Semantic Stalemate in Berkeley


Tainted as it is by prez number three's slave-trading ways, parents and teachers want to change the name of Jefferson Elementary. Parents in Berkeley (a city named after proud slave owner George Berkeley) prefer the egalitarian ring of "Sequoia Elementary." The problem, as the New York Sun frames it:

Some community members have pointed out that under Chief Sequoia's leadership in the early 19th century, the Cherokee nation owned more than 1,500 black slaves.

Not to worry, say administrators:

A spokesman for the Berkeley Unified School District, Mark Coplan, acknowledged that Chief Sequoia "presumably owned slaves and was rather barbaric," but he emphasized that the proposed new name would honor the sequoia tree, not the Cherokee leader.

Along those lines, can't the school just declare itself a monument to George Jefferson?