Beto Calls for Tillman Hall Name Change

While speaking at Clemson

Evan Smith
April 15, 2019 - 3:30 pm

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke made a stop at Clemson University on Sunday, where he called for Tillman Hall to be renamed.

Speaking before a crowd of more than 500 people, O’Rourke said that more people should know about the white supremacist views and racist acts of former South Carolina Governor and US Senator Ben Tillman, for whom the hall is named.  

Although don’t expect any name change in the near future.

As Clemson’s board of trustees has noted in response to the growing call for a name change, the hall is protected under the state’s Heritage Act, and would therefore require a two thirds vote in each chamber of the South Carolina General Assembly in order for a name change to be enacted, something that’s unlikely to happen.

Tillman held views that were considered extreme even in his own time, a fact pointed out by a plaque that now stands outside Tillman Hall as a kind of apologetic asterisk on behalf of the university.

Tillman famously participated in the execution style killing of multiple black men, including a black state senator who was shot in the head while praying.

While governor he openly attempted to take away black citizens voting rights, ran a corrupt monopoly on the sale of alcohol, and was open about his goal of, in his own words, “preaching the gospel of white supremacy.”

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