Building Name Review: Kroeber - Feedback

The Building Name Review Committee welcomes comments on the proposal to remove the un-name Kroeber Hall. The proposal is available at: https://chancellor.berkeley.edu/task-forces/building-name-review-committee/building-name-review-kroeber-hall

Submitted comments that were designated by their authors to be public appear below. 

This page includes comments received as of September 2, 2020.

In favor of the proposal to remove the name Kroeber Hall

Timestamp Comment:
9/2/2020 14:05:34

I agree that Kroeber Hall should be un-named. I second the comments to rename the building "Ishi Hall"; but ultimately I think the Ohlone people should be consulted if possible.

8/26/2020 21:16:04

After reading comments on both "sides," the main argument seem to be, basically, "In my opinion, we can't judge Kroeber by today's moral standards, he was just a man of his time," pit against contemporary testimonies of how the name of the building continues to cause real, tangible trauma today. It is reprehensible that, as one earlier commenter mentioned, we (I am a graduate student in the Anthropology department) continue to refuse to return ancestral remains. How long must we demand that members of our community lay out for us in Google Docs how disrespectful Kroeber's name is before we start listening, even if it's not convenient for us to hear? How many times do we insist that they perform their trauma for us before we believe them? Yes, anthropology as a discipline is steeped in violence, extraction, and ambivalence. The very least we can do is try to push against those impulses. The very least we can do is rename Kroeber Hall.

8/26/2020 8:07:53

I believe Kroeber Hall is outdated, and should be reviewed and un-named.

While Alfred Kroeber was an influential anthropologist in his time, there is some genuine controversy around his study of California native populations, especially the forced removal of Ishi from his native land. His style and brand of anthropology is no longer used actively in the field, but only studied as part of the history of narrow-minded ideals anthropology's past to show how far we've come (or have we?). I feel that the name should be considered for review because in itself, Kroeber's work celebrates this antiquated time in the field.

While his findings may be of some importance as they may help us (as anthropologists) understand California native populations in the 1900s, ultimately his work only truly serves academic purposes and academics, and was not taken with the consent of California native peoples. Even now, his work and the things "collected" (stolen) from indigenous communities continue to be used at our University as a means to an academic end, and the communities in which these heirlooms and items of cultural significance come from continue to receive no benefit from this research and destruction, and hardly an acknowledgement.

A name on a building is more than just that, especially at one of the US' top ranked public universities. Whose history are we continuing to celebrate when we keep his name on the building? Surely not the history of the Miwok, Yokuts, Gabrieleño, Maidu and Pomo peoples indigenous to the land stolen from them that Berkeley was built upon, nor the native peoples who still very much live in the Bay Area today, who are still struggling to preserve significant sites to their cultural history (the West Berkeley Shell Mound).

To change the name is to make a MINOR step in the right direction, to recognize and begin to take responsibility for the wrongdoings of the University to indigenous communities of the Bay Area, as well as the other native peoples of California in which we have (wrongly) profited from (and continue to profit from). To change the name is, frankly, NOTHING, compared to the work we still need to do. It's literally the least we could do.

- UC Berkeley Anthropology Grad

7/14/2020 10:33:00

8/31/2020
13:49:00

See attached PDF (Platt): KROEBER HALL:  WHAT’S IN AN UN-NAMING?

See addedum to above document (Platt) August 31, 2020

7/27/2020 9:52:00 See attached PDF (Agarwal)Comments on Proposal to Un-Name Kroeber Hall
8/14/2020 12:56:18 See attached PDF (NALSA)Comments on Proposal to Un-Name Kroeber Hall
8/14/2020 18:01:00 See attached PDF (Muwekma Ohlone Indian Tribe)Comments on Proposal to Un-Name Kroeber Hall
8/14/2020 19:50:00 See attached PDF (Garrett)Comments on Proposal to Un-Name Kroeber Hall
7/6/2020 18:06:32 This is an important step towards inclusivity
7/6/2020 18:21:48 Kroeber's actions were racist, dehumanizing, reprehensible and unconscionable. It's about time the University takes action against his horrific legacy.
7/6/2020 18:23:47 By putting this name on a building, we glorify someone who treated a group of people as if they were less than people. That glorification should end.
7/6/2020 18:25:13 Let Native Californians choose the new name.
7/6/2020 18:25:14 In addition to the name change, I would request there be some sort of commereration of the Ohlone people whose land was used for UC Berkeley and any stolen artifacts that may be in possession of the Anthropology Dept be returned to their rightful owners. This should all be done with the involvement of the indigenous community in Berkeley in collaboration with the school
7/6/2020 18:25:50 Due to the racist history of its namesake, I am in favor of the proposal to un-name Kroeber Hall.
7/6/2020 18:28:21 Kroeber perpetuated racial stereotypes, ignored and trampled over the decisions and needs of indigenous Californians, and used a living human being as a museum exhibit. Many students relax in Ishi court in Dwinelle Hall unaware of the legacy of that name and the cruelty at the hands of the namesake of nearby Kroeber Hall. It is inappropriate that his name continues to have a present on our campus.
7/6/2020 18:29:07 Alfred Kroeber is a disgrace. His fetishization of Native culture and his genocidal legacy is a history that UC Berkeley and UC Berkeley anthropology has to reconcile with. As an Ethnic Studies major, I took classes in Kroeber Hall and was reminded of the disgusting history that undergirds the building every time I went there. It is important for UC Berkeley to make known Cal's historical role in Native settler-colonialism and to take all the steps necessary to alleviate the harm and trauma enacted. Un-naming Kroeber Hall is a symbolic step in the right direction, but it is not nearly enough. Native students need institutional support that materially benefits their livelihoods so that they can be recruited and retained on campus. The Ethnic Studies Department needs to be defended from budget cuts and be better funded so that all UC Berkeley students can have an opportunity to reflect on the racist history of the institution they attend and the country that they occupy.
7/6/2020 18:30:54 I suggest we rename Kroeber Hall, LeGuin Hall, after his daughter Ursula LeGuin the extraordinary science fiction novelist, essayist, translator and poet.
7/6/2020 18:31:40 I support a name change to Ishi Hall.
7/6/2020 18:32:03 Alfred Kroeber’s treatment of Ishi, a Yahi man, both during his life and after his death is not something that should be honored by the University of California, especially not as the name of a building.
7/6/2020 18:32:57 It is shameful that in this day and age, UC Berkeley has preserved the memory of Alfred Kroeber, an outspoken white supremacist, by keeping one of its buildings in his name. It is far overdue that the university removes this name and renames it to represent a figure who actually advocates for social change, both in their professional and personal spaces.
7/6/2020 18:39:04 I do not believe that we should recognize the legacy of a man who removed Native American remains from their graves without consent. As a campus, we must do better to make the campus community and infrastructure welcoming to all. Un-naming Kroeber Hall is a small but necessary step towards this goal. If UC Berkeley truly stands by its social principles, then we must un-name Kroeber Hall.
7/6/2020 18:39:16 I do not believe that we should recognize the legacy of a man who removed Native American remains from their graves without consent. As a campus, we must do better to make the campus community and infrastructure welcoming to all. Un-naming Kroeber Hall is a small but necessary step towards this goal. If UC Berkeley truly stands by its social principles, then we must un-name Kroeber Hall.
7/6/2020 18:40:16 Renaming Kroeber hall is a necessary step towards upholding the values Berkeley claims to hold so dear
7/6/2020 18:40:56 why has it taken so long?
7/6/2020 18:44:09 Native Americans deserve respect, keeping this name is insulting to their history
7/6/2020 18:44:24 The university needs to acknowledge its racist legacy and should detach itself from such association. I believe renaming Kroeber Hall is absolutely necessary to provide a safe space on campus for people of color.
7/6/2020 18:48:24 I strongly support this proposal.
7/6/2020 18:48:43 The name of this building suggests a lack of regard for the autonomy of certain students on campus and that Berkeley honors a racist figure.
7/6/2020 19:07:26 Alfred Kroeber was an instrumental contributor to a brand of racist, inhumane pseudoscience under the guise of ‘cultural anthropology.’ He essentially kidnapped a Yahi/Yana man and displayed him publicly on campus as if he was an animal and not a human. This campus, additionally, houses the remains of many indigenous people despite multiple requests that they be returned. We should be ashamed of Kroeber’s work. Changing the building’s name is the least the school can do to make amends for Kroeber’s inhumane treatment of the peoples, whose stolen lands our campus sits on.
7/6/2020 19:08:02 There are few groups on whom UC Berkeley has incurred more direct harm than the Ohlone people of the Bay Area. Alfred Kroeber was personally responsible for a vast campaign of immoral and unethical research practices and public statements that materially degraded the wellbeing of native people in California, and also represents the University's broader history of harm toward indigenous populations. The removal of his name from our campus building is a small first step in a long list of reparations required.
7/6/2020 19:11:27 The University of California has a lot of reckoning to do with their complacency, participation, and perpetuation of white supremacy, especially at this moment in time with our current racial climate in America coming to a boil. Indigenous students make up LESS than 1% of students on this campus. As a Black student who has faced many hardships, discriminatory episodes, and racial stressors apart of the 2% of Black students on campus, I can only imagine the way Indigenous students must feel every day being erased from the American narrative and having to navigate a campus that does not even acknowledge the Native land it sits on. Not to mention that the UC still is in possession of the remains of Indigenous peoples. If the UC wants to show their commitment to positive change, removing the name of this disgusting white supremacist pseudo-scientist that put an Indigenous man on display in a museum like a zoo exhibit is a small but important first step. If the UC does not remove the names of people like the Alfred Kroeber and other people like him in history, it will prove to its Indigenous students that it really does not care about changing the narrative and the legacy of the university and academia, and that the UC refuses to serve them. Dark history is meant to be remembered to improve the future, not to be glorified.
7/6/2020 19:20:15 This racist history does not have a place at UC Berkeley.
7/6/2020 19:22:13 UC Berkeley should not memorialize those who do not embody the university's values of inclusivity on our buildings.
7/6/2020 19:26:13 My first reaction is that Kroeber's mistakes rise to the level of crimes, and that we should not be memorializing him.

