As we near the end of 2018, there’s still plenty of trash to take out, and Duke University in Durham, N.C., is taking care of some of theirs, after the school’s Board of Trustees approved the removal of Julian Carr’s name from a building on campus.
According to ABC 11,
trustees voted to restore the building’s original name to the Classroom Building.
Carr was a known white supremacist and a member of the Ku Klux Klan who actually ran for U.S Senate in 1900 on a platform based on white supremacy. He donated some 62 acres to the college in the 1890s which makes up what is today known as the East Campus.
But still, he was a racist, and that is just not something that Duke is willing to associate itself with anymore.
“The white supremacist actions that Carr pursued throughout his life, even when considered in light of the time in which they were held, are inconsistent with the fundamental aspirations of this university, and removing the name will be a powerful statement that lifts up our values as a diverse and inclusive institution,” the committee wrote.
Duke President Vincent Price sent out a letter to the Duke community telling them about the board’s decision.
“Our campus is first and foremost an inclusive community of people, not of classrooms and buildings,” he wrote. “With each new student or faculty member who arrives here, with each new discovery made or perspective shared, this community grows and evolves to better meet the challenges of its time. The renaming of the Carr Building represents one such evolution, at once a reflection of how our world has changed and a demonstration that our values and bonds will endure far longer than mortar or stone.”
And for those who are concerned about “changing history” or whatever excuses are offered when people want to maintain monuments and symbols of white supremacy, Duke Vice President for Public affairs Michael Schoenfield emphasized that there would be a marker in the building that explains why it was named after Carr in 1930, and why that name as removed “ninety years later.”
The board also gave a thumbs up to the committee’s recommendation to “present educational and historical information on Julian Carr in order to preserve the record on Carr’s contributions to Trinity College and help the community understand his complex legacy. The committee thus recommends that the university display information inside the Carr building that outlines Carr’s connection to Duke and his legacy in the wider world…”
For now, Carr’s name still remains on the building and it is not quite clear when the physical name will be taken down.