Part of the “cancel culture” phenomena is the renaming of various areas and facilities of American colleges. Not satisfied with eliminating offending statues, the cancel “culturalists” of the left have decided that names have to go as well. Some of Virginia’s most famous colleges are currently on the block.
Apparently, the entire names of colleges, not just certain offensive historic areas have to be renamed. Washington and Lee students and faculty are squabbling over what to do with the “obviously offensive” Lee portion of their name. One has to wonder how long before the suggested change to eliminate Lee would also get around to George Washington. After all, both men owned slaves who worked their plantations.
Another Virginia College that is looking at renaming things is the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg. Underway is a systematic examination of offensive campus names. One fundamental question is will the very name of the college have to change. King William and Queen Mary were British monarchs who oversaw extensive slave trading activities during their reign.
What are possible new names for William and Mary. How about Eastern State as the college is in the South Eastern part of Virginia. The problem is that there is an Eastern State Mental hospital in Williamsburg and some might “appropriately?” confuse the two. (This is not silly as it seems because the Eastern State Mental hospital and the College of William and Mary have a close historical relationship. (The older buildings of Eastern State apparently house or housed presumably sane William and Mary Students.)
What other possibilities exist. How about the College of Once Colonial Williamsburg? Or just Williamsburg? After all, the once Washington Redskin football team is now the Washington football team. (Not quite as colorful or interesting a name but it is functional. Although I point out that NFL could demand it be called the less offensive District of Columbia football team.)
Once you get past these easy changes, the name changes become quite hard. Using a numerical geographic designation falls afoul of claims that math is inherently racist. Further, many on the left are constantly confused by math and anarchy would erupt on the campus. Cartoon characters might be acceptable although I doubt that the College of Boris and Natasha would work because that sounds too Russian. Since China is on the rise internationally, maybe it could be called the College of XI and QI – that has a ring to it.
As the great cancel culture renaming game plays out, I end with this final quote from Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”