Acronyms are a sign of white supremacy, according to the San Francisco School Board, which has decided to stop using the acronym VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts) for their Arts Department. Instead, it will be called SFUSD Arts Department (SFUSD is an acronym for San Francisco Unified School District).
As ABC 7 reported, schools in San Francisco haven’t even reopened yet due to the pandemic, but the School Board has been making “disputable” decisions, including the claim that “acronyms are a symptom of white supremacy culture.” The outlet reported that Sam Bass, the director of the arts department said, “We are prioritizing antiracist arts instruction in our work.”
“It is a very simple step we can take to just be referred to as the SFUSD Arts Department for families to better understand who we are,” Bass said.
Bass reportedly explained in a letter how acronyms relate to white supremacy.
“The use of so many acronyms within the educational field often tends to alienate those who may not speak English to understand the acronym,” he wrote.
ABC reported that the connection between acronyms and white supremacy comes from a 1999 paper from Tema Okun, who told the outlet, “Our culture perpetuates racism when things continue to be written down in a certain way.”
The SFUSD “uses so many acronyms on a daily basis that if you go to their website there’s a section on how to find what their acronyms or abbreviations mean,” ABC reported.
This is not the first controversial decision the SFUSD has made in recent weeks, which prompted San Francisco Mayor London Breed to confuse this decision with the school board’s previous decision to rename 44 schools because their namesakes were allegedly tied to racism and/or slavery.
As The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reported, the Google Doc used by SFUSD to decide which schools to rename was riddled with factual errors.
“The underlying rationale for many of the name changes was already suspect, as The Daily Wire reported, noting that a story reportedly linking Feinstein to a Confederate flag on display was poorly sourced and that Lincoln was included among the “controversial” figures because he “did not show through policy or rhetoric that black lives ever mattered to them outside of human capital and as casualties of wealth building,” Zanotti reported.
The New York Post reported that the school board failed to consult with historians in determining why schools should be renamed, and instead relied on Wikipedia and TV shows for their information.
“Businessman and philanthropist James Lick, the wealthiest man in California when he died in 1876, got the boot because the committee disliked his funding of a sculpture depicting a prostrate Indian at the feet of white men. The monument was recently removed from the Civic Center,” the Post reported.
Lick, however, didn’t commission the statue. “His estate paid for it, but it was completed and installed nearly two decades after Lick died,” Zanotti reported.
Many other errors such as these were also found in the document.