Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

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John F
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Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by John F » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:28 am

Who she? That most people don't know is perhaps a reflection of their (and my) ignorance rather than her obscurity. This from the article in the Yale News:
A trailblazing computer scientist, brilliant mathematician and teacher, and dedicated public servant, Hopper received a master’s degree in mathematics (1930) and a Ph.D. in mathematics and mathematical physics (1934) from Yale. She taught mathematics at Vassar for nearly a decade before enlisting in the U.S. Navy, where she used her mathematical knowledge to fight fascism during World War II.

A collaborator on the earliest computers, Hopper made her greatest contributions in the realm of software. In 1952 she and her team developed the first computer language “compiler,” which would make it possible to write programs for multiple computers rather than a single machine. Hopper then pioneered the development of word-based computer languages, and she was instrumental in developing COBOL, the most widely used computer language in the world by the 1970s.

Hopper’s groundbreaking work helped make computers more accessible to a wider range of users and vastly expanded their application. A naval reservist for 20 years, she was recalled to active service at the age of 60. Hopper retired as a rear admiral at the age of 79, the oldest serving officer in the U.S. armed forces at that time.
The full article is here:

http://news.yale.edu/2017/02/11/yale-ch ... y-hopper-0

The reason for the name change is straightforward. In 1931 Yale named one of its undergraduate residential "colleges" for John C. Calhoun, a Yale graduate who became vice president, secretary of state, secretary of war, and a U.S. senator from South Carolina. But he was also strongly pro-slavery, not just as a necessary evil but a positive good - in effect a deep-dyed racist and proud of it. Why Yale thought Calhoun's career and character merited naming one of its colleges for him, the article doesn't say, only that "Although it is not clear exactly how Calhoun’s proslavery and racist views figured in the 1931 naming decision, depictions in the college celebrating plantation life and the 'Old South' suggest that Calhoun was honored not simply as a statesman and political theorist but in full contemplation of his unique place in the history of slavery." Shame on them, and kudos to Yale for finally righting an egregious wrong.
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by david johnson » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:08 am

Yale is free to do as it wishes. I think their decision is malarkey.

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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by John F » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:51 am

Why do you think that? (Obviously I don't.) Are you a Calhoun College alumnus, or an admirer of John C. Calhoun and all he stands for?

At a time when buildings and even colleges are routinely named for big money donors of the present day, it's praiseworthy for Yale to pass up that opportunity and celebrate a worthy person for her or his intellectual achievements alone.
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by david johnson » Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:51 am

I have no "dog in the fight". If Yale wants to recognize citizens with building names, do so for future construction. PC is unbecoming for any university.

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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by John F » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:48 am

david johnson wrote:I have no "dog in the fight". If Yale wants to recognize citizens with building names, do so for future construction. PC is unbecoming for any university.
Why do the likes of Donald Trump get credit for shunning "political correctness" when what they're actually dismissing is common decency? I don't get it. Renaming Calhoun College is not just "politically correct," it's morally necessary.

What you say is very odd. Hopper College, formerly Calhoun College, is not just a building but an institution, and there's no need to demolish and rebuild its physical plant just to change its name. Existing buildings and institutions are renamed all the time for various reasons. The Collegiate School was renamed in 1718 in honor of that early capitalist and major benefactor Elihu Yale. New College in Cambridge, MA was renamed three years after its founding for alumnus John Harvard, who left the college some 400 books. Nobody cares today and few people know that those universities ever had any other names. Before long the same will be true of Hopper College.
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by jserraglio » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:51 pm

Why Are College Buildings Still Named After White Supremacists?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/1 ... 54958.html

