Students at a small Pennsylvania college are demanding that administrators rename a building called “Lynch Memorial Hall” because of the racial overtones of the word “lynch.”
The building is named after Clyde A. Lynch, who was president of Lebanon Valley College from 1932 until his death in 1950.
Students want school officials to either rename the building entirely or add Lynch’s first name and middle initial, saying the word recalls the public executions of black men by white mobs in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Color me incredulous. Does this mean Attorney General Loretta Lynch is going to need to change her name? What about comedian/actors Lewis Black and Jack Black?
It occurs to me that Jazz is going to have to start going by the name on his birth certificate (which I presume is something other than Jazz), since his nickname is an example of cultural appropriation: Jazz, the musical genre, was invented by blacks in the Storyville section of New Orleans.
Speaking of cultural appropriation, as a Jew I am considering changing my nom de blog to Ta-Nahesi Portnoy as an act of protest. I will change my name back when the celebrity born Caryn Elaine Johnson (pictured below) stops appropriating the Jewish name Goldberg.
(h/t reader Steven Ein)