Since idiots want to start tearing down statues, let's start with YALE UNIVERSITY!
The university has renamed a college to distance itself from a white supremacist – but what about Elihu Yale’s misdeeds?
This month, the famous Ivy League University founded by Elihu Yale made headlines for deciding to rename one of its colleges. Calhoun College, named after former US Vice President John Calhoun, would be renamed in honour of Grace Murray Hopper, a 1934 alumnus and US Navy rear admiral, for her valuable contributions to computer science.
The change was not merely cosmetic – Yale University’s President wrote in a letter to the campus community that “John Calhoun’s legacy as a white supremacist and a national leader who passionately supported slavery as a ‘positive good’” was fundamentally at conflict with Yale’s mission and values. But as political commentators pointed out, Calhoun’s history with racial oppression was nothing compared to that of the university’s founding father. This may explain why Elihu Yale is described as both a “merchant and philanthropist” by the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and in politically conscious discourse, vilified as someone who encouraged (if not directly profited) from the practice of shipping slaves to remote parts of the English colonies. One of the most telling clues to Elihu Yale’s fondness for slaves may be found in two oil paintings that used to hang at the Yale University: in each of them, a floridly accoutred Yale is flaunting his good fortune with a small dark-skinned boy, a Tamil it would seem, by their side. What makes the image even more distasteful is that the boy wears a collar like a domesticated wild animal, around his neck.