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An internet petition drive aimed at changing the name of a Long Beach high school from Woodrow Wilson is gaining support, according to multiple reports.
The Change.org petition, created by a person identified as Jacob B. was created on June 7 and urges the Long Beach Unified School District to rename its high school in the Los Alamitos area honoring the 28th president, who served from 1913 to 1921.
The petition also stated, “During his presidency, Wilson implemented federal policies that subjugated African Americans and excluded them from jobs, civil liberties, and prosperity.”
So far, more than 2,900 people have signed the petition, which seeks 5,000 signatures.
“When students enter a school to learn, they should not have to look up at a name that stood for white supremacy at the highest levels of political power. I believe that an educational institution located in a diverse and inclusive city like Long Beach should not memorialize this man,” the petition states.
“There are many great Americans whose name could better represent the promise of a Long Beach education. While we may not all agree on a new name for this school, I think we can agree that it should not be named after Woodrow Wilson. Black Lives Matter. Rest in Peace George Floyd.”
Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable president Earl Ofari Hutchinson and other area civil rights leaders have also issued a demand that Long Beach school officials make the change.
“They called Wilson a virulent racist who backed the (Ku Klux) Klan, backed exclusion of Japanese and Chinese from the U.S., screened the racist film `Birth of a Nation’ at the White House and booted Blacks out of federal government jobs,” Hutchinson said. “To have his name on a high school in Long Beach with a near-majority of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and students of color is a travesty and insult to a diverse city such as Long Beach.”