letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor: GWHS Students Should Learn History from Murals


Thank you so much for your comprehensive coverage of the debate over the George Washington High School murals.

I was very happy to read that the opponents of the SF School Board’s decision to cover up these murals have “only begun to fight.”  I especially support the decision to place this issue on the ballot in 2020.   I hope that it will include not only how to view and deal with public art and whether one school board or other small groups have the right to decide on such issues, but most important, how should we educate today’s young people?

I raised a daughter and a grand-daughter in San Francisco. Most parents want their children to grow up understanding the history of this country and to want to help make her better. But how can we try to improve on something if we don’t first know what is wrong?

It is a historical fact that while a great leader of the American Revolution, George Washington DID OWN black slaves, and that as America grew into a strong and prosperous country, many Native Americans WERE SLAUGHTERED.

How can an artistic exposure of such facts, be viewed as “racist”, as glorifying “slavery, genocide, colonization, manifest destiny, white supremacy, oppression”?!

Those who want to destroy these murals say “they traumatize” some students.  But these are not kindergarten students.  George Washington is a High School where teenagers are growing up and will soon need to face all the realities and challenges of young adults. Where else, but in exactly such a setting, should this kind of learning, discussion and debate begin?!

May the future ballot measure launch a massive public discussion and debate!

Chin Chi, Chinese-American grandmother

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