Can't say this is all that surprising — either the school's woke decision or the family's rather understandable request:
In the 1890s, the estate of T.C. Williams Sr. gave the University of Richmond's law school $25,000. Eventually, UR named the school for Williams.
But last year, UR removed the name, citing Williams' ownership of enslaved workers. And now his descendants are asking for their money back — with interest.
The family has asked for $51 million. ...
Hmm, $51 million? Let's see: Add the decimal points, subtract six-over-four profit dividends based on multi-decadal CD bond declines, multiply by 0.365% a few dozen times...
Yep, $51 million sounds about right!
Now, the family's specific complaint, if true, is defensible:
Two members say the university has not provided documentation proving Williams' ownership of enslaved people, and has not engaged the family in conversation.
...but also feels rather beside the point. The broader issue is that it's deeply insulting to strip a noted citizen's name from a major building on the basis of hyperactive woke politics.
Yes, slavery was a very bad thing. Yes, anyone who owned slaves was guilty of a terrible moral failing. The problem is that we've completely lost the ability to distinguish men and women from their moral failings; rather than have a full and historically appropriate view of the shortcomings of the past, we're opting instead to turn people into boogeymen, erasing all public traces of them as if we're scared of their very names.
A mature, thoughtful society is one that makes space for both man's flaws and men themselves. We do nobody any favors by acting as if we have to purge from our midst everyone and everything who ever did something bad or sinful. If we can't deal with those things then we'll fall apart at the seams. Frankly it already feels like we are.