Racism though ugly, hurtful and unnecessary is unfortunately here to stay.
I very strongly disagree with the "here to stay" part. Racism is already physically dying out. Love has literally conquered racism, and it's only a matter of time that people will have to find other ways and reasons to hate. Even though the media loves to say that Obama is black and is heralding him as the first black President, honestly, he's a good old-fashioned, ideal American melting-pot mutt. There are already very many multiracial children, and one of them is becoming President of the United States. Eventually, enough people will have such mixed racial backgrounds that we won't even be able to recognize "purebreds" when we see them. People will have such varied blood that they will be able to choose their racial identity the way they can choose their favorite sports team. At that point, people simply won't understand the emotional level of what a race was, much less why there was such a big deal over it. I suppose they might have rivalries, and fans of one team/race/culture might have a friendly rivalry with fans of a different team, but it'd all be in good fun. Around the Bay Area, I already see a huge number of Caucasian/Asian couples with hapa children. Even before blacks and whites were allowed to marry, there were lots of mulatos. As long as we're allowed to intermarry and have children with other races, some people are going to fall in love and procreate with people from different genetic backgrounds. It's possible to argue that evolution drives us to seek out situations that will give rise to more genetic diversity as long as it produces viable children. And, once those children are born, their parents are evolutionarily supposed to love them, care for them, want the best for them, and do as much as possible to make the environment good to them. Racism is a lame duck on its last legs, much like President Bush is right now, and it will probably die out within the next century at the latest. With the help of Hollywood and the Internet, it may even be within the next three decades or so.
blemishes like this come up and remind us that hey 200+ years isn’t going to go away in one night.
Of course not, but things have been slowly getting better, and they will continue to do so. Maybe the students aren't protesting because they don't feel oppressed. Maybe it's only a few crazy trouble-makers that want the renaming. It's not like they named their school after a KKK person just recently. "Forrest High got its name in 1959". The people there probably don't move much. They've always known the school as "Forrest High". Their older brothers and sisters probably went to "Forrest High". Maybe their parents even went to "Forrest High". It's been "Forrest High" all their lives, and it would probably be weird for people if the school suddenly stopped being "Forrest High". It would cost money to change the logo, the stationary, the stamps, and the markings on all the books, and what not. Schools don't get that much money. Does it matter more that their students' classrooms have enough supplies, or do they want to waste money renaming their school? There was also failure to mention what they wanted for the school's new name. It's possible (even likely) that all the new name suggestions were offensive to somebody in some way. Or, maybe they never got to that point and didn't suggest a new name at all. Without that, can any plan for renaming realistically move forward? No matter how evil Forrest might've been, I would probably prefer "Forrest High" over "The School Formerly Known As Forrest High, At Least Until We Can Find and Agree On A Less Offensive Name", especially if it's going to take money way from my extracurricular activities such as my tennis team, my math team, or my orchestra to rename the school. The tennis racket I used, the violin I played, the math study book I borrowed, they all had "property of [my school's name]" clearly marked on them. They would continue to say such a thing until they were either scratched out or replaced, none of which seemed good for the equipment. The initial naming was all in the past, and the school probably has plenty of problems today (with the coming recession and all). It's economically a bad time to think of renaming. Let the people in the future who won't have as many problems deal with it. It's been this way for half a century; it can wait until after the recession. Today, they probably have bigger, more important issues that may change how good of a future the current generation of students are going to get.
there is usually some sort of large mural/school history in LARGE public display on campus SOMEWHERE.
In our school, there was a small bust in a glass case in the administration building where students seldom visit. Of course, the associated plaques was definitely one-sided. They always are. I'm sure they dug up a ton of dirt on the guy when he tried to run for President (and failed). When they name schools after Obama, they're going to say that he's the first black President of the United States, and they won't mention his pastor situation, the associations with his middle name, his alleged gay relationships and drug habits, and whatever else they complained about.