My second reaction is that on balance Kroeber's major contribution was to build historical memory of America's First Nations at a time when few of us whites thought them worthy of study or attention.

My third reaction is that the first-best would be to keep Alfred Kroeber's name on the building, with a prominent main entrance exhibit on his mistakes—and to boost our endowment devoted to the studies of America's First Nations, with substantial First Nation voice and control over how the endowment is spent.

My fourth reaction is that if we are not going to do first best, Kroeber's name should come off of the building, but that that would be a vastly inferior resolution.

However, I have little confidence in my reactions, and am anxious and eager to hear from others...
7/6/2020 19:26:39 William Bascom feels like a good namesake, but I do not know about the ethics of his work. Anthropology is history problematic & certainly requires much discretion
7/6/2020 19:35:34 I would suggest naming this building after the ancestors who Kroeber took advantage of, the Yana Tribe. Kroeber's history is murderous and scandalous. It is essential to show honor to those he hurt for centuries. This

I suggest naming this building "Yana Hall" or "Huichin Ohlone Hall" to honor the Indigenous land Berkeley is on.

Thank you!
7/6/2020 19:40:46 The name Kroeber should be removed from the Anthropology building.
7/6/2020 19:50:25 Remove!
7/6/2020 19:52:31 I agree that Kroeber Hall should be re-named and that an honest, informative memorial plaque should be installed to educate visitors and community members regarding his racist legacy in historical context.
7/6/2020 19:55:58 It is hard to assess a person's behavior outside the historical time period but, with clear evidence of his or her blatant disrespect for minorities or other bad behavior, it should be renamed.
Importantly, it is important what would be the new name. If it's a company who is paying for advertising, I am totally against that. We should honor our legacy, our professors, our researchers, our people who contributed to the university. I don't want to see a company name or a wealthy but dubious individual ass the name of any Dept. All proposals for renaming should take this into account.
7/6/2020 19:56:44 Keeping Krober’s name on thie building contributes to the erasure of and mistreatment of BIPOC, especially Indigenous folks. It honors someone that used inhumane research tactics and exploited native people. This is unacceptable.
7/6/2020 20:06:23 The Kroeber name is inconsistent with the values and goals of the university and should be removed.
7/6/2020 20:31:18 Alfred Kroeber's legacy should be one of shame. Building a career on the exploitation of the Native peoples whose land the edifice bearing his name now sits, it is unbelievable that the university would and still add such insult to injury for the Ohlone people. Renaming this building is the first step in a long process (including returning the stolen remains, which are still in UC Berkeley's possession, of these people to their ancestors) to remediate the damage caused by this institution.
7/6/2020 20:33:43 One of the first things I learned about UC Berkeley in my Art History classes in undergrad was the mistreatment of Ishi by Professor Kroeber in the name of "discovery" and anthropology. Now as an incoming law student, I found it surprising that his name would be on one of the buildings to be celebrated when the Berkeley department of Anthropology itself has publicly apologized for what happened to Ishi and for Kroeber's actions. I think having his name on a building sends the message that Berkeley does not actually care or apologize for his actions despite public statements and apologies. Further, this is just one step I think Berkeley needs to take in evaluating itself and its historic mistreatment of Native Americans. In particular, it's shocking to me that UC Berkeley has only returned 20% of its Native American artifacts and remains (many of which were taken without permission from graves) from thee Hearst Museum. I may be particularly opinionated on this matter having graduated from UCLA with a minor in Art History (an institution that has likewise mistreated Native Americans but at the very least returned 96% of its total remains and artifacts to Native American tribes).
7/6/2020 20:35:51 The treatment of the person known as Ishi by the faculty of the university is a stain on this institution. Removing the name of the person most responsible from this treatment from a position of veneration (i.e. un-naming Kroeber Hall) is a very small way of trying to make amends for it. We should do so as quickly as possible, giving a full airing of the issues, history and mistakes that were made by our campus and its earlier faculty.
7/6/2020 20:40:08 UC Berkeley should not be glorifying racists
7/6/2020 20:44:13 I am in favor of un-naming Kroeber Hall because of the unethical research and collection practices of the current namesake. Additionally I want to mention that it remains painful and shameful that the stolen body parts in question are still not returned to the rightful people.
7/6/2020 21:04:16 Kroeber hall should be renamed after Ishi, from the Yahi tribe, after being exploited and used by Kroeber for several years. Ishi was put on display in the UCB Anthro museum and the least this university can do is remember him.
7/6/2020 21:12:38 As an anthropology grad student, Kroebers legacy is no longer the legacy I would like to continue. I think we should highlight native anthropologists/archaeologists with local indigenous input.
7/6/2020 21:29:12 This is a no-brainer.
7/6/2020 21:29:50 I support this for the reason indicated by the proposers. I suggest that at some point one must indicate why these issues were unimportant to university management at the time of the initial naming and whether such conditions remain that would allow or promote such decisions. As an amateur linguist, I wonder whether names such as "Kroeber" or "Le Conte" were arbitrarily chosen for reasons not indicated in the critical analysis. For example, they may have been phonetic anagrams if something else. And that something else might have been a driver in the decision making. Anyway, interesting to wonder about it. Again, I would suggest that future naming not necessarily "honor" great achievers in the field, lest we promote conservative bias in scholarshio.
7/6/2020 21:35:37 I'd proposed the following names: 1) Mary G. Ross (first known Native American female engineer and the first female engineer in the history of Lockheed; descendant of Cherokee), 2) Fred Begay (Navajo tribe; he developed important work on clean energy)
7/6/2020 21:49:04 I believe that it is unacceptable to have a building named in honour of a man who perpetrated numerous ills upon the native community as well as perpetuating inaccurate information about said communities, which lead to more harm to those communities through it's use in the implementation of government policy
7/6/2020 21:59:41 I echo the statements made in the proposal to un-name Kroeber Hall: Alfred Kroeber’s “anthropological” practices towards Native Americans were disgusting and dehumanizing. His name should be removed from the hall, as it is dehumanizing and unwelcoming to Native students, as well as glorifying a history of genocide and stolen land.
7/6/2020 22:01:43 I don't see any reason why we shouldn't change the names of buildings on campus to reflect the ideals we wish to carry into the future. Good riddance.
7/6/2020 22:01:51 UC Berkeley has a horrible reputation with stolen Native American artifacts and remains, one that's worse than any of the other UCs. There are currently thousands of Native American remains on campus that are only there because there are goblins in a basement somewhere clutching them close and insisting that they're too valuable to give back to their rightful owners, and that's a very important thing to keep in mind in this conversation.

Since Berkeley has a genuinely shameful reputation with stolen remains, it's all the more important to commit itself to change. Kroeber did contribute greatly to the field, and that shouldn't be forgotten. However, not continuing to honor a problematic man who engaged in these shameful practices is a symbolic first step towards no longer engaging in these practices ourselves, which should be the real priority. Taking a stance against Kroeber's treatment of Native American remains in the form of taking his name off of a building while still continuing to treat the remains the same way would look so hypocritical, and just so bad, that it may finally force the University to commit itself to repatriating all of those remains and artifacts after 30 years of doing the bare minimum to not get sued.
7/6/2020 22:06:12 The honorific names of the campus buildings could reflect those whose land we are on, the Ohlone.
7/6/2020 22:07:36 Kroeber Hall needs to be renamed. Alfred Kroeber is not someone to be honored, his research practices were appalling and reprehensible and are now illegal. His collection of remains and the University's stand on keeping these remains do not represent our values. Renaming the building is a step in the right direction. Returning their ancestors needs to be next. It's sad to think that we honored a person who enslaved another human being, Ishi, and used him to perform, taught him racial slurs and made him live among the human remains of his ancestors. Shame on us. Remove the name
7/6/2020 22:11:57 Could we also rename the fountain??
7/6/2020 22:20:13 Now that the truth has been brought to light on Alfred Kroeber's unethical treatment of Native Americans, it would be disgraceful for the school to not un-name the building and would speak to whether UC Berkeley is truly committed to justice and anti-racism. The emails and messages sent from the school about their commitment to justice and equity only go so far and do not have any weight or meaning until we see concrete action, especially when so many UC Berkeley professors of Native American descent are calling for the name removal given the harm that Kroeber's actions have done to their communities (see the signatures in the proposal letter). Un-naming Kroeber Hall is an easy way for you to take action and to carry forth the mission and values that the school claims to uphold.
7/6/2020 22:26:57 Finally the University is acting in favor of its students of color.
7/6/2020 22:36:21 Racist people should have their names removed no matter what their contribution to the university is, they contributed to hate and violence which is a worse offense.
7/6/2020 23:29:57 Across the nation, there are monuments being torn down and names being changed.

