Change Churchill High School's Name to Promote Racial Justice

Change Churchill High School's Name to Promote Racial Justice

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Students For Real Heroes started this petition to Montgomery County Public Schools

As a diverse, accepting student body, why must the Black and Brown students of Churchill attend a school that celebrates a man that proudly believed them to be, “beastly” and inferior? There is a psychological impact of naming the places we live in and learn after destructive and hateful figures. We should refuse to glorify the people who murdered and abused our students’ ancestors. After the recent growth of the Black Lives Matter movement, England has faced a reckoning about Churchill’s crimes against humanity; it is also a time for American institutions to end their glorification of a perpetrator of genocide.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen has proven Churchill to be responsible for the only famine in the history of the world explicitly and solely caused by policy decisions. Churchill deliberately stole grain and food from India to feed his soldiers, knowingly killing approximately 4 million Indians in the process. When warned by his cabinet of the propensity of his actions, he said, "Famine or no famine, Indians will breed like rabbits.”
After the Kenyan Mau Mau rebellion to British rule, Churchill ordered for thousands of Kenyans to be "put in camps where they were subject to severe torture, malnutrition, beatings. The women were sexually assaulted...men were castrated. The most severe gruesome torture you could imagine.” (Leigh Day & Co). The Kenya Human Rights Commission has said 90,000 Kenyans were executed, tortured or maimed, and 160,000 were detained in appalling conditions. David Anderson, professor of African Politics at Oxford University, says, “Basically you could get away with murder. It was systematic.
Churchill also defended South African Concentration camps. He said they produced "the minimum of suffering”. The death toll was almost 28,000. When 115,000 black Africans were swept into British camps, and 14,000 died, he was only concerned about his “irritation that K**firs should be allowed to fire on white men”.
Additionally, Churchill reinforced various forms of White supremacy in the political sphere, acting upon a belief that “the Aryan stock is bound to triumph.” Claiming, "'Keep England White' is a good slogan," and, “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion,” Churchill bullied and demonized an entire race, while upholding White supremacist sentiment. He even went as far as to say, “I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people [Native American and Black people] by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place."
Students do not deserve to attend a school that celebrates this perpetrator of violence, racism, and suffering. Join us in advocating to the MCPS Board of Education for names that reflect our school district’s commitment to diversity and equity. While the Board of Education will create a final proposal for a new name, we suggest the following to further promote our values of inclusion and justice:
W.E.B. Dubois
Harriet Tubman
Frederick Douglas

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