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On Goodwill Versus History and the Potential Renaming of Franklin Pierce Law School

According to the Concord Monitor, the University of New Hampshire is being petitioned by several students to drop the name of Franklin Pierce from the law school. And although the decision will not rest with the faculty of the law school, sources tell IPWatchdog that 12 of the 25 full-time law school faculty support the petition. “With the movement that we’re currently in, it felt like an opportune time to take the name off there,” Adrián Coss, a rising third-year law student at the law school who is involved with the petition told the Concord Monitor. “It’s wrong to begin with. This is racially insensitive.” Why is the name “Franklin Pierce” racially insensitive? In a nutshell, Pierce, who did not himself own any slaves and abhorred slavery, did not do enough to put an end to the practice of slavery during his turbulent one term as President of the United States.

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