Why is this happening?

Because the movement Black Lives Matters is bringing awareness to the context of the establishment of these monuments and the names being named.

While I support Black Lives Matters, I still wish to discuss the justifications of these proposals.

The confederate monuments in the southern states were torn down because they were established during the Jim crow era. They were established in order to intimidate the minority ethnic population in that area. Even if the persons portrayed by these statues were of some respectability, the fact is that their likeness is used to advance such an ignoble cause.

There are talks of opposing removal of monuments due to historical purposes. I agree with that argument if the stated purpose of those monuments was to mark a historical moment. The Washington monument was established to honor the first president of this nation and I would like to think it hard pressed to find a good justification to tear it down.

Now we see the renaming of certain buildings on campus and I would like to ask why?

The reasons we are presented are thus:

Professor Kroeber advanced our knowledge of the Native American population. His methods of doing so through mistreatment of a native american man, collecting native american remains, and pronouncing a still living people extinct were deplorable.

I would like to acknowledge that the United States have had a well known history of perpetuating genocide of the Native American population. I could argue that with the state of Native American reservations, that this genocide is still ongoing.

I would like to think that UC Berkeley and perhaps the United States wants to appear as morally upright. To honor a person who contributed to the destruction of another human race feels morally deplorable.

That is why I support the un-naming of Kroeber Hall.
7/6/2020 23:30:56 This person does not represent the values of UC Berkeley.
7/6/2020 23:37:01 I am in favor of the proposal to un-name Kroeber Hall
7/6/2020 23:47:04 Kroeber not only acted unethically but with malicious intent that ultimately caused irreparable damage to Native Americans. To act ignorant of his history and actively perpetuate his legacy is inexcusable. This is the bare minimum that Berkeley can do and yet it is still being debated and delayed.
7/7/2020 0:10:24 Although I appreciate the Berkeley tradition of naming buildings for academics who have contributed to the growth of knowledge, and I recognize the profound contributions of Kroeber to Anthropology, his acts of desecration of Native remains, and his treatment of Ishi, among other acts, render him beyond the pale of honorifics. He could not have engaged in those acts at the time had he recognized the full humanity of the peoples he studied. This is not, therefore, a question of applying anachronistic research standards. The moral demand of human equality is appropriately expect of him then, as it is now. Keeping his name on the building denies the humanity of those he harmed. We must remove it. I only hope it can be replaced by someone who has made profound intellectual and cultural contributions to society.
7/7/2020 0:34:18 I am a postdoctoral researcher at Berkeley. Kroeber's treatment of Native Americans people and their remains was abhorrent. It is perverse to memorialize Kroeber with a named building. I fully support the renaming.
7/7/2020 7:16:59 I believe that having a building named after someone is a tremendous honor, and as we learn more about history, it is irresponsible to proceed with the continuation of this honor. Please believe the people who are hurt by this honor, and rename the building after one of the many incredible Berkeley alums who have advanced equality & human rights, and make me proud to go here.
7/7/2020 7:04:58 I fully support the renaming of Kroeber Hall. Names signify honor and aspiration, and new generations of researchers should not aspire to be like Kroeber. It is chilling to learn about the disrespect and material harm he and his intellectual tradition have done and continue to do, through the erasure of the lives of Native peoples. The thought of Ishi living in a UC Berkeley campus museum in a twisted semi-dependence or captivity is really disturbing. To say the least, Berkeley should not be singling Kroeber out as a role model for excellence.
7/7/2020 7:28:48 The field of Anthropology is a particularly fraught one, whose origins are inseparable from an othering, patronizing stance toward non-white peoples. While we can recognize the difficulties of the field, we can also condemn those whose attitudes and practices actively hurt marginalized people. I support changing the name of the hall--perhaps to LeGuin Hall?
7/7/2020 7:52:47 Kroeber should absolutely be changed. However, I hope the committee takes time to look at the naming/history of Ishi Court and make sure it is named appropriately and is respectful to modern day American Indians.

As a broader note I think that it is important to contextualize the history of UC Berkeley and that the Native community should have a large say in creating art, plaques, boards etc. that honor Native American people, history, land, art, perseverance, etc.
7/7/2020 8:03:13 The proposal to un-name Kroeber Hall and letter supporting it clearly articulate the damage done by Kroeber to indigenous communities in California and beyond. Un-naming Kroeber Hall is a necessary step in the process of addressing the harms done by Kroeber and the university more broadly.
7/7/2020 8:22:30 The University must acknowledge the crimes committed against the indigenous people of California in its name and specifically by Alfred Kroeber.
7/7/2020 8:55:54 Other than just un-naming a building a great way to move forward would be to finally repatriate the personal objects and the remains of Native and Indigenous ancestors that are still in the "possession" of UC Berkeley. I know that NAGPRA and the UC system’s current policy do not include tribes that are not federally recognized, but that kind of approach is part of a greater problem that needs to be addressed if we really want to see the transformation happen within this institution. We need to operate not just by blindly submitting to the standards that the federal system has implemented with regards to this matter but really look deep into our own hearts and soul -beyond our anthropocentric views of life and the world to be able to see why this act of holding remains and "artifacts" from a specific community that continues to exist and thrive today is actually perpetrating the same kind of injustices that this institution needs to be accountable for, not just in lip service but in deeds. A new world is upon us and the spirit of many ancestors will manifest the healing we all need through the intentions that we put into action.
7/7/2020 9:45:07 It is clear that the Kroeber's legacy tells an important story about the treatment of California Native peoples. This is a story that our students should know, but it is not one that should be honored. Please assuage some of the suffering that our Native students, faculty, staff and visitors experience and remove this name immediately.
7/7/2020 9:45:34 Endorsed; the proposal's time has come.
7/7/2020 9:48:33 Kroeber and his colleagues' unethical research practices -- which came at a great cost to Indigenous peoples -- should not be celebrated by UC Berkeley. Removing his name from this building is the least Berkeley can do to begin to right the wrongs that the university itself facilitated.
7/7/2020 9:59:24 Given the clearly racist views that Kroeber espoused and racist treatment of indigenous people it is unjust that he continue to receive the distinction of having this building named after him.
7/7/2020 10:01:20 Berkeley should be a place to elevate leaders that exemplify equity, diversity, and inclusion. Kroeber does not fit this bill.
7/7/2020 10:05:20 This is an easy decision. Change the name.
7/7/2020 10:15:24 I think renaming Kroeber hall is a crucial step in decolonizing and unsettling the UC Berkeley campus. While the field of anthropology has changed, its origins are steeped in imperialism, colonialism, and white supremacy. Kroeber's contributions to the field are simultaneously significant and problematic. They should absolutely be studied in full, "warts and all". This is not something that can be done through the name of a building or even interpretive materials near the space. Kroeber has had his time and there are countless folks from the last 70 years of Berkeley's history who are deserving of honor and prestige. Ishi himself would be a better namesake for the building to acknowledge his humanity, something that Kroeber's actions did not reflect.
7/7/2020 10:55:47 As a current MSW student at UCB, the daughter of a UCB grad, and a lifelong CA resident, I am absolutely IN FAVOR of un-naming Kroeber Hall. I stand in solidarity with Native American students, faculty, staff, and others who have initiated this call for this incredibly overdue un-naming. The un-naming is a small but critical step towards dismantling the racist legacies, policies, and structures that persist today in the UC system and at UCB specifically.
7/7/2020 11:08:01 We are the future and the example for all those other staid universities. We welcome change and diversity and do what we can to make all students feel
7/7/2020 11:37:22 Renaming the building to remove any connection to Alfred Kroeber is an important step in the University's reckoning with its past and the structural racism and oppression practiced against Native Americans in California. Berkeley must listen to the pleas and demands of Native students and Native student organizations and committees (including the Berkeley Native American Advisory Council) and take a step in the right direction by un-naming the building.
7/7/2020 11:48:56 We need to stop honoring racist scientists
7/7/2020 12:17:04 I support this de-naming proposal. UC Berkeley must also comply with the letter and spirit of CalNAGPRA legislation, which requires repatriation of its enormous collection of stolen human remains (see state auditor's report here, which indicates UC Berkeley has returned only 20% of its "collections" https://auditor.ca.gov/reports/2019-047/index.html). It is shocking that the campus has not yet complied. The name of Kroeber Hall should be changed, but even more importantly, the University should return the human bodies it "collected" to their relatives. If these two actions were linked, the de-naming would be much more meaningful.
7/7/2020 12:17:21 Kroeber's legacy isn't one Berkeley should be proud of, and we should absolutely unname this building. I'm ashamed we haven't done so already.
7/7/2020 12:36:24 If Native American groups agree that the Kroeber's name should be removed from this building, then it should be done. It is as simple as that.
7/7/2020 12:55:04 We cannot continue to laud historical figures without addressing them as people, people with problematic histories. "Problematic" has become a bit of a buzzword, but what I mean by it is that we have not yet fully appreciated the person for whom this building is named. To appreciate them fully— not just as the sum of accomplishments, but as a person— we must recognize the violence perpetrated. To continue to have this building named as such would be a failure to the supposed principles of this learning institution. How can we learn if our view of history is obstructed through the normalization of a namesake for which most know nothing? To learn from history we must confront it, we must see it for all its violent reality, and then we must internalize what we have learned so that we can be better going forward. If UCB is really committed to supporting Black and indigenous students and to being a leader in encouraging innovation than we must reckon with the past and heal wounds so that we can make space for a brighter future. Un-name it.
7/7/2020 13:01:31 Indigenous people have been constantly overlooked and subjugated due to forced Western assimilation. Un-naming Kroeber Hall wouldn't undo the injustices from years of cultural genocide, however it is an essential step in acknowledging and taking responsibility of our occupation and presence on Ohlone land.
7/7/2020 13:14:39 Berkeley's buildings should honor those who represent the values our community holds dear. Alfred Kroeber's actions (grave robbing, putting a man on display in a museum) are reprehensible. Let's find a name our campus can all be proud of.
7/7/2020 13:21:07 I support the renaming for the reasons articulated by the Committee.
7/7/2020 13:36:09 The name of a building is an important symbol of what the Berkeley community values, and if it doesn't align with what many of us value and makes members of our community feel, unjustly, unwelcome, it must be removed. Having Kroeber on a building honors a legacy of white supremacist anthropology, and removing the name is one step towards identifying and dismantling the unspoken culture of structural racism that envelopes us. It is vital that we listen to Native peoples in our community as we do this.

