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Opposition mounts to San Francisco school board approval of racialist renaming of schools
by Renae Cassimeda (WSWS repost)
Sunday Jan 31st, 2021 11:04 PM
As educators across the US enter into struggle against the ruling class drive to reopen the schools, the renaming of schools based on the racialist falsification of history and attack on revolutionary figures such as Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln serves to divide the working class.

31 January 2021

Opposition mounts to San Francisco school board approval of racialist renaming of schools

The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) board of education voted last Tuesday to approve the renaming of 44 schools in the district on the basis of racialist politics. The list of school names to be removed includes monumental revolutionary figures such as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

The renaming of schools on the basis of racialist politics and the falsification of history must be rejected as an attack on historical truth and the immensely progressive and democratic legacy of the Founding Fathers and Lincoln, and the world revolutionary significance of the American Revolution and the Civil War. The former gave the world the Declaration of Independence, which declared that “all men are created equal,” and the latter put an end to slavery in the American South.

On the basis of making skin color the measure of all things, the SFUSD denigrates truly progressive historical figures by removing their names while continuing to promote political stooges of the ruling class and wealthy business people by keeping their names on schools in the district.

The school sites on the list for removal will have less than three months to provide input on potential new names, and the board-appointed SFUSD School Names Advisory Committee will present to the school board a list of 44 new names for approval in April.

Last Tuesday’s 6–1 vote is the outcome of a 2018 resolution that called for a formal process to rename schools named after historical figures that district officials and the advisory committee deemed to have “significantly diminished the opportunities of those amongst us to the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…”

The contributions to human progress by Lincoln and the Founding Fathers are presented as meaningless by district officials, and these figures are ripped from their historical contexts and slandered as garden variety racists.

Meanwhile, capitalists responsible for the exploitation of workers who fall in line with the committee’s racialist politics—such as Bank of America founder A.P. Giannini and Willie L. Brown, the first African-American mayor of San Francisco and political patron of Vice President Kamala Harris and California Governor Gavin Newsom—will continue to be honored within the district.

When, at a public online meeting last August, advisory committee chairman Jeremiah Jeffries listed Abraham Lincoln High School, committee members shouted, “Yes!” They then burst into laughter as Jeffries typed “yes” next to Lincoln’s name and moved on to the next. The entire “discussion” lasted five seconds.

The public is expected to review the committee’s “research” on a Google spreadsheet, which, in the case of Lincoln, argues that he is responsible for “discriminatory and damaging policies, like placing Indians on reservations” and “the Dakota 38+2, largest mass hanging in US history.” As the WSWS explained in its essay on Lincoln and the Dakota 38, this tragic event was also the largest ever act of executive clemency, in which Lincoln saved the lives of 265 Dakota men.

Community members have come out in opposition to the renaming and in defense of Lincoln and the Founding Fathers by submitting letters to the committee and speaking out in public comment forums.

On January 20, David Lockmiller, a 32-year resident of Richmond, spoke in defense of Lincoln. He noted his recent letter to the editor titled “Do Not Rename Lincoln High School,” which was published in the local Richmond Review. Lockmiller used his allotted time to cite Lincoln’s moving December 1862 letter to Congress in which he explains his reasoning for pouring over the records of all 303 Dakota men sentenced to death, showing his consideration of the Dakota defendants as “people” who had the right to the presumption of innocence.

Dan, a 1964 graduate of Lincoln High School, asked the committee, “Where can I find the research that was done that led to the conclusions and recommendations of removing Lincoln’s name?” Dan noted that he had recently submitted a ten-page paper presenting his concerns about the renaming of Lincoln High and had yet to receive a response.

During last Tuesday’s board meeting, Lope Yap Jr., the vice-president of the George Washington High School alumni association, said, “Abolitionist Frederick Douglass praised Lincoln. Several historians have refuted the advisory committee’s conclusion regarding Lincoln. Mount Vernon sent you a letter extolling Washington and his overall accomplishments, even after pointing out Washington’s dark history.”

Micah, a sophomore at Lowell High School, stated her opposition to the renaming of the schools. “There is a lot of historical negligence that happened because they do not have a historian on the advisory committee,” Micah said. “On the Google sheet of the renaming committee, they cite Wikipedia as a source. As a high school student at Lowell, I’m not even allowed to use Wikipedia as a source for my history papers, let alone spend millions of dollars to rename a school that may not even need to be renamed.”

Board members patted themselves on the back Tuesday, describing the decision to rename the schools as “just,” “equitable” and “moral.” These same individuals are supporting the reopening of schools in San Francisco even as the coronavirus rages throughout the city and beyond.

