George Washington University Insults The Nation’s History

Of course, we have seen this coming for a long time, and I will be surprised if the creeping, craven effort to erase George Washington and the legacy of the Founders from the school that now bears his name will stop; it may even accelerate.

The George Washington University Board of Trustees finally decided to discontinue the use of the school’s “Colonials” moniker based on the recommendation of —believe it or not—the “Special Committee on the Colonials Moniker.” In case you have the historical literacy of a horseshoe crab, before what is now the United States of America won its independence, it was made up of colonies, and its occupants fighting for their nascent nation were often called “colonials” because that’s what they were. These colonials were completely responsible today for the United States’ existence and everything it has achieved. The leader of the army of colonials was George Washington, and the first President of the radical new nation established by those colonials was that same great man. Thus to conclude that referring to various teams and groups associated with the educational institution named in his honor as Colonials is anything but descriptive, justified, and an honor is, to be blunt, bats.

However a gross majority of the people running the institutes of higher education in the U.S. are shallow, fearful, pandering fools, and GW’s leaders are clearly in that group. Here is the revolting statement by Board Chair Grace Speights:

“The board recognizes the significance of changing the university’s moniker, and we made this decision only after a thoughtful and deliberate process that followed the renaming framework and special committee recommendation that considered the varying perspectives of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and athletics community. A moniker must unify our community, draw people together and serve as a source of pride. We look forward to the next steps in an inclusive process to identify a moniker that fulfills this aspiration.”

Yecchh. If the process was so thoughtful and deliberate, why was the final decision so offensive and absurd? Bad decisions that are the result of a lot of thought are more inexcusable than decisions that are made quickly. The fact that an unethical decisions followed a “framework” doesn’t mitigate its flaws. The only perspective of students, alumni and faculty that should be considered are rational and responsible ones, and the politically correct airbrushing of history is neither rational nor responsible.

Moreover the quest for “unity” on the George Washington campus is a futile one, as Grace Speights damn well knows. The extreme left on campus will not be satisfied until the name of perhaps the most essential human being in our history is stripped from the institution in a symbolic show of contempt. It is tragic that school administrators are still such suckers for the contrived offense game, which creates a one-way ratchet toward anti-American virtue signaling, and yes, that’s an oxymoron.

GW President Mark Wrighton’s statement was even more fatuous, as incredible as that may seem:

“As we embark on our third century, we must continue to lead with our values, strengths and the diversity of the George Washington University community. I was impressed by the principled and collaborative approach of the special committee, and it was clear this process was driven by research and robust engagement with the community. While some may disagree with the outcome, this process has determined that changing the moniker is the right decision for our university.”

What could possibly be “right” about slapping our ancestors who allowed us to live in a free nation square in their metaphorical faces? The word Wrighton should use is “expedient,” not “right.” What “values”? Ingratitude? Incompetence? Disrespect? Cowardice? Pandering? What does diversity have to do with the realities of history? Is it GW’s official positions that distortions of the historical record and irrational hostility to past generations should dictate university decisions in the interest of being “diverse”?

The “findings” listed in the Monicker committee’s report are laughable:

  • “The Colonials moniker does not adequately match the values of GW and can no longer serve its purpose as a name that unifies the community.” As mentioned above, no name will “unify” the community unless the non-anti-American, “woke” extremists cow their opponents into submission and silence.
  • The committee “sought to understand the history of the term Colonial, how Colonials was initially selected for the moniker, the harm caused by the moniker and affinity for and prominence of the moniker within the GW community.”

Oh go ahead, show me how the use of “Colonials” caused “harm.” I dare you. What is it about the mysterious term “colonials” that needs to be “understood”? There were 13 colonies. The people who lived in them were “colonials.”

  • 1) “According to history experts, George Washington himself firmly rejected the term “colonial” in the few times he used it.”

The people who want to kill the name also want to “cancel” George because he was a slave-holder, but his word preferences are relevant? 

  • 2) “Research also found that the term ‘Colonials’ was not used during the 1607-1776 Colonial Era, and it did not become popular until the Colonial Revival period of the late 19th and 20th centuries.”

So what? Who cares when it was “popular”?

  • “While Colonials became GW’s moniker in 1926, the special committee determined that the moniker arose casually and haphazardly, lacking thoughtful university-wide consideration.”

Oh! So GW is really striking a blow against names and nicknames that don’t emerge from a “monicker committee”!

