Lost money, lost history, lost tradition.
Those would be the unintended consequences of changing nine Duval County school names, according to conservative commentator Ann Coulter.
She is a popular lecturer, a syndicated columnist, an author of 13 bestsellers, and a frequent guest on political TV shows, such as The View, Washington Journal, Tucker Carlson Tonight, and Real Time with Bill Maher.
Using history as a guide, Coulter believed the name changes would particularly damage Jean Ribault, Andrew Jackson, and Robert E. Lee High Schools.
“Look at what happened to women’s schools after they changed their names or missions,” she said. “They’ve all folded or are massively diminished. Vassar [College] is the only one I can think of that’s still around, and it’s gone from one of the top colleges in the nation to an also-ran, mid-level institution.”
“Woke politics has never helped anyone,” she added, “except otherwise unemployable ethnic-grievance spokesmen and ‘diversity counselors.’ ”
Coulter took exception to Duval County School Board chairman Warren A. Jones’ claim that changing six local Confederate school namesakes in particular would help “heal a city that is fractured.”
“Wanna bet? You could replace every mention of the Confederacy after a character from Wakanda [of the 2018 film Black Panther], and it will not help one black person, which is probably why most black Americans couldn’t care less about tearing down statues or changing school names,” she said. “That’s a project of the far left. Like other people, African Americans want decent jobs, safe neighborhoods, good schools, etc.”
Rather than erasing namesakes and memorials of Civil War figures, Coulter said General Lee and General Grant should be international role models.
“The entire world could learn from Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee about how to end a civil war,” she said. “The South completely surrendered, but the North honored Confederate soldiers for their bravery –and that was it. The war was really and truly over.”
“In other countries, civil wars go on forever. Currently, there are two civil wars going on in the Philippines, and at least three in India. Israel’s been fighting Palestinians since 1948, and the Kurds and Turks have been fighting for half a century,” Coulter said.
[Recently,] 100,000 Armenians in Los Angeles protested Azerbaijan over territory that’s been in dispute since 1923. It’s great that we’re importing other countries’ ethnic hatreds! Only America figured out an unbelievably civilized way to end a civil war,” she said.
Coulter warned that name changes are a slippery slope. Names of colleges, countries, politicians, and political parties are not unassailable.
“If changing the name of organizations based on historic racism is such a wonderful panacea, let’s start with the Democratic Party! Confederate politicians were all Democrats, Democrats imposed Jim Crow on the South, and [Thomas Jefferson], the founder of the Democratic Party, was a slaveholder,” she said.
“Also, Barack Obama and Kamala Harris are going to have to change their names, inasmuch as both are from slave-holding or slave-trading families,” Coulter said. “In fact, countries in the entire Muslim world and much of Africa are all going to have to change their names, too –all enthusiastic practitioners of slavery.”
“Why not wait and see what happens to Yale after it changes its name? Yale, of course, is named after Elihu Yale, a brutal slave trader,” she added. “Wait! What? That’s not happening?”
Coulter had sticker shock, when informed of the conservative price estimate of one to two million dollars to change the signs, uniforms, and publications of nine local schools.
“Good grief! Are we sure the entire woke / BLM [Black Lives Matter] agenda isn’t a nasty leftist plot to destroy America and usher in the Chinese?”
Coulter’s most recent book, Resistance is Futile (2018), documents the removal of several historic symbols, namesakes, and statues, some of which have nothing to do with slavery. To the cited question from President Trump, “Where does it stop?” Coulter recently answered, “Probably when the Chinese take over. They’re not into ‘diversity training,’ minority rights, or black people.”
In the book, she wrote, “The ‘racism’ gag is just a power play by the Resistance against the weak. Bullying people is intoxicating! Trump stood up to them, so they lost their minds. It used to be easy to scare Republicans! Little Marco [Rubio], Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse –they’ll say exactly what the media want, when they want it. Maddeningly, Trump isn’t any of those guys. This is understandably frustrating for journalists, but it’s not ‘racism.’ ”