OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Cornell University has chosen to engage in a pointless and misguided symbolic gesture to demonstrate its commitment to anti-racism. According to reporting from the Jerusalem Post, they have changed the name of the English Department (because let’s face it, that’s what it is) from English Department to The Department of Literatures in English.
The English Department at the Cornell University decided to change its name in order to help eliminate the “conflation of English as a language and English as a nationality,” the student-run Cornell Daily Sun reported.
The department at the Ivy League university in New York voted to change its name to “The Department of Literatures in English” at the first faculty meeting of the new semester.
Can you even imagine what Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks would think of the anti-racism battles being fought in 2020? The battles they fought for basic civil rights and desegregation do not even compare to so-called microaggressions and “systemic racism” that is not concretely identifiable. The perceived slights of today pale in comparison to the real, wrong, and overt racism in our country’s past.
English Professor Carole Boyce-Davies proposed the name change in response to the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. Not quite sure how those things are connected with the name English Department. Please enlighten me if you understand.
“Faculty around the country — not just faculty of color, but faculty in general — began to look at the institution to see how we can help advance a discourse that challenges
structural forms of racism which get reproduced in students and in teaching over and over again,” Boyce-Davies said.
Boyce-Davies and another professor worked on the proposal for the name change over the summer. This was the best thing they could do with their time to prepare for the upcoming academic year. Really? Of course, the idea was shared with “faculty of color” first, and they anxiously awaited the response of white faculty. Surprise, surprise, the woke white liberals at Cornell loved the idea!
The department chair, Professor Caroline Levine, applauded herself and her department.
“This isn’t just us doing a symbolic gesture, this is in keeping with the university’s call to have us really rethink our everyday practices around racism.”
It is ONLY a symbolic gesture! It literally does NOTHING to help black people. But everyone is really happy that you feel so good about yourself.
Few people would assume that an entire department at Cornell is dedicated to all things about England. The absence at various schools of a “Department of Germany” rather than the Department of German would seem a reasonable clue at to its obvious meaning. https://t.co/QtGZTkiRUm
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) October 15, 2020
Cornell English department renamed "the department of literatures in English.”
— Steve Milloy (@JunkScience) October 15, 2020