Call it malarkey, call it PC, I don't think any university should turn a blind eye to a bldg or institute named to honor a white supremacist. All the more so b/c some of these schools' reputations have been sullied by past misdeeds. Recent studies, e.g., Daina Ramey Berry's book The Price for Their Pound of Flesh, have asserted that major universities purchased the bodies of dead slaves for dissection and medical experimentation.
Boston Globe Book Review wrote:Even after death, slaveholders’ sought to capitalize on their investments in the bodies of the enslaved, selling them to the nation’s leading universities for use in medical training and study . . . . Like Craig Steven Wilder’s Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities, Berry reveals the sorry history of scientific racism and medical experimentation on black bodies in American academia. https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/books/ ... story.html
To his discredit, the Donald is sui generis. Only nominally politically incorrect, his attacks are launched ad hominem: on individuals perceived as rivals as well as on members of racial, religious and ethnic minorities seen as defenseless. When met with stiff resistance, however, he usually backs off, as he did recently in denouncing antisemitism. So Trump dances a Mao two-step--two steps forward, one step back. And oxymoronically, a bigot styles himself as nonracist.

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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by david johnson » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:23 am

John, we're not speaking of Trump. I have already acknowledged Yale can do as it wishes. Their decision is not your moral necessity. It's only pc.

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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by jserraglio » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:19 am

david johnson wrote:Yale can do as it wishes. Their decision is not your moral necessity. It's only pc.
Maybe, but Yale's pc, such as it is, is not so "unbecoming" to that great university (and many others) as some of its past associations. I admire Yale for acknowledging its shortcomings by issuing a tacit apology in the Calhoun matter, but the demands for the university to do even more may have just started.

Elihu Yale was a Slave Trader
http://digitalhistories.yctl.org/2014/1 ... ve-trader/

Slave Traders in Yale's Past Fuel Debate on Restitution
http://www.stratalum.org/nytimes81501.html

The College Formerly Known as Yale
Wall Street Journal Op-Ed:
Any renaming push on the Ivy campus should start at the top—with Elihu Yale, slave trader extraordinaire.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-colleg ... 1470698364
Roger Kimball in the WSJ wrote:In the great racism sweepstakes, John Calhoun was an amateur. Far more egregious was Elihu Yale, the philanthropist whose benefactions helped found the university. As an administrator in India, he was deeply involved in the slave trade. He always made sure that ships leaving his jurisdiction for Europe carried at least 10 slaves. I propose that the committee on renaming table the issue of Calhoun College and concentrate on the far more flagrant name “Yale.”
Yale Portrait Coming Down
http://articles.courant.com/2007-02-08/ ... e-portrait

Image

Slavery and Universities: Yale
http://slavery-and-universities.wikispaces.com/Yale

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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by John F » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:45 am

david johnson wrote:John, we're not speaking of Trump. I have already acknowledged Yale can do as it wishes. Their decision is not your moral necessity. It's only pc.
Mere denial doesn't cut it. I've explained my point of view. Care to explain yours?
Any renaming push on the Ivy campus should start at the top—with Elihu Yale, slave trader extraordinaire
As a Harvard man, I think Yale should be renamed Harvard South. :mrgreen: Elihu Yale was without doubt a very dodgy character, and not only because of his role in the slave trade. But as a major benefactor of Yale University in its earliest years, when it solicited and accepted his gift, I'd say Yale owes him its lasting gratitude and recognition. That can't be said of Calhoun, who gave Yale nothing and had only a Yale B.A. and some celebrity going for him in 1931 when Yale inexplicably named one of its residential colleges for him. Yale owed and owes Calhoun nothing.
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by lennygoran » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:06 am

John F wrote: Why Yale thought Calhoun's career and character merited naming one of its colleges for him, the article doesn't say, only that "Although it is not clear exactly how Calhoun’s proslavery and racist views figured in the 1931 naming decision, depictions in the college celebrating plantation life and the 'Old South' suggest that Calhoun was honored not simply as a statesman and political theorist but in full contemplation of his unique place in the history of slavery." Shame on them, and kudos to Yale for finally righting an egregious wrong.
I had been reading this thread and had a little time before I go off to lunch with my friend where we solve all the world's problems-we do this on days when Sue has her monthly garden club meetings-anyway wiki talks about this-I don't buy Yale's earlier rational and am glad for the change. Regards, Len

PS-I know there have been controversies with other US figures from the past like Jefferson-also Jefferson Davis.

