UC Berkeley Law School Falls for Political Correctness and Removes “Racist” Name of School Building
The University of California, Berkeley School of Law has continued the march towards political correctness by “denaming” a school building after a 19th century man who made derogatory remarks towards Chinese people.
Many argue that John Boalt’s view helped lay the groundwork for the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
On Thursday, January 30, 2020, Boalt’s name was removed from the campus building. This marks the first time that a Berkeley facility’s name had been removed because of “its namesake’s character or actions,” according to a statement from the university.
In 2017, Charles Reichmann, an attorney and law lecturer, discovered and publicized Boalt’s racist writings. According to the Thursday statement, “John Henry Boalt was instrumental in legitimizing anti-Chinese racism and in catalyzing support for passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 — the nation’s first immigration ban on a specific group of people solely on the basis of race or nationality.”
Boalt wrote that “the Caucasian and Mongolian races are non-assimilated races.” He pointed to five reasons “why races might fail to assimilate,” according to the Thursday statement, including “physical peculiarities,” “intellectual differences and differences of temperament,” “differences in language and customs,” “hatred engendered by conquest or by clashing of national or race interests” and “religious fanaticism.”
Many at the university used to refer to the law school as Boalt Hall, and students attending the law school were usually called “Boalties,” according to the university’s statement.
Boalt was never a student or teacher at the law school. However, following his death in 1901, his widow put her own property into a trust for the university.
“It’s incredibly important to confront racist symbols, like John Boalt’s name on a building, because these symbols act to reinforce the history of white supremacy in our institutions,” declared Paul Fine, a professor of integrative biology. Fine is a co-chair of the university’s Building Name Review Committee, which was set up after Boalt’s legacy went public.
Alex Mabanta, a doctoral student in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Department at Berkeley Law who is also a party of the Building Name Review Committee, commented that the change “says to Asian American and Pacific Islander law students, unequivocally: You matter. The process of denaming Boalt Hall says to students of color, unmistakably: You matter. Racial justice matters. We want you to belong to Berkeley Law.”
“If the Chinese Exclusion Act was operative law today,” he continued, “I doubt I would be a Berkeley Law student.”
The removal of Boalt’s name represents the second time the University of California system has taken down a name from a campus. In 2018, UC-Irvine took off the last name of Francisco J. Alaya, a donor, from two school following “an internal investigation substantiated sexual harassment claims.”
Such acts are indicative of a broader political correctness movement that is sweeping across the nation.
Americans should fight to preserve their history and not fall into the PC traps the Left has set up.