Boston University is contemplating changing the name of its mascot over an obvious link to “the Confederacy, slavery and sexual assault,” faculty president Robert A. Brown wrote in a letter to the faculty’s neighborhood Wednesday.
Boston University athletics is named the Terriers. The mascot is known as Rhett, which is a reference to the novel “Gone with the Wind,” which has additionally come below fireplace in current months, Brown wrote.
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“As part of our ongoing conversations about racism and the way it manifests itself in society and on campus, a number of you have pointed out that our mascot’s nickname, ‘Rhett,’ pays tribute to a fictional character associated with the Confederacy, slavery, and sexual assault, and that has prompted important conversations,” he wrote.
“We all know that the University mascot was chosen in 1922 by scholar vote, with the majority favoring the Boston Terrier (over the bull moose). It’s much less simple to pinpoint when the nickname ‘Rhett’ got here into widespread use,” the letter continued. “What is obvious is that ‘Rhett’ is a reference to one of the lead characters in Margaret Mitchell’s novel, Gone with the Wind, which was made into the Hollywood movie with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.”
It continues: “In the Boston University context, the ‘Rhett’ nickname is, of itself, a play on phrases. Since our college colour is scarlet, it was a brief leap for college students—or maybe a sports activities publicist—to link Rhett to Scarlett O’Hara, the different romantic lead in the e-book and film.”
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Brown wrote that as a result of of “Gone with the Wind’s” portrayal of post-Civil Battle reconstruction, it was time to handle whether or not it’s time for a change.
“Despite this seemingly cute connection between the movie and our mascot’s name, the fact is that the movie’s portrayal of the American Civil War, postwar reconstruction, and slavery is offensive,” he wrote. “And it is reasonable for people to question why, at a university founded by abolitionists, we have a mascot nicknamed for a character in a film whose racist depictions are completely at odds with our own tradition. It is time to address this question.”
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Brown wrote he requested faculty officers to think about whether or not to change the name, Rhett.