In response to Rob Port's blog post published June 7th, I shake my head. I understand his sentiment about learning from history and agree whole-heartedly. That being said, I don't agree with continuing to honor presidents by naming schools in their honor regardless of their shady values.
So another white guy was president, and in that position he did a few good things, big deal. What Port suggests is that we leave the name as is because it's always been that way, and we should just teach the kids what a real tool the guy was.
I propose that we start naming schools after historical individuals who were ahead of their time and contributed in a significant way to improving society by standing up against bigotry and inequality, people who didn't have positions of power handed to them, but stood up and fought the good fight from the trenches. Those are the real heroes.
And a great many of them were women and a great many of them were black. I've got a few suggestions, how about Sojourner Truth, Lucy Burns, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, W.E.B. Du Bois, Pearl S. Buck, or James Farmer?
Call me a progressive, but I think it's time to stop overlooking the profound character flaws of historical white men in incredibly powerful positions, and start giving highest honor to the nobodies of the time who dedicated their lives to making immense differences from the front lines.
Anwiler lives in Moorhead.