The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bad Name

Time for a change.

Oh no! It's snowing again!

However, the snow did nothing to stop these students from trudging past the W.E.B. Dubois Library on their way to class this morning.

Library namesake W.E.B. Dubois has been written about lately by syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell, and not in a flattering way. Says Sowell:

W.E.B. DuBois was so taken with the Nazi movement that he put swastikas on the cover of a magazine he edited, despite complaints from Jewish readers.

Even after Hitler achieved dictatorial power in Germany in 1933, DuBois declared that the Nazi dictatorship was "absolutely necessary in order to get the state in order."

As late as 1937 he said in a speech in Harlem that "there is today, in some respects, more democracy in Germany than there has been in years past."

Yikes, the UMass library named after a Nazi sympathizer? Of course Hitler isn't the worst mass murder, that would be Chairman Mao of socialist China (estimated death toll 60 million) whom Dubois also admired. For years a picture of Dubois proudly posing with Mao hung in the library lobby, where it attracted numerous complaints from Chinese exchange students who were shocked and offended that a picture of the most brutal dictator of modern times was so honored. When the lobby was recently remodeled, someone apparently "forgot" to re-hang the offending portrait.

In his youth DuBois was one of the founders of the NAACP, for which he should be praised. However the rest of his career was a terrible embarrassment, in which he displayed spectacularly bad judgement in supporting virtually every blood-thirsty dictator he ever heard of provided they (as both Hitler and Mao did) claimed to be socialists.

When I was at UMass, the library had no name. Everyone referred to it simply as "The UMass Library." Then in the 1980's, the peak years when campus leftists ran wild on campus, the move was made to name the library after DuBois to honor his radical leftist views. Since then the Cold War has ended, socialism is totally discredited in mainstream circles and former socialist heroes like Mao are now regarded as the evil butchers they really were.

Therefore, the naming of the library after the foolhardy DuBois has become an embarrassment to the university, sort of like the honorary degree UMass gave to African despot Robert Mugabe around the same time (again at the urging of campus leftists).

The time is now long overdue to quietly erase the DuBois name from the building and go back to simply calling it "The Library."

Perhaps the UMass Republican Club will lead the renaming effort. By the way, Local Buzz has an article on yesterday's Decency Rally which you can read by clicking here. If you missed the Channel 3 report on the rally, just click here.

Meanwhile, as the snow comes floating down upon us, we can at least follow the advice of this sign outside a Northampton shop.

What do UMass students do when they're not rallying for or against something or studying in a library named after a Nazi sympathizer? They bounce off the walls.

They're good at it too.

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is like thinking the bull will not charge at you because you are a vegetarian.


P. Mastrangelo said...

Tommy, great video there. For the uninitiated, this is an 'urban sport' called parkour, which originated in France, i believe. The people who practice it are fond of posting videos showcasing their exploits on YouTube, and if you go there and type in Parkour, you will find incredible videos. Such as:
This one.
Or this one. Absolutely scaring and amazing stuff.

Anonymous said...

Let's call it what it is-

Tim said...


Socialism is totally discredited in mainstream circles? Obama vs Clinton? Huh? Its starting to lose its luster in England, France and Canada, and maybe Cuba. Its all the rage here in the barely recognizable USA. Just visiting this planet?

Anonymous said...

Thomas Sowell is a hack. And making the claim that the library is badly named because DuBois made some ill-advised comments about Hitler in the 1930s -- as if that's the only thing that's important about him -- is to have a distorted view of history. DuBois was from Great Barrington and he was a leading figure in the early civil rights movement in this country. That Thomas Sowell can make a living at the Hoover Institution today owes as much or more to the accomplishments of black intellectuals like DuBois as it does DuBois's contemporary, President Herbert Hoover, with whose political legacy Sowell is paid to sympathize.