This is a platform for User Generated Content. G/O Media assumes no liability for content posted by Kinja users to this platform.

Do we start renaming universities now?

Other than UC Berkeley renaming Boalt Hall, there seems to be little move in this direction?


What of Princeton’s school of foreign policy, named for Woodrow Wilson, who in many ways was the architect of segregation?

What of Yale, named to honor the slave trader Elihu Yale?

What of Stanford, named for unabashed racist Leland Stanford, who famously said this to the California Legislature about the Chinese “To my mind it is clear, that the settlement among us of an inferior race is to be discouraged by every legitimate means. Asia, with her numberless millions, sends to our shores the dregs of her population. Large numbers of this class are already here; and, unless we do something early to check their immigration, the question, which of the two tides of immigration, meeting upon the shores of the Pacific, shall be turned back, will be forced upon our consideration, when far more difficult than now of disposal. There can be no doubt but that the presence among us of numbers of degraded and distinct people must exercise a deleterious influence upon the superior race, and to a certain extent, repel desirable immigration.”?


What of BYU, named for Brigham Young, a pedophile and murderer who banned blacks from Mormon priesthood?

And what to do with FDR and his internment camps?

I certainly understand why we should not venerate Confederates, but I wonder where we go from here.


I admit a certain ambivalence, because I am not sure it changes anything. Do we condemn people who were simply of their time (which would seem to create a distinction from Confederates)? Or is everything viewed though the lens of today’s values?

Having grown up in the 70s and 80s, I can’t help but feel a little squeamish because the renaming stuff seems a little Bolshevik, but I can’t help but be a creature of my own time.


I really don’t have a strong opinion on this, nor have I reached any conclusions. I am wondering what you think. Hopefully people remain friendly about this to those who have differing perspectives. I find it an interesting issue..

Share This Story

Get our newsletter