Is OBAMA now cancelled? Latino activists oppose Chicago suburb naming school after Barack and Michelle because ex-president was 'the deporter-in-chief'

‘Cancel culture’ may be about to claim two more unlikely victims - Barack and Michelle Obama.

Latino activists in suburban Chicago have come out against renaming a local middle school after the 44th president and his wife this week due to his immigration policies.

The issue came up on Tuesday during a contentious meeting at the Waukegan, Illinois Board of Education, where members said they were opposed to honoring the man some call ‘the deporter-in-chief.’

DailyMail.com has reached out to the Obamas for comment.

The board is mulling changing the names of two of its middle schools - Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Daniel Webster Middle School, according to WLS-TV.

Activists for undocumented migrants stage a protest in Waukegan, Illinois on Tuesday demanding that the school board refuse to rename Thomas Jefferson Middle School after Barack and Michelle Obama

Activists for undocumented migrants stage a protest in Waukegan, Illinois on Tuesday demanding that the school board refuse to rename Thomas Jefferson Middle School after Barack and Michelle Obama

The activists held signs denouncing Obama as the 'deporter-in-chief'

The activists held signs denouncing Obama as the 'deporter-in-chief'

Obama has been widely criticized for his immigration policies while in office. The former president is seen left with his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama, at President Joe Biden's inauguration in Washington, DC on January 20

Obama has been widely criticized for his immigration policies while in office. The former president is seen left with his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama, at President Joe Biden's inauguration in Washington, DC on January 20

Waukegan Public Schools discuss changing names of two schools
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Jefferson, the nation’s third president, is being erased from the school because he once owned slaves.

Webster, a former secretary of state and member of Congress, was a supporter of slavery.


Nationwide, local councils have taken down statues and renamed public squares and sites that once bore the names of historical figures with controversial pasts and views about race.

The movement gained steam after the May 2020 police-involved death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in Minneapolis. His fatal arrest triggered a massive worldwide protest.

The school board in Waukegan plans to make a decision later this month on the renaming of Thomas Jefferson Middle School

The school board in Waukegan plans to make a decision later this month on the renaming of Thomas Jefferson Middle School

As the Waukegan Board of Education met to mull name changes to both schools, Latino community members pleaded not to rename either of the schools after the Obamas.

‘I will not be part of renaming a school after someone who did not and does not represent the undocumented community,’ said Edgar Castellanos, a District 60 school board member who came to the United States as an undocumented child.

Another local activist, Julie Contreras, works with an organization that runs shelters for undocumented children near the southern border.

She also spoke out against honoring Obama, accusing him of breaking his promise as president to help undocumented migrants.

‘From the time Barack Obama became president until 2017 when he left, he today is still the highest ranking president with deportations in our nation,’ Contreras said.

‘We feel that Barack Obama did disservice to us. He denied us, and he didn't stop the deportations, the way he promised.’

She added: ‘If you're removing the name of Thomas Jefferson - one oppressor - the name of Obama is another oppressor and our families do not want to see that name.’

The president of the school board, Brandon Ewing, who is black, said that while he has no objections to renaming the school after Obama, he said he needed to be ‘aware of the concerns.’

During a protest held outside of the school on Tuesday, one member of the community said that his father was deported in 2015, when Obama was president.

‘It was something very sad,’ Mauricio Sanchez said.

‘We couldn't even say goodbye to our dad. We just hoped for him to be able to get out.’

A decision on renaming the school is expected later this month. Other possible names that have been mentioned include the late member of Congress and civil rights activist John Lewis; Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go to space; Katherine Johnson, one of the first African American women to work as a NASA scientist; and the late artist Edith Smith. 

Immigration remains one of the more contentious issues in American politics. The image above shows scores of undocumented minors who crossed the border and were held at a Customs and Border Protection facility in Donna, Texas on Tuesday

Immigration remains one of the more contentious issues in American politics. The image above shows scores of undocumented minors who crossed the border and were held at a Customs and Border Protection facility in Donna, Texas on Tuesday

Is OBAMA now cancelled? Latino activists oppose Chicago suburb naming school after Barack and Michelle because ex-president was 'the deporter-in-chief' Is OBAMA now cancelled? Latino activists oppose Chicago suburb naming school after Barack and Michelle because ex-president was 'the deporter-in-chief' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:49 Rating: 5

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