Skip to main content

On Un-Naming Barrows Hall

Ron Hendel, Professor of Near Eastern Studies | July 29, 2020

As a denizen of Barrows Hall, I was appalled to learn that the building’s namesake, David Barrows, was a white nationalist racist, according to an op-ed in the Daily Cal. Since then I have done some Googling and found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that, while he was an imperfect person, he was not a white nationalist racist. The recently submitted “Proposal to Un-Name Barrows Hall,” which is now open for public comment, is in my view a deeply flawed document, whose claims are not supported by careful research. It is, I suppose, a primarily political document, and as such swerves from academic standards of accuracy. This is unfortunate and perhaps worth some correction. I do so with some hesitation, however, since I am far from expert and do not wish to offend.

The Proposal’s “Summary of Rationale to Unname Barrows Hall” states its thesis succinctly:

  • “Throughout his lifetime, Barrows’ words and actions were anti-Black, anti-Filipinx, anti-Indigenous, xenophobic, and Anglocentric. His actions form a striking pattern of racism and use of institutional power to repress desire for independence from the United States (Clymer, 1976, p. 510).  Barrows’ actions and words advanced the interests of white supremacy, broadly.”

The source cited to support this general claim is Kenton Clymer, “Humanitarian Imperialism: David Prescott Barrows and the White Man’s Burden in the Philippines,” Pacific Historical Review 45 (1976), 495-517. The Proposal’s claim, however, is in stark contrast to Clymer’s evaluation of Barrows’s words and actions, stemming from his role in the Philippine colonial administration as head of the school system in 1903-9. Clymer’s thesis about Barrows is as follows:

  • “Some Americans clearly moved into the Philippines as exploiters, intent on taking advantage of cheap labor and caring nothing for the well-being of the Filipinos… On the other hand, a sizeable number of Americans involved themselves in disinterested service to the Filipinos, occasionally at great personal sacrifice…. In most ways David Prescott Barrows typified those imperialists who saw their mission primarily as one of service. Often paternalistic and condescending, Barrows labored for nearly a decade to transform and ‘enlighten’ Philippine society.” (497-99)

While Clymer grants that Barrows was paternalistic and Eurocentric, he undermines the Proposal’s claim that Barrows was “anti-Philipinx.” Clymer consistently maintains the opposite: “He did, in fact, perceive his primary mission as one of uplift for the Filipinos, not as one of exploitation” (513); “Clearly, Barrows’s humaneness and his theory of history led him to opt for service rather than oppression” (507); “Nowhere is his humanitarianism more evident than in his outspoken opposition to economic exploitation of the masses. Filipinos who refused to work under degrading conditions were to be congratulated, he insisted” (512). Clymer’s article undermines the Proposal’s summary rationale.

In his critical history In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines, Stanley Karnow describes Barrows’s work to reform the Philippine educational system:

  • “He prescribed a Jeffersonian answer: the creation of a literate peasantry through ‘universal primary instruction for … all classes and every community.’ He opened more schools and hired additional native teachers. His curriculum accented reading, writing and arithmetic, and he prepared textbooks especially for Filipino children. The primers now showed Juan and Maria walking through rice fields instead of John and Mary in the snow, and avocados and coconuts replaced apples and pears.” (206)
  • “Barrows left some four thousand elementary schools in the Philippines when he quit in 1909 – a threefold increase during his seven-year tenure. He had doubled the number of pupils to more than four hundred thousand, and tripled the size of the native teacher corps to some eight thousand…. To give high marks to the U.S. school system, as most Americans and Filipinos do in retrospect, is a fair judgment—as far as it goes. But education in itself was not a miraculous remedy for all the country’s ills.” (207)

Barrows was an idealistic educational reformer, a “humanitarian imperialist” in Clymer’s formulation. It is an unfair distortion to allege that he was anti-Philipinx or promoted a white supremacist agenda.