SFUSD Superintendent Vincent Matthews and board officials are in lockstep with Democratic politicians, including California Governor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed, in supporting the reopening of the schools. They originally planned to reopen schools for the district’s youngest as well as special education students under a hybrid model as early as January 25. However, the district faced widespread opposition from teachers and parents and effectively delayed reopening until March 25.

San Francisco is in the state’s highest tier for COVID-19 transmission, with a 3.9 percent positivity rate and a reported daily rate of 27 new cases per 100,000 people. This rate is currently rising. The UK, Brazil and California variants of the virus have been detected in the San Francisco Bay Area in recent days, causing major concern for residents throughout the city.

In January, Governor Newsom updated his state guidelines for reopening, allowing pre-K-6 schools to reopen for in-person instruction, even though these schools may be in areas with widespread transmission. The Biden administration has placed the reopening of schools at the center of his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is growing resistance to this deadly policy from teachers throughout the country, most notably in Chicago, where educators have voted to strike against the Democratic mayor’s order that they return to school by February 1.

Within this context, the decision to rename schools in San Francisco on a racialist basis underscores the reactionary and anti-working class content of this type of middle-class politics, relentlessly promoted by the Democratic Party. Precisely as the working class enters into struggle against the brutal policies of the ruling class, which are based on protecting corporate profits at the expense of human life, upper-middle class and bourgeois forces double down on their efforts to use racial politics to divide the working class.

Source:

by Class Struggle is Primary
Monday Feb 1st, 2021 11:10 AM
The above article is right about the identity politics grand larceny racket of the school board but is wrong about San Francisco's COVID19 status

The one person who should never have any school named after him is Democrat Willie Brown, former mayor and former assemblyperson of San Francisco, who while in the assembly, became a millionaire defending landlords, all anti-rent control by definition, rent control being a litmus test for election in San Francisco since 1979 when we won the rent control law (but without vacancy control, a big loophole), PG&E and all other anti-labor outfits to enrich himself.

As mayor, his final attack on the workingclass while holding public office was his election fraud in every election while in office, including the infamous 49er Stadium Swindle Election of June 3, 1997, when we voted 70% no on this gambling racket, while the result was recorded as about 51% yes. The Democratic and Republican Parties supported the 49er Stadium Swindle; Peace & Freedom Party and the Green Party opposed the 49er Stadium Swindle. The effort to enforce this election fraud came in the form of murdering a poll worker, Dolores Evans, and 5 small children, in a fire in their Housing Authority home, which the fire department stated they could have escaped but someone stopped them. Evans was about to testify as to the election fraud she witnessed as a poll worker in an election fraud lawsuit. For more, see:
https://www.brasscheck.com/stadium/
For more on Willie Brown's election fraud and the Democratic Party's election fraud, dating back to the CIA's Jim Jones and his Jonestown scam, see
https://www.brasscheck.com/jonestown/

As to San Francisco’s COVID19 status, it is quite good which is why the City just re-opened outdoor dining on Thursday, January 28, 2021. You can read the daily updates online at the site of the San Francisco Department of Public Health site at:
https://www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus.asp
Then scroll down the right side to
San Francisco COVID19 Data Tracker. Click on this, and you get:
https://data.sfgov.org/stories/s/fjki-2fab
for COVID19 Data and Reports.

You will see that San Francisco has had 324 deaths in our city of 892,000 people in 11 months, and currently 172 people are hospitalized due to COVID19. About 25% of San Francisco residents are over age 60.

When you click on Key Public Health Indicators, you get a series of reports, updated daily, but with a 2-day lag at https://data.sfgov.org/stories/s/epem-wyzb

The New Cases Per Day are 19.7 as of 1/24/21, down from 42.9 on 1/8/21. This is still in the High Alert category, but it is coming down. San Francisco does a lot of testing and when other figures come down, it is allowed by the State of California to reopen, despite the New Cases Per Day being too high. You will see that Hospitalizations, Acute Care Bed and ICU Bed Availability, Average Tests Done and PPE Availability are all good.

As to who is doing the dying, as everywhere, it is the old, over age 60, who are most vulnerable to any bug that comes along. See
https://data.sfgov.org/stories/s/fjki-2fab,
then click on Population Characteristics to get to
https://data.sfgov.org/stories/s/w6za-6st8
Scroll down the right side to Age.

The issue is not San Francisco’s COVID19 status, but the missing vaccinations. This week, the whole country is supposed to receive an increase in supply of vaccinations. The teachers and staff need to be vaccinated before the schools are reopened, and vaccinations cost the federal government money. The states and cities have no money, so we are dependent on a federal government that continues to promote private profit medicine. The vaccine distribution has to be free to the people being vaccinated, that is socialized medicine, to succeed.

