Yale University has found itself in some hot water this past weekend.
The Washington Examiner reports that the hashtag “CancelYale” is trending after conservative pundit Jesse Kelly on Saturday called on the university to change its name because it was taken from a slave trader.
“Yale University was named for Elihu Yale. Not just a man who had slaves. An actual slave trader,” Kelly tweeted. “I call on @Yale to change its name immediately and strip the name of Yale from every building, piece of paper, and merchandise. Otherwise, they hate black people.”
Before we get too far into this story, we ought to note that Kelly was really trying to make a point here about the current cancel culture trend – which he doesn’t support – showing it to be hypocritical and illogical.
In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd – the Minnesota man who lost his life while being arrested – we have seen the cancel culture movement pick up steam. The main idea behind the movement is that, if anything is in any way objectionable, then it is just gotten rid of or “canceled.”
Accordingly, we have, most notably, seen the toppling of confederate statutes, we have seen the rebranding of several products – including those of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, Mrs. Buttersworth, and others – and we have seen individuals in different sectors of the community either resign or be fired. We have seen all of this because these statues, products, and people were said to in some way be racist.
What we have not seen, though, as Kelly points out, is any canceling of Yale, even though it was indeed named for a slave trader. Why not?
That’s a good question
Kelly really pressed his point home in a series of tweets, some in response to Twitter users.
“ATTENTION: The @Yale Center for British Art is currently displaying this painting of Elihu Yale, prominent slave trader,” Kelly wrote. “Yale hates black people and thinks they should be traded as commodities.”
In other tweets, Kelly stated that in order for Yale “to make right its racist history, it’s endowments must be seized and distributed to black people” and its “campus buildings” ought to “serve as low-income housing.” Then, he even went after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Yale graduate.
“Why did you attend @Yale University when it’s named after a slave trader?” Kelly asked Clinton. “You’ve even returned to Yale to give speeches. Why do you support the slave trade and treating black people like cattle? Renounce Yale immediately or you’re racist.”
Yale has yet to respond to Kelly’s request. It ought to be interesting to see how this situation plays out. Will cancel culture advocates try to make some kind of exception for Yale? Will they now demand that Yale change its name? Will Yale give in? We’ll have to see.