Similar objections pertain to other statements in this Proposal. Under the section “Barrows Demonstrated Extreme Anti-Blackness,” the claim is: “Barrows argued that Black people are politically incapable, cannot successfully enact self-determination, are vicious, are lacking in free will, and cannot recognize their own rights.” To show Barrows’s “thorough dehumanization of Blacks,” the Proposal cite two quotes from his book of travels in Africa, Berbers and Blacks: Impressions of Morocco, Timbuktu, and the Western Sudan. But these quotes do not show what the Proposal claims. As Barrows makes clear, he is addressing the Blacks of the Sudan, which consist of a variety of tribal peoples: “Wolofs and Mindingos in Senegal, with whom mingle ‘Moors,’ Berbers, and Toucoulerus, Bambars, Songrais, Habés, Mossis, and, further east, in Northern Nigeria, Hausas and Kanuris. Mingling with these are the nomadic Fulas” (234). He is not addressing all Blacks or Black people in general.

Barrows’s comments about the political history of these peoples of the Sudan may be offensive or crude, but they should not be taken out of context to imply a white nationalist agenda of anti-Blackness. He is talking about a particular history of some peoples in a particular place and time. Moreover, his comment about the “wicked” history of the tropical coast refers specifically to the history of the slave trade among these peoples, which he describes as “unspeakably disastrous for the natives themselves” (215-16). To say that these quotes demonstrate a “thorough dehumanization of Blacks” is incorrect. The Proposal takes them out of context and gives them a meaning that is foreign to their intent and politics.

The Proposal’s section “White Supremacist’s View of Global History: Anti-Black and Racist Toward all Indigenous People” quotes Barrows’s view that historical consciousness begins with historical writing and describes it as “the views of a white supremacist advancing the interests of white supremacy.” Barrows may have had what we regard as an outdated and Eurocentric view of historical consciousness – perhaps vaguely Hegelian – but it, and the textbook from which it comes, do not support the inference that he was advancing white supremacy. Barrows states that he wrote his History of the Philippines for the following reasons:

  • “This book has been written for the young men and young women of the Philippines. It is intended to introduce them into the history of their own island country. The subject of Philippine history is much broader and more splendid than the size and character of this little book reveal…. It is not too soon, however, to present a history of the Philippines, even though imperfectly written, to the Philippine people themselves; and if this book serves to direct young men and young women to a study of the history of their own island country, it will have fulfilled its purpose.” (9)

His “humanitarian” purpose is also expressed in his exordium to his young readers about the value of education:

  • “The young men and young women of the Philippines must seek the advantages of education, not for themselves, but for the benefit of their people and their land; not to gain for themselves a selfish position of social and economic advantage over the poor and less educated Filipinos, but in order that, having gained these advantages for themselves, they may in turn give them to their less fortunate countrymen.” (12)

The textbook advances his goal, as Karnow elucidates above, to foster an educated working class. Only by gross distortion can it be described as a racist manual written by a white supremacist.

The Proposal overlooks – either by deliberate omission or incomplete research – Barrows’s most important legacy. In 1941 he conceived and organized the Northern California Committee on Fair Play for Citizens and Aliens of Japanese Ancestry. His goal was to fight the rising racism against Japanese-Americans in the U.S. Charles Wollenberg describes the work of this committee in his article “Dear Earl: The Fair Play Committee, Earl Warren, and Japanese Internment,” California History 89 (2012), 224-60. He describes its formation as follows:

  • “The Fair Play Committee was established in the fall of 1941, three months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. In May of that year, David Prescott Barrows, chairman of the University of California’s Political Science Department and former university president, became concerned about rising anti-Japanese sentiment in California. He discussed the matter with Galen Fisher, a faculty member at the Pacific School of Religion and a political science research associate at the university … [Fisher] agreed to take on the task of organizing what he and Barrows envisioned as ‘an independent committee of influential individuals’ to advocate for the protection of the civil rights and liberties of Californians of Japanese descent.” (26)

The Fair Play Committee, which included the presidents of Berkeley and Stanford, advocated, by publications and political lobbying, against the mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans. As a consequence, the members were accused of treason by a California senate committee. Eventually their cause prevailed, the camps were closed, and the internees allowed to come home. As Wollenberg relates:

  • “Minejiro Hayashida, chairman of the community council at [the internment camp at] Heart Mountain, was one of many internees who wrote letters of appreciation to the committee in the days following the 1944 decision to end the internment. He thanked committee members ‘for your untiring efforts in establishing the real principles of democracy.’ In September 1945, Professor [and artist] Chiura Obata wrote Ruth Kingman that he was glad to return to Berkeley, not only because ‘it has such an atmosphere of universal goodwill” but because ‘it is also the birthplace of the American Fair Play Movement.’” (55)