For the future, I also largely oppose naming buildings after people.
7/7/2020 13:38:36 Krober should not be honored with a building name at the same time the university spends time and money undoing his unethical collection of materials.
7/7/2020 13:42:03 As a Native student at Berkeley it cannot be understated: this University does not welcome me. Every day I am forced to walk over the skeletal remains of ancestors that are not my own but are the ancestors of my close friends. I have to walk past not only Barrows and LeConte and the many harmful white-supremacist named buildings, but I must walk past Kroeber Hall as well, knowing the harm he has done to our community. Many anthropologists are not for the removal because of the lack of him being "racist" but ignore the biases within their own work and profession that to this day harms the lives of Indigenous people. In order to properly educate future Anthropologists we should show them that the world has changed and instead honor anthropologists that respect Indigenous people and honor our narrative above their own. Using him as a monument is mis-educating them to believing his methods were okay. They are not. Inclusion is not only for one race, and Native students at Cal need this along MUCH more work to make us feel comfortable on these campuses. Show you care about all students by renaming this building.
7/7/2020 13:49:10 As an alumnus of the Anthropology PhD program, I fully support un-naming the building that Anthropology and Art Practice share. Beyond what to me are unassailable arguments laid out in the proposal, and by the Muwekma Ohlone and Verona Band of Alameda County, who lost all federal claim and protection, as well as land based on Kroeber's anthropology, I would like to raise the question of why building names must function as memorials, and why the discipline and department at Berkeley are to be likened to a family, a kinship formation with Kroeber as its father. One thing that we teach our students is that kinship, the processes and practices and formations of relation that bind, separate, and world human and more-than-human beings, have no necessary relation to descent or the naturalized mediums of blood, substance, or genetics. It is a creative, heterogeneous, and political process, which in practice may open horizons for relation far beyond the tales of inheritance by which academics so quickly romanticize relations of mentoring and training and teaching into relations of parenthood and generation - and obscure the violences of those relations in languages of family. I would like to therefore pose the question of why disciplinary and departmental history must be recounted as a succession of names despite what anthropology as a discipline teaches about kinship. Why do we default to a family tree that preserves a fiction of direct inheritance, when both family and training might refuse the myth of lineage?

I would also like to register my support for repatriation of all human and other remains held by the department and museums of anthropology, as well as an immediate accounting of the remainder of the collection as to the provenance of museum collections, especially for potentially looted and stolen artifacts and specimens. And I should hope that the University will collaborate with the Smithsonian in repatriating the preserved brain of the man called Ishi, cremating it as was his express wish.
7/7/2020 13:58:03 The UC should find a name that better reflects our values as a community.
7/7/2020 14:39:32 Alfred Kroeber engaged in research practices that were always objectionable to many Native Americans and that society now recognizes as reprehensible and has made illegal. This includes the collection of remains and sacred funerary objects of Native American ancestors and other Indigenous people from their graves, without consent from tribes or individual descendants of Indigenous people. Kroeber also mistreated a Native American survivor of genocide whom Kroeber placed as a living exhibit in the university’s museum.
7/7/2020 14:43:48 It's really important that the campus makes all students, faculty members, guests, and anyone associated with the university feel respected. As an academic institution, we need to expect and adapt to new knowledge that may expire the previously recognized definition of great. Let's reflect the great in our society.
7/7/2020 15:10:53 We should not glorify people that exploited native populations.
7/7/2020 15:27:01 Anyone who has a human being reside in a museum to live on display like a freak show curriosity or perform on command as one does a trained seal does not deserve to be honored with a building on any campus.
7/7/2020 15:40:47 I strongly support the proposal.
7/7/2020 15:41:12 I was embarrassed and uncomfortable having classes in the building once I learned of Kroebers history. It's time to change the name now!
7/7/2020 15:56:56 I don’t know for sure but I dare speculate that it is for works done by researchers such as Professor Alfred Kroeber that we have Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). I have not seen any buildings or monuments erected or named to glorify the German Schutzstaffel (SS) officer and physician Dr. Josef Mengele. So, why do we need to have one for Professor Kroeber? It is possible to read about Professor Kroeber’s scholarly work and accomplishments in history books, just as I can read and study the works of Dr. Mengele, but we don’t need to have building(s) named after him at UC Berkeley, the number one public university in the US in 2020.
7/7/2020 16:30:17 While Kroebler is very importantfor the field of Anthropology in that he was the first ever to receive a doctorate of the field, I believe that his actions (stealing artifacts, gravesite remains, and enslavement of the man known as Ishi) are despicable and just because he was from a different time does not mean that we should judge him any lighter. Monuments have names to honor individuals but those names don't need to be eternal. Kroebler had his name honored for 100 years which I feel is enough (maybe even too much) time. Let someone else who is deserving of such honor and veneration get to have the hall named after them instead. Maybe the first Native or even specifically the first Native of the Ohlone tribe to graduate with a doctorate in Anthropology.
7/7/2020 16:34:35 I am an alumna of UC Berkeley with a BA in anthropology (1999). I am now an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno. I also study California archaeology and have worked as an archaeologist and bioarchaeologist in the Bay Area for the last two decades. I wholeheartedly support the proposal to un-name Kroeber Hall. I hope this is the first step in acknowledging past wrongs and working to better engage and collaborate with Native Americans in the university and community.
7/7/2020 16:38:22 Unname Kroeber hall and name it Nader hall
7/7/2020 16:53:38 Kroeber betrayed the man he named Ishi, even in his death by sending his brain to the Smithsonian, against's the indigenous man's wishes. No matter what Kroeber has done for the university, his name represents the legacy of Americans exploiting and dehumanizing indigenous peoples for their own intellectual gain.
7/7/2020 16:55:08 As a soon-graduating PhD candidate in the Anthropology Department, I am thrilled at the idea of the name change. And since symbolic actions--while important--are not sufficient, I demand increased support for NAGPRA repatriations. In addition, anthropology faculty should reckon with the legacy of Alfred Kroeber and other anthropologists at Berkeley who have engaged in reprehensible desecration and extraction, anthropology students should be taught this infamous legacy and this history should be acknowledged in the building.
7/7/2020 17:03:24 It's time to stop honoring perpetrators of crimes against humanity. "Demoting" them, makes an important statement of what kind of society we aspire to be.
7/7/2020 17:03:46 Thank you for highlighting the history and taking action on this!
7/7/2020 17:55:21 Out of respect and honor for Native American communities, who have been harmed time and time again by UC Berkeley, I support the un-naming of Kroeber Hall. This is one small step the University must take in pursuit of racial equity and justice.
7/7/2020 18:33:30 Kroeber was a racist man and his life's work led to extreme pain, suffering, and degradation of Native American individuals, including the man known as Ishi. His work collecting remains of Native American ancestors is a crime, and no building at UC Berkeley or otherwise should bear his name. Removing the name of the building is just one step towards demonstrating UC Berkeley's commitment to supporting Native American individuals.
7/7/2020 20:42:47 This renaming should be decided by the Ohlone people who were here before colonial occupation. The renaming should be done in conjunction with the return of native remains that are located in the building. Simply removing the name and not taking action on returning human indigenous remains to their rightful descendants would be an empty gesture and a revisionist historical undertaking.
7/7/2020 21:19:49 I think it would be great to re-name Kroeber Hall for Ishi, but I also believe Kroeber was a decent guy who may have actually been pretty progressive for his time. I appreciate that Professor Kroeber introduced Ishi and part of his culture to the world, and don't really have a problem with his name associated with the University of California.
7/7/2020 22:01:49 It is the university's responsibility to actively address the anti-Blackness that exists on our present campus and make amendments to the historical violence against BIPOC–this begins with renaming buildings of once highly-regarded individuals.
7/7/2020 22:18:47 I am a recent Cal graduate and incoming Berkeley Law student. While there are many things that make me proud to be a (double) bear, having to take multiple undergrad courses in Kroeber Hall was never one of them. It is a constant reminder of the atrocities committed against Native American communities and the continued erasure and silencing of the Native community at Cal. I am grateful to the Ethnic Studies Department for having taught me about Ishi and his capture by Kroeber. I am thankful that they are not erasing nor glorifying the history that UC Berkeley was complicit in. It was a complete slap in the face to learn about Kroeber’s inhumanity then be forced to sit in a hall named after him. It is a continued reminder that UC Berkeley doesn’t do nearly enough to support the Ethnic Studies Department. Please listen to the needs of your students of color and start making the decision to put them first. While you’re at it, comply with CA law and return the bones and sacred items of our indigenous peoples housed in the basement of Kroeber to their rightful owners. I am implore UC Berkeley to remove that white supremacist’s name from their building.
7/8/2020 10:04:51 He has come to symbolize a generation of scholars at Berkeley who failed to consider important ethical implications of their work in anthropology and archaeology.
7/8/2020 10:13:31 I am an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley and feel strongly that the university has a responsibility to reckon with its histories (and current practices) of racism, colonialism, and all other exploitative systems of power. Names carry power and it's frankly embarrassing that the university has allowed the name of a man who so clearly disrespected and exploited indigenous peoples to remain tied to the campus in any way, shape, or form for so long. If the university claims to care about its students of color, why has such a simple change been avoided all these years?
7/8/2020 10:22:30 As stated in the letter, I also believe that "Alfred Kroeber’s name does not represent the values of UC Berkeley." Removing Kroeber's name is the bare minimum that can be done to show that the campus recognizes the historic and current oppression by UC Berkeley as an institution against Native Americans. Further anti-racist action must be taken to dismantle this oppression.
7/8/2020 10:51:27 I think the merits of the proposal against Kroeber are moderate, but the merits for a better choice are more substantial. Renaming the building after Prof. Chiura Obata, who struggled against political odds to maintain his artistic vision would be empowering others who face similar struggles today. Of course, any renaming should also come with a fund to support dire renovation needs and scholarships related to the new name and cause.
7/8/2020 14:05:52 Please remove this name and rename the building to reflect the primary academic activities inside building. The new naming pattern can be flexible and change if the academic activities change. Also allows for a qualified donor to rename the building if the opportunity arises.
7/8/2020 16:02:02 Rename McNair Hall
7/8/2020 19:32:25 Consider naming it James Baldwin Hall.
7/8/2020 21:43:48 First, I believe the decision about whether to change the name of Kroeber Hall should be led by Indigenous Californians, especially people who have Berkeley/the East Bay as their homeland. Berkeley should consult with Indigenous Californians, especially Ohlone people, about their opinions on the name of Kroeber Hall. If any California Indian people object to the name, it should be changed.

