History is messy, but don’t erase it — keep Devotion School name

Re “Slaveholder’s name must go from Brookline school” (Editorial, March 1): This argument is rapidly heading toward political correctness gone too far. Edward Devotion was a man of his time. Times have changed. Americans continue to have a problem really looking at the history of this country. More than half of the Founding Fathers were slave owners. They also were men of their times. Their failure to settle the slavery issue when founding the United States of America led, inevitably, to the Civil War and to today’s continuing struggle regarding racism.

Carried to its furthest application, Madison, Wisc.; Jefferson City, Mo., and even the state of Washington and countless other locations could be pressured to change their names.


The problem really is that we like solutions, nice little answers tied with a pretty bow. There are none for this problem. The history of a country is full of nasty elements. History is messy. Painting over the bad parts doesn’t erase the bad parts. Leave the name of the Edward Devotion Elementary School, and put up a plaque. Let people learn history, warts and all. This country has done bad things and magnificent things, and we need to know all of them.

Judy P. O’Toole