Audrie Girdner and Anne Loftis’s comprehensive history, The Great Betrayal: The Evacuation of the Japanese-Americans During World War II, describes the Fair Play Committee’s work alongside that of other prominent antiracist groups, the ACLU and the AFSC:

  • “A number of influential citizens rallied to the defense of the Japanese… The rights of the Nisei as citizens were upheld by such organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Northern California Committee on Fair Play for Citizens and Aliens of Japanese Ancestry, which had been organized early in October, 1941. Among the original members of this committee were Dr. Robert Gordon Sproul, president of the University of California, [and] Dr. Ray Lyman Wilbur, president of Stanford… The Japanese badly needed such friends who saw them as people rather than as an enemy enclave.” (25)

In this grave period of American history, Barrows was actively antiracist. He created a high-profile committee that fought influentially for the rights of Japanese-Americans in their most vulnerable hour. This seems to be in character, and it is worth commemoration. The Fair Play Committee, established some twenty years before the Free Speech movement, may be regarded as the beginning, and certainly a landmark chapter, in the history of social activism and antiracism at UC Berkeley.

In sum, I contest the Proposal’s contention that “the decision to continue honoring Barrows constitutes tacit approval of a significant and lasting legacy of white supremacy, colonialism, and violent oppression.” This is simply a false representation of the facts. The “Proposal to Un-Name Barrows Hall” is a deeply flawed document, although it supports the important goal of antiracism.

There are many complicated issues here about how to judge, remember, and commemorate the past, which are not easily resolved. But I hope we can agree that we should tell the truth about past (to paraphrase a title by Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt, and Margaret Jacob). This should be our starting point for all consequential discussions, a point that has been under some stress lately. Finally, I have one practical suggestion. The university should install a row of displays in the entry hall featuring the history and publications of the Northern California Committee on Fair Play for Citizens and Aliens of Japanese Ancestry (the documents are available in the Bancroft), acknowledging its place in the history of antiracism at UC Berkeley and the key role of its founder, David Barrows.

Comments to “On Un-Naming Barrows Hall

  1. I am disheartened with this defense of Barrows. I understand there are plenty of ways to interpret the words of the proposal, but the language of enlightening Filipinx culture is not one of service, but one of colonialism and imposition of what is supposed “civilization.”

    You are suggesting people are ignoring the good work, when in reality you are cherry picking good work to prove that humanitarian imperialists are inherently ethical as well. You are claiming Clymer’s book is in opposition to the proposal, when it calls Barrows an imperialist, and describes the second group as “disinterested” servants, at their personal expense. He took on the unasked burden of “saving” a civilization. You intentionally paraphrased Clymer when they are talking about Barrows typifying the dedicated servant. It reads, “those Americans who came to serve (to say nothing of those who were more selfishly motivated) considered the Filipinos unsuited for self-government in the foreseeable future because of their alleged racial and cultural incapacities. And yet they came to educate, to convert, to uplift the “native” (insofar as they believed this was possible), to reform Philippine society along Western lines- in sum, they were there to shoulder the White Man’s Burden.” This is what Barrows typifies, and should not be celebrated.

    You are saying that because he supported people of Asian descent, we should overlook what he has said and done to other parts of the community. When even in the way he supported Asian communities, it was with him and his white peers in power. I think that the way communities and cultures are described in history is rooted in bigotry, and to defend the way tribes are described in past studies as excusable for the time is all well and good, but that doesn’t mean we have to have their names on our buildings. We can recognize them for their value in the past, and honor other people who have not spent decades in communities they want to “enlighten.”

  2. It seems to me that while the university is a wonderful place to research and teach about racism and anti-racism, it should not be in the vanguard to pursue and implement anti-racist practices. The university is ultimately about producing knowledge and seeking truth. It should be a place of endless and nuanced debate where complexity and contradictions of all shapes and sizes are rigorously examined and then reexamined. Let the politicians and the activists fixate on ideas with full and unequivocal convictions. For academics (I’m including everyone affiliated with universities), knowledge should be always contingent and fluid. As a single human being, David Barrows as a subject embodies layers upon layers of complexity that can generate endless cycles of discourse that depict him either as a hero or a villain. A wise course of action is to leave these judgments to historians. As for Barrows Hall, leave the name alone not as a reminder of the greatness of David Barrows but as a sign of humility that no human being is perfect and that no judgment of an individual’s legacy is ever complete.

