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School Names Shouldn’t Be Racist

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Denton Independent School District

Denton Independent School District

 

“The white men were roused by a mere instinct of self-preservation…until at last there had sprung into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, a veritable empire of the South, to protect the Southern country.” -Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States / in the film Birth of a Nation

This is racist.

Just the morning, we were headed to Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. My son is in kindergarten and gently asked me, “Who is Woodrow Wilson?” In that moment, I had to tell the truth. I immediately replied, “He was President of the United States and a very racist man.” My son didn’t miss a beat, “So, why is our school named after a racist?” I immediately replied, “Because racists named it and racists continue to protect the name.” I dropped him off shortly thereafter. Walking outside, I looked up, “Woodrow Wilson Elementary School.” I wondered, “How can we ever teach our kids not to be racist when we educate them in spaces that honor racists?” We can’t.

Amen.

 

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