Thomas Gallatin / December 11, 2020

Woke Iconoclasts Expunge Founders From Schools

A DC-area school board votes to rename schools named for Thomas Jefferson and George Mason.

In the Washington, DC, suburb of Falls Church, Virginia, the local school board recently unanimously voted to rename Thomas Jefferson Elementary School and George Mason High School because of what have become all too frequent “woke” considerations. As one board member explained, “Our schools must be places where all students, staff, and community members feel safe, supported, and inspired.” The board member forgot to mention that such sentiments apply to everyone except those who hold conservative views on free speech and love this nation, but we digress. The names of two men whose incredible contributions to human history included crafting the founding documents of the greatest nation on earth but who also owned slaves clearly don’t comport with the sensibilities of modern social justice warriors.

This is yet another tired and empty virtue-signaling display that, if anything, works to stoke the very racial animus and resentment the Fall Church school board claims to be fighting against. As Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff astutely observes, “The name changes aren’t about safety, support, inspiration, or performance. What are they about? It’s easy to say they are about virtue signaling and that’s true as far as it goes. But just how do the name changes signal virtue? No one supposes that members of the school board approve of slavery or whatever other evil practices Jefferson and Mason might have indulged in.”

This is nothing more than a politically motivated expression that is both anti-American and intolerant. What the school board is communicating to students is that the way to solve anything that may offend their sensitivities is to demand its banning and removal. Furthermore, it teaches the students to view all of American history through the false and flawed prism of systemic racism and white privilege — it’s the poison of Critical Race Theory. Students are being taught to reject America’s Founding Fathers as villains of history who should be canceled. In essence, they are being taught to hate America.

Will any of these students be taught to appreciate the profound contributions Jefferson and Mason offered not just to our country but to freedom-loving people the world over? That Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence and Mason the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which later became the basis of the Bill of Rights? Not if their names are removed from the schools because both men failed to live up to modern standards of ethics … if it can even be called ethics.

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