CH CH CH CHANGES
It’s disheartening our community has wasted so much energy enraged over a name change. San Franciscans didn’t go into such a tizzy when their International Airport’s name became ‘Harvey Milk’. Nor was there an uproar when UCSC’s College 8 become Rachel Carson College. Those in a snit should take a breath and consider that northern California was the most populated area in all of USA.
Removing Cabrillo’s name will benefit everyone. Names are powerful. This is especially true for names of colleges, team mascots, and institutions of higher learning. Clearly those riled up fear historical record. The very land you stand, live, and work on was stolen by force from biodiversity experts who had miraculously learned to live in harmony with nature for over 15 thousand years. This acknowledgement must deeply embarrasses the naysayers.
Indigenous people engaged in commerce, travel, politics, botany, healthcare, economies, artistry, drama and more. Much of our Declaration of Independence came from Iroquois people. The greed of white male leadership has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Encouraging students and teachers to celebrate the past, present, and future of Native Americans is key. We teach one another by removing from prominence “Cabrillo”, a known “murderer, slaver and a sex trafficker,” according to many historians.
The trustees are elected and they should alone determine this issue. A public vote would cost more than a name change. At a recent public gathering with Cabrillo Trustees, a man stood claiming he would pay the school a million dollars not to change it. I suggest he move to Florida where his ignorance and inability to acknowledge and heal from his ancestor’s actions are welcome.
We could blame the big oil companies but the truth is they wouldn’t be drilling for oil if they didn’t have a market for it. The big V8 Ford F150 pick up is the best selling vehicle in the US. People refuse to “Look Up.” The day will come when our children/grandchildren will come to us and say, “But you knew. Before it was too late to do something you knew and you did nothing. Why?” All we be able to say is something like, well there were some very wealthy people who didn’t want us to do anything so we didn’t.
No extra credit for me.
Jim, as one of the leaders to rename our community college, I am honored when my detractors call me “woke”. I am proud to be woke; better woke than comatose, being aware of local history means I do not have to say I am sorry because I did not know. Why? I did some reading and talked to people about local history. Having lived in this county since 1998, and having also served on the Santa Cruz city school district board of trustees in the last decade, I feel I know this place pretty well. Doing research about Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo has paid off. That is why people get so pissed off at me: as a former history teacher of 36 years, I did my research. Try it, Jim.