BOB JONES UNIVERSITY - TIME FOR A NAME CHANGE? | 2000-02-12
Shortly after the NAACP announced its South Carolina boycott, Bob Jones IV joined liberals and respectable conservatives in demanding that the Confederate flag come down off the South Carolina capitol dome. Liberals were delighted, and Bob Jones was King For a Day in the State newspaper.
In joining our enemies, Bob Jones declared that the flag offended blacks, and, as a Christian, one should abandon symbols that offend blacks.
Well, as it turns out, the Confederate flag is not the only symbol that offends blacks in South Carolina. When George W. Bush made a major campaign speech at Bob Jones University, the Vice President of the United States made it clear that that name, too, offended black people.
Respectable conservatives have no memory, but the fact is that this is how the flag became a symbol of offense to African-Americans. Polls showed that the overwhelming majority of real live black people found nothing offensive in a Southern symbol flying over a Southern capitol. It was only after liberals told them that they were offended that it became, officially, an offense. The word that Bob Jones University is offensive to black people has now come from the same source.
I watched a discussion of the campaign on CNN. Since Lee Bandy has to sleep sometime, CNN had to have someone else commenting on the primary. They chose a thoroughly respectable conservative and Tom Turnipseed. Those two agreed that Bush offended black people by speaking at Bob Jones.
When CNN had representatives of the two Republican campaigns discussing the point, neither of them would condemn Bob Jones. There are a lot of Bob Jones graduates voting in the primary. But then again, neither Bush nor McCain would join Jones in demanding that the flag come down.
So we have the same lineup of people condemning Bob Jones as offending black people as we have condemning the Confederate flag as offending black people. Isn't it time for Bob Jones to follow his own idea of Christianity, and change the name of his University?