Changing School Names Should Be Seen As Progress, Not Censorship

As we progress into the 21st century, we can see through the availability of technology what isn’t okay to leave as it is and what we should change to accept everyone and aren’t offending people who have been discriminated against for ages. When we take a closer look at history and see what exactly it is that has happened, not only from one perspective, but from the discriminated, the offender, and the bystander, we not only see a complete view on the situation than what is given from one point of view.

While looking back at what has been taught in our history classes on America’s past, it has always been only the basics. We rarely have to talk about how many offenses still affect minorities in our society. One thing that is astonishing to me is how many states and towns in the U.S. still have pride in the confederacy while they know the group’s past and history. In this country, we see that many people from our history are idolized and honored, for example, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. In the views of some, both men committed offenses that affect the people in our country. We have many towns filled with people who still believe in white supremacy and that we should honor those who have owned slaves and were openly racist towards different minorities. America is addressing these issues by proposing to change the names of schools that share the terms of controversial people.

As for the names of these schools, there should be names changed because by giving them the honor of having their names put on schools walls, they are showing that the ways that those people have acted and their beliefs were okay and show a particular pride in those aspects of our history that should not be allowed.

We should forbid this type of behavior, but yet it is still allowed. While going on a road trip in this country, as a white person, you have no worries other than making sure you don’t run out of gas and making sure there isn’t a murderer out and about. As a minority, you have to worry about sundown, law enforcement racially profiling you, and making sure you don’t come across and a racist town where you can be killed and not heard from anymore.

Having the names of the people who were the ones to use this behavior to its fullest extent plastered all over school’s walls, you are telling the people who still have to worry about all these problems, that they shouldn’t have to care about this because it’s in the past. However, they know that they still have to live with this mentality being passed down through generations since racism, homophobia, and sexism aren’t something you are born with but are taught.

When learning our history, we should be taught that the people we are learning about did do things that weren’t okay whatsoever. But in our history lessons, we understand that Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and leave out that he murdered and stole the lands of the natives of our country, and to this day, they view the effects of his racism. I don’t think that these people who have done horrendous things should be honored. We should learn about them and know their wrongdoings to learn how to fix our country’s wrongs as a whole and see how to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes, but having a school named after white supremacists should not be okay with anyone.

We can learn our history without honoring our wrongs. We can celebrate those who have not had the recognition they deserve when renaming the schools. We can take Germany as an example. They agree that what they did to the Jewish community wasn’t alright whatsoever, and they made sure to learn about it, so they don’t commit the same crimes, but they don’t celebrate or honor those involved in these crimes.

We should rename our schools to honor those who have done greatness for our country and honor those who have made our country come to its standards of “justice and liberty for all.” Schools should teach our history but not honor our wrongs.