Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Berkeley Bolts On Boalt

 

Today, the President of the University of California, Janet Napolitano, decided to remove the name of John Boalt from the law school building at the University of California at Berkeley. Boalt undeniably made racist remarks opposing Chinese immigration to California in the late 19th century, which added to the forces that resulted in the passage of the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act.

I have taught at Berkeley Law (as we are supposed to call it, rather than Boalt Hall, as it was known for decades) for 27 years (unbelievably to both conservatives and liberals). I think that Boalt was flat wrong in his views and that the nation erred in its policies on immigration during this time. If I had my way, we would increase legal immigration even now by a factor of 2x and 3x, rather than considering its restriction.

But I am saddened to see my great university following the herd of other colleges that are selectively editing American history. Answering for the moments of the past is not to remove people and events from our collective memory, but to remember them and learn from them. Shall we next re-sculpt Mount Rushmore because Washington and Jefferson owned slaves and because Roosevelt liked war, or remove the Washington and Jefferson monuments from the National Mall? Closer to home, shall we end the Jefferson lectures at Berkeley for the same reasons? Shall we edit out the names of chancellors and university leaders who worked on the nuclear bomb because the politically sensitive on campuses today reject that WWII ended with Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Institutions dedicated to the search for truth should not find it in their mission to add and delete from that truth for reasons of current political correctness. Instead, Berkeley should have used Boalt’s name as the starting point for debate and discussion of his attitude toward the Chinese, the late 19th-century treatment of immigrants, and questions of race, both then and today. It is only by remembering and discussing these events, rather than pretending that they never happened, that we will make sure they don’t happen again.

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There are 10 comments.

  1. Guruforhire Member

    My general impression is that the people who wish to remove these sorts of things need to think thoughtfully about them as complete people. That great men can be great men while also in the fullness of history be understood to also be flawed. That they too will be revealed to be flawed humans no matter how righteous they believe themselves to be.

    • #1
    • January 30, 2020, at 12:59 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. Stad Thatcher

    John Yoo: Shall we next re-sculpt Mount Rushmore because Washington and Jefferson owned slaves

    Already proposed . . .

    • #2
    • January 30, 2020, at 1:32 PM PST
    • Like
  3. Cow Girl Thatcher

    John Yoo: Shall we next re-sculpt Mount Rushmore because Washington and Jefferson owned slaves and because Roosevelt liked war, or remove the Washington and Jefferson monuments from the National Mall? Closer to home, shall we end the Jefferson lectures at Berkeley for the same reasons?

    Careful!! Don’t give people any ideas…

    However, your final idea is the one we should promote: Remembering and discussing events will do more to prevent repeating the same mistakes, bad choices, and wrong behaviors of the past.

    • #3
    • January 30, 2020, at 1:33 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    If I had my way, we would increase legal immigration even now by a factor of 2x and 3x, rather than considering its restriction.

    That’s insane! Isn’t California already a mess of financial ruin with nothing to unify it except hatred of conservatives? 

    You need to spend more time hanging out at Victor Davis Hanson’s house. As he mentioned a year or so ago…

    1.2 million ID thefts

    $100 million California traffic fines forgiven

    immigrants fleeing car wrecks

    burdens placed upon citizens as non-citizens are never arrested for the same trivial things

    horrible schools (California public schools have recently ranks about 48th in some categories)

    25% of healthy California now has diabetes

    about 85% of the immigrants have no English or money

    waking up to gunfire and cockfighting

    littering of dead dogs

    wounded dogs and dog fights

    and lots and lots and lots of trash…

    • #4
    • January 30, 2020, at 1:45 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. Norm McDonald Coolidge
    Norm McDonald Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    John Yoo: Shall we next re-sculpt Mount Rushmore because Washington and Jefferson owned slaves

    Already proposed . . .

    Yes. That’s right. Frank Stallone.

    • #5
    • January 30, 2020, at 2:22 PM PST
    • Like
  6. Norm McDonald Coolidge
    Norm McDonald Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    And Berkeley loves David Hasselhoff.

