Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statement supporting the student-led effort to rename Middleton Library on the campus of Louisiana State University. The library is currently named for a former LSU president who supported racial segregation and LSU announced last night that it will begin the process of renaming the building.
Gov. Edwards said:
“I support changing the name of Middleton Library at Louisiana State University, in acknowledgement that segregation is and was wrong.
Throughout history, students have always led and been integral to transforming our state and country for the better. I applaud the African American student leaders, and the many who came before them, for their bravery and tireless efforts to bring about this change. As an LSU alumnus, I applaud the leadership of LSU for being open to their concerns, taking action, and working to bring greater diversity to the university.
We cannot change what has happened in the past and this does not erase a history of racial injustice. But we can choose to no longer glorify a time of racial segregation or those who sought to discriminate against our African American brothers and sisters.
The past several weeks have been a painful reckoning in our country and our state. The conversations we are having – on campuses, in board rooms and at our own kitchen tables – since the senseless death of George Floyd are long overdue. I am confident that we can come together as the diverse people that we are to confront inequality and become a more inclusive and just community. And I am heartened to see our tenacious young people leading the charge. I am praying for all of us as we take on this challenge.”