To a highly-decorated Marine: Negative. Everything is NOT in a name! Get a grip, Marine. You and I were both in the military. We’ve both lived all over the world. We both have lived and worked alongside outstanding men and women of all races, faiths, genders, and creeds.
Racism is in the mind. It is NOT in a name, except, perhaps, to the simple-minded. Since I have it on good authority we do not mint simple-minded members of the military in any branch of our Armed Forces, rest assured, we can put this particular train of thought to bed and move on to one which promises to bear more fruit, and Lord willing, we shall do just that.
Provided, of course, you can refrain from your unceremonious slinging around of inappropriate and undeserved labels such as “white supremacist” within this context to everyone who holds an opinion differing from yours…
On to more objective matters:
I did not graduate from Washington-Lee High School. I have life-long friends, however, who did. I graduated from a neighboring high school, and competed against W-L in swim and track.
I believe Washington-Lee’s own history page speaks for itself. I challenge everything to actually slow down, take a deep breath, and read for yourselves — en toto — W-L’s history in it’s entirety.
In the meantime, I leave you with this, their own motto: “FOVEAT DIVERSITATES” Cherish the differences — Mabel Allen, W-L faculty from 1924-1968.
Mabel and tens of thousands of others associated with W-L fully recognized that rather than weakening the nature of their school’s life, by embracing the differences, embodied in the very name of the school itself, the strengths of those differences, as well as how they work together to achieve new heights, would live on in the hearts and the minds of all who follow.
Indeed, it has been my very proud honor to have worked alongside people of all races, faiths, creeds, and genders in the United States Air Force.
It’s not that we were stronger “because of” or “in spite of” our differences.
Rather we were stronger for no other reason than we stopped looking at our differences altogether. That means we also stopped wigging out every time someone brought up some ridiculous allegation about some’s race, faith, creed, gender, or their NAME.
Names simply ARE. They are as much the right and heritage of a school as they are the right and heritage of an individual.
RESPECT requires first and foremost that you respect what as withstood the test of time, in this case, for 94 years, and not in absentia, but in full view, support, and approval of the entirety of efforts of myself and countless others to preserve, and not lobotomize, our nation’s history, together, as One Nation, Under God.
On the other hand, John, perhaps we should just knee-jerk change every name under the Sun every time someone gets an owee without first ascertaining WHY institutions were named as they were in the first place.
In the case of Washington-Lee, it was to both acknowledge differences and wounds less than 60 years old and build upon those differences through unification.