Vanderbilt University plans to pay $1.2 million just to get rid of the “confederate” word on an inscription from a campus building dating back to 1933.
The university has tried to rename the building before but an appeals court ruled in 2002 that it should first compensate the Daughters of the Confederacy, a donor which had forked out $50,000 for the building more than 80 years ago.
Last year, Vanderbilt refused to pay $1.2 million, which is the current value of those $50,000, but recently it changed its mind. The school said that it will pay back the donor just to be able to rename the Confederate Memorial Hall.
Back in 2015, Vanderbilt said that it would rather put that money to use for “other purposes.” The school added that it did not want to enrich an entity whose values it did not stand by.
Earlier this week, the university said it has all the necessary money but declined to disclose the anonymous donor which donate specifically for the purpose of renaming the Memorial Hall. The announcement was made by Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos Monday.
Zeppos explained that the name contradicts the university’s purpose as it had been established by the school’s founder Cornelius Vanderbilt of finding “union and healing” following the Civil War’ s atrocities.
According to the statement, Vanderbilt envisioned a project similar to the project of America which reveals that
“the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
In recent years, the confederate flag and anything confederate-related has been met with fierce criticism because the symbols remind people of a pro-slavery era awhile they may also foster racial hatred.
Wal-Mart and Amazon recently agreed to remove confederate symbols from their offer. Mississippi has been under a lot of pressure to remove the symbol from its flag, while Virginia banned the flag from license plates.
In South Carolina, there was tremendous pressure to remove the rebel flag from the State House grounds shortly after the Charleston church massacre, in which nine African-Americans including their pastor lost their lives during a prayer service. The shooter, a 21-year-old supremacist, had posed with a Confederate flag in a photo posted on his blog site before the shooting.
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