“George Washington University needs a new name”

George Washington University needs a new name” is the title of an Opinion piece published on 2011-05-09. The author, Caleb Francois, is a senior at George Washington University. Here is an excerpt.

But it’s not just the university’s name that’s a problem. Just blocks from the main campus is the Mount Vernon Campus, named for George Washington’s former slave plantation. Every day, hundreds of Black students walk on a campus named after an enslaver of men and study at a site named after dark parts of history. Such sites, among other locations and buildings, are touted as glorified mementos here at GW. The indignity and injustice of such sites remain overlooked. The racist visions of James Madison, Winston Churchill and others are glorified through building names, programs, statues and libraries that honor their memory.

The controversial Winston Churchill Library must go. The university’s contentious colonial moniker must go. Even the university’s name, mascot and motto — “Hail Thee George Washington”— must be replaced. The hypocrisy of GW in not addressing these issues is an example of how Black voices and Black grievances go ignored and highlights the importance of strong Black leadership.

Frederick Douglass, a statesmen, political scientist, diplomat, feminist and abolitionist, is a perfect example of a possible namesake to replace George Washington. His work for social reform and equal justice make him an ideal candidate for a new name. Douglass, Sojourner Truth and Malcom X, among many others, transformed the United States by fighting for the liberation of Black people here and all over the world. Heroes such as these should be celebrated and represented here at GW.

The column was published by the Washington Post, which is a newspaper headquartered in Washington, D.C.


Caleb Francois must go.


It’s amazing (not really) how little these students and others understand what could actually be done about slavery, etc., back in the 1780s-90s. There was simply no way to do it. One could free one’s own slaves (as GW did in his will, and others did), but to remake the entire system and economy could not be done. Especially when the Founders were trying to throw off England’s yoke.

Even 70-80 years later, it took a devastating (to the South) war and 700K+ lives lost on both sides to get rid of slavery. The arrogance of some 21 year old punk in AD 2022 to say GW was fatally flawed because he didn’t do something that was not possible is breathtaking.


some one should tell this little snow flake POS that GW campus is also on the site of indians who were displaced by the evil white devils and stole the land. IN that case the entire school must go!!


That’s his next campaign.


Back in the 1770s when the English ran North America, people could see the slaves working in the fields, growing the essential food & fiber. Today, most people don’t even bother to look at the “Made in China” or “Made in Bangladesh” labels and ask themselves about the quality of life of the people who made those items so cheap.

It would be easier to have respect for snowflakes if they were more concerned about yellow & brown people who are alive today – people who could use their help – instead of focusing on the indignities imposed on other people who are now long dead and beyond their ability to help.


Thats really a good point. Whatever happened to the original American Indians, or to the original African slaves, that isnt whats hurting those folk today. Yeah but what’s the use, theres no logic to any of tnis excrement.