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Topic: I have been reflecting on why I have always been resistant to renaming Tillman Hall
Replies: 37   Last Post: Jun 12, 2020 10:10 AM by: chasn79
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I have been reflecting on why I have always been resistant to renaming Tillman Hall

[44]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 1:26 PM
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While at Clemson, I had no idea who Tillman was. I had never heard of what he did to have that building named after him nor had I heard of his views of blacks. I do not agree with his views.

I am not one who thinks renaming a building is trying to rewrite history.

I never had a problem with renaming the honors college (not part of my Clemson experience).

So, why was I resistant? I figured out that it is because of my history at Clemson. I had freshman orientation at Tillman Hall. I met my boyfriend of a year on the steps of Tillman Hall. I see that building and I see myself as a young person who attended a university she loved. I guess maybe I felt like my history would be rewritten if we renamed that building.

But, I have been listening and considering how having a building named after that man might be very hurtful. And, I know that renaming that building will never change how much I loved my time at Clemson. So, I support renaming Tillman Hall. I truly thought I would never say that.

I know many will agree and many will not. I don't ask you to share my opinion.....but just stop...and without anger, consider your own.

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this is why the discussion is important...thank you for your

[9]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 1:36 PM
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honesty

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Re: I have been reflecting on why I have always been resistant to renaming Tillman Hall

[5]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 1:36 PM
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I knew about him at a high level and knew he lived in an era where behavior and poliitics are hard to even fathom today. I did some more in depth research and was horrified at his views and actions. I'm glad he helped push to form Clemson but thats it. IN addition to the awful social views and actions he bragged about, I also discovered he got into a fight with another Senator on the Senate floor. Even helping Clemson start I wonder how he ever got his name on the building

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Re: I have been reflecting on why I have always been resistant to renaming Tillman Hall

[6]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 1:38 PM
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Well said, as a student I never knew who Tillman was either.


But, but..without Tillman as the governor who broke the tie vote to found Clemson..

[9]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 1:51 PM
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there might not be a learning institute named Clemson..so thank you Ben, you mean man otherwise.

And without John C Calhoun, there would not have been the land for Tom & his wife to will to the state to form Clemson.

Let’s think this over. With a forgiving attitude prevailing, why can’t present and/or current Black students forgive these two very important men for some of their transgressions while giving credit due to what they “did do” to form this beautiful college that these minority students are able to attend.

Sidebar: In 1957 a senatorial committee headed up by Sen John F Kennedy came to a decision that John C Calhoun was one of the 5 most influential US Senators in American history.

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Re: But, but..without Tillman as the governor who broke the tie vote to found Clemson..

[4]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 2:03 PM
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They are responsible for the Murder of hundreds of people just because of their skin color.


Re: But, but..without Tillman as the governor who broke the tie vote to found Clemson..

[5]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 2:05 PM
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IMHO forgiveness first requires the request to be forgiven. Obviously a dead man can’t do that. But without contrition all we know is what he said and did. If we could rename the building for him in 1962 why can’t we rename again now? It feels like people just don’t want the perception of “caving” because it will “never end”. Sometimes you need to admit you were wrong or change. It’s not caving. It’s going the right thing.


Re: But, but..without Tillman as the governor who broke the tie vote to found Clemson..

[2]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 6:55 PM
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For accuracy, it was renamed Tillman in 1946, not 1962.

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I have considered this a lot over the last week.

[1]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 2:05 PM
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I have looked further into these two men. The history of Clemson is complex. I get it. Would I support Fort Hill to be demolished....no. Would I support a museum that shows all the complex history....yes.

2020 white level member

Re: But, but..without Tillman as the governor who broke the tie vote to found Clemson..

[2]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 2:12 PM
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Have you asked Jewish people to forgive the nazi’s?

The people who helped create the school will always be remembered for their contributions. However, if their being honored is insulting and hurtful to some of our students/alumni, take the names down. It’s the least we can do.


