Letters to the Editor: Is anyone pure enough to have a San Francisco school named after them?

A mural on a high school wall shows a historical scene with Native Americans holding rifles.
George Washington High in San Francisco is one of 40-plus public schools in the city flagged for renaming.
(San Francisco Chronicle)

To the editor: I’d like to remind the San Francisco public school system’s committee tasked with flagging campuses that should be renamed of the profound observation of 1960s counterculture icon Wavy Gravy.

These words have helped me keep a healthy perspective of myself as well as to deal with anger or disappointment toward others: “We’re all bozos on the bus.”

Yes, indeed we are. We’re all a mash-up of excellence, mediocrity and stupidity. Some we have deemed sublime, but as they are human, they must also be flawed.


Every pedestal has its pigeon. Accept that, and life is less traumatic.

Marianne Hunter, Rancho Palos Verdes


To the editor: Before we start changing the names of schools and other public buildings, we would be wise to remember the words of Jesus Christ: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.”

All of us have committed acts that we wished we had not. We either realize this immediately, or history will remind our descendants of our deeds.

The only alternative would be to name every edifice after God. Let’s see how that goes over with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Joel Miller, Torrance


To the editor: We are a nation of immigrants trying to correct the fictional history we have written. We are changing the names of schools and sending statues to museum basements.


So much needs to be done to correct the poverty brought upon the Indigenous peoples and the Africans imported to these shores. How will it be possible to breach the chasm that fear and hate have created?

Recently, “60 Minutes” aired a program about the last known American slave ship. A descendant of the schooner Clotilda’s captain apologized for the actions of his ancestor, an action that was met with warm acceptance by the slaves’ descendants.

This meeting, conducted without guilt but only heartfelt sadness, can be an example for us. We must acknowledge the history of abhorrent abusive acts in the name of profit. We must be sincerely humbled.

Lorraine Goldman, Signal Hill


To the editor: If the puritanical members of the San Francisco renaming committee cannot find anyone sinless enough to name a school after, perhaps they should name them as New York City has: PS 195, PS 196 and so forth.

Benjamin Meza, Whittier