It’s about time somebody called out the racist hell that is … wait, I have it here somewhere … oh yeah, the racist hell that is George Washington University.
That somebody is GWU senior Caleb Francois, who has written a Washington Post op-ed calling for GW to change its name. There are two possible explanations for this piece: 1. It’s an extra credit attempt to show his professors he lapped up every woke nostrum and racialist complaint they vomited out, or 2. Francois has accepted money from a rival university to show prospective students and their parents that a GW diploma isn’t worth a sleeve of red Solo cups.
Either way, it’s not a serious argument – more sobbing whine than think piece.
Why isn’t the Father of our Country’s name good enough to grace a mediocre university in the city named after him? Francois has all the pat answers:
As our nation’s history of slavery, Jim Crow, red lining and other discriminatory policies toward African Americans has never been fully addressed or atoned for, these pleas for racial justice are a reflection of a shifting paradigm in American politics in which compromise and intolerance are no longer an option.
That's quite a sentence, particularly the last bit about “intolerance and compromise.” Perhaps GW no longer teaches about irony.
But Francois is, I’m sure, in earnest when he says “systemic racism and inequality still present on campus.” His evidence:
- “Today, with Black enrollment at about 10 percent, Black students on campus continue to struggle for community.” Blacks are 13% of the U.S. population. We shall overcome the 3% discrepancy that’s keeping black students from achieving “community,” whatever that is.
- “Black professorship also remains low, especially in the university’s International Affairs program. Limited Black professors teaching African and African American courses and the continued neglect of Black academia and Black professorship create a campus culture in which European studies and White perspectives are favored over Black perspectives. No African languages are taught at the university, and calls for reforms are often ignored.” When you’re right, you’re right. There’s no reason a college in the capital of the U.S. should lag behind the University of Nairobi in teaching African courses and languages.
- “The Mount Vernon Campus, named for George Washington’s former slave plantation,” and the “controversial Winston Churchill Library,” and the James Madison memorial. “Every day, hundreds of Black students walk on a campus named after an enslaver of men and study at a site named after dark parts of history.” But by all means, let’s get more black students to attend this racist hellhole.
“These problems,” Francois explains, “are rooted in systemic racism, institutional inequality and white supremacy.”
But Francois is no helpless victim. He has a concrete plan to improve GW. Relax, it doesn’t involve original thought, academic rigor, personal resilience or anything more than identity-based highchair pounding:
There are at least four ways the university could achieve progress: Decolonized university curriculum, increased Black enrollment, the renaming of the university and the selection of an African American President.
Is that all? Done and done. I will follow with great interest the honors and laurels that accrue to Caleb Francois University.