A Marin County historian, a representative from local indigenous tribes, and a history professor are lined up to be the featured guests for online learning session August 5 about Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, one of Marin’s primary thoroughfares. The session was prompted by a grassroots effort to have the road renamed because of its namesake’s documented history as a 16th century slave trader.
The session will be moderated by Chantel Walker, assistant director of the Marin County Free Library. The session will start at 6 p.m. and will be closed captioned, offer Spanish translation and ASL/CDI interpretation (available via Zoom webinar ID: 924 8372 9278; Password: 798119). Viewers may watch the webcast live on the County’s main Facebook page and the Community Media Center of Marin’s Education Channel.Comcast TV subscribers may watch on Channel 30 or AT&T 99. Video of the session will later be placed on the library’s website.
Update: At 3 a.m. Wednesday, the Drake statue in Larkspur was removed out of feat it would be toppled at a protest scheduled for Thursday.
If you missed it, the artist who created the Sir Francis Drake statue offered a cogent argument in last week’s Marinscope newspapers for keeping his artwork standing in Larkspur.
But there are many who want the statue gone in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests. Drake was a slave trader, the argument goes, and therefore celebration of the man in any way is wrong for Marin today.
There’s a similar argument going on in Pacifica, by the way, over a statue there celebrating Don Gaspar de Portola, the man who “discovered” San Francisco Bay.
The arguments for taking down the Drake statue split into two. There are those in the “French Revolution” camp who want all historic traces of Drake erased from Marin. The statue taken down, the street renamed and the high school, too.
I can’t get there personally, but I know some can.
Then there’s the more nuanced argument that any kind of elevation of Drake should be reviewed and put into modern context. That’s a debate worth having. If you have a strong feeling on the topic, send me your arguments and we’ll further the debate in a civil manner in the Marinscope newspapers. Send to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Postscript: Some cities (Santa Fe and Carson City are two I am familiar with) have chosen to alter the wording on the plaques of statues of their local historic figures to explain more fully the reasoning behind the displaying the statues. Don’t know if that would work here, but it may.
FIRST IMPRESSION OF SF
I’m reading the autobiography of Gen. George Crook. His first assignment out of West Point was to journey through San Francisco to his first post. Here’s his recollection of San Francisco then, which isn’t that much different from today:
“Everything was excitement and bustle, prices were most exorbitant, common laborers received much higher wages than officers of the Army, although at that time, by special act of Congress, we were allowed extra pay. Everything was so different from what I had been accustomed to that it was hard to realize I was in the United States. People had flocked there from all parts of the world; all nationalities were represented there. Sentiments and ideas were so liberal and expanded that they were almost beyond bounds.”
GOVERNOR ON BENDED KNEE
The New York Times reported that Gov. Gavin Newsom was told that if he wanted more federal COVID-19 he would have to ask President Trump personally and thank him.
The Times said Newsom did it. Newsom last week says he didn’t.
But, the Mercury News points out that on the day this supposedly happened, Gov. Newsom did, in fact, publicly praise President Trump in his daily news conference.
Me thinks the NYTs story rings of truth. Sadly.
AOC AND GOOD CANNED BEANS
In an embrace of really good canned beans, comes the story of New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling on Americans to boycott Goya foods. Why? Because the owner of the popular Hispanic food company, Bob Unanue, once praised President Donald Trump and refused to apologize as AOC demanded.
AOC called for a boycott and … wait for it … sales of Goya products increased.
Subsequently, Goya named AOC “employee of the month.”
If you disagree with this thought from Maya Angeleu, then you cannot be my friend.
ONE MORE THING
— Heck is where you go if you don’t believe in Gosh.
— When a bird poops on my car, I eat a plate of scrambled eggs on my front porch. Just to show ‘em what I’m capable of.
— Due to the lack of cicadas this year, I’m planning to climb into the trees and scream.
— Someone left a grocery list in this cart that read: “Wine and stuff to eat with wine.” I’m pretty sure my soulmate is out there.
— I am taking up birding and I’ve received my first manual.
And with that, I’ll pick up my knitting and let myself out. Until next week, be safe, read a newspaper, wear a mask, and avoid soreheads. Life is always better that way.
Sherman R. Frederick is the founder of Battle Born Media, publisher of intensely local community newspapers, including the Novato Advance, the San Rafael News Pointer, the Ross Valley Reporter, the Mill Valley Herald, the Twin Cities Times, the Sausalito Marin Scope and the Pacifica Tribune. You may drop him a line at email@example.com.)