Re: I have been reflecting on why I have always been resistant to renaming Tillman Hall

[3]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 2:05 PM
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Well said.....I think that's the perspective of most people.

Thinking about it....it's unclear why they would choose to re-name the 'Main' building to Tillman Hall anyway. And to name an "Honors" college after a polarizing figure from the past is perplexing as well...given the obvious insensitivity such an act would display toward many students.

IMO, we don't owe Tillman and Calhoun anything. The Mansion remains...not as a tribute to Calhoun's slavery position, but it's a part of history.

If I were Emperor of this all, I would make Tillman Hall the Main Building once again. I would make Calhoun Honors College simply Clemson Honors College. Done.


Great post...I went through a similar process that I think

[4]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 1:48 PM
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many have gone through and hopefully others will go through. It was after I stepped back and looked at it from another's perspective that I changed my mind.

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Yeah I hadn't really ever deep dived into Ben Tillman

[1]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 4:47 PM
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until later in life, just pretty much gone along with the fightin' man who helped found Clemson and cursed SCar along the way. Yay. But yikes. Corrupted by politics and power or infused along the way - either is a picture of a very disturbing and dangerous man when it comes to race in an era when racial rights needed an ally, and legally was entitled to one. He was the opposite of all of that. I believe it would be extremely fitting to retire his name from atop Old Main and go on about our business.

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Re: I have been reflecting on why I have always been resistant to renaming Tillman Hall

[3]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 1:50 PM
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It will still be there. A name change helps our black students and athletes not be oppressed and know they are equal. It doesn't need to be called Tillman for you to walk past it and still have those memories.

2020 orange level member

MRS

Re: I have been reflecting on why I have always been resistant to renaming Tillman Hall

[6]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 1:58 PM
    Reply

Change it back to the Main Building, or Old Main....that was the name from 1892 to 1946. As a graduate, I feel like it will honor the past, as well as the future. It does not need to be named after any particular person.


Frankly, I'm not opposed...

[5]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 2:18 PM
    Reply

to renaming Tillman Hall or the Calhoun Honor College.

However, I am curious about one thing. If the decision is made to do so, what's next and where does it end?

Does it ever end?

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It is a good question and I don't know where it ends...

[4]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 2:22 PM
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But, I have an idea where it can start.

2020 white level member

Not to sound obtuse, but why does it matter where it ends?

[5]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 3:12 PM
    Reply

Do the right thing today, then do the right thing tomorrow and the next day.

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I don't necessarily disagree...

[3]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 3:54 PM
    Reply

because doing the right things doesn't have an end but who decides what's right?

Playing devils advocate for a minute, I'm not talking about statues or buildings that were named or built as a backlash against the civil rights movement, but what happens when certain segments of the population want to start renaming/removing statues/monuments of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln (as an example)?

The idea is to bring the country together, but is the best way to accomplish that by trying to erase history by removing or renaming anything and everything simply because some segments of the population don't like it. If there is no end, sooner or later there will be people who will inevitably start campaigning for the removal of monuments to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

I'm not debating one argument or another. I'm simply asking.

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There are people who believe in UFO's, the world is flat,

[3]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 4:05 PM
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that USuCk is a football school, but they are not the in the majority. I've not come across anyone asking for buildings, roads, etc. name after Washington, Jefferson, etc. to be renamed (other than those trying to support their stance in the "where does it end" movement).

Message was edited by: tigermaniac®


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Sure, there are slippery slope arguments to be made.

[5]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 4:27 PM
    Reply

But we can address those on a case-by-case basis when/if we need to.

This isn't an effort to erase history. It's taking our history, good and bad, and putting it in the proper context and moving it the proper forum. I appreciate you differentiating between statues/buildings named and built in the 50s and 60s and those that honor Washington, Jefferson, etc because there is a big difference.

