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Any Other UMD Alumnus Get This Email Today?
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Any Other UMD Alumnus Get This Email Today? - December 7, 2015, 04:15 PM

Got this nuttiness in my alumni account today. I'm almost ashamed that my undergrad President is trying to excuse this guy for his ardent bigotry.
I don't care if they do or don't want to salute Byrd by keeping his name on the stadium - as far as I'm concerned it's the least academic public gathering facility on campus short of a bathroom or an event hall - but to write a soft shoe letter that includes a line that basically reads: "now now - we must now judge. It was a different time." as if he should suddenly be excused because those were the views and the social norms and conventions of the era, as ridiculous as they were, is in itself a ridiculous statement.

Byrd stuck a flag post in the wrong side of history, ran a flag up it, waved it, and used it as his siege while running into political battle.

I was in full agreement with Wallace until he lost me with this line:


History is not about the past. It concerns today's debates about the past. We must be wary of "presentism"—judging historical figures based on contemporary moral standards. It is unfair to fault them for not transcending the values of their time, even when we no longer subscribe to those values.


History is not about the past? FOH, Wallace. Stop smoking angel dust.

That line was offensive in a letter that was supposed to testify and adjust for the past wrongs and wrong headed thinking of previous administrators.

So, no, no alumni donation for you this year, UMD.


Oh, for the backstory:
Quote:

The president of the University of Maryland is recommending that Byrd Stadium be renamed, saying the racist and segregationist legacy of the long-honored alumnus and former leader does not align with the university’s mission.

Wallace Loh announced to the U-Md. campus community Monday afternoon that he believes the new name should be Maryland Stadium.

It’s an emotional issue for many, as the football stadium is one of the most visible symbols of pride and commitment to the flagship campus in College Park, with a name that for some is tied to tradition and for others to racism.

The University System of Maryland Board of Regents, which has the authority to change the name, is scheduled to vote on his proposal Friday morning.

Loh’s decision comes after months of student complaints that Harry Clifton “Curley” Byrd, who was president of the state university from 1936 to 1954, barred blacks from enrolling until forced to do so by court order. When he ran for governor, he did so as an ardent advocate for segregation.


A Letter From The President

December 7, 2015

Dear University of Maryland community:

I have recommended to the Board of Regents that the name of "Byrd Stadium" be changed to "Maryland Stadium." The Board will consider this request at its December 11 meeting.

If approved, the University will (1) memorialize the accomplishments and full legacy of President Byrd in one of our main libraries and (2) institute a five-year moratorium on changing honorific building names. Independently, the University will (3) launch early next semester a campus-wide "Maryland Dialogues on Diversity and Community" to help bridge the divides on our campus (and in the nation at large) and spur meaningful institutional change.

Months of conversations with internal and external stakeholders—plus thoughtful reports by a 19-member workgroup of faculty, students, staff, and alumni, chaired by Dean Bonnie Thornton Dill of the College of Arts and Humanities—helped inform my thinking and recommendation. I thank them all for their participation and insights.

The context and reasons for my recommendation and proposed actions (4 pp.) are at: http://go.umd.edu/o6p.

The reports of the workgroup on “Arguments For and Against Changing the Stadium Name and Alternative Considerations” (10 pp.) and “President H. C. ‘Curley’ Byrd: Biographical Notes” (6 pp.) are at: http://go.umd.edu/o6x and http://go.umd.edu/o6f.

This is a difficult and emotion-laden issue. Any outcome will likely please few.

President Byrd is rightly regarded as "Father and Builder" of UMD over a 43-year career here, retiring in 1954. He dramatically increased enrollment, faculty, funding, and the size of the campus. He laid the foundation for today's achievements. He earned his place in our University's history.

He was also an ardent proponent of racial segregation and discrimination. To many African-American alumni and students, "Byrd Stadium"—the "front porch" of the institution, not the most important part of the educational house, but the most visible one—conveys a racial message hidden in plain sight. The name stands as a vivid and painful reminder that a generation ago they were unwelcome on this campus. For them, this past is more than mere history. Their pursuit of inclusion and equal opportunity remains unfinished.

History is not about the past. It concerns today's debates about the past. We must be wary of "presentism"—judging historical figures based on contemporary moral standards. It is unfair to fault them for not transcending the values of their time, even when we no longer subscribe to those values.

Still, the world has changed. Our society's and our institution's demographics have changed. The values that prevailed during the first half of the 20th century no longer define our nation and UMD in the 21st century. We have evolved into a globally pre-eminent university committed to racial diversity and inclusion, respect for human dignity, and freedom of expression—values that undergird our academic mission and excellence.

