Professor Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He recently wrote an article titled "The hypocrisy behind the student renaming craze." Students, often with the blessing of faculty, have discovered that names for campus buildings and holidays do not always fit politically correct standards for race, class and sex.
Stanford students have demanded the renaming of buildings, malls and streets bearing the name of the recently canonized Junipero Serra, an 18th-century Franciscan priest who was often unkind to American Indians. Harvard Law School is getting rid of its seal because it bears the coat of arms of the Royalls, a slave-owning family. This renaming craze is widespread and includes dozens of colleges and universities, including Amherst, Georgetown, Princeton, Yale and the University of California, Berkeley. The students have decided that some politically incorrect people from centuries ago are bad. Other politically incorrect people are not quite so bad if they were at least sometimes liberal; their names can stay.
San Diego State University students are not demanding that the school eliminate its nickname, "Aztecs," even though the Aztecs enslaved and slaughtered tens of thousands of people from tribes they conquered — often ripping out the hearts of living victims. Should UC Berkeley students and faculty demand the renaming of Warren Hall, named after California Attorney General Earl Warren, who instigated the wartime internment of tens of thousands of innocent Japanese-American citizens?