I don't know who decides what is right, I'd volunteer to be that guy but I don't think I'm smart enough for the job. I guess society as a whole can take that on. I think DW4 and Nuk are correct on this one, and I hope Clemson and the SC legislature listens.

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Re: One more Tillman post

[2]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 2:18 PM
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For those of you that are not from South Carolina, or specifically Aiken County, you need to look up the Hamburg Massacre. Ben Tillman was involved in the murder of multiple black men and was indicted by a coroner's jury. He used it to propel his rise in politics.

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Ben Tillman's name on that building...

[2]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 2:38 PM
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has absolutely nothing to do with his political agenda or his views on race.

His name is on the building for one reason and one reason only.

It was because of his efforts in the general assembly that led to the creation of Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina. Nothing more and nothing less.

Changing the name of the building is not going to change what he did or what be believed, so rename it. Most people, including me, aren't going to lose a seconds sleep over it.

It just like the confederate flag. Some think it's symbolizes heritage while others think it's a symbol of hatred and oppression.

So whether you remove a flag or rename a building, doing so isn't going to change history or opinions.

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Re: Ben Tillman's name on that building...

[4]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 3:21 PM
    Reply

When the flag was moved, then removed, it was quickly apparent that all the time, effort, money, and angst was for naught. Nothing changed, and some people are still unhappy.

I totally expect the same will happen here, the building names will be changed, but it will be for naught. There will be no "healing" if people do not want to be healed.


Bingo. They'll just continue making demands because...


Posted: Jun 11, 2020 11:19 PM
    Reply

THEY CAN and if you oppose you're seen as a R word.


Re: One more Tillman post

[1]
Posted: Jun 11, 2020 11:52 AM
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Exactly! We had a subject called "South Carolina History" in the 7th grade. That was in the sixties and even then Tillman was considered, not only a bad governor but a bad human being.

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Re: One more Tillman post


Posted: Jun 11, 2020 12:13 PM
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CUsouix®

####! We should have removed his name years ago. He represents evil.


Re: I have been reflecting on why I have always been resistant to renaming Tillman Hall

[2]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 4:20 PM
    Reply

I'm starting to come around too TTL. I am still concerned at where this will stop ...... not because I am so entrenched in keeping statues and building names, but at some point this has to stop and I don't want to continue going through it the rest of my life (which is probably shorter than most here). I can understand the hurt that some go though knowing that their university buildings are named after someone who would have disdain for them because the color of their skin, but there are still issues that are more painful and urgent that building names.


I follow your reasoning, and pretty much agree with you.

[4]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 5:15 PM
    Reply

Ben Tillman is not someone we should be glorifying. Unfortunately, from what I have now researched online (several newspaper articles from 2018/2019 about this), the Heritage Act, which was passed as part of the compromise that got the Confederate flag off the Statehouse in Columbia in 2000 may be in play here. If it is, it would require a two thirds majority in the State Government to allow it to be renamed. I, for one would like to see it happen. Take the name back to Old Main Hall. That would reference the original name on the building, and point to its roots as one of the last remaining original Clemson College buildings.

The attached Tillman Auditorium would also need to have its name reverted back to Memorial Auditorium, which it was before its renaming.

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Dont care if they rename Tillman but

[4]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 5:21 PM
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Tillman is a divisive (and worse) figure, so it would not bother me if they changed name (although without him, Clemson may not exist). My only question however is where / when does it ever stop? Do we move John C Calhoun's mansion? Does someone eventually burn it down? When does Clemson have to rename itself? It just seemingly never ends. It never will stop I guess unless America or for that matter Western Civilization is completely removed from memory. Then we will find something else to destroy. You can't erase history. Sometimes you need to keep it around as a reminder of how far we have come, or how far we still need to go.

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I want the Clemson family to unify as one going forward

[1]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 6:59 PM
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I had no idea who he was either walking the campus everyday.

