Skip to comments.UT considers renaming dorm after KKK link found
Posted on 05/22/2010 12:38:01 PM PDT by Willie Green
AUSTIN, Texas Simkins Residence Hall is the last all-male dormitory at the University of Texas. Tucked into a quiet corner of campus along Waller Creek, it was the first men's dorm with air conditioning.
It is notable for another reason as well: Simkins is named for a UT law professor who was a leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
William Stewart Simkins, who taught at the School of Law for 30 years until his death in 1929, organized the Klan in Florida after the Civil War along with his brother, Eldred, who later became a member of the UT System Board of Regents.
Now, 55 years after opening the dorm, the university is about to begin a review that could result in the removal of Simkins' name from the building.
The disclosure this week of the review came one day after the American-Statesman asked university administrators about the residence hall's name and several weeks after the release of a scholarly article examining Simkins' record.
The article, posted in an online journal, the Social Science Research Network, and part of a collection to be published by the Cambridge University Press, also details the resistance by UT administrators and regents to integration in the 1950s and 1960s despite two landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings against segregation.
"Simkins engaged in illegal, terrorist behavior during Reconstruction and doesn't merit having a building carrying his name," the article's author, Tom Russell, a former UT law professor who now teaches at the University of Denver, said in an interview. "It's particularly true in view of the fact that he was a law professor."
(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...
Using this logic West Virginia better rename almost every building since they are named after Sen Robert Byrd...former Grand Klegle of the KKK.
Perhaps everything in West Virginia should also be renamed...
Perhaps La Raza should also be renamed.
They could always change the name to the Robert C. Byrd dorm and maybe get federal funds for doing so.
I remember that building from my college year.
A better solution is to tear down the whole building and build a brand new building there. It would be a great improvement.
Maybe West Virgina should rename all the crap named for Robert Byrd.
That’s nothing. Wesleyan College in Macon has four sorority-type groups. Three are named the “Green Knights”, the “Purple Knights”, the “Tri-K Pirates”.
This building is very old and is on a short-list to be torn down but, as the local news pointed out, “This fact doesn’t take away from the seriousness of the alligation”.
“Simkins engaged in illegal, terrorist behavior during Reconstruction and doesn’t merit having a building carrying his name,” the article’s author, Tom Russell, a former UT law professor who now teaches at the University of Denver, said in an interview. “It’s particularly true in view of the fact that he was a law professor.”
My how they are quick to label him with the ‘T’ word.
If this guy had been a Muslim supremacist he would be getting accolades left and right!
What is often missed in discussions about the first Klan, is that it was a popular *resistance* to what amounted to military occupation and dictatorship from the North. And this was not a benevolent dictatorship, either.
In the final analysis, Reconstruction built up such tremendous resentment in its 14 years (1863-1877), beginning in earnest in 1867, that when southerners again regained the upper hand, they wanted control back over their own lands, which remained until normalization finally happened in the 1960s.
Initially, Under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson, the intent was to restore the South to the Union as equal partners to the northern States. As such, the US Army behaved in a manner like the US Army in Iraq: keeping public order, demilitarizing the area, and encouraging a return to peace.
But in 1867, the radical Republicans in congress got control, refused to seat elected Democrat southerners, and began a policy of punishment and revenge against the people of the South. They removed the elected leaders and put the States under military control.
Then in came a flood of northern opportunists, the Carpetbaggers, who joined with southern opportunists, the Scalawags, to take over the State legislatures with corrupt Republican governments intent on looting and oppression. Many blacks were appointed to elected office on condition that they did what they were told and vote Republican.
And *this* caused the rise of the first Ku Klux Klan.
President Grant finally had to use the military to put down the Klan, but by then, the resistance had enough popular strength to bring forth the “Redeemers”, conservative Democrats who regained political control of every State.
And it should be remembered as the epilogue of the first KKK, that in the long run, they achieved their goals of ending the dictatorship, and restored the South to the control of its people, using violence to create an opening for a political solution.
By 1890, the old order had been put back in place, and blacks were stripped of their artificial power, as well as then disenfranchised as punishment. An essential element of this was gun control, to prevent blacks from possessing firearms to defend themselves.
It was mentioned in the history that one of his Klan activities was in a train robbery, to prevent the arming of a black militia. Both sides realized that there would not be a return to white over black control unless blacks were unarmed.
But in the long term, the great irony is that had the more reasoned Reconstruction of Lincoln and Johnson held sway, the policies of the federal government would have been far easier to implement. This could have been far more beneficial to blacks in the South, as well.
The real integration and reconstruction of the South as part of the union of States might have been much faster, with much of the grinding poverty abated, were the southern States allowed to be in the process, instead of ground down in the name of revenge.
Revenge that gave birth to revenge.