As an alumnus of Western Kentucky University (BME ’67, MAE ’85), I object to the attempt by a politically correct segment of WKU faculty to rewrite history by renaming some of the buildings on campus. Evidently this group is incensed that some of the buildings (and colleges) bear the name(s) of slave-owning families who donated large sums of money many decades ago. This misguided attempt seems to be a solution in search of a problem.
I dare say that 99% of the general public never knew of the connection between slavery and the Ogden/Potter families; it has only become a public issue due to a few busybodies with too much time on their hands. I have made some donations to my alma mater in the past but probably will resist the urge in the future. Some of my ancestors may have owned slaves, and I wouldn’t want WKU to become contaminated with any of my filthy lucre.
Since WKU is so distressed about the names of slave-owning families on their buildings then perhaps, in all fairness, when they change the names then why not return that dirty “slave money” to the descendants of the Ogdens/Potters? I’m certain Western soaked up the money pretty quickly as soon as it was offered.
I’ll lay odds that if the original philanthropists had known how WKU would betray their memory they may not have been so generous. It may be that the descendants would not want the money but it could then be given to a charity or an institution that would be more appreciative.
In the words of C.S. Lewis, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.”