  3. I wish to assure Jus and others that I am not condoning or excusing racism. I urge that we base our discussion on accurate assessments of the evidence. I am pointing out that the Proposal is flawed by distortions and mischaracterizations of Barrows’s words and actions. For instance, Jus reiterates the Proposal’s claim that “Barrows also revealed his racist, anti-Black views” when he wrote, “The tropical coast comprised in British Nigeria probably had as wicked a history as any part of the African shore” (Barrows 1927: 215). As I pointed out, Barrows is specifically referring to the region’s slave trade, in which local tribes captured members of rival tribes and sold them to white slavers. Barrows describes this history of slavery as “wicked.” I think everyone at Berkeley would agree.

    These distortions have baneful effects. They inflict harm on our students, who learn from their peers and the Daily Cal that Barrows Hall is a symbol of racism and white supremacy on campus. This claim, widely disseminated, remakes the past in the present. Jus’s letter eloquently testifies to this outcome. This is the problem we’re mired in, which has no easy solution.

    As for Barrows’s paternalistic colonialism, let’s remember that the name of our university is a tribute to imperialism. The name was inspired by George Berkeley’s “Verses on the Prospect of Planting Arts and Learning in America,” an encomium to the British empire’s expansion in America. Its last stanza begins with the famous line, “Westward the course of empire takes its way.” Perhaps we should start by acknowledging the imperialist content of the name Berkeley and then treat Barrows accordingly. I think a better name would be the University of California, Ohlone. But it would take some serious thought and discussion to get there.

    • You seem to be picking and choosing what excerpts about Barrows to acknowledge in order to perpetuate your argument, in an attempt to falsify or diminish the other overtly racist passages and opinions Barrows had toward Black, Filipinx and Native peoples, that have been chronicled at length. If you’re questioning the proposal, that is fine, but you have to understand that when you write an op-ed about a topic you admittedly are not an expert in, due to your position at the university people are going to take what you write as though it is more credible than it should be.

      Jus references Dawn Mabalon who likely has more credibility on this topic. Mabalon unfortunately passed away recently, but I wonder how a true expert on this topic would respond to your opinion?

  4. I would encourage people to read the entire proposal, do your own research and make your own interpretation. I did my own research and I had a completely different interpretation of the proposal and the research than Ron did. A lot of people in academia like to debate intent and interpretation which works in some cases but when it comes to racism, it’s not academic, it’s not debatable and it’s not political. Racism overt and covert, is rooted in hate, racism is harm and racism is wrong (period). There may be an explanation as to why someone was racist but there is never an excuse for being racist. I found that there was no way to explain or excuse the racist comments the David Prescott Barrows made about different groups of color. Your reflection on the proposal seems to pick selective bits of research to confirm your stance but fails to actually show the harmful quotes that came straight out of the mouth of David Prescott Barrows. Although it is hard to misinterpret racist comments, what some people will do is minimize them or find excuses as to why racist comments are “ok” or “not so bad”. Sometimes, people want to quantify and rank racism and say, “well it was not that bad” or “they were only racist in a small number of ways”. And if you are that person, you have to ask yourself why you would be ok with that? If someone were saying the same things about your identity group, would you be ok with that?

    Before writing your reflection, I wonder how many Black, Filipinx and Native people you have talked to about how they feel when they walk past symbols of racism on campuses. The proposal did not recap the life of Barrows and I don’t think we should expect that. You are debating the intent of his racist comments which deflect from the actual comments that are clearly problematic. I thought the proposal highlighted the things that Barrows said that continue to cause harm to people of color. All people are supposed to feel like the physical campus creates belonging for them but instead, we are ok with the belonging of some being ignored as long as we are comfortable when we walk through the campus. Your reflection seems to minimize the harm that was caused by his comments and that interpretation is also harmful. If someone publicly and frequently said really disparaging and harmful things about you and your family and then people said to you, “but that person did a lot of good things”. Would you want to live in a building named after that person? If your answer is no, then why is it ok for anyone else?

    Many campuses claim that they embrace creating physical spaces of belonging that do not tolerate symbols of hate and racism yet so many of their buildings represent just that and what’s even more troubling is that so many people are ok with symbols of racism because it does not impact them.

