So much buzz about renaming a building and the proposal to erect a statue honoring Gandhi
Re: July 16 article “Regents OK changing dorm’s name.”
Because of a man’s past, you erase all signs that bring disgrace of the mighty University of Texas? It doesn’t matter that William Stewart Simkins taught law at UT and that he did a great deal of good while teaching there.
If you condemn an individual for his racist past, then let’s condemn the Texas Longhorns football team for its bigoted and racist past and strip it of the 1969 national football title. I mean, after all, the Longhorns were the last all-white football team to win a national title, which means that black players were not allowed to play for them until 1969, when Julius Whittier became the first black player as a freshman. Sounds like racism to me.
Let’s strip the mighty Longhorns of all awards prior to 1969, and let’s rename the team the Creekside Scarecrows. Now doesn’t that make about as much sense as changing the name of Simkins Hall?
Since we could not tolerate the name of an avowed racist on our UT dormitory, why do we allow the name of Mirabeau B. Lamar to grace so many sites in our state? Since Lamar believed that it was necessary to bring about the “total extinction” of the Indian tribes in Texas, he was at least as racist as Simkins.
Then there is the problem of the name Jeff Davis County. A little consistency, please.
Shame on the UT Board of Regents for bowing to the politically correct caterwauling and voting unanimously to change the name of Simkins Hall to Creekside. Congratulations, you gutless wonders.
There is a lot more history to Simkins than a 19th century flirtation with the Klan. The regents could have used this latest frivolous complaint to rebuke the bed-wetting, whining leftists by remembering to us some of his more noble accomplishments.
But the whole of this learned man’s life is of no interest to Printice Gary, Gregory Vincent or any of their ilk. It’s all about poking an old, dead white guy in the eye with a stick. Feel better now, guys?
Bill GeBhard iii firstname.lastname@example.org
The picture of the two employees carrying off the Simkins Hall sign brought back a wave of nostalgia.
In the early 1950s, I would laugh with the rest of America at the latest Soviet government’s attempt to rewrite history by ordering the schools to cut the picture of some former comrade from the text. A change in the political wind or a new top man would result in the airbrush being used to remove the once beloved hero — now a villain — from his place on the May Day reviewing stand.
I thought the laughs were over, and then along comes Simkins.
How courageous of the regents to rename the campus dorm to eliminate a reference to a Ku Klux Klan member.
At almost the same time, our courageous Washington legislators honored the late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., whose résumé includes an entry as a member of the Klan.
Do we really believe that the monuments to Byrd in West Virginia will be renamed? How do these facts compute?
I never thought that Austin had so many inwardly focused, provincial people. The controversy about a statue of Gandhi sure brings out that local pride — as in, “What did that fellow do for me today in this particular part of the Lone Star State?”
What about the fact that Gandhi is a symbol of worldwide revolutionary thought? He overcame a mind-set that freed the world of colonialism without war or violence. The fact that his ideas of peace and resistance to institutionalized wrongs is still relevant today seems to be lost on the latest crop of letter writers.
Too bad they can’t see past their own limitations: Gandhi is still giving war a bad name today.
Paul schulz-Behrend email@example.com
It is my belief that Ghandi is a worthy candidate to be honored by the City of Austin. Cows being sacred in India, I wonder if the city of New Delhi would consider erecting a statue of Bevo.
michael Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
The most common statue, by far, is an image of Jesus, who was not an American or a war hero. His message defined a better way of living together.
Gandhi’s views seem similar in philosophy and long-term results. So having a statue here seems OK unless the unwritten rule is that public statues should be limited to Jesus and American heroes.
the university of texas system board of regents unanimously voted last thursday to change the name of simkins residence hall to Creekside residence hall. and just like that, a couple of housing employees hauled off the sign with the simkins name, which recognized a university law professor who previously was a Ku Klux Klan leader in Florida.