Here’s our highly informed takes on some names we think do and do not work for the building with classrooms (otherwise called the Classroom Building), previously known as the C*rr Building:
- Gavins Building: As the first African-American faculty member of the history department, role model for students, dedicated professor for 46 years, and supported by one hundred and forty Duke alumni, using Raymond Gavins’ name to replace Julian Carr’s is an absolute disaster of an idea. Who actually cares about the history department? Gavins did not make nearly as significant a contribution to Duke as Carr did. Carr literally donated the land that allowed Duke to name buildings after racists, and his support of white supremacy undoubtedly influenced Duke’s culture – what did Gavins do? Mentor students of color to succeed in an era mired with discrimination and also help shape Duke’s history department? Yeah, real fuckin cool.
- Robert E. Lee Building: Ever since his statue was taken down from the entrance of the Duke Chapel, Duke’s campus, and the entire South actually, simply has not felt the same. He was a true gentleman, in every sense of the word. He was gentle – leading an armed insurrection against the United States that actively supported the owning, exploiting, and dehumanization of other people – and he was a man, ‘nuff said. His name on our beloved building would be an apt honoring of good ol’ fashioned Southern Confederate heritage. A good catchphrase is all we would need for his name to gain popularity. Since he represented the South, and we want his statue erected again… hmmmm, how about: the South shall rise again!
- Duke Building: Yes, Duke. As in David Duke, the great leader of the favorite fraternity of racists everywhere, Kappa Kappa Kappa (KKK, for you independent residents). David Duke’s righteous organization facilitated the growth and flourishment of the white robe industry, not to mention the white hood with two eye holes cut out industry and the wooden cross industry. His contribution to these small businesses across the country should not be ignored by our Board of Trustees and especially not by our history department.
- Building of Rooms in Which Learning May Occur: This one is hard to say, honestly. While “Classroom Building” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as this beauty does, this name might not describe the building well enough; we need something more specific if we’re going this route.
- Rubenstein Building: Hell no. He already has like 50 things named after him on campus.