"Modern controversy

A debate over the appropriateness of the college's name has waxed and waned, as John C. Calhoun's involvement in protection of the institution of slavery has been reconsidered. In 1992, the graduating seniors commissioned a plaque noting the unfortunate reality of John C. Calhoun's legacy, but at the same time supported the notion that the college retain its name for historical purposes.[19] Around the same time, a pane of stained glass in the college's common room depicting a shackled black man kneeling before Calhoun was altered to depict Calhoun alone.[20]

After the June 2015 Charleston church shooting, radio commentators Colin McEnroe and Ray Hardman questioned whether the preservation of the college's name was an inappropriate legacy of white supremacy.[21][22] The events, which instigated student protests and alumni petitions in the same year,[5] caused administrators to consider renaming the college. In their petition students argued that—while Calhoun was respected in the 19th century as an "extraordinary American statesman"—he was "one of the most prolific defenders of slavery and white supremacy" in the history of the United States.[5][6] In August 2015 Yale President Peter Salovey addressed the Freshman Class of 2019 in which he responded to the racial tensions but explained why the college would not be renamed.[7] He described Calhoun as a "a notable political theorist, a vice president to two different U.S. presidents, a secretary of war and of state, and a congressman and senator representing South Carolina."[7] He acknowledged that Calhoun also "believed that the highest forms of civilization depend on involuntary servitude. Not only that, but he also believed that the races he thought to be inferior, black people in particular, ought to be subjected to it for the sake of their own best interests."[4][23] In April 2016 Salovey announced that "despite decades of vigorous alumni and student protests," Calhoun's name will remain on the Yale residential college.[8] Salovey explained as he announced the contentious decision—that it is preferable for Yale students to live in Calhoun's "shadow" so they will be "better prepared to rise to the challenges of the present and the future." He claimed that if they removed Calhoun's name, it would "obscure" his "legacy of slavery rather than addressing it."[8] "Yale is part of that history" and "We cannot erase American history, but we can confront it, teach it and learn from it." One change that will be issued is the title of “master” for faculty members who serve as residential college leaders will be renamed to “head of college” due to its connotation of slavery.[9][24][25]"

Regards, Len

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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by John F » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:48 am

Despite all that, President Salovey reversed himself. In the article I linked at the beginning of this thread it says:
This decision overrides Salovey’s announcement in April of last year that the name of Calhoun College would remain. “At that time, as now, I was committed to confronting, not erasing, our history. I was concerned about inviting a series of name changes that would obscure Yale’s past,” said Salovey. “These concerns remain paramount, but we have since established an enduring set of principles that address them. The principles establish a strong presumption against renaming buildings, ensure respect for our past, and enable thoughtful review of any future requests for change.”
A select advisory committee, including an alumnus of Calhoun College, found “no principles that weigh heavily against renaming, three that weigh heavily toward renaming, and a fourth that suggests the need to rename.” The advisors recommended unanimously that the name of Calhoun College be changed. Having set this process in motion, Salovey had no choice but to act on its conclusion.

The advisory committee's report is online, and anybody who's serious about this issue should read it. Among other things, it confirms what I've said that Calhoun (unlike Elihu Yale) did nothing for the university to merit or even explain why Calhoun College was named for him. "Alhough Calhoun distinguished himself as a student at Yale, he made no further major contributions to the University. He never taught in Yale College, he founded no academic discipline or method or community specifically associated with Yale, and there is no record of financial support from him for its development."

http://president.yale.edu/sites/default ... _13_17.pdf
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by jserraglio » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:23 pm

John F wrote:As a Harvard man, I think Yale should be renamed Harvard South.
Yes, Harvard South might be a fitting epigraph for Yale, given her elder sibling's own checkered history.
http://slavery-and-universities.wikispaces.com/Harvard
http://harvardandslavery.com/map.html

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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by John F » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:54 pm

Where's the beef? Unlike Calhoun College, and Yale for that matter, Harvard College was not named for a proponent of slavery. John Harvard, an English minister, owned no slaves nor took part in the slave trade before or after he emigrated to Massachussetts the year before his death in 1638. The first confirmed report of slavery in the Massachussetts Bay Colony dates from that year, well after the college was founded by the colony's legislature essentially as a divinity school. It's possible that some building somewhere on campus is named in honor of someone who owned slaves or profited from them, I don't know, but the university itself was not.
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by jserraglio » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:33 am

JohnF wrote:It's possible that some building somewhere on campus is named in honor of someone who owned slaves or profited from them, I don't know, but the university itself was not.
Where's the beef? Ah, how that phrase conjures up a bygone era!

