It’s not just statues of Confederate generals and slave-owning presidents coming down lately.
Brigham Young, the slave owner for whom the conservative Mormon college is named, has been vandalized, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The word “racist” was spray-painted on the base of the statue.
The BYU statue of Young — who espoused racist teachings — was coated in paint. It was still wet when officers arrived, according to the police report obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune in a public records request.
The statue was quickly cleaned off the morning it was discovered, Christianson said, though the report notes the paint on the building sign, made of stone, had to be sanded off. He estimates it caused about $1,000 in damage.
In case you’re wondering how he was racist, Young once said, “In as much as we believe in the Bible… we must believe in slavery. This colored race have been subjected to severe curses… which they have brought upon themselves.”
Security cameras were unable to identify the vandals. But the feelings about Brigham Young are hardly isolated. Some students have been requesting classes that address racial issues become a prerequisite for graduation — not a bad idea when you belong to religion that said Black men couldn’t become priests, and Black people couldn’t take part in certain Church rituals, until 1978.
Some BYU students also want to see buildings currently named in honor of other notorious racists to be changed, proving that the kids are indeed all right. (A sign outside a building named after Abraham Smoot, the former Provo mayor and also a slaveholder, was tagged with a red “X.”)
For its part, the school has formed a “committee” to look into inequality… which doesn’t sound terribly promising, although it’s better than a refusal to do anything at all. Judge them by what they do, not the symbolic actions they take in the meantime.
(Image via Shutterstock)