Written by DML
A DML reader sent me a link to a story on a website called Oregon Live. Along with the link, she wrote, “I hope you never donate to Portland.”
I was speechless after reading the article. Apparently, the last name ‘Lynch’ is racist.
In Portland, Oregon a school board has decided it is going to remove the last name ‘Lynch’ from all the schools within the district. Meaning, all signs and documentation will be free of the name ‘Lynch’ because it has ‘racial implications.’
Not only am I furious over this asinine decision, but I find myself wishing I was in better physical condition because I would fly to Portland and confront each one of the board members who approved such a move. With my camera rolling, I’d ask each of them to look me straight in the face and say my family name is racist. The debate that would follow would be one for the ages.
The U.S. attorney general during the second term of the Obama administration was a back women named Loretta Lynch. Is the school district going to erase her from the history books?
One of the premier running backs in the NFL over the past decade is a black man named Marshawn Lynch. He played for the Seattle Seahawks and set numerous records. He will be playing this year with the Raiders. So, will students be prohibited from wearing his jersey to school?
One of the most prestigious investment firms of the past century is Merrill Lynch. I’d bet all the money in my pocket that many of the people in Portland invested their funds with the firm. Should they all send back their returns on investments?
My last name is Lynch. I am not a member of any racist group, nor do I tolerate any racist behavior or comments. If I find something that is racist on my Facebook page, it gets deleted and the person is banned for life.
I have put myself in harm’s way traveling into the most dangerous areas of Detroit and South Chicago in an attempt to help the black community. I go with my camera to capture the heartbreak and neglect of these communities at my own cost. How is that racist of me?
Below are just some of the excerpts from the article on OregonLive:
The national movement to change racially offensive names of buildings, sports teams and landmarks will soon touch a group of schools in southeast Portland. Lynch Meadows, Lynch Wood and Lynch View elementary schools will shed their “Lynch” before the upcoming school year in response to growing concern about the word’s racial connotations.
The schools, part of the Centennial School District, were named for the Lynch family, which donated land over a century ago to build the first of the schools. But Centennial Superintendent Paul Coakley says many newer families coming into the district associate the name with America’s violent racial history.
DML: The article explains that the school district has been on a radical mission to remove names from buildings and signs that are “offensive” to various groups. In other words, by the time the leaders in the district are done, odds are all the buildings will experience a name change.
The article continues…
“There were an increasing amount of questions and some complaints from families of color around the name,” Coakley said.
There is no connection between the Lynch family and the practice associated with the term, he said, but it’s still been “a disruption for some students.”
Centennial school district, established in 1976 at the very southeast edge of the city of Portland and extending into the west edge of Gresham, educates about 6,000 students, 55 percent of them non-white. The largest racial minority are Latino students, who make up 27 percent of enrollment.
That is a significant change from a decade earlier, when the district was 84 percent white, according to the Centennial school district website.
“Our diversity is increasing every year, with families coming in from Northeast Portland and out of state, so [the names] needed to be looked at,” said Coakley, who is African-American and grew up in the area.
DML: So, because there are now less Whites and more Blacks and Latinos in the area, a White family who donated so much to the community, and in many ways enabled the school district to build schools for children of all races, will soon be erased from the community.
The article continues…
Members of the mostly-white Centennial School Board agreed, coming to a consensus that the names should be changed at a board meeting in mid-July. They plan to pass a resolution officially discontinuing the use of “Lynch” on the schools’ signs, stationary, web sites and in oral references at their next board meeting on August 9.
Board Vice Chair Pam Shields said part of the reason she’s “very comfortable” with changing the school names is that the district no longer owns land donated by the Lynch family. Other district schools have also seen their names change over the course of their history—Centennial Middle School, she noted, used to be called Lynch Terrace.
Discontinuing use of that portion of the schools’ names is a minor step to ensure “that everybody feels like they belong to this district, and that we can put this potential negative behind us,” she said.
DML: In other words, this is a case where a family is guilty by association. In theory, are they not being ‘lynched’?
By no means am I diminishing the hanging of slaves. It’s sickening to me just thinking about it, let alone write about it. But the term ‘lynch’ goes beyond its use to explain the treatment of slaves.
What kind of message does this send to the students? When did it become fair and reasonable in the modern day to eliminate a name we don’t like? The school board, in my opinion, are the ones pushing racism.
The article continues…
A renaming attempt in 2015 also having to do with the name Lynch threw Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania into the national spotlight. Students demanded the renaming of Lynch Memorial Hall, named after a former college president, because of the historical implications of the word. But their efforts were widely criticized and ultimately unsuccessful.
Despite the controversial nature of many of these efforts, Coakley said he’s confident there won’t be much pushback to the decision to rename the Lynch schools. If anything, he said, people will be relieved.
Giard agreed. There’s “probably going to be a loud roar of agreement.”
DML: This is an unfair one-way street. Many black leaders and far-left liberals demand for the removal of history and yet if the tables were reversed, they’d freak out.
For example, why not remove Martin Luther King Jr from all schools, highways, and public buildings? Although he fought for equality, his last name didn’t match the argument. ‘KING’…
King is the title given to a male monarch. As Americans, we don’t believe in a system where kings rule. We are a republic, we believe in democracy. Should we hold MLK Jr. accountable for all the nasty, hating, people-killing kings that have reigned over the course of history? Can you imagine the pushback if any person even dared to suggest we remove MLK Jr. in the same way the school board is removing the Lynch name? It would be hell on earth.
In my opinion, school boards like the one in Portland send us back, instead of moving us forward, as a nation. Please share if you agree.
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