Second, there are many buildings at Berkeley with names that honor white people and zero with names that honor Indigenous people. Likewise many buildings are named for professors/administrators, but none (to my knowledge) for research participants, even though social scientists rely on participants for so much of our research. Therefore I suggest renaming Kroeber Hall to Ishi Hall. The outdoor court in Dwinelle Hall currently named Ishi Court should be renamed to honor a different person.
7/9/2020 8:50:47 I am in favor of changing the name of Kroeber Hall.  We have to remove all ties to hate, injustice, inequity, and oppression. We absolutely tell the truth, we tell the story, but we do not honor or support genocide, evil, hate, or oppression of any kind.
7/9/2020 9:49:54 I support the proposal to un-name Kroeber Hall. As a community, we should not memorialize people who have committed terrible acts. As the proposal states, it sends a message when we retain building names such as Kroeber Hall. It can also send a message when we change it. Let's change it.
7/9/2020 10:04:42 I see the un-naming of Kroeber Hall as one action that UC can take to not only repair the damage of genocide and its role in it, but also interrupt and hopefully disrupt the ongoing project of white settler state colonialism.
7/9/2020 10:54:19 Given the recent state audit excoriating Berkeley's handling of Native American remains, un-naming the building housing the remains he disinterred is an important step forward. www.auditor.ca.gov/reports/2019-047/index.html
7/9/2020 15:33:18 Names on buildings should reflect the current values of the university, specifically the values of diversity and inclusion.
7/9/2020 18:49:36 I'm an Art Practice major, and have spent a big portion of my time on campus working inside this building. It brings me shame to have my department's headquarters there, and it's embarrassing to take classes in a space named after someone so violently racist. The name "Kroeber" is a direct and reprehensible insult to the Native American/Indigenous students who chose to get their education at Cal. UC Berkeley needs to reckon with its legacy and its role in California's history of colonialism, racism, and violence. We should have changed the name of this building a long time ago.
7/10/2020 11:32:52 I support the move to remove the name of Kroeber from the building in order to ensure our campus continues to move towards an antiracist space that does not glorify those who have harmed members of our community. I acknowledge that this is a complicated conversation and that some may feel there are contributions from Alfred Kroeber that we ought to be grateful for. I argue that these contributions can be acknowledged in ways that better hold their complexity, especially highlighting the harm done to Native community members both past, present, and future, which is not possible with a building name that simply glorifies without inviting further understanding and action to redress past wrongs. The names on UCB buildings should reflect our community values fully and without asterisk.
7/10/2020 14:28:34 I support this
7/10/2020 17:34:52 As a staff member, it is important to me that the institution I represent be as welcoming and inclusive of all students, especially BIPOC and Latinx students who have been and continue to be underrepresented on this campus. This un-naming is a small step in this direction.
7/11/2020 1:08:07 I am a current undergraduate student at UC Berkeley. Kroeber's actions that harmed Native Americans and Indigenous People is so shameful and thus his name is not one that should be proudly displayed upon a building. No matter the work someone does for any academic subject, it does not erase the immense pain and harm they have caused. As a university, we encourage everyone to do better and implement inclusion. This building is not welcoming with Kroeber's name across the top.
7/11/2020 11:38:03 As an alumnus, I know that UC Berkeley has always been about hearing different voices and allowing for differences in opinion through healthy debate. I have read the response from the Department defending Kroeber. However, it falls in line with the general whitewashing of history. He may not have intended to cause harm and may even have done his best to be sensitive in the time he was a part of. It still is not fair to the indigenous population. We must respect their voice that his work was harmful to their culture and people, even if he thought he was actually trying to help them. Enough with naming buildings that promote our white history. Let's examine how we have, even in so much of California, played an active role in dismissing communities of color. Let the tribe determine what the building should be named.
7/12/2020 22:25:35 I am so glad that un-naming Kroeber Hall is being proposed. As outlined in the proposal, Alfred Kroeber engaged in reprehensible actions towards Indigenous people. He is not the kind of person that a UC Berkeley building should be named after. I hope that the proposal is approved so that the building can instead be named after someone who represents the values Berkeley strives for.
7/13/2020 18:26:21 i believe it is distasteful to have a campus building named after a man who stole the remains of Indigenous people and their sacred funeral items.
7/13/2020 18:43:05 The change would not only allow us to stop honoring a person that does not share our values, but also gives us the opportunity to honor someone who does.
7/13/2020 18:47:16 Rename Kroeber Hall to Ishi Hall- It's quite appropriate
7/13/2020 19:25:52 We need to teach and publicly share the story of Ishi, and other important narratives that implicate not just Kroeber himself but the entire university in settler colonialism, violence and colonial approaches to research and knowledge production. A massive public education campaign needs to accompany these de-naming processes. The de-naming process is empty without these concrete commitments to reparations and also to moving forward with a substantive critique of the paradigm that people like Kroeber represent. Past harm needs to be acknowledged and addressed, not just de-named.
7/13/2020 20:03:36 UC Berkeley should not allow for buildings or colleges to be named after individuals who do not support students and people the university claims to serve. We must uplift and empower marginalized communities on our campus, rather than force them to acknowledge and accept racial trauma on a daily basis.
7/13/2020 20:34:20 While Kroeber was a pioneer in the field of anthropology and admittedly did much to record and preserve Indigenous California languages on the verge of extinction, many of his actions were misguided and contrary to the goals and beliefs of living indigenous communities. I stand with the indigenous community’s call to rename Kroeber Hall, as they know firsthand the impact of his legacy.
7/13/2020 21:25:08 UC Berkeley should immediately and without reservation change any namesakes with which any part of its current community takes issue. That Berkeley students, staff, and visitors must walk through doors named after someone who made a spectacle and practical slave of a Native American under the guise of education is completely incongruous with Berkeley's academic mission and purported ethical standards. Rename Kroeber Hall. Find a new namesake whose actions and 'accomplishments' were not at the expense of marginalized persons' lives and autonomy.
7/13/2020 22:01:29 I am an alumnus of the UC Berkeley Rhetoric PhD program and current Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies at UCLA. I support the proposal to un-name Kroeber Hall. Kroeber Hall is named after Alfred Kroeber, who stole sacred objects and the remains of Native Americans from their graves without the consent of tribal nations or their descendants--research that would now be deemed illegal. Kroeber did so much lasting harm to Indigenous communities. It is an affront to UC Berkeley's values to keep his name on the building.
7/13/2020 22:03:10 Oppressive and racist individuals should not be immortalized. The building should be renamed after a figure who represents ideals that uplift all people, from all backgrounds and identities.
7/13/2020 22:47:35 Kroeber, like many other Anthropologists, made many critical contributions to his respective field of study. And like many other Anthropologists he also made many critical mistakes with them along the way. Most academic errors, no matter how controversially charged they may be, can simply be dismissed as routine parts of the scientific process of trial and error. We can look upon them as mistakes to learn from, move on from, and pledge to never repeat again.

