The university is named after a slave-trader. Seize its endowment.
Last Saturday, amid viral videos of public monuments being defaced all throughout the country, #CancelYale started trending on Twitter—but it wasn’t Antifa’s doing. It was an elaborate troll by conservative commentator Jesse Kelly. “Yale University was named for Elihu Yale. Not just a man who had slaves. An actual slave trader. I call on @Yale to change it’s name immediately and strip the name of Yale from every building, piece of paper, and merchandise. Otherwise, they hate black people. #CancelYale,” Kelly tweeted.
He didn’t stop at Yale. Kelly’s “campaign” to topple monuments to slavery and indigenous genocide called out Harvard, Brown, the University of Virginia—every single one of these institutions have hoarded wealth, resources, and expertise on behalf of America’s elites. “I am calling on both parties in Congress to pass the Strip University Credentials Act for every American university like Yale, Georgetown, and Brown who are founded by slave owners. I’m calling it the SUC Act,” he tweeted. “End university racism and these monuments to slavery.”
Not all conservatives could get behind the troll, however—some hesitated. Cathy Young, a contributor to Reason, pushed back: “The left’s ‘cancel culture’ is vile. The right’s ‘hey, let’s turn cancel culture around to clobber the left’ game is ten times as nauseating because it’s so flagrantly cynical,” she tweeted.