rd graders working in PR downtown.