To the Editor:
The renaming of the old Botany building to remember Carrie Catt, the so-called heroine of the "white" woman's suffrage movement, is appalling.
Thanks to the research efforts of the UHURU, I was enlightened to realize that Catt is not as honorable as the university makes her out to be. But in shock and disbelief in what I had read, I went and did some research on my own, and what I found out enrages me. Not only is Catt an out-right racist, she is also a classist and a nationalist. She not only supported public parades and congressional provisions barring black women from voting and the suffrage movement, but she also encouraged that the slums be cut-off from having the right to vote. Her justification for this "is that the dumb foreign vote is a threat to the government."
Catt won the right for white women to vote on the backs of black Americans (like much of American history). She did this by playing the political fears of white men, and by stomping on black men and purposely excluding black women. Her slogan for her suffrage organization in the South was "Home Rule, State Rights, and White Supremacy." She is also quoted as saying "that the only way to secure the South against the readmitting of blacks to the polls was by gaining the strength supplied by white women."
Catt in no way deserves to have a building and a curriculum named after her. What are we going do to future students; teach them how to play the political fears of America, and teach them how to tear down and take advantage of a striving people?
Furthermore, I deplore President Jischke for even mentioning the words of Dr. Martin Luther King in regards to Carrie Catt. He in no way would sanction such blatant uses of racist and classist ideologies.
Every time I walk on those bricks of donors in front of Old Botany I feel like spitting on every single one of them. Thanks to them, my next few years here at Iowa State I get the chance to remember that Catt thinks blacks are ignorant, and even though I may be educated, she knows I will never be an anarchist.
Benjamin A Glispie