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San Francisco Schools Changes Art Department Name Because Acronyms are Racist

San Francisco Schools Changes Art Department Name Because Acronyms are Racist

“The use of so many acronyms within the educational field often tends to alienate those who may not speak English to understand the acronym.”

What is in the water in San Francisco? We have evidence that remote learning has caused a huge gap in achievement, but I guess that is not a priority.

First, the school board ordered 44 schools to change names. Second, a teacher cried about Bernie’s mittens. Now we have the art department declaring acronyms as racist.

I cannot tell if this is sarcasm, but Lyanne Melendez at ABC7News in Sam Francisco wrote “the Art Department has taken a bold move” by changing its name.

My goodness, I hope the “bold move” is sarcastic.

Anyway, the department insisted that “acronyms are a symptom of white supremacy.” They used to call it VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts).

Department Director Sam Bass announced the new name as SFUSD Arts Department.

So they remove an acronym and replaced it with another acronym even though “acronyms are a symptom of white supremacy culture.”

From ABC7News:

“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,” explained Sam Bass, Director of the SFUSD Arts Department.

In a letter, he explains that acronyms are a symptom of white supremacy culture.

“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 added.

That’s based on a 1999 paper written by author Tema Okun titled “White Supremacy Culture.” Okun told me that, “Our culture perpetuates racism when things continue to be written down in a certain way.”

But the San Francisco Unified School District 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.

I looked at Tema Okun’s essay. First off, Okun made the essay vague, which in turn makes it easy to scream white supremacy.

Second, the essay says, “make sure anything written can be clearly understood (avoid academic language, ‘buzz words, etc.).”

Guess what. I had to look up SFUSD. It stands for San Francisco Unified School District. I’m not used to seeing a “U” in an acronym for schools.

Everything is racist. Also, someone check San Francisco’s water supply.


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2smartforlibs | February 2, 2021 at 3:02 pm

Once everything is racist then nothing is and we can move on.

I contacted the NAACP, BLM and the EEOC hoping for a comment, but they haven’t returned my calls.

Well…education does have too much acronym junk.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Dathurtz. | February 2, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    But, is it racist?

      I think these people think black people are too stupid to understand acronyms. So, they are racist?

      One of the big pushes in any kind of national training is “equity.” Acronyms are obviously a tool to deny equity to people outside of the field. How dare we deny people a place in the conversation because they don’t speak in the acronymic dialect of educatorese.

        FOTin1943 in reply to Dathurtz. | February 3, 2021 at 3:21 pm

        All this talk about “equity” is nonsense! of the worst kind! This deplorable idea is being advanced only to foist what those doing so consider to be “fair” or “good” or “proper” into quotas, affirmative action and the like with no FACTUAL basis. Just feel good stuff – that may get the Ds more votes from those who think of themselves as victims. EQUALITY of opportunity should be the goal

I agree! That’s why I formed the Franklin Art Rehabilitation Team to help all these unwoke barbarians.

“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 added

Does he honestly think that spelling it out will enable nonEnglish-speakers to understand??

    Antifundamentalist in reply to NYBruin. | February 2, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    All of these “woke” people spend a lot of time calling other people too stupid to get along in the world. Why aren’t more of them objecting to the condescension?

    Dathurtz in reply to NYBruin. | February 2, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    You gotta understand the people making these decisions are the ones that failed upward out of the classroom.

    randian in reply to NYBruin. | February 2, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    Does he honestly think that spelling it out will enable non-English-speakers to understand

    I doubt it. He also fails to explain why “alienating non-English speakers” is a problem. How about he goes to China and explains to them how “alienating non-Chinese speakers like himself” is a problem.

I demand a return to using “Kentucky Fried Chicken”….

“acronyms are a symptom of white supremacy culture”



The Friendly Grizzly | February 2, 2021 at 3:48 pm

Full of nonsense. They seem SFUSD* with it.


* suffused

The exquisite irony of an art department exercising liberal license to indulge diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment).

On other other hand: BLM (Baby Lives Matter). There is some substances to their conjuring. Homonyms, too: black hole… whore h/t NAACP

Semantic games. Conceptual corruption. Conflation of logical domains. @PrinciplesMatter @HateLovesAbortion

caseoftheblues | February 2, 2021 at 4:07 pm

So their basic premise is…unless you’re white you’re stupid..
Gee that seems pretty racist to me

You think that’s bad? Jill ‘Dr Pepper’ Biden is signing Biden’s name on Junta documents!

