The school board in Berkeley, California, has voted unanimously to rename elementary schools that bear the illustrious names of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (“Two Berkeley Public Schools to be renamed in response to BLM movement,” San Francisco Chronicle, June 15, 2020). The shallow reason is that Washington and Jefferson “owned slaves.” This will do absolutely nothing to help black lives, of course. It is not surprising to see such insanity coming from Berkeley, which has been a leftist stronghold since well before the 1960s. The problem is that this insanity has spread widely throughout American society, and the anti-American propagandizing in the public schools is a major reason. America’s Founding Fathers established the most just, free nation on earth at the time. By far. From its founding, America has been a mixed multitude of people of varying principles, including religious principles, but America’s Founding Fathers were radical pioneers in human rights. They should be praised in America’s schools, not blacklisted. When I was in elementary school (1955-1961), we were taught the truth about history instead of Marxist disinformation. In 1789, when George Washington was inaugurated as America’s first president, there was no nation on earth that did not support slavery in some form. The concept that all men are created equal, which is enshrined in the 1776 U.S. Declaration of Independence (penned by Thomas Jefferson), was not perfectly enacted at America’s inception, but eventually it was. At the time, Native American nations practiced slavery. Black nations in Africa practiced it. The Muslim nations, including the Ottoman Empire, were major slavers. At America’s founding, England, the Portuguese, the Spanish, and the Dutch were heavily involved in the slave trade. It was the Spanish who brought the first black slaves to the Americas in the 16th century. But England and America led the way in the abolition of slavery, and it was a hard, long, expensive battle because of fallen human nature. The problem was not so much racism as it was covetousness. The Ottomans preferred white slaves and traded in millions of them. It was the Bible’s influence that produced the radical thinking of the anti-slavery movement. In 1807, England abolished the slave trade, though the owning of slaves was still legal in the colonies. In 1808, the U.S. government outlawed American participation in the African slave trade. In the 1830s, the Underground Railway was established by Americans to help runaway slaves escape to the northern states and Canada. In 1833, England abolished slavery. In 1833, the American Antislavery Society was organized and within five years it had more than 1,350 chapters and 250,000 members. In 1856, the Republican Party was formed in America as a coalition of various political groups opposing slavery. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the first Republican party president, and the U.S. fought a terrible civil war to liberate black slaves. In 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery in the Confederate States. In 1865, the Civil War ended and the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery in all states. No Democrats voted in favor of this amendment. Berkeley’s school board needs to stop propagandizing and start educating.
(Friday Church News Notes, June 26, 2020, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)