Not the Onion: Yale prepares to reconsider buildings with racist, offensive names
posted at 4:01 pm on August 3, 2016 by Jazz Shaw
At some point it will become completely redundant to introduce articles about Black Lives Matter and the Social Justice Warriors with the phrase, “you can’t make this stuff up.” That day may have arrived.
At Yale, a committee has been established to take a fresh look at the names of the various ivy covered buildings around the 317 year old institution to see if any of the names associated with the structures are either racist or offensive to anyone. And once again, no… I’m not even kidding. (Fox News)
Amid growing complaints about university property named after “racist” and slaveholding historical figures, Yale announced yesterday that it has formed a Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming.
Yale’s president said the committee will consult with experts, other universities and the community to establish “principles that are enduring rather than specific to particular controversies,” which will then be used to determine whether or not to rename a structure or public space at Yale.
Yale, which was founded in 1701 when slavery was commonplace, has of late been facing a dilemma over newly controversial names, especially names associated with racist practices in prior centuries.
Upon reading this, I was immediately reminded of a story we previously covered dealing with Lebanon Valley College in eastern Pennsylvania. Back Lives Matter activists there want to change the name of a hall which honors a former president of the college. Why? His name was “Lynch.” To be clear, the man was never accused of lynching anyone. That was just his surname.
At Yale they are still arguing over the name of Calhoun College, named after Vice President John C. Calhoun, because he owned slaves at a time when that was unfortunately the norm. There’s no word yet as to which other specific buildings and institutions may be on the chopping block but I’m sure they’ll find some. What’s lost in the conversation is the fact that these institutions represent history, even if portions of America’s story are highly regrettable. You’re not improving the world by attempting to whitewash pages from the country’s origins. (Pardon the phrase.)
But this is apparently the path to solving the nation’s racial divide, at least in some circles. As a reminder to parents who are sending their kids off to take part in this social justice experiment, the annual tuition at Yale these days is $45,800. I hope you’re getting your money’s worth.