    While the proposal highlights the harmful language and attitude Barrows had about people of color, your reflection attempts to erase the harm by highlighting what you believe to be good service and accolades. Unfortunately, this is why we can’t dismantle white supremacy. We refuse to come to terms with how the currents of our history still cause harm to marginalized communities. We want to say, well that’s just how people thought back then. We don’t actually attempt to repair the harm, we just try to explain it away or wash it away with finding the “good” deeds that racist people did. We use their “good” deeds to shield us from accepting their harmful deeds. When it comes to anti-Black racism, we are even more dismissive and want to find a way to give people a pass. If we are going to celebrate someone’s accomplishments then there must also be accountability for the harm they caused and we must repair that harm. Yes, Barrows was celebrated for being a President of the University of California and did you know that he discriminated against Black students during his leadership. Did you know that Ida Louise Jackson was one of the first Black students allowed to attend UC Berkeley. She started the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority chapter, the first Black sorority on the Berkeley campus and in the Western United States. She experienced discrimination at the hands of then-Chancellor Barrows who would not include her sorority photo in the Blue & Gold magazine. Despite this, in 1925, she became California’s first Black teacher and ended her career in education as principal of McClymonds High School in the Oakland Unified School District.

    Sometimes repairing that harm means to remove the physical symbols and reminders that the harmed communities have to walk by every day on their “campuses of belonging”.

    Let’s just take a look at how Barrows talked about different groups of color. You can’t erase any of this or try to explain why this is ok. When you show this to the descendants of the people that he was talking about and ask them how they feel, what do you imagine they will say? I’m sure you know this but ”Black people ” refers to Black people across the African Diaspora so any stereotyping or racist comments about one group of people in the African Diaspora impacts all Black people in the African Diaspora. I’m not sure why you are trying to minimize the harm by saying he was talking about certain groups of African/Black people, not all as if people should only be offended if they came from that region. There are direct descendants of the people he was talking about that walk past his name every day on campus. Should they have to embrace excuses for his behavior? Should we tell them that even though he was racist, he also did nice things and had great accolades(the shield we use for white people to hide behind racist comments and attitudes). If you look close enough, you see a theme in the so-called “good deeds” of Barrows. His attitude reflected a hierarchy of value when it came to humanity and white versus people of color. He talked about people of color as inferior people who could only succeed with the help of white people (aka white saviors). If you think you are superior to other races of people because you are white and you continue to express that attitude publicly, should you be celebrated for doing things you believe are “saving or helping those same people”? My guess is those people would say “no” and be completely offended.

    These are just a few not all of the things Barrows has said, but they highlight how he felt about Black, Filipinx and Native people. I have highlighted some of the most offensive comments he made:

    In “Berbers and Blacks: Impressions of Morocco, Timbuktu, and The Western Sudan,” Barrows wrote that the ” [Black] race … is, in general, deficient in political capacity. Its culture produces only despotisms, and these of a singularly brutal type … The black lacks an inherent passion for freedom, the ability to distinguish between what justly may be demanded of him and what is oppression.” (Barrows, 1927, pp. 244-245 )

    Barrows also revealed his racist, anti-Black views in an analysis of British colonization in Africa. For example, Barrows wrote, “The tropical coast comprised in British Nigeria probably had as wicked a history as any part of the African shore, before the British took responsibility for it, and gave it a just and humane government.” (Barrows, 1927, p. 215 )

    Barrows claimed that people in the Phillipine Islands and throughout the region are instinctively submissive. For example, he wrote, “The poor Malayan instinctively dreads and submits to the power of the stronger, especially where that power is of a material kind, and the Spanish system in its very efforts to advance the population, did much to aggravate these social distinctions.” (Barrows, 1907, p. 72 )

    Reflecting on six years of his work in the Philippines, in his 1907 piece, “Education and Social Progress in the Philippines,” Barrows argued that the Filipinx were begging to be colonized. He wrote that ” … the desire of the Filipinos for the English language was… strongly felt and earnestly plead for.” (Barrows, 1907, p. 74 )

