Talk about inconvenient truths. Oof.
Truth Revolt reported:
Black Yale Student who Protested Calhoun Building Discovers He’s a Direct Descendant
Recently Yale University caved to student demands to rename one of their dozen residence buildings. The Calhoun Building was named after Yale graduate John C. Calhoun, who was John Tyler’s secretary of state, James Monroe’s secretary of war, John Quincy Adams’ and Andrew Jackson’s vice president, a South Carolina senator, and avid pro-slavery zealot. Yes, he was known to be a racist back then and now, but only in 2017 was the building renamed after a student outcry.
One black student from South Carolina, Tobias Holden, described his advocacy for the name change in the New York Times:
The sting of Calhoun’s name was part of a larger conversation. We demanded that Yale expand mental health resources for students of color. We also wanted the university to hire and give tenure to more people of color, offer better options when it came to ethnic studies and provide a place to report bias incidents. Racial sensitivity training, we argued, would go a long way toward protecting students of color from casual racism.
Then, Holden discovered his own history was more complicated than he thought:
While I was at school, my grandmother sent me a recently uncovered family tree and oral history. It was compiled by one of my great-uncles for a 1990 family reunion, and it stretches back to the early 1800s, to a great-great-great-great-grandmother known as Grandma Nancy. She was born near the Fort Hill Plantation — now preserved on the campus of Clemson University. Her mother was a Cherokee slave named Liza Lee. Her father was John C. Calhoun.
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