YGBKM: Acronyms a tool of white supremacy, says San Francisco school board

A total BFD, if true. YMMV, of course, but the credibility of the San Francisco School Board is still TBD on this and many other issues after their efforts to wipe out white supremacy by renaming schools that formerly celebrated … Abraham Lincoln and other Union leaders from the Civil War.


Now they have set their sights on a new target — acronyms? YGBFKM:

First the San Francisco School Board decided to rename 44 schools because they are named after people with ties to racism or slavery. Now the Arts Department has taken a bold move by changing its name, “VAPA” because they say, “acronyms are a symptom of white supremacy culture.” …

The director of that department said, “We are prioritizing antiracist arts instruction in our work.” So they got rid of the acronym “VAPA,” which is short for visual and performing arts.

Stop me if I’m wrong, but the San Francisco School Board seems interested in everything except educating children these days. Am I wrong? ABC’s local affiliate also offers this oxymoronic statement:

Schools have yet to reopen in San Francisco, but their Arts Department has continued to work toward ensuring that all students have access to quality arts education.

Ahem. Students don’t have any access to effective education in San Francisco, let alone quality education, and let alone quality arts education. What part of “schools have yet to reopen” does the ABC affiliate not grasp?

Reason’s Robby Soave points out that the “science” on which this is based is suspect at best — and that it’s already been widely derided. Also, ABC’s not the only Bay Area entity contradicting itself:


The New York Post reported that the memo cites a 1999 paper by Tema Okun. That paper does not specifically say that acronyms are racist, though it does label “worship of the written word” as an aspect of white supremacy. Other purported characteristics of white supremacy are “perfectionism,” a “sense of urgency,” “individualism,” and “objectivity.” (If this list sounds familiar, it’s because the National Museum of African American Arts and Culture got in trouble last year for promoting similar nonsense.) While some acronyms may be confusing to non-native English speakers, it’s quite a stretch to describe them as a function of white supremacy.

Ironically, Okun’s paper lists memos as characteristic of white supremacy, so the department should probably fire Bass for racism. And at risk of stating the obvious, the new name—SFUSD Arts Department—contains an acronym just as surely as the old one did. White supremacy is just that insidious; even an arts department dedicated to antiracism can’t seem to rid itself of the stain. …

The arts department’s badly explained name change isn’t nearly as consequential, but it’s still emblematic of a school district caught in the throes of far-left orthodoxy. If VAPA was a confusing name, then the district was perfectly justified in changing it. There’s no need to cloak this mundane and reasonable decision in social justice gobbledygook.

In any case, San Francisco students won’t be doing any art—antiracist or otherwise—until officials bow to the scientific consensus and actually reopen the schools.


The main takeaway from the past week or so is that the San Francisco School Board isn’t just “in the throes of far-left orthodoxy.” It’s that they are uneducable if not uneducated, aggressively defending their ignorance and stupidity by repeatedly expanding upon it. In almost any other city than San Francisco, this board would qualify as performance art.

San Francisco should reopen its schools and shut down its school board. Those two actions would do more to promote public education than anything else the city has done in the last fifty years.

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