I agree, the cases are very different. I am grateful that we are not being told about Harvard, as we were about Yale, that a "dodgy character" (E. Yale) who earned his fortune in part off the slave trade contributed a lot of his wealth thus earning the honor of having the college bear his name, whereas another (J. C. Calhoun) was unworthy of such "lasting gratitude and recognition" 'cuz he hadn't coughed up enough spare change. To have been told something like that about Harvard woulda been doubly embarrassing.

Thankfully, John Harvard's reputation is unbesmirched: we can in good conscience continue to polish his statue's big toe and straighten our old school ties.

But in Harvard there is a mixed picture. Well-known abolitionists and an outpost on the Underground Railroad in a house that still stands, but also a president of the university who owned slaves and lived with them in the Yard in a house that still stands. In Harvard we have a law school whose first-ever endowed chair was declined by Dean, later Justice, Elena Kagan b/c of its unsavory ties to slavery. In Harvard, we have a deservedly renowned professor, Louis Agassiz, who exploited slaves to advance research informed by racial theory. Lots more evidence of Harvard's compromised position is readily available for anybody who cares to look.

And that is not to condemn Harvard, a great institution of learning whose own president Drew Faust admits that Harvard has a checkered history on slavery (some pros, some cons) and has written about it and whose own professors and undergrads have researched Harvard's ties to slavery in a seminar and published their results online.
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by david johnson » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:00 am

John F wrote:
david johnson wrote:John, we're not speaking of Trump. I have already acknowledged Yale can do as it wishes. Their decision is not your moral necessity. It's only pc.
"Mere denial doesn't cut it. I've explained my point of view. Care to explain yours?"



Mere denial of what? That the deed was a moral necessity? It wasn't. PC only justifies itself.

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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by John F » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:33 am

david johnson wrote:
John F wrote:
david johnson wrote:John, we're not speaking of Trump. I have already acknowledged Yale can do as it wishes. Their decision is not your moral necessity. It's only pc.
"Mere denial doesn't cut it. I've explained my point of view. Care to explain yours?"
Mere denial of what? That the deed was a moral necessity? It wasn't. PC only justifies itself.
Denial that changing the college's name is morally correct, indeed necessary, and dismissing that act as merely "politically" correct, meaning not really correct at all. Surely you agree that there's a moral difference between right and wrong, which goes far deeper than the political motive of not giving offense. But if you don't, if for you right and wrong are not about morality but merely about good and bad manners, then I wonder why you bothered to chime in on this subject at all.
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by jserraglio » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:11 am

Harvard's Complex Ties to Slavery: Undergrad Presentations

Warren House, just outside of Harvard Yard, was a stop on the Underground Railroad.



Wadsworth House, located inside Harvard Yard, housed three slaves at different times, owned by two Harvard presidents, Increase Mather & Benjamin Wadsworth. Apparently, at least two other Harvard presidents owned slaves.

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John F
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by John F » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:23 am

jserraglio wrote:But in Harvard there is a mixed picture. Well-known abolitionists and an outpost on the Underground Railroad in a house that still stands, but also a president of the university who owned slaves and lived with them in the Yard in a house that still stands. In Harvard we have a law school whose first-ever endowed chair was declined by Dean, later Justice, Elena Kagan b/c of its unsavory ties to slavery. In Harvard, we have a deservedly renowned professor, Louis Agassiz, who exploited slaves to advance research informed by racial theory. Lots more evidence of Harvard's compromised position is readily available for anybody who cares to look.
That's not on our topic, nor is your latest post. In a sense our whole country is in a "compromised position" relative to slavery, as the Constitution as originally ratified protected slavery, and two of the first three presidents we elected owned slaves. But that has nothing to do with the naming of Calhoun College in 1931 and its renaming in 2017. As for the Royall professorship of law, that too could be renamed or even discontinued, though Elena Kagan did not seek this during her six years as dean of Harvard Law. The difference is that Royall was a big-time pre-revolutionary war benefactor of the college, giving it 2,100 acres of land, and was on its board of overseers; Calhoun did nothing for Yale.
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by jserraglio » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:40 am

