OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Students at Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania balked at their student ID cards being called Freedom Cards. Why? Well, obviously because that name is racist and insensitive.
The university has agreed to remove ‘Freedom’ from ID cards after petition says the word “dehumanizes” minority students and black students in particular, reports claim at Change.org, The College Fix and ZeroHedge.
The decision follows the circulation of an online petition initiated by student Melanie Hall, who asked the university to rename its ID cards, arguing that the choice of “Freedom Cards” for minority students (who make up 24 percent of students at RMU, according to the petition) was a “poorly named form of identification.”
It “has made minority students (black students in particular) feel like we are being dehumanized. Gifting us with IDs that grant us our ‘freedom’ is of extremely poor taste. Especially coming from a University that is named after a slave owner,” Hall wrote.
“We would like to rename our Freedom Cards to something that is not insensitive,” reads the petition.
“If Robert Morris University is the welcoming place that the other 76 percent of students know and love; we ask that these changes be made so that minority students can also feel that same pride in being a Colonial.”
After only 130 signatures, the university caved and the petition on Change.org is now marked “Victory”:
John Michalenko, Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students, told Hall in an email obtained by Campus Reform that “the Freedom Card is changing its name. The Robert Morris University ID is now the RMU ID Card.”
Jonathan Potts, VP of Marketing and PR, said that a change was already in the works, before the petition.
“We had already been planning to redesign and rename our student, faculty, and staff identification cards to make them more widely recognized on campus and more easily communicate their purpose,” Potts said, adding that the school “nonetheless thought the time was right to communicate it to the students for whom it was a concern.”
Freedom Card was a weird name for a student ID card in the sense that it really didn’t communicate its purpose. My only guess for why they named it a Freedom Card was because getting a college education gives you so much more opportunity in the world…freedom to choose your future. So, in that sense, the name was creative and accurate.
You have got to believe the next thing to change for this university is its name. How can they possibly keep the name if it is named after a slave owner?
But this is all crazy. EVERYTHING is racist. People see what they want to see and it takes attention away from the small remnant of real racism in our society.
I’m telling you; they are coming after the 4th of July next. No doubt about it. I fully expect an uptick of rioting and destruction of more historical monuments on the day we celebrate our nation’s independence.