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There are 35 comments on Boston University Removes the Myles Standish Name from Dorm

  1. Good decision on this for a host of reasons. Next – let’s get rid of Rhett’s name and rename the mascot. As a former ‘Rhett’ I can say it’s time to move forward with a new name identity for the mascot.

    1. Erasing history, as you say, is to fail in our responsibility to tell the story of the indigenous people Myles Standish slaughtered., In that regard, we have been failing for 400 years. It is well part time we owned up to it. Renaming the building is not erasing history, in fact it is erasing the myth of Myles Standish.; the myth that he was honorable when in fact he was not.

  2. Perhaps the most ominous thing about this essay is the last phrase of its fifth paragraph: “at least for the time being”. The practice of naming buildings, etc. for an always flawed human being is absurd at best. Boston University may not have officially named the building but it did adopt it.

  3. It’s finally been done. Although the recommendation by indigenous leaders who visited previously was to name it “Wituwamat,” one of the main tribal leaders at the time who was betrayed and massacred with other natives by Myles Standish.

  4. Why does a historical figure being (debatably) brutal in a military engagement make them undeserving of having buildings named after them? Like, does that mean that everything named after Napoleon should be renamed too? Nobody cares about erasing the names of white guys who were brutal to other white guys. Besides, I don’t see how changing a name makes any impact. Seeing a name on a placard can’t actually hurt anyone.

    1. Lizzy, when you say “nobody” and “anyone” who exactly are you including and who are you excluding. Obviously, a number of indigenous people (and others who value the dignity of the marginalized) feel offended and excluded by BU for opting to honoring Myles Standish. “…can’t actually hurt anyone”? Really? The damage done by denigrating an entire people shows up in disparities that linger for centuries. (BTW, denigrating an entire people is commonly known as racism.) Who we hold up and honor says a lot to the world about our values. When our perceived values are out of sync with strategic plan, it undermines the sincerity of those platitudes. It begs the question, BU – who are we?

    2. You’re extreme white privilege is showing. The difference is that Napoleon’s history is WELL documented. Standish’s has been reduced to a Disney cartoon fantasy. This country was FOUNDED on white privilege and racism…NEVER FORGET THAT.

    3. In fact, though, Miles Standish was responding to the brutal and treacherous attack on peaceful colonists by native Indians who had pretended friendship.

  5. Alumni

    This is also a refreshing sign of BU willing to look at prior decisions. I know President Brown was not flexible at all in his thinking when the issues were brought up by multiple stakeholders.

    In 1947, Boston University began operation of the first large cafeteria in the common building. Two years later the university purchased the Myles Standish Hotel. It was built in 1928 and rush with history. My only observation is we do justice to the rich history of the hotel and the dorm. And the alumni memories of residents.

  6. Seriously you people are pathetic it was a different world back then right or wrong doesn’t matter at the time it was right, to bitch about the past 400 years ago only tells people that you’re a loser with way to much time on your hands, you can’t erase history but you as hell can be repeated.

  7. Some of the best memories of my life are from the time from September 1967 to May 1971 when I resided in rooms on the ninth floor at Myles Standish Hall during my undergraduate years at Boston University. My Facebook profile photo still shows the sign that used to hang above the Beacon Street entrance to Myles.

    With my dorm room windows open, I heard the sounds from the crowd at Fenway Park when the Red Sox clinched the American League pennant on the final day of the 1967 regular season and when the partying continued in Kenmore Square throughout the night. I learned to play squash in the court in the Myles Standish Hall basement.

    In the studios of WTBU Radio, then located near the east end of the building on the first floor, I learned how to “spin records” and control the board as I played rock music on air for three hours on weekend mornings. I hosted a sports talk show, wrote and produced comedy bits that earned me appearances on Larry Glick’s late-night radio show on Boston’s WBZ-AM and Joe Franklin’s radio show on New York’s WOR-AM and, as a senior class representative from the College of Liberal Arts to the university’s student government, I was among three people who conducted one of the first radio interviews of BU’s incoming president Dr. John R. Silber in the spring of 1971.

    Since I graduated from BU’s College of Liberal Arts in May 1971, I’ve learned that I’m most fortunate to have lived long enough to be able to use a computer, tablet or iPhone to bring me much more information about American history than I’ve ever known.

    In recent years, from essays on a friend’s website, America Comes Alive (https://americacomesalive.com/), to the writings of Timothy Egan (“A Fever in the Heartland”) and Rachel Maddow (“Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism”), Maddow’s podcasts (“Ultra” and “Deja News”) and Boston College history professor Heather Cox Richardson’s daily commentaries on her “Letters from An American” podcast, I’ve been reminded that I’m never too old to learn about aspects of American history that never came to my attention.

