He Who Must Not Be Named

Daily Best of the Web   —   Posted on December 11, 2015

The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal’s “Best of the Web” at WSJ written by the editor, James Taranto.

Out on a Limb
“The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said Wednesday that the couple who waged a shooting rampage in San Bernardino, Calif., last week had been talking of an attack as far back as two years ago, before the United States gave the woman approval to enter the country. The disclosure raised the possibility that American immigration and law enforcement authorities missed something in the woman’s background when they granted her the approval.”—Michael Schmidt, New York Times website, Dec. 9

He Who Must Not Be Named
“Students at Lebanon Valley College in Annville [Pa.] have called on administrators to make policy changes that benefit ‘marginalized groups’ on campus, including minorities, the disabled, gay and transgender,” reports the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

Yeah, dog bites man, but one of the demands caught our attention: The students want to change the name of Lynch Memorial Hall, named for a former president of the school, Clyde Lynch.

The Patriot-News helpfully explains that “the name harkens back to a period in American history when Blacks were widely killed by public hangings and ‘Lynch Mobs”:

According to Oxford Dictionary, the term “Lynching” has origins in the War of American Independence (1775–83) or more specifically with a Captain William Lynch of Pittsville, Virginia, who headed a self-constituted court with no legal authority that persecuted suspected British loyalists.

“People called this illegal punishment Lynch’s law or lynch law,” the resource states. “The penalties handed out were beatings or tarring and feathering, but by the mid-19th century to lynch a supposed offender was generally to hang him.”

You probably thought we were going to make fun of this, but we can see why the name might make members of marginalized groups feel unsafe. The attorney general should order a Justice Department investigation.

(NOTE: The excerpts above are from the Dec. 9 BOTW post at WSJ.) For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.”