Doane University suspends librarian who exposed school’s racist past


Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

That statement stands alone.  We know that, throughout the entirety of human history, our species has been pushing forward in an effort to create, innovate, and protect what we’ve built.  We learn from both the successes and mistakes of the past every single day, and none of the progress made by We The People would have been possible through ignorance.

This is why we still teach subjects like The Holocaust and The American Civil War in school.  It is of the utmost importance that the next generation of Americans can recognize and prevent similar horrific bloodshed from occurring in the future.

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The same goes for racism, and maybe doubly so.  Racism and bigotry are so far outside the realm of the American ethos that they should be rejected outright; no if’s, and’s, or but’s.

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And, as it is true for other instances of evil predating we modern humans, shining a light on the poor behavior of the past will help to ensure that the future is safe from such discrimination.

Apparently, no one at Doane University is quite bright enough to understand that.

Doane University suspended a librarian earlier this year over her decision to highlight the university’s history of blackface incidents.

Last week, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) published a reporton an ongoing conflict at Doane University involving their decision to punish a librarian who drew attention to the school’s history of blackface.

Librarian Melissa Gomis was placed on mandatory leave after she constructed a display in the library featuring old photos from the university. In a photo from 1926 included in the display, two students appear in blackface.

The display was certainly not endorsing the egregious behavior, making the suspension of Gomis all the more worrisome.

Several Doane professors have spoken out against the administration’s decision.

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