Yale forms committee to purge university of 'offensive' names

Yale University, considered one of the finest centers of higher education in the country, is forming a committee to examine procedures to rename buildings, monuments, and other campus features that may be "offensive" to one group or another.

What if you consider the committee itself an affront to free inqury and a surrender to political correctness?

Daily Caller:

The Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming is exactly what it sounds like: A special group that will set rules to decide what aspects of Yale’s history should remain, and which should be purged.

The committee’s existence stems from the long-running controversy over Calhoun College, a residential college at the school named for John C. Calhoun, an American vice president who was a vocal defender of slavery. Many have called for Calhoun College to be renamed, with those calls gaining strength after the June 2015 shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, which sparked a general backlash against monuments to the Confederacy and slaveholders.

Back in April, Yale President Peter Salovey announced Calhoun College would not be renamed, despite protests. At the time, Salovey said renaming the college would go against Yale’s core principles, including its motto, Light and Truth.

Removing Calhoun’s name obscures the legacy of slavery rather than addressing it,” he said at the time.

But the announcement did nothing to quiet critics or defuse the issue. Opponents continued to denounce Calhoun, and in June, a Yale employee smashed a historic stained glass window at Calhoun he argued was demeaning because it showed black slaves harvesting cotton. Despite initially losing his job and being hit with criminal charges, the employee ultimately went totally unpunished for his stunt.

Now, Salovey seems to be setting the stage for a complete reversal of his original decision. In a Monday announcement, Salovey said he was creating a new committee to reevaluate whether Calhoun and other parts of Yale should receive new names. In the announcement, Salovey backed off of his initial claim that removing names was wrong, instead acknowledging that in some cases, the best way to remember the past is to obscure it.

“It is now clear to me that the community-wide conversation about these issues could have drawn more effectively on campus expertise,” he said. “I have therefore appointed a Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming, and am charging this committee with developing clearly delineated principles to guide the university’s decisions on proposals to remove a historical name from a building or similarly prominent structure or space on campus.”

To reduce the accomplishments of James Calhoun to slavery advocate whose name should be purged from Yale history, makes a mockery of the idea that Yale is an institution dedicated to freedom of thought and free inquiry. Calhoun was a giant of a legislator whose impact on mid-19th-century America was immeasurable. 

Of course, one could make the same argument about Andrew Jackson, for which an entire period of American history is named.  But the accomplishments and impact of many men in America has been boiled down to narrow, biased, and in many cases singular objections to what they believed or how they acted with regards to slavery and other racial issues.

What is the purpose of throwing tradition out the window and scrubbing the past?  Because the power to do so exists.  No wrongs are righted.  No history is altered.  Yale is only made to look ridiculous to anyone whose worldview isn't besotted with racialism.

Yale University, considered one of the finest centers of higher education in the country, is forming a committee to examine procedures to rename buildings, monuments, and other campus features that may be "offensive" to one group or another.

What if you consider the committee itself an affront to free inqury and a surrender to political correctness?

Daily Caller:

The Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming is exactly what it sounds like: A special group that will set rules to decide what aspects of Yale’s history should remain, and which should be purged.

The committee’s existence stems from the long-running controversy over Calhoun College, a residential college at the school named for John C. Calhoun, an American vice president who was a vocal defender of slavery. Many have called for Calhoun College to be renamed, with those calls gaining strength after the June 2015 shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, which sparked a general backlash against monuments to the Confederacy and slaveholders.

Back in April, Yale President Peter Salovey announced Calhoun College would not be renamed, despite protests. At the time, Salovey said renaming the college would go against Yale’s core principles, including its motto, Light and Truth.

Removing Calhoun’s name obscures the legacy of slavery rather than addressing it,” he said at the time.

But the announcement did nothing to quiet critics or defuse the issue. Opponents continued to denounce Calhoun, and in June, a Yale employee smashed a historic stained glass window at Calhoun he argued was demeaning because it showed black slaves harvesting cotton. Despite initially losing his job and being hit with criminal charges, the employee ultimately went totally unpunished for his stunt.

Now, Salovey seems to be setting the stage for a complete reversal of his original decision. In a Monday announcement, Salovey said he was creating a new committee to reevaluate whether Calhoun and other parts of Yale should receive new names. In the announcement, Salovey backed off of his initial claim that removing names was wrong, instead acknowledging that in some cases, the best way to remember the past is to obscure it.

“It is now clear to me that the community-wide conversation about these issues could have drawn more effectively on campus expertise,” he said. “I have therefore appointed a Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming, and am charging this committee with developing clearly delineated principles to guide the university’s decisions on proposals to remove a historical name from a building or similarly prominent structure or space on campus.”

To reduce the accomplishments of James Calhoun to slavery advocate whose name should be purged from Yale history, makes a mockery of the idea that Yale is an institution dedicated to freedom of thought and free inquiry. Calhoun was a giant of a legislator whose impact on mid-19th-century America was immeasurable. 

Of course, one could make the same argument about Andrew Jackson, for which an entire period of American history is named.  But the accomplishments and impact of many men in America has been boiled down to narrow, biased, and in many cases singular objections to what they believed or how they acted with regards to slavery and other racial issues.

What is the purpose of throwing tradition out the window and scrubbing the past?  Because the power to do so exists.  No wrongs are righted.  No history is altered.  Yale is only made to look ridiculous to anyone whose worldview isn't besotted with racialism.