The new Frederick Douglass statue; the recently renamed Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building; the planned memorial to President Byrd in the library—these are symbols that teach us about our institution's past and present, and impart lessons for the future.

I invite the entire campus to participate in the "Maryland Dialogues" next semester to reaffirm our values and discuss how to align better our institutional practices and policies with our moral and academic vision.


Sincerely,

Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland



“Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a Prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires”.

- Nicolo Machiavelli 1469-1527

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December 7, 2015, 05:24 PM

I received it as well.

As an alum, I don't really mind or care. I know some other universities have taken similar action in renaming certain buildings, since their previous names were associated with prejudiced figures.

But this can start a slippery slope. We can start to question any figure that has their name printed on a building. Moral, immoral, popular or not.

In the end is it REALLY important? Does the name affect my performance in classes? Did it affect your decision going to Maryland?

BLM may have good intentions but some factions are going overboard:

Towson U. president signs students' demands after 8-hour protest in his office - Baltimore Sun

That's absolutely ridiculous. The President has the right to hire whomever is best qualified. And they pretty much "thugged" him into signing it. No formal process, voting, legislature, etc.


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Last edited by Sal_the_man; December 7, 2015 at 05:28 PM..
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December 7, 2015, 05:57 PM

Loh is an idiot.
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December 10, 2015, 02:22 PM

Well this is related but didn’t know if it deserved its own thread, it is pertaining to the newly commissioned combat ship.


USS Jackson: Choice of name for Navy ship sparks criticism


Washington (CNN)The commissioning of the USS Jackson, a littoral combat ship, has angered activists who don't want to see President Andrew Jackson honored.

The new ship, also designated LCS 6, was commissioned in Mississippi on Saturday and honors Jackson, Mississippi, which the Navy noted in a news release is named for former President Andrew Jackson. The ship is the Navy's third to bear the seventh president's name.

The designation comes amid a nationwide review of Jackson's legacy; activists who have fought having his name celebrated were dismayed to learn of the name the Navy had chosen.

"This is totally appalling," said Connecticut NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile, who described Jackson as "a big-time slavemaster, pro slavery, the whole nine yards."

Esdaile continued, "Amazing how we have an African-American president and the U.S. Navy slipped this thing through. I think it should be reconsidered."

What is a littoral combat ship?

Esdaile's sentiments were echoed by Chuck Hoskin Jr., secretary of state for the Cherokee Nation. Jackson put in place the Indian Removal Act in 1830, which forcibly removed Native Americans from their lands in the South and led to the harrowing migration known as the Trail of Tears.

"For our government to hold Andrew Jackson up to some reverence today, given our nation's better appreciation of American history today than generations ago, is very troubling," he said. "For the Cherokee people, Andrew Jackson represents the period of Indian removal," a legacy of "trauma" and the "brutal act" of evicting people from their lands.

The office of the secretary of the Navy did not respond to a request for comment.

Ahead of Saturday's ceremony, however, Secretary Ray Mabus remarked on the ship's new name and ties.
"As we welcome USS Jackson to the fleet, we are reminded of the importance of the partnership between our Navy and our nation's shipbuilding industry," Mabus said. "We also celebrate the lasting bond this ship will share with the great people of Jackson, Mississippi, as it sails the globe, providing a presence that only our Navy and Marine Corps can maintain."

Mabus himself is responsible for naming ships. At commissioning remarks, he frequently remarks that he has the "coolest job in the world" because he has the responsibility of naming ships.

According to the Navy, the procedure dates back to a bill passed in 1819, and the Secretary of the Navy has been in charge of naming ships since. The secretary also receives nominations and suggestions from the Chief of Naval Operations and Naval Historical Center, which takes contributions from service members, veterans and the public.
Esdaile began raising concerns about Jackson's name when South Carolina removed the Confederate battle flag from the state Capitol grounds in June, which he said sparked a national conversation about the ways the nation's history of slavery is enshrined in tradition.

He asked the state's Democratic Party to remove Jackson and former President Thomas Jefferson's name from their eponymous annual dinner since they both held slaves.

"A lot of people were destroyed under (Jackson's) watch, and a lot of those actions should not be forgiven," Esdaile said, adding that even though it was legal to own slaves during his presidency, there were abolitionists advocating for freedom as well.

"We should be naming ships after those individuals," he concluded.

