The older I get and the more I learn, the more confusing the world becomes. Paradoxically, more information means less certainty. I used to think I knew the difference between good and bad, between right and wrong. I thought I knew who the heroes and villains are. For example, look at Abraham Lincoln. He was arguably the greatest president in American history, right? Everyone knows that. He freed the slaves, he was Honest Abe, he’s on the penny and the $5 bill and Mount Rushmore, and it turns out he even hunted vampires. He’s the one president everybody can agree on.
Well… almost everybody. Rachel Sharp, Daily Mail:
A San Francisco district is planning to rename a school named after Abraham Lincoln because the former president did not demonstrate that ‘black lives mattered to him’…
The district’s renaming committee decided Lincoln is not worthy of keeping his name on Abraham Lincoln High School because ‘the majority of his policies proved to be detrimental to [Native Americans].’
‘Abraham Lincoln is not seen as much of a hero at all among many American Indian Nations and Native peoples of the United States, as the majority of his policies proved to be detrimental to them,’ the committee meeting notes state…
Other reasons for the president’s ousting include ‘rampant corruption in the Indian Office, the precursor of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, continued unabated throughout Lincoln’s term and well beyond’ where government-appointed Indian agents stole resources meant for tribes.
Huh. It only took 150 years for anybody to care about Lincoln’s management of the BIA. Better late than never, I guess?
Seems a bit nitpicky, doesn’t it? Bad stuff happens during every presidential administration, because that’s just how the world works. There will always be corruption and injustice and abuse of power, no matter who’s in charge. (Yes, even the guy you like!) Pretty much anybody who has achieved enough in life to have a school named after him is bound to have pissed off somebody. Doesn’t all the good he did make up for whatever gripes you might have?
The chairman of the renaming committee, which is also going after George Washington and others, also said:
Lincoln, like the presidents before him and most after, did not show through policy or rhetoric that black lives ever mattered to them outside of human capital and as casualties of wealth building.
I guess stuff like this is inevitable. Back when the George Floyd
protests riots were at their peak, America went through yet another round of Cancel the Dead White Guys. Seems like it happens every few years. Once again, a lot of deeply stupid people started pulling down statues of everybody from Christopher Columbus to George Washington. They even tore down statues of abolitionists, just because those guys were white. It was very dumb, but I thought that would be the end of it. I thought we’d stop blaming deceased Caucasians for a black man dying in the custody of a multiracial group of Minnesota police officers. But it looks like that was just the warmup. Now we’re canceling the Great Emancipator.
Part of me wonders if this is such a bad thing, though? Glorifying politicians isn’t a good idea, no matter what they achieved. They should be praised when they do something good, but they shouldn’t be deified. Abraham Lincoln was a great man, but he was just a man. Is it so terrible to not have high schools named after him?
Then I remember that this is San Francisco we’re talking about. They’ll probably change the name to Karl Marx High School or Vladimir Lenin Academy. Damn pinko commie libs. That’s right, keep Abe’s name out of your mouth.
Hey, I wonder what those geniuses at the Lincoln Project think about this? Just kidding, I don’t care what they think about anything.
Just leave Abe on the penny, at least. It’s just one little cent, who is he hurting?