Joel B. Pollak, Breitbart, November 16, 2017
The Berkeley, California, school board voted Wednesday to change the name of a local elementary school named for Joseph LeConte, who was a co-founder of the Sierra Club — and a slave owner who backed the Confederacy.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
For decades, a Berkeley elementary school has carried the name of a prominent conservationist and co-founder of the Sierra Club.
But that 19th century geologist, Joseph LeConte, was also a slave owner and munitions supplier to the Confederacy during the Civil War, and parents want his name off their children’s school.
In 1892, when the school was named, LeConte was a renowned professor at UC Berkeley, joining the faculty after the Civil War.
LeConte is not the only liberal icon to be linked to racist and eugenicist views, which were fairly common among “progressives” of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many of them backed segregation in the South, partly out of racism but also because of their belief in government intervention in society.
There is at least one other California school named for LeConte. The Joseph LeConte Middle School, right in the heart of liberal Hollywood, California, is another. A section of the school website, “Who Is Joseph LeConte?”, refers to the Wikipedia entry about LeConte, which omits any mention of slavery.
LeConte is also honored in monuments on the University of California Berkeley campus.