Congressman Utt's racist remark
A bit of trivia for you. I happened upon a month-old copy of the Lariat today and I noticed a front-page article about renaming the Utt Library that did not appear in the online Lariat:
The article is none too focused. It explains that some at Saddleback College (including Ana Maria Cobos) seek to change the Library's name, but it fails to explain the nature of the dissatisfaction with the present name: "James B. Utt Memorial Library." It does mention that Utt was a "conservative Republic [sic] Congressman." The subsequent paragraph begins with "However" and then refers to Dissent the Blog. Back in December, 2009 (and subsequently), DtB reported a curious factoid found in the OC Almanac. See below:
Well, the Lariat article repeats that factoid without explaining its significance. We are supposed to guess, I suppose, that one might object to Utt's suggestion that "'a large contingent of barefooted Africans' might be training in Georgia as part of a UN military exercise to take over the U.S."
That's objectionable all right.
And that objection (one might suppose) constitutes grounds for seeking a new name for the library.
Well, I won't mince words and I'm happy to be crystal clear. By the standards of our own time (and, I would suggest, by the standards of Utt's time), Utt's remark was racist. It was also paranoid and stunningly foolish.
And that's a good reason to change the name of the library.