    Before I graduated from BU, I don’t recall learning anything about the Trail of Tears, Juneteenth, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, the massive influence of the Ku Klux Klan in the US in the 1920s or how Nazi sympathizers infiltrated the US Congress in the 1940s. Until recently, I never knew that the tallest unreinforced concrete structure in the world, a 175-foot high obelisk that’s a monument to Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, stands in a park in Kentucky.

    After I read this article about the renaming of Myles Standish Hall, I also learned of some unsavory exploits of the first military commander of the Plymouth Colony’s militia. I understand why there was interest in renaming the dorm.

    Whether you call it 610 Beacon Street or 30 Bay State Road which was the address that the dorm was known by when I lived there or Beacon Bay Hall as a reference to the intersection of Beacon Street and Bay State Road where the east end of the building rests or any other name that makes no reference to a person, I could not care less.

    With apologies to Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and Juliet’s words that “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, I suppose that a building by any other name still would hold sweet memories. I’ll always have fond memories of the dorm I knew as Myles Standish Hall.

  8. stupid. when does it end? we’ll all be banned from history in 500 yrs from now because we use language that wont be acceptable in 2500. its dumb. history is cool accept it.

  9. Why would a member of the Osage tribe – thousands of miles away from Massachusetts – be upset by our colonial history? Miles Standish is a hero of the settlement of Massachusetts and we should honor him. I was raised and educated on our true colonial history. The tales of entire communities savagely tortured and slaughtered by the French and their Indian allies, women and children brutally raped and carried off into slavery. Why should we trade that true heritage for Disney fairy tales? If the native Indians had been less interested in fighting and eating each other they probably would have won. We shouldn’t allow our histories to be altered by bitter grapes.

    1. What became known as the French and Indian War among colonists living in what’s now the eastern part of the United States happened between 1754 and 1763. Myles Standish died in 1656 at age 72. Did I somehow miss that “Disney fairy tale” in which Myles Standish at the age of 198 was involved in protecting Massachusetts women and children from being “brutally raped and carried off into slavery”?

      Will anyone have allowed “our histories to be altered” by changing the name of a building in Boston? Removing Myles Standish’s name from the Boston University residence hall at the intersection of Beacon Street and Bay State Road won’t prevent anyone from doing research to discover anything they’d like to learn about Myles Standish.

      1. Myles Standish led a failed campaign against the French and their native allies. Standish led the botched expedition against French troops at Penobscot in 1635. He was reportedly not 198 years old. It led to his retirement from the military. You did indeed miss something in that you thought the commenter was referencing the French and Indian War.

  10. A much welcome and long overdue sign of respect to indigenous members of our community… And the worst day ever for some people who have no connection to the school (or any college, based on the caliber of writing in these comments) or have ever heard of the name of this building before today.

  11. Those who are interested in learning the history of Myles Standish’s military actions are referred to the following books, all by the late historian Jeremy Dupertius Bangs: Indian Deeds: Land Transactions in Plymouth Colony (1620-1691 (2002, 2008), Strangers and Pilgrims, Travellers and Sojourners (2009), New Light on the Old Colony: Plymouth, the Dutch Context of Toleration and Patterns of Pilgrim Commemoration (2020). The primary source document of most relevance is Edward Winslow’s “Good Newes from NewEngland [https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/66332]. Within this source (search term, Wituwamat), as well as others cited by Bangs, you can learn what is known about what Standish did, and the contemporary account of why he did it. You will also learn how subsequent historians created false narratives about events involving Standish. Finally, you’ll learn that the renaming of Myles Standish Hall has nothing to do with rigorous, academic history. It’s an exercise in the creation of public memory about the events that occurred. This is psychological manipulation done in pursuit of political power. Whether the political ends justify the historiographical means – deliberate distortion of the chronology and selective reporting of pieces of events taken out of context – is up to you, readers. The most important message is to read the primary sources yourselves. It’s unsafe to trust news articles about history that haven’t independently vetted sources. It’s unsafe to trust universities to interpret history for us. Read the sources or risk manipulation.

  12. Another stupid idea from those who fail to understand we learn from history. Removing history simply allows for us to repeat mistakes
    and not learn from the past.

  13. Little known fact: before Myles Standish was a Boston University dorm, it was a hotel. In Death of a Salesman, Willie Lowman had a tryst at the hotel. Congratulations on the name change.

  14. More virtue-signaling, history-revising, woke rubbish from the usual lefties suffering from their self-imposed “guilt” or manufactured “victimhood”.

    ……..”spread the word through other DEI officials” says it all. I wonder what their next target is.

  15. I am writing to express my concern over the recent decision to rename Myles Standish Hall at Boston University. This change, driven by the current social movements, seems to negatively impact the historical essence of BU. While it is important to acknowledge and learn from our past, erasing historical references does not achieve this goal. As an alum who lived in Myles Standish Hall, this decision erodes many cherished memories. I worry about the precedent this sets and the potential for further alterations on campus.

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