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Eastern Illinois University Looking to Rename Dorm Named for Lincoln Debate Opponent Stephen Douglas

Eastern Illinois University Looking to Rename Dorm Named for Lincoln Debate Opponent Stephen Douglas

“as a reflection of EIU’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment”

Stephen Douglas of the famous ‘Lincoln-Douglas debates’ was in favor of expanding slavery. Not all history is good but it should be remembered.

The College Fix reports:

Illinois university moves to strike name Stephen Douglas from dorm

Eastern Illinois University is working to scrap the name of “Douglas Hall,” an all-male dormitory, because it is named after Stephen Douglas.

The dorm and its twin, “Lincoln Hall,” were originally named to commemorate the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debate at the university’s location in Charleston, Illinois.

The hall’s namesake, Stephen Douglas, infamously advocated expanding slavery in a series of debates against Republican Abraham Lincoln in 1858.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death in May 2020, university officials, professors, and students quickly sought to replace “Douglas Hall” by formally requesting to rename the dormitory.

According to an Oct. 21 university news release, Eastern Illinois University President David Glassman forwarded the request to the Board of Trustees in September and called for a name that better addressed “EIU’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment.”

“Over the past few decades, Stephen Douglas has become an increasingly controversial figure for deploying inflammatory and racist rhetoric as a means to realizing his political aspirations, compelling EIU to once again reinstate the University Naming Committee to reconsider the Douglas Hall name as a reflection of EIU’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment,” the memo stated.

In November, the university released a shortlist of possible new names for the dorm consisting of former university presidents, faculty, Illinois politicians, and community members who contributed to the civil rights movement or broke through racial barriers.

Recommended names on the list include former Governor of Illinois Edward Coles, EIU’s first African American professor Bill Ridgeway, Tuskegee airman Captain Charles Hall, who served in WWII, and the university’s first African American alumna Zella Powell.

The board of trustees is expected to review and vote on a name change.

“We anticipate a recommendation will be shared with the board in January 2022,” said EIU spokesperson Joshua Reinhart to the Journal Gazette and Times Courier.

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Comments

Another Soviet-style cancelling of history in order to rewrite it.

“It is not heroes that make history, but history that makes heroes.”
Joseph Stalin

>Rename Douglas Hall after Captain Charles Hall
Yes, I live in Hall Hall.

How about saving money and name it after William O. Douglas, Helen Gahagan Douglas, or Paul Douglas (the Senator from Illinois)?

“Eastern Illinois University President David Glassman forwarded the request to the Board of Trustees in September and called for a name that better addressed “EIU’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment.”

Lia Thomas Hall.

Now everybody shut up and go home!

Douglas did not favor expanding slavery. He did not oppose expanding slavery, as Lincoln did, instead arguing that the (white) settlers in each territory should decide on slavery there. This doctrine, which he called “popular sovereignty”, was a concession to the South from the absolute prohibition of slavery in most territories under the Missouri Compromise.

However, in the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857, the Supreme Court held that slavery could not be excluded from any territory.

Under pressure from Lincoln in 1858, Douglas rejected Dred Scott, sticking with “popular sovereignty”. That wasn’t good enough for the extreme pro-slavery “Fire-Eaters”: they split the Democrats in 1860, all but guaranteeing the election of a Republican.

Douglas was a devout Unionist, who unconditionally backed Lincoln’s war against secession. But then, during the campaign, he had said he was in favor of enforcing every clause of the Constitution – “and hanging every man who takes up arms against it!”

Frankly, I’m surprised that college students have even heard of Stephen Douglas, let alone know who he was.

    tbonesays in reply to nordic_prince. | December 29, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    The University People really might be outraged about the Lincoln-Douglas debate. Because that allows the other side to rebut your opinions.

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