Though I disagree with the calls to rename universities or remove murals from halls I understand them and give them some latitude. Names and art in those circumstances are designed to represent an association between the name and the named. If the name no longer fits, then change it. If the art is no longer an apt symbol it makes sense to change it.
What’s in a name?
We have all likely done this. I’m sure the poster you had on your wall as a teenager isn’t the same artwork you would have on your wall as an adult. Perhaps you had a username on a web site that no longer fits you. Perhaps at 15 you were once known as “TrashyPantsGirl1189” and that doesn’t suit you anymore, you like your pants tailored now and without holes. Holes, you have come to realize, show your cellulite. How it got there you have no idea but now that it is, holes simply won’t do.
The reason I disagree with most of the name changes proposed recently is that they are mostly due to misunderstandings about the person named and a complete inability not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It seems we’ve gotten to a point where (for many) if a person does one thing you don’t agree with then you simply can’t agree with anything they say or do at all. They could be the most wonderful people in all other ways but that gets disregarded for their one flaw. A flaw that, at the time they had it, was not even considered a flaw. It’s like condemning a person for speeding on a road with no speed limit. But then a speed limit is put on that road and suddenly that person is guilty of speeding!
Now the snowflakes, the social justice “warriors” (what a spit in the face of that word) want to have white philosophers removed from the syllabus. We’re talking Plato here, Immanuel Kant, and more. For no other reason than they are white. Being white wasn’t a crime when Plato was white.
Instead they want the majority of philosophers to be from Africa and Asia. This is to decolonize such white institutions of higher learning.
The article quotes the vice-chancellor of Buckingham University Sir Anthony Seldon as saying, “There is a real danger political correctness is getting out of control. We need to understand the world as it was and not to rewrite history as some might like it to have been.”
I have news for him – it’s already out of control!
What should we tell the dear students?
I would tell them “yes” and go one step more and remove EVERYTHING that whites contributed from the campus. Take it all! Every single bit of knowledge contributed to the world by a white man, take it from them, don’t teach it to them. All science, math, history, philosophy, music, engineering, take it all from them.
They don’t deserve it anyway.
Students at a University of London college are demanding that such seminal figures as Plato, Descartes, and Bertrand Russell should be dropped simply because they are white.