However, Kroeber’s errors are not merely controversial hiccups in the legacy of science; they were fatal, racially charged judgements that indirectly spelled doom for the very people his great scientific works were based upon. Kroeber owes his fame and academic prestige to us, the Native peoples of California because his magnum opuses for which he is so renowned were based on his anthropological observations of us as a people.

Not only did he neglect to return the favor to the Native peoples who he owes his fame to, he wrote the death sentence for their tribal sovereignty by conspiring with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to deny nationhood to the Ohlone peoples (whose Berkeley’s lands belong to) as well as many other Native Californian nations. The Ohlone people are still suffering for this, still denied nationhood to this day, unable to protect their sacred sites and the bones of their ancestors. All because they did not fit his racist and exclusive views of anthropological ‘authenticity’.

Why is this man’s name continually enshrined? Plenty of Anthropologists and scientists have accomplished just as much as Kroeber without even half the racism in their legacy.

As a Native student of Kumeyaay, Chumash, Yaqui and Pima descent and a former Anthropology major at UC Berkeley, I am disgusted and disappointed.
7/14/2020 7:39:16 By keeping Kroeber's name on the building, Berkeley is directly supporting a man who brought so much pain, harm, and abuse to Indigenous people. Kroeber's illegal collection of Indigenous people's remains and dehumanization of Ishi are proof of his anti-Indigenous choices and behaviors, and his name should be removed immediately because he does not align with Berkeley's current Principles of Community.
7/14/2020 8:48:46 Kroeber's legacy is antithetical to what Cal is supposed to represent and it does not deserve to be celebrated on any of our buildings.
7/14/2020 9:22:27 YES! Un-name Kroeber and all buildings/programs/fellowships etc. venerating problematic racist, white supremacist, colonist figures. Un-naming this building would be one tiny step towards living up to our campus principles of community. Taking over more and more unceded indigenous land every year, Cal as an institution needs some deep reflection around our role in supporting and recreating the dispossession and genocide of native peoples. This is literally the least you can do.
7/14/2020 9:41:21 I support the proposal to un-name Kroeber Hall. As someone born and raised in Berkeley, I regularly visited Kroeber Hall and the Museum of Anthropology as a child and digested a "whitewashed" version of the Ishi story that disguised Kroeber's atrocious behavior. A reckoning with this history is long overdue. A re-naming of the building and a re-framing of the Kroeber narrative is a service not only to our campus, but to the surrounding community and the generations of schoolchildren who will continue to visit the Museum.
7/14/2020 9:49:55 Kroeber is clearly a man who was undeserving of power in his lifetime and is undeserving of recognition in our lifetime. Stop naming buildings after people, especially in exchange for donations/gifts.
7/14/2020 10:06:44 I am in full support of the removal of the name Kroeber Hall and a process to re-name the building in a way that is in alignment with UC Berkeley's values.
7/14/2020 10:49:29 I am in full support of renaming this building, as a university that prides itself in diversity, inclusivity and equity, upholding these names are counterintuitive the mission of the university. We have an obligation to dismantle systemic racism, that includes coming to terms with the injustices that the university has perpetuated.
7/14/2020 12:22:16 No amount of history can justify rewarding, memorializing, and glorifying figures who we would not agree with the values of today.
7/14/2020 15:53:27 Keeping the name Kroeber is to bestow honor on problematic scholar. Removing the name sends an inclusive message that displays genuine good will toward Native Americans and all people. The good will must be followed up by genuine action toward improving access and inclusion of native peoples.
7/14/2020 15:57:49 I agree that it is important to begin honoring the legacies of people who chose to fight against colonialism and forced servitude, and not be named after those who promoted those wretched ideals. Our esteemed institution should probably return those sacred items that Kroeber robbed from burial sites as well, no?
7/14/2020 17:26:21 What kind of work does a building's name do -- in the world we live in? in the world we'd like to build together? I think we can do better and in a way that is accountable to the communities we serve.
7/14/2020 19:08:33 Even if it's not actually true in practice, to many students the names of buildings seem like something which it should be easy for the administration to change. So not changing a building's name, when it honors someone who in life would not have respected Berkeley's current study body, gives students the false impression that the administration does not respect, or does not care about, or has contempt for, the student body. So it seems to be in the best interests of both students and the administration if building names, if they're named after people, only honor people who would respect and appreciate the current student body.
7/14/2020 19:27:56 I am a graduate student at Cal and I also completed my undergraduate degree at this institution. I minored in Anthropology and was inspired by Anthropology professors who challenge the status quo such as late Saba Mahmood and Stefania Pandolfo. Even though I do not believe Kroeber needs to be "cancelled" as an intellectual and contributor to the field of Anthropology, I believe we must name this building after a member of a community who helped "open the door" to any anthropologist to examine and understand their culture. We can be grateful to anthropologists for helping document and preserve cultural assets but we must HONOR the actual members of such cultures, not just have them as objects of study. One of these individuals must be honored on the face of this building.
7/15/2020 8:15:37 I am in favor to un-name Kroeber Hall as an indigenous Cal Alumni class of 2020. There is no room to further disrespect my ancestors and those of Native American/ Indigenous students who must see this name glorified on campus. Please un-name Kroeber Hall.
7/15/2020 11:18:59 I believe that the current name of Kroeber Hall unjustly honors a person whose actions promoted racist systems against indigenous people in California. I realize that Kroeber contributed to scholarship around Native Americans in California, which was an important effort. However, his actions in regards to collecting Native American remains and declaring the Ohlone tribe to be culturally extinct have had a deleterious effect on those communities. Continuing to honor this legacy is especially harmful to the Indigenous campus community members and undermines both the integrity of UC Berkeley and the inclusive campus climate we are trying to build. I therefore request that Kroeber Hall be un-named and a name new be chosen in the future.
7/15/2020 14:58:10 Removing the names of white supremacists from campus buildings is an important step toward building a more equitable, inclusive university
7/15/2020 15:58:11 This is a long-awaited change! Please expedite the removal of this name as we dismantle symbols of oppression on campus.
7/15/2020 16:08:29 Continuing to uphold this name will maintain harm to our indigenous community and their ancestors. The legacy of Kroeber is not aligned with our campus' principles and values of community and belonging.
7/15/2020 16:34:59 Please remove to better reflect our values of diversity, inclusion, and belonging
7/15/2020 17:14:33 I stand with the ACTION! #BLM
7/15/2020 17:25:04 Kroeber does not represent our values and is a hugely problematic and racist figure
7/15/2020 17:39:19 Stop holding up symbols of white supremacy
7/15/2020 19:28:55 DECOLONIZE
7/15/2020 20:37:18 why is this even under review? the guy's whole career is built off exploiting a native american person. berkeley should never have named it after the asshole in the first place
7/15/2020 21:01:01 Kroeber's declaration of the Ohlone people as "extinct" has had horrible ramifications for Indigenous people in California, including making it extremely difficult for them to obtain rights to artifacts and human remains that were unethically excavated and displayed without regard for Indigenous consent. As the University of California exists on stolen Ohlone land, this is especially insulting. To deny the request to remove Kroeber's name from this building would be to show blatant and purposeful disregard toward Indigenous students of UC Berkeley and Indigenous people all over California and America. UC Berkeley prides itself on being a progressive institution, and a way to show this would be re-naming this building to honor Indigenous Californians rather than a man who caused them untold pain and difficulty.
7/16/2020 13:20:30 Solidarity looks like recognition of the part you’ve played to perpetuate pain. Un name this hall.
7/16/2020 13:39:29 The un-naming of this building is long overdue. Kroeber extracted volumes worth of knowledge from nearly every Indigenous nation to call California home and to name a building after him memorializes this exploitation and extraction. There is no reason that his name should grace a building based on the anthropological tradition and the importance and vitality of the work conducted in this building should not be degraded through association with his hateful legacy. One of his primary informants, Yurok Robert Spott, was my great-great uncle and I can think of a better way to honor his contributions and the contributions of Indigenous informants like him than through un-naming this hall and recognizing them in some memorializing fashion instead. For these reasons, I cannot recommend more strongly the un-naming of Kr**b*r Hall.
7/16/2020 15:41:45 I would like for it to named Ishi Hall or simply Anthropology Hall
7/16/2020 15:45:13 Ishi Hall
7/16/2020 16:19:50 Alfred Louis Kroeber used incredibly problematic methods in conducting research on Ishi and indigenous Califorians during the 20th century. Ishi especially was problematically used as a "living specimen." We can still acknowledge that Kroeber founded the anthropology department here at UC Berkeley while not placing Kroeber or his work on a pedestal. That is excessive and does not align with the values of the Anthropology department or our larger campus community.
7/16/2020 21:26:43 In favor to un-name Kroeber Hall for obvious reasons.
7/17/2020 11:05:27 The university should not be honoring racists
7/17/2020 11:18:02 UC Berkeley has a long history of complicity in racism and genocide. The least we can do is to fully reckon with this history and the implications of whose names we choose to honor on campus buildings. It is completely inappropriate for a campus building to be named in honor of Alfred Kroeber. His research practices were racist and extremely harmful to indigenous communities in California. UC Berkeley's continued celebration of his work and legacy through this building name is a direct affront to indigenous students on this campus and to surrounding Ohlone communities. It is proof that UC Berkeley has not addressed or worked to undo its active role in settler colonialism and genocide in California. Removing Kroeber's name is a critical first step to do so.
7/17/2020 12:10:12 I’m writing in my capacity as an individual faculty member and as Chair of the Art Practice department, which is housed within Kroeber Hall. As Chair, I frequently hear from students, as well as from faculty and staff, about the oppressive weight of working in a building that is directly linked to the captivity and desecration of Native Americans. I expect you will receive many letters to that effect, as well as others in defense of Alfred Kroeber. Here, I wish to approach the question of un-naming from other, but related perspectives.

