Rename Institutions Honoring Racists

calhoun-middle-school-by-eric-coulston

Target: President Barack Obama

Goal: Call for officials across the nation to rename institutions that are named in the honor of historical racists.

After nine church churchgoers were murdered at a black church by a white racist, there has been a debate on whether or not to ban the Confederate flag and now officials are considering whether or not to rename institutions that are named in honor of historical racists.

People are petitioning for Yale University in Connecticut to change the name of its Calhoun College, named after alumnus John C. Calhoun who was a major advocate for the slave plantation system.

Others are calling for a change to the names of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, General Lee Avenue in New York City which is named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and a memorial in downtown Helena, Montana for fallen Confederate soldiers that was built in the beginning of the 19th century by the Daughters of the Confederacy.

The last institution named is a prime example of what David Glassberg, a University of Massachusetts professor who has researched public memorials, says, that these namings and “…traditions represent the traditions of past people.” That is to say that many of these places were named during times when racism was still highly alive amongst the general population.

Racists should not be honored during a time where we know better as a country. Urge the president to call for officials across the nation to rename institutions that are named in the honor of historical racists.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Obama,

After nine church churchgoers were murdered at a black church by a white racist, there has been a debate on whether or not to rename institutions that are named in honor of historical racists.

People are calling for a change to the names of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, General Lee Avenue in New York City which is named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and a memorial in downtown Helena, Montana for fallen Confederate soldiers that was built in the beginning of the 19th century by the Daughters of the Confederacy.

Many of these places were named during times when racism was still highly alive amongst the general population. Racists should not be honored during a time where we know better as a country. I urge you to call for officials across the nation to rename institutions that are named in the honor of historical racists.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Eric Coulston

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