University of Texas at Austin Attempts to Undo Racist History
A dorm at the University of Texas at Austin is currently under review following criticism that the building was named after a prominent KKK member.
According to CNN.com, Simkins Residence Hall may soon be renamed Creekside Dormitory if a 21-person member advisory board approves the change. Named in honor of former professor William Stewart Simkins (an active clansmen and Klu Klux Klan member during the 1800s and up until his death in 1929), the dorm was christened after him during the 1950s following his highly-lauded career as a law professor at the university.
The move comes on the heels of school's recent PR push to distinguish themselves as community that embraces "diversity" following the publication of a research paper suggesting school officials in the 1950s chose the name to deter African-American students from attending (after the famous "Brown vs. The Board of Education" Supreme Court ruling that ended racial segregation in public schools).
"We're certainly not erasing Professor Simkins from the annals of UT history," notes Gregory Vincent, Vice President of Diversity and Community Engagement . "All we are saying is that honorific is a very special designation and it should not harm the university's reputation."
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