Mary Grabar, Resident Fellow, The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI), has criticized the University of California Berkeley for a campaign to “un-name” buildings on campus. Dr. Grabar’s remarks were quoted in an article in The College Fix entitled “UC Berkeley Strips Another Name Off Building but Activists Want More.”
At Berkeley, the Building Name Review Committee consists of more than ten faculty and administrators. They solicit recommendations from the campus community. The assemblage has removed at least five names of buildings so far in accordance with what one committee member declares is their standard of “restorative justice.”
The latest casualty of the de-naming is Moses Hall (1846-1931), who had founded the Department of History and Political Science while at Berkeley. In his time, he was an authority on Spanish America. Berkeley’s administration conferred that honor post-mortem in a ceremony in his name held in 1963 only to rescind it in 2023. The committee stripped his name from the building because his written words were “racist and colonialist.”
“Sadly, it seems that these professors have been trained in the latter-day academic tasks of deconstructing texts, that is, tearing apart writings and zeroing in on offensive trigger words,” Dr. Grabar said. “Will his books now also be banned from classrooms and libraries? Will students and others be denied the opportunity to review his scholarship and learn from it.”
How far it will go is anyone’s guess.