Don’t get distracted by Andrew Jackson in the school name changing debate (draft)

Andrew Jackson our 7th president was a complicated figure to say the least and the fact we have a school named after him has complicated the changing the schools named after Confederate era figures debate. It’s a distraction, don’t fall for it. 

Two things, there is no evidence that says Andrew Jackson was named to marginalize and intimidate people of color, while there is plenty of evidence the schools named after Confederate era figures were named after them to do so.

Of the six schools named after Confederate generals, two were named after reconstruction, and four were named after Brown vs the Board of education which said schools had to be integrated. That means the school board at the time gave a big middle finger to the African America population of Jacksonville and said if you are going to make black kids go to our white schools then we will name them after Confederates.

Then the standard for naming a school cannot be the person was perfect or never did anything we would find socially unacceptable or worse today, we wouldn’t’ have a whole lot of people to choose from, after all people like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington owned slaves. 

Andrew Jackson in the service of the country committed what we would now consider to be war crimes and we should not forget that, American history is littered with figures like him but the standard instead of being perfect can be the honoree didn’t try and destroy the nation to protect slavery and they didn’t fight a war “AGAINST” our nation. That is a bar we should be able to achieve.

The reality is sometimes we revere our historical figures despite their flaws, and the people that revere Confederate era figures do so because of their flaws.

Andrew Jackson, Jean Ribault and maybe others were undoubtedly not good people especially when compared to today’s standards heck probably even by the standards of then, that being said those schools weren’t named after them to intimidate and marginalize black people, and as bad as they were, they didn’t attempt to overthrow the United States to keep slavery alive.

Instead of getting distracted lets keep our eye on the prize and that’s restore dignity to our schools by changing the names of the ones named after traitors and slavers.

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