    If you look up Reagan’s letter declaring his dementia you can easily see that his handwriting had really gotten bad. I suspect the same for Biden… we really haven’t seen his signature close up for the EOs. This is such a major sham that if it wasn’t beyond tragic it would be farce. Having unmasked the toxicity to the brain from failing cobalt alloy in joint replacements and , in general, diagnosed dementia in patients… I’m sorry but Biden really has major problems until provide otherwise. Kennedy had Addison’s. Wilson had brain damage from a stroke. FDR had bad failing health during critical negotiations with the Soviets.
    This problem with Biden is far more devastating and he really isn’t a leader, but a place keeper. Anyone in a position of responsibility for the nation must demand a full evaluation of Biden.. by independent experts.

      NYBruin in reply to alaskabob. | February 2, 2021 at 5:43 pm

      I heard a commentator (Bill McGurn of the WSJ) aptly describe Joe Biden as the smiley face emoji in front of a lot of radical and unpopular ideas

      CapeBuffalo in reply to alaskabob. | February 7, 2021 at 2:49 pm

      Where are the 500 psychiatrists led by the crazy woman from Harvard who deemed President Trump unfit for office?
      Where you ask? In their plush ivory towers drinking Kool-Aid.

Well thank goodness they changed the name and got rid of all the acronyms. A good move from SFUSDSNAFU

The individual who complained that people who don’t speak English might find it difficult to understand what an acronym means was only half right. Even people who speak English perfectly well are going to be confused by acronyms that are not in widespread use. I worked four years for a non-US bank whose many departments were identified with 7-letter acronyms (4 letters, a slash, then 3 letters). I learned who had to be called to get what done, but I never did make head or tail out of what the acronyms meant or why one department used this one and another department used that one. It had nothing to do with the fact that the acronyms were in a foreign language; it had everything to do with the fact that they were pointless and useless.

The use of so many acronyms
Just one grammatical note: most of the things called ‘acronyms’ are not. What she’s complaining about is the use of abbreviations. ‘Abbreviations’ are when you take the first letters of different words and put them together. ‘Acronyms’ are when you do that and it is pronounceable as a word unto itself.

‘BLM’ is an abbreviation.
‘SNAFU’ is an acronym.
‘SFUSD’ (except how Grizzly did it) is an abbreviation.
‘SPAWAR’ is an acronym (though there is disagreement whether it’s “spaywar” pr “spahwar”).

The fact an educator doesn’t know this is indicative of how poor our “professional” educators are at their “profession”.


The Friendly Grizzly | February 2, 2021 at 6:00 pm

A variation on the theme of acronyms: text – speak. It’s fine if one is texting. What I really despise is seeing it in comments, or emails addressed to me. I’m not some kid, I speak English..

Notice carefully how there is no longer anything called “white culture.” Now it’s automatically “white supremacy culture.” Anyone else here smell an inferiority complex?

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to henrybowman. | February 2, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    It is just the way things are expressed these days. No one can say right without preceding it with the word far.

Might be a chuckle to see what would happen if we sent them a few dozen copies of Department of Defense Joint Publication, JP 1-02, Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, Appendix A, Acronyms, pages A-1 thru A-204. Two hundred and four pages of U.S. Government-approved acronyms.

    It would just prove to them that the military (and therefore all of gov’t) is racist, just like they’ve been arguing.

    Every industry has its own jargon, abbreviations, and acronyms. In our contracts we often have an introductory section defining these things for handy reference through the rest of the document.

Non-English speakers have trouble with abbreviations and acronyms? Let them LEARN ENGLISH so they can be as confused as the rest of us.

Any fans of ABBA need to be cancelled as the white supremacists they are.

And I demand that government funding for anything involving lasers or radar be immediately halted and the money redirected to social justice.

How many of you remember flying TWA and the stewardess asking if you wanted coffee or TWATea?

It’s been my experience that those who lawfully emigrate to the USA from Asia and Europe readily learn to speak enough English to get by well enough. Here is NM, so many of those from south of the USA border (recently and over the years; legally and illegally) simply fail to learn English; it is easier for them to learn English than Asians and many of the Europeans. School-age youngsters are spoon-fed in school with classes in Spanish, there are so many Spanish TV stations on cable, the public libraries buy books published in Spanish, the newspaper publishes puzzles in Spanish, ELECTION BALLOTS ARE PUBLISHED IN SPANISH, etc. I will hold no “pity-parties” for anyone who wants to live in the USA who does not learn English.

Y R so many of you making fun of San Franciskins? I am a grad of a prestijus hi skool in SF, Linkon Hi, named after our third President . ( I here that they R changing the name 2 Lenin Hi, I think he was a beetle?)
U R all races, biggits and homos!!!