  • “The special committee identified a significant difference in connotation for the term Colonials. For supporters, the term refers to those who lived in the American colonies, especially those who fought for independence and democracy. For opponents, Colonials means colonizers who stole land and resources from indigenous groups, killed or exiled Native peoples and introduced slavery into the colonies. These are perspectives that cannot be easily harmonized, the committee concluded. Use and popularity of the moniker also has declined in recent years.”

The perspectives don’t need or deserve to be “harmonized,” any more than the beliefs in a round and a flat earth should be “harmonized.”  Everyone knows that the name honors those who lived in the American colonies, especially those who fought for independence and democracy. Deliberately misconstruing the meaning and intent behind the name is dishonest, and typical woke power games like declaring that the phrases “black list” and “black ball” are racist.

Like most people over the age of 18, I don’t care about mascots, and George Washington University’s self-debasement isn’t going to make me lose sleep at night. However, this episode is one more piece of evidence indicating who those who run our colleges and universities cannot be trusted to educate their young charges, both because of weak values and the absence of the necessary character to oppose ideological fanatics.

9 thoughts on “George Washington University Insults The Nation’s History

  1. They count on me a not losing sleep over an issue. It makes their gradual march to uniform thinking easier.

  2. “Colonialism” has been a big, fat target of the revisionist historians for decades. It’s the go to excuse for every single third world country on Earth for years. The story goes that before Europeans began turning the rest of the world into colonies, everything in those regions was love, peace and thriving happiness. The white Europeans came along and ruined everything, and it’s been that way ever since. So, of course, the name “Colonials” has to go. It reminds everyone who’s not a white European of colonialism. Can’t have anyone upset about the distant past, can we?

    My college’s teams are called the “Continentals.” I suspect there may be members of the community who hail from islands. The Pacific Islands, the Greek Islands, the British Isles (!), the Caribbean (except Cuba– Cubans tend to be Republicans), Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, Mozambique, Guernsey, Iceland! Christ, I descend from people from Ireland. That’s an island! But never fear. I’m sure a thoughtful and deliberate process will follow a framework and a special committee recommendation that will consider the varying perspectives of the college’s students, faculty, staff, alumni and athletics community to come up with a moniker to unify its community, draw people together and serve as a source of pride. I look forward to the next steps in an inclusive process to identify a moniker that fulfills this aspiration.

  3. Jack,

    “What could possibly be ‘right’ about slapping our ancestors who allowed us to live in a free nation square in their metaphorical faces?”

    … if they still had faces. They’re dead. Everyone they met, and anyone who loved them is also dead. The children of those people are now also dead. In other words, they’re beyond caring. Thus, any outrage on their behalf is borrowed. To put another way, the living owe them nothing anymore. They lived, they did their goods and bads, we now benefit (or don’t, in some cases) because of those actions, but we’re not responsible for them and there’s definitely no generational debt owed.

    The dead have no power over the living (nor should they). As Louis CK recently said, every generation’s greatest gift to the next is that they all die. Why would we hold onto their hangups?

    • Is this a new one? A variety of number 10, perhaps?

      Why should we hold onto their hangup and concerns? Because we hang onto so many of thier ideas, ideals, and ambitions. Your objection would leave us completely adrift, each generation reinventing the wheel, hoping to chart their own courses. It would be impossible to have any consistency or overarching direction at all. Why pay any attention to anyone who has come before at all?

      We stand on the shoulders of giants. Thier bodies may be deceased, but their creation lives on. Any changes or adjustments should be approached carefully and thoughtfully. This decision was neither.

      • I am in wholehearted agreement with you Aaron. So much would be lost if we failed to build upon that which was successful.

  4. What happened to the adage, “never speak ill of the dead?” Next on the list will be Washington University in St. Louis, Soon to follow will be William and Mary, Madison, and I would bet American University will follow.

  5. This is what the immoral actions of social brainwashing with politically correct social justice propaganda has wrought. There is one example, after another, after another that shows us that social justice totalitarianism has reached its immoral tentacles into every aspect of our lives, you either conform to the hive mind or you will be destroyed. “You will be assimilated, resistance is futile” is exactly how totalitarians think.

    Our culture is doomed to the dark abyss of Orwellian styled totalitarianism they just haven’t buried it and erected the headstone to declare the experiment in freedom and Liberty to be officially dead.

    I know, I know; that’s a dark and seemingly defeatist point of view, but ignoring what’s been staring us in the face for the last 6-10 years is self defeating and literally futile. If we are to stare evil in the face then we need to identify that evil and taking action.

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