    In a 1910 article, “What May Be Expected from Education in the Philippines,” he wrote, “Wherever one goes now in the Philippines, … he will find [children who] can engage [in English], and whose thoughts and ideas have been quickened and raised far above the mental level of the illiterate and ignorant class from which these children spring.” (Barrows, 1910, p. 162)
    In his capacity as the general superintendent of public instruction for the Philippine Islands, Barrows created a textbook for high school students, A History of the Philippines , first published in 1905 and used in schools until it was replaced in 1924 (Wesling, 2011, p. 54 ). Throughout the textbook, Barrows framed a disturbing view of history and race, where people of color are most often considered in relation to whites, and where races can seemingly be ordered in a hierarchy of linear-temporal advancement, relative intelligence, physical attractiveness, and as members of either civil or savage societies.
    Consider this statement from Barrows, building upon his prior statement that history begins with written records: “Thus, the history of the black, or negro, race begins only with the exploration of Africa by the white race, and the history of the American Indians, except perhaps of those of Peru and Mexico, begins only with the white man’s conquest of America. The white, or European, race is, above all others, the great historical race; but the yellow race, represented by the Chinese, has also a historical life and development, beginning many centuries before the birth of Christ.” ( Barrows, 1905, p. 13)

    In 1929, the San Francisco Commonwealth Club convened a meeting to debate Filipinx immigration. Mabalon wrote: “The most incendiary testimony came from David Barrows of the University of California, formerly superintendent of schools in Manila and director of education in the Philippines, who confirmed anxieties about Filipina/o racial differences and Filipina/hypersexuality. ‘Their vices are almost entirely based on sexual passion,’ he reported. ‘The defects of the race are not intellectual but moral, and it is on the moral side that Filipinos require inflexible standards and constant support.’ Despite their reputation as good boxers, he concluded that they were weak and diseased, and he opposed Filipino-white marriage.” (Mabalon, 2013, p. 143)

    Before you invite people to get on board with your interpretation and dismissal of his racist beliefs, I invite you to actually have this conversation with people that are actually impacted. If you are still supporting this kind of symbolism on campus and you are ok with the harm that this causes to so many communities, then with all due respect you have your own reflection to do as to why that is. I encourage you to not look at what you think the intent of his comments are but look at the widespread harmful impact he has had on so many communities. Do you think that all the communities that have been calling for his name to be removed for some time just have it all wrong and didn’t get a chance to know the guy or is there a reason why so many people have been feeling harm from his comments for so long? When it comes to research, I think you have to talk to the people before you jump to your own interpretations.

  5. “The Fair Play Committee was established in the fall of 1941, three months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. In May of that year, David Prescott Barrows, chairman of the University of California’s Political Science Department and former university president, became concerned about rising anti-Japanese sentiment in California. He discussed the matter with Galen Fisher, a faculty member at the Pacific School of Religion and a political science research associate at the university … [Fisher] agreed to take on the task of organizing what he and Barrows envisioned as ‘an independent committee of influential individuals’ to advocate for the protection of the civil rights and liberties of or Californians of Japanese descent.”

  6. I’ve been on the campus as a student and staff (now retired) for 43 years, and have been keeping abreast of these various unnaming proposals. I struggle with this concept of renaming, because it’s a part of my history, i.e. I grew up with the buildings named as they currently are, but I also understand the need to ensure appropriate representation. I appreciate that Ron Hendel took the time to uncover more facts and presented them eloquently. Perhaps the renaming committee will take his findings into consideration. At the same time, I appreciate the perspective dave’s thoughts bring, that perhaps there need to be sunset clauses on building names. Still wavering between these two ideas, though! Thank you for your insight.

  7. Thank you for setting the record straight and for adding nuance to this question. Nuance, balance and context sadly are words that the proponents of this de among proposal seem not to have en countered.

  8. Cal was a bedrock pillar of the establishment status quo back in the day, but times change and role models for building names often don’t age well with the changing times.

    Organized Labor would certainly not be admirers of David Barrows…

    “Even after he returned to the University of California, he worked with the National Guard of the United States, till 1937 where he reached the rank of Major general. During the 1934 Maritime Strike in San Francisco Barrows lead the assault against the striking maritime workers to gain union recognition and union hiring halls. ”

    “On July 17, 1934, the California National Guard blocked both ends of Jackson Street from Drumm to Front with machine gun mounted trucks to assist vigilante raids, protected by SFPD, on the headquarters of the Marine Workers’ Industrial Union and the ILA soup kitchen at 84 Embarcadero.”


    Building names need “sunset clauses” or “term limits” lol.

  9. Thank you for this well researched argument. My question would be: how should we treat the monuments/ buildings/ streets that honor colonialists? Even benign colonialists were still white colonizers even if they were enlightened ones.

Comments are closed.