Andrew Soboeiro: Don’t whitewash history

June 13, 2014 

Edwin Yoder’s May 28 letter, “ The dangers of tampering with the past,” completely missed the point of the “Rename Saunders” campaign. No one is advocating erasing the Ku Klux Klan and its members from North Carolina’s history. As UNC students, we’re perfectly willing to remember the Klan; we simply don’t want to commemorate it.

The fact that UNC would commemorate a figure like William Saunders is itself an attempt to manipulate history. Recognizing Saunders for his “valuable service to the state and the university” obscures the fact that those services overwhelmingly benefited white North Carolinians. To confuse white North Carolinians with all of North Carolina is to imply that blacks, Latinos and Native Americans didn’t exist or didn’t matter. This is a far greater “memory hole” than an attempt to rename a building.

If Yoder were truly opposed to “tampering with the past,” he would support the “Rename Saunders” campaign and take a stand against the whitewashing of history.

Andrew Soboeiro

Raleigh

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