Save Abilene’s Four Elementary Schools Named After Civil War Confederate Soldiers

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As we are in the midst of cancel culture hysteria, We The People of Abilene, Texas, the silent majority, are silent no longer. 

We are aware of a recent petition to rename Abilene schools, particularly Robert E. Lee Elementary, Thomas Jonathon "Stonewall" Jackson Elementary, Albert Sidney Johnston Elementary, and John H. Reagan Elementary has received thousands of signatures. However, we strongly oppose to changing these names. 

The false narrative that our schools named after American Civil War Confederate soldiers advocates white supremacy over black equality is erroneous and a great injustice to our history. 

Published in a Time Magazine article titled,  “America’s Students Need History—But Not for the Reasons You’re Hearing,” we learn:

The process of historical inquiry—and what it teaches students along the way—is history’s greatest reward. Studying history teaches that society is not stagnant. Studying history teaches us to question how and why things change, who drives those changes, whose interests are served by them and who gets left out of the equation. History teaches that human actions have consequences. Analysis of past events teaches students to ask probing questions, challenge preconceived assumptions and to recognize that humans have the capacity to be both very, very good and very, very cruel. Analyzing historic documents teaches us to be careful readers. To be skeptical of one side of the story. To be aware of our own biases. Most critically, history teaches us who we are. I am a Jew, a New Yorker, a citizen of the United States, a grandchild of Holocaust survivors. These identities mean nothing without a historical backdrop to set them against. “We swim in the past as fish do in water,” wrote historian Eric Hobsbawm. “We cannot escape from it.”

We honor our Civil War Confederate soldiers not for what they did wrong or mistakes they made, but rather we choose to memorialize them for their significance in our nations history and their accomplishments that contributed to where and who we are today. The greatest nation in the world. 

We respectfully request our voices are heard and that the names of our schools remain unchanged. 

Thank you,