In the clown-shoe world of San Francisco public schools, honking ensues:
The director of the district’s arts department told local ABC7 news that a decision has been made to change the name of their department, “VAPA,” which is short for visual and performing arts. The new name will be SFUSD Arts Department. “We are prioritising antiracist arts instruction in our work,” the director, Sam Bass, told the network.
I’ll give you a moment to process the notion of “antiracist arts instruction” and how one might prioritise this feat over more mundane matters. Say, encouraging competence. To say nothing of students of the visual and performing arts who apparently struggle with the words visual, performing and arts.
“The use of so many acronyms within the educational field often tends to alienate those who may not speak English to understand the acronym.”
At which point, readers unmoved by wokeness may be inclined to point out that a way to overcome alienation – here, it seems, a euphemism for ignorance – is via students learning things, perhaps even words. Which is, I gather, what takes place in schools, theoretically, even those in San Francisco. However, the fretful and enlightened educators wish us to know that unremarkable terms that are not “proactively chosen” by minority students – including departmental acronyms – are “damaging” and “oppressive,” and actually a symptom of “white supremacy culture” and “white supremacy thinking.” Albeit in ways not entirely obvious, and in an environment where the imagined feelings of non-white students, or those who claim to speak on their behalf, seemingly trump those of everyone else.
And if a punchline seems in order:
It was not clear whether SFUSD was also considered a racist acronym.