Hoskin said Saturday's ship commissioning "feels like a step backward," and suggested that had the government consulted with Cherokees about the appropriateness of the name, "I think we would have perhaps steered the government to name that ship differently."

He said, "We're going to look at this as an opportunity for the federal government to step up in the future."


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Last edited by short_mike; December 10, 2015 at 02:26 PM..
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December 10, 2015, 04:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by short_mike View Post
Well this is related but didn’t know if it deserved its own thread, it is pertaining to the newly commissioned combat ship.


USS Jackson: Choice of name for Navy ship sparks criticism


Washington (CNN)The commissioning of the USS Jackson, a littoral combat ship, has angered activists who don't want to see President Andrew Jackson honored.

The new ship, also designated LCS 6, was commissioned in Mississippi on Saturday and honors Jackson, Mississippi, which the Navy noted in a news release is named for former President Andrew Jackson. The ship is the Navy's third to bear the seventh president's name.

The designation comes amid a nationwide review of Jackson's legacy; activists who have fought having his name celebrated were dismayed to learn of the name the Navy had chosen.

"This is totally appalling," said Connecticut NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile, who described Jackson as "a big-time slavemaster, pro slavery, the whole nine yards."

Esdaile continued, "Amazing how we have an African-American president and the U.S. Navy slipped this thing through. I think it should be reconsidered."

What is a littoral combat ship?

Esdaile's sentiments were echoed by Chuck Hoskin Jr., secretary of state for the Cherokee Nation. Jackson put in place the Indian Removal Act in 1830, which forcibly removed Native Americans from their lands in the South and led to the harrowing migration known as the Trail of Tears.

"For our government to hold Andrew Jackson up to some reverence today, given our nation's better appreciation of American history today than generations ago, is very troubling," he said. "For the Cherokee people, Andrew Jackson represents the period of Indian removal," a legacy of "trauma" and the "brutal act" of evicting people from their lands.

The office of the secretary of the Navy did not respond to a request for comment.

Ahead of Saturday's ceremony, however, Secretary Ray Mabus remarked on the ship's new name and ties.
"As we welcome USS Jackson to the fleet, we are reminded of the importance of the partnership between our Navy and our nation's shipbuilding industry," Mabus said. "We also celebrate the lasting bond this ship will share with the great people of Jackson, Mississippi, as it sails the globe, providing a presence that only our Navy and Marine Corps can maintain."

Mabus himself is responsible for naming ships. At commissioning remarks, he frequently remarks that he has the "coolest job in the world" because he has the responsibility of naming ships.

According to the Navy, the procedure dates back to a bill passed in 1819, and the Secretary of the Navy has been in charge of naming ships since. The secretary also receives nominations and suggestions from the Chief of Naval Operations and Naval Historical Center, which takes contributions from service members, veterans and the public.
Esdaile began raising concerns about Jackson's name when South Carolina removed the Confederate battle flag from the state Capitol grounds in June, which he said sparked a national conversation about the ways the nation's history of slavery is enshrined in tradition.

He asked the state's Democratic Party to remove Jackson and former President Thomas Jefferson's name from their eponymous annual dinner since they both held slaves.

"A lot of people were destroyed under (Jackson's) watch, and a lot of those actions should not be forgiven," Esdaile said, adding that even though it was legal to own slaves during his presidency, there were abolitionists advocating for freedom as well.

"We should be naming ships after those individuals," he concluded.

Hoskin said Saturday's ship commissioning "feels like a step backward," and suggested that had the government consulted with Cherokees about the appropriateness of the name, "I think we would have perhaps steered the government to name that ship differently."

He said, "We're going to look at this as an opportunity for the federal government to step up in the future."

In short. People are butthurt. Have nothing else to do but make other people butthurt. Their butthurt should be everyone's butthurt.

Everyone now has butthurt.

New names for everything going forward is USS Butthurt....
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December 10, 2015, 06:24 PM

Yeah, I'm kinda OK with not putting Andrew Jackson on anything else. He was one of America's least honorable Presidents.



“Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a Prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires”.

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December 11, 2015, 06:56 AM

They could save some cash by renaming the stadium after the band, the Navy ship after Michael, and.. Lee Highway after Bruce or Stan.
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December 11, 2015, 07:23 AM

It's funny, though. How many of those people are protesting and demanding the city be renamed? Ships in the Navy are often named for cities. Whether the city was named for something or someone else, the ship honors the city. If you want to change the name of the ship, you'd best change the name of the city. That, or deal with it and quit living in the (oh wait, you complainers weren't alive two centuries ago!).
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