John F wrote:That's not on our topic, nor is your latest post.
Damn! Ticketed by the Topic Cop again. IIRC, you were the one that first mentioned Harvard in a snide swipe at Yale, while reminding us that you are a "Harvard man".

Our whole country is compromised, but Harvard deserves credit for not using the "whole country" as an out and for investigating how Harvard was compromised.

Now we are being told that one who profits off slave labor and contributes one's accrued wealth to Harvard or Yale should earn their "lasting gratitude and recognition".

The pot is calling the kettle white.
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by lennygoran » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:52 am

jserraglio wrote: Our whole country is compromised.
I have to agree with this statement--it seems to me it's so hard to know where to draw the line on what to take down or rename-there's been so much bad that's been done. In 2015 The Confederate flag on South Carolina’s statehouse grounds finally came down during a Friday morning ceremony, ending its 54-year presence at the Capitol. Monuments to Jefferson Davis, what Roosevelt agree to with regard to the Japanese, Jefferson's connection to slaves, even Lincoln's attitudes towards blacks. It's a problem. Regards, Len :(

"Known as the Great Emancipator, Lincoln was a complicated figure who wrestled with his own views on race.[89] Lincoln's primary audience were white voters. Lincoln's views on slavery, race equality, and African American colonization are often intermixed.[89] During the 1858 debates with Stephen Douglas, Lincoln expressed his contemporary view that he believed whites were superior to blacks.[89] Lincoln stated he was against miscegenation and allowing blacks to serve as jurors. While President, as the American Civil War progressed, Lincoln advocated or implemented anti-racist policies including the Emancipation Proclamation and limited suffrage for African Americans.[89] Former slave and leading abolitionist, Frederick Douglass once observed of Lincoln: "In his company, I was never reminded of my humble origin, or of my unpopular color".[90] Douglass praised Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation; however, he stated that Lincoln "was preeminently the white man's President, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men."[91"

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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by John F » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:13 am

It's not that complicated. What really matters is not how things were then, but how they are now. What matters is not what people think, or even not so much what they say, as what they do. The present does not efface the past but supersedes it. What compromises America today is none of the things you mention, but the election last November of Donald Trump and whatever he's doing in Washington.

Now watch thread drift shoot off in that direction. :roll:
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by jserraglio » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:15 am

John F wrote:As for the Royall professorship of law, that too could be renamed or even discontinued, though Elena Kagan did not seek this during her six years as dean of Harvard Law. The difference is that Royall was a big-time pre-revolutionary war benefactor of the college, giving it 2,100 acres of land, and was on its board of overseers; Calhoun did nothing for Yale
Isaac Royall at Harvard and Elihu Yale at Yale each donated slavery-tainted property. Now we are asked to distinguish them from J. C. Calhoun on a mere technicality, because unlike Calhoun they were "big-time" benefactors of their respective institutions. Would they not both come up short if judged by the same criteria Yale used to discredit Calhoun? Did enriching themselves by enslaving others not undercut the mission of a liberal university? I think that the contributions they made to their schools are outweighed by the harm they inflicted on their victims.

On the Royall bequest, Elena Kagan at Harvard Law took a nuanced position. She declined to take the Royall chair because of its associations with slave labor, choosing instead a new chair created to honor a civil-rights pioneer. But she did not seek to rename or eliminate the chair she had "spurned". The Royall Professorship still exists and is held by Janet Halley, although the Royall commemorative seal adopted by Harvard Law School in 1937 was axed in 2015.
The NY Times wrote:When Elena Kagan became dean of Harvard Law School in 2003, she could have taken the endowed chair named for Isaac Royall Jr. The Royall family had donated more than 2,100 acres to Harvard in the 1700s, but the family had earned its fortune on the backs of the slave trade.

