How Much Is Too Much History?

The University of Georgia has an interesting problem. In Myers Hall, a dormitory, there is a mural that commemorates the admission of the first black student, current CNN Correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault. In the mural, there are quotes from people depicting the hell Hunter-Gault went through to become a student at UGA. “Under one photo of the former Charlayne Hunter pushing her way through a mob is a highlighted quote: ‘Make way for the n—,’ words shouted at the time.”

The student chapter of the NAACP thinks that might offend some students and there is a debate being waged on removing that quote.

The campus’ chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People decided Thursday night to wait until next week’s meeting to vote on the group’s official opinion. Members were given the week to consider Hunter-Gault’s argument for keeping the quote on the mural.

In an opinion piece published in The Red & Black on Thursday, Hunter-Gault said the quote should remain as a reminder of history.

But some students say their opinion of the quote is more relevant.

“We’re here, she’s in South Africa,” said Tiffany Chatman, president of the campus chapter.

Chiquita Melvin, vice president of the NAACP chapter, said the quote did not belong in a residence hall, adding that the display would be just as powerful without the quote.

“They’re not giving people a choice. (Myers residents) have to walk by it,” she said.

Other students, including sophomore Andy Osburn, said the quote should stay as a reminder of how far the University has come.

“It did happen in this hall. It’s amazing how much things have changed,” Osburn said.

It seems to me that the quote should stay. It is history and we should not forget what Hunter-Gault and others went through. And, it’s rather cheap to say that because Hunter-Gault is in South Africa she has no say on the subject. The point is, we should all be offended by the quote and remember what happened so it doesn’t happen again.

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Erick Erickson

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