In the aftermath of the shooting that killed nine African-Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, last month, a group of Clemson University professors is urging the school to change the name of Tillman Hall, a campus building named for the white supremacist South Carolina politician Benjamin Tillman.”We believe we could do more to build the foundation for Clemson’s future by that action than by all the building projects currently blanketing campus,” stated an open letter signed by nine faculty members and published last Wednesday. Jeremy King, a past president of the faculty senate, wrote his own letter urging the school to rename the building.
The professors told The Huffington Post they have not yet heard back from the administration.
Tillman, a 19th century South Carolina governor and U.S. senator also known as “Pitchfork Ben,” was a white supremacist who said black men “must remain subordinate or be exterminated,” according to author and historian Stephen Kantrowitz. Following the 1876 Hamburg Riot, when a white militia attacked and killed several black Republicans and freedmen, Tillman stood by as white men executed a black state senator who was on his knees praying.
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