In another revealing man-on-the-street video by Campus Reform, students who back a petition demanding the removal of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s name from a campus building are asked to explain why they so passionately support the effort. “I don’t know” becomes a familiar refrain.
In October, students at the Savannah College of Art and Design launched a petition calling for the removal of the name of “anti-woman” Justice Thomas, a native of Savannah who happens to be a conservative, from one of the campus buildings. Campus Reform notes that the petition has managed to rack up over 2,000 signatures from students and community members.
In a video posted Monday, Campus Reform media director Cabot Phillips visits the Georgia school to find out why students are so enthused about erasing Justice Thomas’s existence on the campus. The same students who are all in for signing the petition also admit that they actually don’t know much, if anything, about the justice. Nonetheless, that doesn’t stop one student from comparing him to “Hitler.”
“I honestly think he should be removed,” says one guy wearing a red bandana. “We should probably just take his name off of the building. It’s not that big of a deal,” says a girl with purple hair. “I agree that it should get removed,” says a girl in a black sweatshirt. “I agree. I don’t think he represents the student body,” says a guy in a Saints hat.
But when Phillips asks the students to explain why they support the petition, the answers get a bit less assertive.
“I don’t know, um,” says the bandana guy. “Hm. Do you mind if I get back to you?”
“Hm,” says one girl in a jean jacket, who then puts her arms out in surrender.
“I don’t know,” says the black sweatshirt girl. “I haven’t done much research on this. I just saw a Facebook petition about it, and that’s kind of the extent of it.”
“He is a historical figure,” says the Saints fan. “So, uh … So is Hitler.” Asked if he can point to something Thomas has done that warrants removing his name, the student says, “Not in particular.”
“I think, I guess just …” says the girl with purple hair.
“Well, I don’t know what he did,” admits another petition-supporter with a laugh.
“I mean, I don’t really know anything about him,” admits another.
“This is such a liberal community, and to degrade that in any way is not really the SCAD way for things,” says the black sweatshirt student. Pressed by Phillips about the supposed “open-mindedness and tolerance” of the liberal viewpoint, she says, “I guess, but I think that’s just a way to twist the concept of liberalism.”
Campus Reform reports that “most” of the students Phillips spoke with that day supported the petition, but, as the second half of the video highlights, not all of them did. A few of the students argued that disagreeing with someone’s policies shouldn’t warrant dismissing their accomplishments or removing them from public places.