The Name Game


While the Burbank School Board tries to figure out how they can get out of renaming Luther Burbank Middle School because Luther Burbank too was a big eugenicist just like David Starr Jordan (hint: they can’t), let’s look at what happened up in Palo Alto after they stripped Jordan off of one of their own schools.

How hilariously stupid and bathetic:


The Palo Alto Unified School District board unanimously decided Tuesday that Jordan Middle School should be renamed after Frank Greene Jr. and Terman Middle School after Ellen Fletcher. In making those choices, it snuffed out a controversy that erupted when the name of Fred Yamamoto, an inspirational local figure with a reviled last name, was nominated…

Tuesday’s board meeting was packed and about 70 speakers were given a minute each to state their opinions. About half of them urged the board to not name the school after Fred Yamamoto.

Although Yamamoto was a Japanese-American forced into an internment camp during World War II and was later killed in action while serving in the U.S. Army’s 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team, a number of Chinese-American residents in recent weeks have complained that his last name could be confused with that of Isoroku Yamamoto.

They say Isoroku Yamamoto, known as the architect of the Pearl Harbor bombing, was responsible for war crimes committed against the Chinese during World War II. An online petition opposing the name had roughly 1,350 supporters as of Wednesday night.

“The last name Yamamoto triggers painful feeling and painful memory,” Amanda Chi said.


Uh-huh. In whom still living? No one.

This is over-sensitivity gone amuck, and because of the very long time span, grossly insincere. Yamamoto is an extremely common Japanese surname, and “Fred” is nowhere near “Isoroku.”

Don’t they have signs and letters they can put up to spell out the name? Where will this virtue signaling ever end?

Poor Fred. How terrifically unfair to him.





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3 responses to “The Name Game

  1. radical statist

    “virtue signaling ever end”. not sure, people on your side of the political spectrum are the ones pushing this crap. If you want it to stop, then those on the left have to figure out way to stop it.

    There is a reason that many on the left are dismissed as kooks and “virtue signaling” is a great example.

    Good luck!

    • semichorus

      Kooks on both sides. Virtue signaling was actually invented during this modern era by right-wing fundamentalists.

      Don’t know what to do about it on the left, but that most liberals aren’t that vocal about things like “David Starr Jordan.” They either think it’s silly and paltry or they have much bigger issues of concern.

  2. Anonymous

    That’s really awful when just having the same last name marks you. How far is this going to go?

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