Sunday, July 19, 2020
Salt Lake Tribune, BYU’s Black Student Union Wants to Remove the Names From Every Building on Campus:
The library at Brigham Young University is named after a man who said if his granddaughter got “engaged to a colored boy” while she was at the school, he would hold administrators accountable. The law school there got its name from a different man who strongly advocated for blood banks to segregate donations from Black and white people so they wouldn’t be “mixed.” ...
Those are just a few of the spaces that Black students at the Provo school say are hard to enter today without thinking about that history, and feeling not only unwelcome but also hurt that those people continue to be revered. ...
"We are living in the shadow of that,” said Déborah Aléxis, the president of the Black Student Union on campus. “And it’s painful. We are honoring these people and creating this narrative that they’re perfect and untouchable. They’re not, though. They caused harm to people like me.”
Under her leadership, the BYU Black Student Union is now calling on the private school and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to address the issue. In a July 6 letter to President Russell M. Nelson, who oversees both the faith and the university’s board of trustees, Aléxis and other members of the group ask for the names of all individuals to be removed from every building on campus.
The hope is to stop honoring those who were racist without singling out or “de-faming” any one specific person, Aléxis said. ...
“Removing the names of enslavers from our campus should not be controversial and certainly not in an institution tied to a religion modeled after the teachings of Jesus Christ,” the members of the student union wrote.