Friday, December 25, 2015

Lynch Mob

[ed. See also: At Harvard, Feelings Trump Knowledge.]

A Depression-era Lebanon Valley College leader with the last name Lynch has found himself thrust into the middle of a roiling 21st-century debate on campus civil rights.

Students at the private college in Annville have demanded administrators remove or modify Dr. Clyde A. Lynch's last name, as it appears on a campus hall, due to the associated racial connotations.

The demand was made at a forum on campus equality issues held Friday, capping a week of demonstrations calling for changes at the predominantly white institution. (...)

In the days that followed, commenters on leapt to defend Lynch, who served as the college's president from 1932 to 1950 when he died in office, saying he's been unfairly dragged into the fray by this modern-day movement.

A commenter going by the screen name "10xchamps," who identified himself as a recent graduate of the college, said "Anyone with half a brain would know that the name has nothing to do with racial connotations. It's the last name of a very generous donor who probably helped fund many of these students."

According to its website, Lynch led the college through the Great Depression and World War II, helping to raise $550,000 for a new physical education building which was named for him following his death. (...)

In response, student activists who made the demand said they'd be willing to settle for adding his first name and middle initial to the building instead of removing it altogether. At Friday's forum they acknowledged no known links between Dr. Clyde A. Lynch and the practice of "Lynching" but said as is, the building and last name harken back to a period in American history when Blacks were widely and arbitrarily killed by public hangings and "Lynch Mobs."  (...)

"I will not longer watch NFL football when John Lynch announces. Or watch Jane Lynch on TV. Too upsetting," a commenter named "gmaven" quipped.

by Colin Deppen, Penn Live |  Read more:
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