Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Yale and John C. Calhoun

Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) has called on the State Legislature to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the state capitol.

Other offensive relics of slavery remain, however.  Built in 1933, Calhoun College is one of Yale’s twelve residential colleges.  Yale named the college for John C. Calhoun (1782-1850), a Yale alumnus who served as vice president, secretary of state and US senator from South Carolina, among others.  Calhoun provided the Confederacy with its intellectual foundation, ardently supporting slavery:
I hold that in the present state of civilization, where two races of different origin, and distinguished by color, and other physical differences, as well as intellectual, are brought together, the relation now existing in the slaveholding States between the two, is, instead of an evil, a good - a positive good. I feel myself called upon to speak freely upon the subject where the honor and interests of those I represent are involved. I hold then, that there never has yet existed a wealthy and civilized society in which one portion of the community did not, in point of fact, live on the labor of the other. Broad and general as is this assertion, it is fully borne out by history.
Yale has acknowledged Calhoun's record on slavery but has kept the name because it is part of history -- exactly the same rationale used by those who wanted to keep flying the Confederate flag.