The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that centuries old names on buildings, squares, and streets are coming under attack on the campuses of our nation’s colleges and universities.
Once widely revered in a different era, a priest, anthropologist, vice president and dozens of others whose names are etched on college campuses have become the subject of a historical autopsy. Students, inspired in part by the Black Lives Matter movement, are calling for the removal of symbols honoring people connected to slavery and colonialism.
This renaming movement has been gaining momentum. In the last couple of years, protests have taken place at Princeton, Yale, and now at Stanford, Amherst, and Berkley.
The student led movement is an effort to “make colleges more diverse and welcoming and to infuse new perspectives into a traditionally white, Eurocentric curriculum.”
So, we must scrub the campus clean of legacies with a tainted history. Really?
Black students at Berkeley are demanding that a building be renamed after Assata Shakur, a former black panther, convicted of killing a police officer and then fleeing to Communist Cuba. As sympathetic as I am to the professed goals, I suspect that political or cultural ideology is more important than moral cleanliness.
I am reminded of an old joke: A woman goes to the butcher and asks, “Is your chicken fresh?”
Handing her a chicken, the butcher replies, “Yes ma’am.”
The woman begins to sniff the bird under each wing and then spreads the drum sticks and sniffs into the cavity of the bird. The butcher watches for awhile and then asks: “Lady, could you pass such a test?”
The answer, of course, is no. Unless of course the lady serves some other political purpose in which case, name a building after her.
But buildings are not the point of this movement. aside from the completely reasonable desire to not have the Native American Center named after Andrew Jackson, the point of this movement and the end goal is the deligitimiztion of this nation’s founding and the continuing search for a moral rationale to circumvent those portions of the United States Constitution the Left finds inconvenient.
For decades, the Left has sought to dismiss the values of this nation’s founding based on the moral failings of many of the rich, white, slave owners, who founded this great nation. The current effort to scrub our campuses clean of historical figures connected to slavery and colonialism is just the means to their end.