Ms. Kagan declined to take the Royall professorship. Instead, she chose a new chair in the name of Charles Hamilton Houston, the first African-American on the Harvard Law Review and a crusader against Jim Crow laws.

. . . .

Ronald S. Sullivan, a black law professor whom Ms. Kagan recruited to Harvard, wrote on thegrio.com, another site devoted to black issues, that “no elite law school has done enough” with respect to minority hiring. But, he noted, her spurning of the Royall chair “was a significant statement made by the dean of one of the nation’s top law schools.“
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/us/po ... rsity.html
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by lennygoran » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:29 am

John F wrote:It's not that complicated....What compromises America today is none of the things you mention.
I don't understand what you say here-you criticize Calhoun for his views on slavery-you're saying that that flag in SC coming down and some of the other issues I mentioned like monuments to Jefferson Davis and Thomas Jefferson's connection to slaves, even Lincoln's attitudes towards blacksdon't fit in here? Regards, Len

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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by John F » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:59 am

lennygoran wrote:
John F wrote:It's not that complicated....What compromises America today is none of the things you mention.
I don't understand what you say here-you criticize Calhoun for his views on slavery-you're saying that that flag in SC coming down and some of the other issues I mentioned like monuments to Jefferson Davis and Thomas Jefferson's connection to slaves, even Lincoln's attitudes towards blacksdon't fit in here? Regards, Len
That's right. The point of this thread is not Calhoun's despicable views as such but Yale's having in effect endorsed them by naming a college for him, and now having superseded that inexplicable action by removing his name. Calhoun's views are relevant because they explain Yale's recent action; otherwise we wouldn't be talking about them.

How is America today "compromised" by the historical examples you give, which were superseded 150 years ago by the 14th amendment to the Constitution, which finally outlawed slavery, and in Lincoln's mind? As I said, what counts is not what he may once have thought or said but what he finally did. As for a Jefferson Davis memorial, that may compromise Fairview, Kentucky, and more generally the 11 states of the former Confederacy, for which some southerners' stubborn nostalgia will not die, but it certainly does not compromise America!
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by jserraglio » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:44 pm

A Yale senior describes how he developed ambivalent feelings about Yale's decision to remove his ancestor's name from Calhoun College after finding out that he was a descendant of Calhoun. A moving piece about how pernicious ideas from the past are not necessarily superseded by enlightened law or regulation nor easily isolated from actions that harm people today.

NY Times Opinion Pages
2/10/2017
The Right Call: Yale Removes My Racist Ancestor’s Name From Campus
By Tobias Holden

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/opin ... .html?_r=1
Tobias Holden wrote:To students of color, the idea that this history could be erased was laughable. Calhoun’s ideologies are not inert elements of the past. White supremacy is very much a part of our present. Those who see the name Calhoun as a benign symbol of history must not encounter racism in their daily lives.

Just how present this history was became clear to me around that time . . . .
Last edited by jserraglio on Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

lennygoran
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by lennygoran » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:17 pm

[quote="John F"]
How is America today "compromised" by the historical examples you give, which were superseded 150 years ago by the 14th amendment to the Constitution, which finally outlawed slavery, and in Lincoln's mind? As I said, what counts is not what he may once have thought or said but what he finally did. As for a Jefferson Davis memorial, that may compromise Fairview, Kentucky, and more generally the 11 states of the former Confederacy, for which some southerners' stubborn nostalgia will not die, but it certainly does not compromise America![/quote

