Rename David Clark Labs

Rename David Clark Labs

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Matt Kollman started this petition to Chancellor Randy Woodson and

David Clark (after whom David Clark Labs are named) was an alumnus of NC State and later served on the UNC Board of Trustees.  He made his career publishing the "Southern Textile Bulletin", an industrial trade journal in which he regularly submitted editorials advocating against child labor laws, integration, and on the superiority of the white race.  Dr. Bart Dredge wrote a short biography on him entitled "Defending White Supremacy: David Clark and the Southern Textile Bulletin."  Excerpts follow:

"...while [Clark] was not necessarily in favor of violence, he would 'not object' to seeing the Ku Klux Klan take it upon themselves to 'ensure the continuation of the purity of the blood' of southern mill workers."

He believed "Some blacks were evidently not 'long enough in slavery' to develop an instinctive 'willingness to work'..."

Paraphrasing Clark's editorial "Birds of a Feather": "Likewise in the 'jungles of Africa,' lions, tigers, and leopards never associated with one another and certainly did not 'cross-breed.' It was only among the 'lower strata of animal life,' such as found in a barnyard, that one discovered creatures that 'forget their species' and intermingled with other animals."

As a member of the UNC Board of Trustees, Clark wrote on the admitting of "colored students" that "accepting black students at UNC would leave North Carolinians no choice but to send their sons and daughters to Duke where, at least, they would not be obliged to eat and associate with Negroes."

To honor his advocacy of the textile industry and "for his struggle against communism and the detestable parasites who wanted to upset the happy and peaceful Southern mill villages" Clark was awarded an honorary Doctor of Textile Science degree by NC State in 1944.  In 1963 the textile chemistry building was named after him.  This is our heritage that all students should know before graduating.

As an alumnus and current student I have been proud of the clear message that Chancellor Woodson has broadcast since he has come to NC State that this is an institution of higher education where everyone is welcome and should feel safe.  We must constantly strive to make this ideal a reality, and to do so requires self-reflection.  The University has begun to acknowledge its racist history by removing Josephus Daniel's name from 111 Lampe Drive following years of requests from students.  The current climate has motivated action, and on the heels of that momentum, all other buildings honoring those who held values contrary to the University's should be renamed.  It is the least we can do.

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