The new USS Jackson, the third ship to bear the name, is a littoral combat ship (LCS) — a smaller vessel intended for operations in shallow water. The ship was commissioned Dec. 5 during a ceremony in Gulfport, Mississippi.
The Jackson is not directly named after President Andrew Jackson. It’s named after Jackson, Mississippi, which is in line with the general practice of naming littoral combat ships after cities (other examples include the USS Cincinnati and USS Charleston). But the Mississippi capital is named after President Jackson, and activists are still distressed about that indirect connection.
“This is totally appalling,” Connecticut NAACP president Scot Esdaile told CNN. “[Jackson was] a big-time slavemaster, pro-slavery, the whole nine yards.” He said America shouldn’t name ships after former slaveowners, which is a category that would include former George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses Grant and nine other U.S. presidents.