It is outrageous and unconscionable that we have a school board, all Democrats, who would rather spend thousands of dollars renaming empty buildings, which will probably not be used until September 2021, instead of spending the money to meet the health department’s guidelines for reopening, which the private schools have already done. On the School Reopening, go to
https://www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus.asp
Then scroll down to the middle of the page to School ReOpening Dashboard at:
https://data.sfgov.org/stories/s/School-Reopening/ccmh-3avz/

You will see in the middle of the page the chart entitled Reopening Status by School that the private and parochial schools, through grade 12, are open, but the public schools are just starting to be screened by the Health Department, and only a few grammar schools so far are making the effort. Be sure to use both the vertical scroll bar on the right as well as the horizontal scroll bar on the bottom of each listing of public and private schools, to get the full picture.

Since the workingclass attends public schools in the majority, this spending of our tax dollars on renaming schools instead of meeting health department guidelines for reopening is a privatization scheme as well as being in contempt of history and education in general.
by Name of the Game Is Money
Monday Feb 1st, 2021 3:04 PM
While we are bombarded with messages on TV and the Internet that we should get vaccinated as soon as possible since we now have 100,000 deaths per month as of January 2021 from COVID19 and it will get worse, SF Kaiser is not vaccinating members age 65-74, the Baby Boomers, the largest generation in history, because they claim to have limited supply. This age group is in the same top priority as medical workers as it is the old who are occupying the hospital beds and 99% of the COVID19 deaths are those over age 60. They have had this message for the past 6 weeks that vaccines have been distributed by the federal government. California has 9 million Kaiser members out of 40 million residents, one of the largest, if not the largest medical provider in the state. The State of California just assigned Blue Shield and Kaiser to jointly distribute the vaccines, yet to date, we cannot get a vaccine. So reopening anything more than outdoor dining and hair and nail salons is many months away. Both Blue Shield and Kaiser are extremely profitable private medical groups. Stay tuned for the next chapter in the horror show that is American medicine. The rest of the industrialized world is doing much better than the US because they all have socialized medicine. See
https://www.bing.com/search?q=Coronavirus+statistics&tf=U2VydmljZT1HZW5lcmljQW5zd2VycyBTY2VuYXJpbz1Db3JvbmFWaXJ1c01MIFBvc2l0aW9uPVRPUCBSYW5raW5nRGF0YT1UcnVlIEZvcmNlUGxhY2U9VHJ1ZSBQYWlycz1zY246Q29yb25hVmlydXNNTDtzdGF0c19TY29wZTpXb3JsZDtzdGF0c19Jc0JyZWFrZG93bkV4cGFu
by Injunction Time
Wednesday Feb 3rd, 2021 4:54 PM
The City & County of San Francisco finally got around to suing the San Francisco School District to reopen the public schools as the private and parochial schools have already opened in San Francisco. See
https://www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus.asp
Then go down to middle of page to School Reopening Dashboard. Click on that title. Then go to down the school listings and check them, using the horizontal and vertical scroll at https://www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus.asp

City Attorney Dennis Herrera (an elected position) has filed the lawsuit and on February 11, 2021, he will ask for a Preliminary Injunction to demand the school district open the public schools. See https://abc7news.com/education/sf-sues-its-own-school-district-to-reopen-classes/10275964/
2/3/21
The above article further states:
"The lawsuit comes as four Bay Area counties get the green light to reopen some schools -- those include San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, and Santa Clara Counties. California's Health and Human Services Director announced yesterday COVID case numbers in those counties are now below the state's threshold for reopening. That means in-person classes can resume at all public K through 6 schools. Higher-grade levels will return when the counties leave the Purple tier."

City Attorney Herrera hit the many nails on the head, when he stated:
“Various public schools in Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Napa counties have all figured it out,” Herrera said. “Private and parochial schools in San Francisco have figured it out. In-person instruction needs to be the Board of Education’s singular focus — not renaming schools that are empty, or changing admission policies when teachers aren’t in classrooms. It’s unfortunate we have to take them to court to get it figured out, but enough is enough.” See https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2021/02/03/opening-angry-san-francisco-city-officials-ready-to-sue-school-district-over-slow-reopening-plans/

The San Francisco Examiner stated that Mayor
"Breed added that The City has repeatedly offered support, including $15 million in funding for the district included in the city budget. More than 15,800 students have returned to in-person learning across 113 private and parochial schools, and The City is operating learning hubs with the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families. Fewer than five cases of in-school transmission have been reported to the Department of Public Health from those sites."
See
https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/city-to-sue-school-district-over-lack-of-progress-on-reopening
2/3/21

Clearly, the many worthless topics of renaming empty school buildings and changing admission policies to empty schools are expensive excuses for not reopening the schools, which must be reopened if San Francisco's economy is to recover. Children must be in school so their parents can go to work; the schools employ thousands of people who desperately need their jobs, and education is the backbone of any industrialized society as children are future workers.
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