I don't see how the Jefferson Davis statues and memorials are different than naming that college after Calhoun or the Confederate Flag flying in SC-fortunately 2 of the 3 have been changed. Calhoun died in 1850 so he didn't have the benefit of the passing of the 14th amendment-maybe if he had lived longer he too would have moderated his views like Lincoln. Regards, Len

jserraglio
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by jserraglio » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:31 pm

lennygoran wrote:Calhoun died in 1850 so he didn't have the benefit of the passing of the 14th amendment-maybe if he had lived longer he too would have moderated his views like Lincoln.
The Yale report on renaming looked carefully and dispassionately at the trajectory of Calhoun's career and concluded that Calhoun, as he aged, became more ideologically rigid:
. . . All of which suggest a narrowing in Calhoun’s priorities as he got older. Most leaders widen perspectives as their eminence grows, but not Calhoun, whose tendency to reduce all issues to a defense of slavery met growing resistance. His final speech in the Senate in 1850, the historian Merrill D. Peterson writes, got “a grimly negative response. The most hardened disunionists, even as they uttered amen to Calhoun’s judgments and prophecies, realized that it drove every wavering southerner from the cause." http://president.yale.edu/sites/default ... _13_17.pdf
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lennygoran
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by lennygoran » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:49 pm

jserraglio wrote: The Yale report on renaming looked closely at the trajectory of Calhoun's career and concluded the opposite:
All of which suggest a narrowing in Calhoun’s priorities as he got older. Most leaders widen perspectives as their eminence grows, but not Calhoun, whose tendency to reduce all issues to a defense of slavery met growing resistance. His final speech in the Senate in 1850, the historian Merrill D. Peterson writes, got “a grimly negative response. The most hardened disunionists, even as they uttered amen to Calhoun’s judgments and prophecies, realized that it drove every wavering southerner from the cause."
Thanks for the info-still Jefferson Davis lived until 1889 and he wasn't too impressive either and he had the benefit of the 14th amendment being passed- I see that a lot but not all of these Jefferson Davis monuments have been removed and put in less conspicuous places and that's imo a good thing. Regards, Len

jserraglio
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by jserraglio » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:00 pm

lennygoran wrote:I see that a lot but not all of these Jefferson Davis monuments have been removed and put in less conspicuous places and that's imo a good thing.
I think Yale done good to rename, but like the Catholic Church's having to remove a saint from the calendar, disowning a namesake's gonna upset a lot of folks who identify not with J.C. Calhoun, the white supremacist but with the Calhoun College of their youth, so the rescinding needs to be handled with sensitivity. As Yale did. Good for them. An interesting and important issue if one believes that great universities like Yale should serve as a moral beacon to the rest of us.
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lennygoran
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by lennygoran » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:07 pm

jserraglio wrote: I think Yale done good to rename, but like the Catholic Church's having to remove a saint from the calendar, disowning a namesake's gonna upset a lot of folks who identify not with J.C. Calhoun the white supremacist but with the Calhoun College of their youth, so the rescinding needs to be handled with sensitivity. As Yale did. Good for them. An interesting and important issue if one believes that a great university like Yale should be a moral beacon.
Sounds good to me too. Regards, Len

jserraglio
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by jserraglio » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:01 pm

This stained-glass window in the common room of Calhoun College depicts John C. Calhoun. A quarter century ago, Yale removed the image of another person at the lower left of the window and substituted three panes of cloudy glass. Calhoun's image remained intact; the nameless man at the bottom left went missing.

Image

Chris Rabb, Yale '92 had pushed for this alteration. The original glass depicted a black slave in shackles kneeling before the pro-slavery statesman, John C. Calhoun. (Credit Jane Long / Yale Daily News)
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Re: Yale: Calhoun College renamed for Grace Murray Hopper

Post by david johnson » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:53 am

John, "Denial that changing the college's name is morally correct, indeed necessary, and dismissing that act as merely "politically" correct, meaning not really correct at all. Surely you agree that there's a moral difference between right and wrong, which goes far deeper than the political motive of not giving offense. But if you don't, if for you right and wrong are not about morality but merely about good and bad manners, then I wonder why you bothered to chime in on this subject at all."

There is no necessity of morality that demands the change we are discussing. The moral difference between right/wrong can be very deep, but this isn't it. I refuse to be put into your box, it's too small.

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