1. The name Kroeber is named specifically for the department of Anthropology, and as such erases any visibility of the Art Practice department, which occupies half of the building. The naming only for anthropology has legitimated that department’s past territorial encroachments and its occasional claims to the whole building. This is a disservice to the stellar history of the Art Practice department, as well as to recent and current attempts by the two departments to encourage disciplinary and collegial connections.

2. In the past, the subliminal message sent to any person of color (and I include myself) is that this building is not a place where they will learn or impart their knowledge. This is instead a place where they will be objects of study. With more recent awareness, with increased knowledge dissemination from people of color, and with the recent impetus and demands from protests around the country, that message of exclusion and objecthood has become increasingly explicit, as shameful as the “whites only” signs that we hope to never again see.

3. The Art department includes within its pedagogy the methodological possibilities of auto-ethnography as self-positioning, “in which people undertake to describe themselves in ways that engage with representations others have made of them” (Mary Louise Pratt). The name of Kroeber–and again, regardless of the man’s achievements or failings–denies this capacity for self-knowledge as a rebuttal against being ethnographic objects. As Berkeley grapples with what it takes to encourage and maintain diversity, we have to at least begin with the message that this is where Indigenous students, Black students, Brown students can learn, not the place where others will learn about them after their demise.

It is past time.
7/17/2020 12:22:45 We have so many talented alumni and an abundance of knowledge about BPIOC who we should celebrate instead.
7/17/2020 14:51:42 I support the proposal to un-name Kroeber Hall due to the incredible harm he caused the Native American community. His name has not and does not deserve to stand on the grounds of UC Berkeley merit, much less on land of the Native American people.
7/17/2020 14:59:14 I believe we should un-name Kroeber Hall in order to honor the legacy of Native American students who fought against their cultural erasure. Un-naming Kroeber Hall would send the message that the voices of Native American students matter.
7/17/2020 16:55:04 Please allow Indigenous students, representatives, leaders and tribal members, etc. to decide the naming of Kroeber Hall. If they determine that the building should be renamed, then let them chose a name that honors Native Californians.
7/17/2020 21:54:39 It is time to acknowledge that while Kroeber was an impactful individual within UC Berkeley Anthropology, his legacy is a complicated one. His name and his connection to the indigenous community, through his push for Salvage Anthropology and Ishi, is of negative association to the indigenous community. UC Berkeley's Anthropology dept today does not hold the same values of Kroeber and his first generation of students in the early 1900s, we have grown to realize the negative impacts of Salvage Anthropology and Kroeberian practice. Why should we continue to honor a name whose values are no longer appropriate and not what we want our dept to be defined as? The Kroeberian legacy has deep, harmful ties to the indigenous community, a part of which is land that we occupy, Ohlone land. Keeping Kroeber's name only shows that we do not care for the indigenous community that is in pain from Kroeber's legacy, it shows that we would rather have the name of some legacy, too engrossed in the past, than respect the demands of the present. That's not what UC Berkeley stands for. We keep moving forward, address the wrongs of the past, and this is a moment that needs to be addressed and corrected.
7/19/2020 10:28:11 I strongly support renaming Kroeber Hall.
7/19/2020 14:45:51

Renaming Kroeber Hall at UC Berkeley

After consulting with the Muwekma Tribal Leadership, we, the undersigned support renaming the U.C. Berkeley Anthropology Department building as Muwekma Ohlone Hall.

This would honor the documented aboriginal tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area in general and the indigenous Chochenyo Ohlone-speaking tribal groups who historically occupied the lands of, and surrounding, U.C. Berkeley; and whom are directly descended from several of the East Bay tribes of this region. This decision would indeed represent a powerful symbol representing the survival, achievements and continuous existence of California Indians, against the colonial machinations of the “Politics of Erasure” enacted by elements of the dominant society.

Dr. Kroeber’s scholarly and ethical record was certainly a mixed one and there has been and remains ample cause for strong critique of his work and his legacies. These critiques have generally focused upon four areas:

1) Dr. Kroeber’s relationship with the man known as Ishi, a survivor of the 19th century state-sponsored genocidal assault on Indigenous peoples of California. Critiques have focused upon the conditions of Ishi’s life in the anthropology museum in San Francisco, including the arrangement of public appearances at the museum that may have exposed Ishi to the tuberculosis that killed him. While Kroeber and the other anthropologists developed warm relations with Ishi, he also continued to remain a scientific specimen for study. Kroeber failed to see to a proper burial for Ishi after his body was autopsied against both Kroeber and Ishi's express wishes. Only due to efforts of tribal activists more than eighty years later were Ishi's remains laid to rest in his native homeland.

2) Dr. Kroeber’s scholarship, in his massive 1925 tome, Handbook of the Indians of California and many other publications about Indigenous peoples of California, focused on reconstructing pre-Contact lifeways even as it systematically elided the structured characteristics and consequences of the genocidal campaigns against those Indigenous peoples. Thus while Dr. Kroeber was in a strong position to document the genocide, he and his students instead catalogued and categorized the Indigenous peoples of California to suit their own scholarly agenda.

3) Dr. Kroeber’s Handbook of the Indians of California featured a number of “extinction sentences” applied to particular groups including the ancestors of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, who were an unambiguously federally recognized tribe at that time. These extinction sentences were deployed to characterize descendants who could not provide Dr. Kroeber and his students with the linguistic, cultural and other ethnographic data which they were seeking to re-create the desired pre-Contact picture. It is not possible to substantively link Dr. Kroeber’s extinction sentence to the federal government’s decision to drop the Muwekma Ohlone ancestors from the list of recognized tribes in 1927. However, the legacy of the extinction sentence was strongly felt for many decades as anthropologists and archaeologists alike dispensed with Ohlone human remains and associated funerary objects uncovered during the post-World War II construction booms in the Bay Area, with the justification, citing Dr. Kroeber’s book, that no descendants existed.

4) Dr. Kroeber oversaw the collection of thousands of remains of Native peoples for archaeological study. Such excavations without permission of living descendants were commonplace in the archaeology of the time, including of ancient Greek and Egyptian sites. Yet the fact that Native people had already been brutalized by white conquest made the digging up of graves especially insensitive. The University of California of Berkeley should hasten the long overdue efforts to repatriate remains and find proper resting places for ones that are unidentified.

At the same time, it is important to recall that Dr. Kroeber had documented features of the Muwekma community’s vibrant lifeways before 1925. Phoebe Apperson Hearst invited Dr. Kroeber to visit and interview members of the Muwekma community residing on, and adjacent to, her Hacienda del Pozo de Verona property. Notwithstanding the 1925 extinction sentence, Dr. Kroeber, along with other UC Berkeley anthropologists, had interviewed a number of Muwekma/Verona Band community members for the various languages spoken on both the Alisal (Pleasanton) and El Molino (Niles) rancherias, including identifying the linguistic term “Muwekma” meaning “the People” published in the Chumash and Costanoan Languages in 1910 (UCPAAE: Vol 9., No. 2). It should also be noted that the sound recordings, dictionaries, myths, and other cultural practices recorded by Kroeber and the other anthropologists has become a vital resource for contemporary native revitalization efforts.

