At Houston’s Rice University, they’re trying to slay slavery.
The evil institution has hung as a cloud above the school, via the statue of namesake William Rice.
Purportedly, William once possessed slaves — 15, in fact.
That’s not wholly surprising for a prominent man of his era. And not many universities are branded after the poor.
Amid our effort to sweep away 19th-century notables, a Change.org campaign was launched to remove “Willie’s Statue.”
From the online description:
By leaving Rice’s statue in the center of the quad and using his imagery in PR, Rice continues to immortalize a racist enslaver…
Two students designed the “Down With Willy” digital flyer, which includes the following links:
From Item #3:
- that Rice invest in creating a non-residential Black House that has all the features of a residential college but is specifically made for Black students and Black organizations to congregate and hold events.
- that Rice hire more Black counselors and therapists at Rice Wellbeing and Counseling Center. We also demand all counselors and therapists must be trained on how to handle racial trauma.
- that Rice cut ties with [the Houston Police Department] and decrease [Rice University Police Department] presence on campus with the goal of complete abolition.
- that Rice University create and implement a mandatory class for incoming students on the systemic racial inequity that is built into our global and local society and how it affects Black people today.
- that if a Black new student requests to have a Black roommate, that request be honored.
- the comprehensive decolonization of Rice’s entire curriculum.
There’s work to be done.
Back to William Rice, it makes sense the college bears his name: He paid for it. The man willed his fortune to its founding.
Nonetheless, his effigy’s being bounced.
Per a statement from the Office of the President:
The Board of Trustees embraced the recommendations (of the Task Force on Slavery, Segregation and Racial Injustice)… The Founder’s Memorial will be placed in a new location within the Academic Quadrangle…
What’s the ultimate effect when William’s name remains on all school material? How does one say, “We’ve radically rid ourselves of Mr. Rice…at Rice University”?
Regardless, the college was allegedly born of racism.
Petition author Gabrielle Falcon has discovered black students began attending a white school in the 60s:
[T]he money that was used to found Rice University came from wealth earned by Rice’s cotton trading. What is not told is that he served on a slave patrol (aka a slave catcher).”
In 1964, just 56 (!!!) years ago, Ph.D student Raymond Johnson was the first Black student to be admitted to Rice. Many know that Rice University originally was a tuition-free institution but some may not realize that by allowing Black students to attend, the university broke its original racist charter.
If it makes anyone feel better, William Rice is dead.
In fact, in 1900, he was killed in his sleep. That crime led to the funding of the university.
So the college was also made of murder.
How’s that to be fixed?
Meanwhile, the school’s mascot is an owl.
Perhaps there’s even more racial reckoning to go. Animals, after all, are no angels:
Meet Sable, the 1 in 100,000 melanic Barn Owl that wasn't rejected by its mother for its unique dark colorin pic.twitter.com/XtJIu6BZIu
— Amazing Wildlife (@amazinwildlife) December 25, 2014
If RU wants ideas, it can take cues from a far more progressive school:
College Announces Fierce New Mascot: A Sexless Social Justice Warrior Victimized by Climate Change https://t.co/qIakjXWviG
— RedState (@RedState) August 26, 2021
In the meantime, William Rice’s college still exists, it’s still called Rice University, and his statue remains on the campus. It’s simply been taken from its old spot.
Maybe they should just start over — and name the college something not nearly so white as “Rice.”
See more content from me:
It Gets Woker: Yale Publishes Blueprints to Inject ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ Into All 25 Departments
Chicago Unmasks Its Adults and Also Its Senselessness, as We Leave the Children Behind
Professor’s Syllabus Says It Will ‘Give Priority to Non-White Folks’ Who Wish to Speak in Class
Find all my RedState work here.
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