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Re: I want the Clemson family to unify as one going forward


Posted: Jun 10, 2020 7:25 PM
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I can't defend Tillman at all and have a hard time defending Calhoun other than it was his land and house. I have always said we should let NC have Andrew Jackson!

I would be OK if we change back to Old Main and rename the honors college after Harvey Gant, Jim Bostic or James Barker.

I do believe we should not totally erase our past history and monuments. My solution going forward is to not name $#!+ after politicians, especially if still alive. Or better still, not have politicians at all, just citizens that serve and then go home!

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Re: I have been reflecting on why I have always been resistant to renaming Tillman Hall

[1]
Posted: Jun 10, 2020 7:32 PM
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The Original name of the building was Old Main and I say it goes back to that name. I feel let down that no one ever mentioned the name Old Main or that there wasn't a plaque explaining the original name or something. If it were up to me Old Main it is

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Re: I have been reflecting on why I have always been resistant to renaming Tillman Hall

[1]
Posted: Jun 11, 2020 11:00 AM
    Reply

I agree with what most of you have shared. However, if it is renamed, it needs to be a very neutral name. No leaning to one side or the other. Main Building or something to that effect would be very neutral. Hopefully they will research the new name so it does not have a blowback. It doesn't take much these days.

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Forget OLD MAIN - horrible name and


Posted: Jun 11, 2020 11:31 AM
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quite frankly I never knew why it was named Tillman when I was a student or even as a graduate until I read something one day

GO TIGERS

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Re: I have been reflecting on why I have always been resistant to renaming Tillman Hall

[1]
Posted: Jun 11, 2020 12:05 PM
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TennesseeLadyTiger®, I have been reflecting also lately. I didn't know what a horrific racist/murderer Tillman was until lately.

When it was brought up a couple of years ago, I detested every word that suggested we re-name Tillman.

I realize that if Tillman were around today, he wouldn't have the power to do the horrific crimes he did. He may have repented of his sins. Who knows?

The church turned a blind eye back then; white Christians, in some denominations (like mine) are exhorted to repent of all of the ways their church affiliation endorsed segregation and oppression and failed to live out God's command to love and to not hurt your neighbor. Tillman is not around to repent of his evil ways.

I was, at first, against removing the Confederate flag from the state capitol because it represented history. The reason Nikki Haley removed it because it symbolized hate and oppression for many, many people. It was offensive.

Now I am beginning to understand why Haley removed it. (I'm so glad she did because I have no idea if McMaster would have done that.)

For this reason, I would be pleased if Tillman Hall was renamed. From my limited knowledge, he took his racial prejudice much farther than Calhoun did. (I also took classes in Tillman and my best friend's baby sister just got engaged there.)


All I knew was that he was responsible for the chicken

[1]
Posted: Jun 11, 2020 11:53 PM
    Reply

curse.

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Re: I have been reflecting on why I have always been resistant to renaming Tillman Hall


Posted: Jun 12, 2020 10:10 AM
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Why don't we just fix it all at one time. Remove all names from everything. No Columbus Day. No Martin Luther King Blvd. No Kennedy Center, No Rockefeller Center. Remove the names from Post Offices, schools, and government buildings. Norris Hall can be renamed Bldg 21. No Howard field. Remove the concept of naming anything after anybody. Do we rename the Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Carter libraries? I don't know. No naming after Lincoln or Rosa Parks or any of our past supreme court justices. Just nip it all in the bud at one time. No need for evaluation. No need for looking into people's past or considering how people are going to react to it in 83 years. No need for historical context. No need for political correctness. Everyone is happy and no one is offended. I guess we'll exempt cities and states from being renamed. I'd hate to have to rename Aiken, Columbia, Charleston, Horry, Georgetown, and so many more. It would be a nightmare for everyone's address books. Clemson could become South Carolina A&T. Rename Clemson Tigertown. Let's fix the problem, the whole problem, all in one decisive act.


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