    • #6
    • January 30, 2020, at 2:23 PM PST
    • Like
  7. JoelB Member

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    If I had my way, we would increase legal immigration even now by a factor of 2x and 3x, rather than considering its restriction.

    That’s insane! Isn’t California already a mess of financial ruin with nothing to unify it except hatred of conservatives?

    You need to spend more time hanging out at Victor Davis Hanson’s house. As he mentioned a year or so ago…

    1.2 million ID thefts

    $100 million California traffic fines forgiven

    immigrants fleeing car wrecks

    burdens placed upon citizens as non-citizens are never arrested for the same trivial things

    horrible schools (California public schools have recently ranks about 48th in some categories)

    25% of healthy California now has diabetes

    about 85% of the immigrants have no English or money

    waking up to gunfire and cockfighting

    littering of dead dogs

    wounded dogs and dog fights

    and lots and lots and lots of trash…

    My impression has always been that the problems mentioned are primarily due to uncontrolled illegal immigration. Legal immigrants are another story.

    • #7
    • January 30, 2020, at 2:27 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  8. Mark Camp Member

    If increasing immigration 2x to 3x would indeed…

    1. bring in litterers, bad drivers, and people with poor English reading and writing skills, and
    2. reduce the percentage of the population with these traits

    …then I would be nudged a little toward a policy that would result in it.

    Otherwise, I’d be nudged a little toward The Cloaked Gaijin’s preferred policy.

    (As a frequent pedestrian/driver/reader I am, it seems, perhaps less impressed with the trash disposal, language, and driving skills of the people who are already Americans than The Cloaked Gaijin.)

    • #8
    • January 30, 2020, at 2:34 PM PST
    • Like
  9. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    If increasing immigration 2x to 3x would indeed…

    1. bring in litterers, bad drivers, and people with poor English reading and writing skills, and
    2. reduce the percentage of the population with these traits

    …then I would be nudged a little toward a policy that would result in it.

    Otherwise, I’d be nudged a little toward The Cloaked Gaijin’s preferred policy.

    (As a frequent pedestrian/driver/reader I am, it seems, perhaps less impressed with the trash disposal, language, and driving skills of the people who are already Americans than The Cloaked Gaijin.)

    JoelB (View Comment):

    My impression has always been that the problems mentioned are primarily due to uncontrolled illegal immigration. Legal immigrants are another story.

    Perhaps when your company fires you and requires you to train your replacement to work for a lower fee, you will feel different.

    The country belongs to ALL citizens, not just the immigrant lobbyists who desire more Democrat voters and employers who wish to pay less than minimum wage slave wages.

    If you are talking about the very smart Asian-Americans in California, they voted for Hillary Clinton 70% to Donald Trump 17% in 2016 and Obama 79% to Romney 21% in 2012. 

    Most of the non-Western or non-English speaking parts of the world consider politics as just a way to get rich. Well, that is common in the United States too now, but it is much more dramatic in the kleptocratic origin countries of most legal immigrants. Persons Obtaining Lawful US Permanent Resident Status by Region and Country of Birth? Of the top 20 countries, the only one which might be a First World country would be John Yoo’s birth country of South Korea which is around #12. Some of the countries on that list have English-speakers like Jamaica, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and the Philippines, but these countries also often have citizens which practice different religions and often come from some of the most violent cities on the planet.

    • #9
    • January 30, 2020, at 3:29 PM PST
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  10. Full Size Tabby Member

    Removing people like John Boalt or Jefferson Davis or (as I heard yesterday Margaret Court, an Australian tennis star who has views on sexuality that are considered “wrong” today) is to remove all people at some time. We all at some point in our lives have views and opinions that, no matter how conventional or popular today, will at some time in the future be considered “wrong” by the standards of the future. Erasing people from history because they held views that are today considered “wrong” eventually results in erasing everyone.

    • #10
    • January 31, 2020, at 1:09 PM PST
    • Like