At a recent meeting, the Middle Tennessee State University Panel of Ethics voted unanimously to remove “History” from the official title of the MTSU Department of History.
“History is riddled with offensive and racially insensitive conduct,” said Chairman Nathan Forrest. “The panel feels that this decision further shields MTSU students from anything and everything that one particular student may find offensive.”
Last year, students organized a petition against the name of the Department of History. After building support on social media, a group of students formed the organization Change History Now and demanded that the MTSU Administration remove “History” from the department title.
“For the students of this campus, I think this is the most unifying decision the university can make,” said sophomore Paxley Miller. “To use the word ‘history’ on this campus forces students to hear of a movement that includes war, terrorism and genocide.”
“It’s unthinkable that the university has allowed this name to remain on campus this long,” echoed junior Brentley Montgomery, who protests for eight hours a day instead of working, paying taxes or contributing to society in any other meaningful way.
“History is filled with crime and corruption,” Montgomery continued. “While on campus, students shouldn’t see or hear anything that makes them uncomfortable.”
The Murfreesboro Tribune investigative team has discovered that history has an extensive background in racial discrimination and offensive behavior. History includes such events as slavery, segregation and Jim Crow laws.
“If we remove history from this department, it will change everything,” said Miller. “It will be as if these horrific events never happened, which will make us all better people for never hearing about bad things.”
MTSU President Ridley McPeak acknowledged the panel decision, but asked protesters for patience as the administrative process runs its course.
“This is not a simple issue. There are others who feel just as strongly as the students on the other side,” McPeak said. “We should be open to different views and different situations regardless of how we feel about it, or how repugnant it is. It’s part of our duty to let the other voices be heard in a deliberative, orderly process.”
Student leaders from Change History Now refused to accept calls for calmness and agreement.
“[Expletive] that,” said activist Jaymeigh Johnston. “Every day that we wait, history grows larger and larger. The time for action is now.”
(Relax, it’s a joke . . . kind of.)