Dr. Kroeber was also an ally of Native California especially during the California Claims Hearings (1954-1955) and a defender of racial equality ahead of his time. Dr. Kroeber and Dr. Heizer later included in their testimony the survivorship of the Mission San Jose [Verona Band Community] in their testimony during the California Claims hearings in San Francisco which was published under the title “Continuity of Indian Population in California from 1770/1850 to 1955”, University. of California Archaeological. Research Facility, Contribution No. 9, pp. 1-22, 1970 (Berkeley).

We believe that renaming the anthropology building as Muwekma Ohlone Hall would be an overdue recognition for the aboriginal owners of the unceded land where the university has been established. It would also recognize the contributions of ancestors and living descendants of the Muwekma Ohlone to the field of anthropology, to the local communities and cities, and to the nation. Although the renaming of the building is the first priority, we believe that a lecture hall, courtyard, or exhibit space ought to still to bear the name of Alfred Kroeber. To caricature the anthropology department's founder as an evil colonial exploiter and fail to acknowledge his achievements is to deny him the modicum of fairness and accuracy that all the dead surely deserve. We also strongly suggest the overdue naming of at least one of several prominent campus landmarks in the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe’s Chochenyo language, in further recognition that the university lies on illegitimately seized tribal land.

All of these changes would be implemented in a spirit of contemporary ethics in higher education, remembrance and acknowledgment of the legacy of the ancestors and the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ documented descendants of the historic, previously federally recognized, Verona Band of Alameda County, moving forward into the future.

Respectfully,

Alan Leventhal, Professor Emeritus, San Jose State University
Les W. Field, Professor of Anthropology, University of New Mexico
Orin Starn, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Duke University

7/19/2020 17:30:40 l agree with the importance of removing names of white supremacists from every arena of the UC Berkeley campus. The historical significance of these individuals, and what they represent, have wide spread implications for both students and the public, especially for those who belong to the same communities that directly suffered from the belief system and values of such “historical” figures. So long as their names remain on the University’s buildings and facilities, their legacy and association with the school perseveres. We need to send the right message that we, as an institution, condemn hateful and racist practices.
7/19/2020 17:54:21 Dear UC Berkeley Community:

I strongly support un-naming Kroeber Hall, as was recently done with the Law Building. Alfred Kroeber is not somebody we should be honoring with a building. I urge everyone to read the Proposal to un-name Kroeber Hall and consider the evidence it presents that Alfred Kroeber's legacy is incompatible with UC Berkeley's stated values and mission.

There is nothing new about this idea and it's shameful that the University of California has taken so long to act, particularly in light of its continued failure to repatriate Native American remains and artifacts. Please see the California State Auditor's June 2020 report, "The University of California Is Not Adequately Overseeing Its Return of Native American Remains and Artifacts."

https://auditor.ca.gov/reports/2019-047/index.html

According to the audit, UC Berkeley has returned only ~20%, while Los Angeles has repatriated almost all of the Native American remains and artifacts that had been in its possession. Stanford University began repatriating remains and artifacts over 30 years ago - "Stanford was an important player in the nationwide movement toward repatriation, which was gaining traction in the 1980s."

https://news.stanford.edu/2019/11/06/stanford-prepares-rename-jane-stanf...

Stanford University has also changed the names of several buildings formerly named after Junipero Serra, now Sally Ride House and Carolyn Lewis Attneave House.

https://news.stanford.edu/2019/02/27/stanford-renames-buildings-sally-ri...

UC Berkeley has a lot of work to do on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, but renaming Kroeber, LeConte, and Barrows is one small, relatively easy step in the right direction. Another important step would be saving the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, which does important research into issues impacting communities of color and provides important resources and support for students of color, including Native and Indigenous students. For those unaware, UC Berkeley has decided to de-fund ISSI at a time when, in my opinion, its work could not possibly be more important. Thank you for reading.
7/19/2020 23:11:55 Dear Building Name Review Committee,

The official proposal submitted on July 1, 2020 on un-naming Kroeber Hall is an important issue for anthropology undergraduates studying at UC Berkeley. As a student body, we recognize that Kroeber Hall is named after Alfred Kroeber, an American cultural anthropologist that founded the anthropology department at UC Berkeley.

A few officers of the Anthropology Undergraduate Association decided to conduct a vote for the anthropology undergraduate community on whether or not they support, stand neutral, or oppose the proposal to un-name Kroeber from Kroeber Hall. The results demonstrate that over the majority of anthropology undergraduates that participated in this vote support the decision to un-name Kroeber Hall.

The vote was conducted from July 13 through July 16 and was sent to declared anthropology majors and minors. The guidelines for making a decision were that there would be at least 20 votes and that over 50 percent of voters decided to support, stand neutral, or oppose the proposal. The poll received 58 responses from declared anthropology undergraduate students, with about 66 percent of voters supporting the proposal to un-name Kroeber Hall.

Given that Kroeber Hall is the home of the anthropology department and that this vote received numerous responses, we hope that the Building Name Review Committee listens to anthropology undergraduates. Many of us have and will be individually vocal throughout this process; we hope that you will take the time to engage with us.

Now, the majority of anthropology undergraduates that voted are asking you to take action—we demand that the Building Name Review Committee un-name Kroeber Hall immediately.

Signed,
Anthropology Undergraduates in Favor of Un-Naming Kroeber

*AUA as an RSO does not endorse this decision.
7/19/2020 23:21:44 The home of the anthropology department home should reflect the practice of anthropology now and of the ethics we strive for, not practices that harm BIPOC communities. Alfred Kroeber disrespected Native Americans by mistreating Ishi; by allowing his name to be part of this hall, it actively hurts Native American communities.
7/20/2020 4:18:48 Alfred and Theodora Kroeber were my great-grandparents. I am writing to support the un-naming of Kroeber Hall.

I make this statement from a certain distance. I have no direct ties to the University of California, nor any professional training in anthropology. I grew up aware of Alfred and Theodora as personalities in one branch of my family, but I was not raised to think of myself as a steward of their legacies. I am broadly familiar with the work each of them did, and with their intertwined influence, but I am not writing to detail or defend their records. There are other parties, closer to their work and to the communities it has impacted, that are better positioned to speak to the complexities of their actions and their importance today.

I do recognize, however, the ways my ancestors’ work proceeded within systems of white supremacy and served to reproduce those systems, even as they made efforts to repudiate racist ideologies. I recognize the ways the project of salvage ethnography naturalized the presumption of Indigenous “disappearance”. I hesitate to discuss the ways my forebears were entangled with the life and story of the Yahi man called Ishi—it is a narrative that two generations of my family have had a defining hand in shaping, and so I prefer to leave public retellings to other voices—but I recognize that the association is a deeply painful one.

My support for un-naming is also informed by wider histories. I acknowledge hundreds of years of still-ongoing Indigenous genocide and settler colonialism—the ways these forces shaped the nation-state that now occupies this land, shaped the worldviews and lifeways I was born into, and continue to shape the society I navigate today. My father and his father grew up in Huichin, on the unceded ancestral land of the Chochenyo-speaking Ohlone, where Kroeber Hall and the Berkeley campus sit, and they were grateful to call it home. To some degree, the presence of our family name on the building makes a kind of land claim—a claim about the right to occupy unceded land, a claim that should not be maintained.

I make these acknowledgements of harm in a wider context of Native agency, resistance, and resurgence. Insofar as the symbolic weight of my last name might influence this discussion, I hope it can bolster wider efforts toward institutional changework, repair, and decolonization, at the University and beyond.

I understand that this committee is officially tasked with addressing only the question of un-naming, not re-naming. These questions cannot, of course, be so cleanly separated, and if the University moves toward un-naming, I hope it will do so in order to embrace the further ethical obligations that emerge from that choice. It seems clear to me that a decision to un-name will, in turn, require a re-naming process conducted in transparent and robust dialogue with Native students and faculty, as well as Native communities beyond the University (if not also representatives from other groups that have historically been subjects of the anthropological gaze). It seems likewise clear that these groups should not be asked to undertake the considerable work of assembly and deliberation for a single symbolic gesture. Rather, any re-naming process must proceed within a larger set of _material_ reparative actions on the part of the University, including (but not limited to) the long-deferred repatriation of Indigenous remains.

As I close, I should be clear that I do not speak for any other members of my extended family, but I would also like to acknowledge the important dialogues that I have had with many of them as I prepared this statement. It has been in some ways difficult to consider removal in this moment, as statues of Christopher Columbus, Junipero Serra, and Confederate generals are being toppled and amidst calls for the names of avowed white supremacists to be removed from other buildings on campus. It is not easy to have Alfred Kroeber’s name come down in such bad company—alongside the figureheads and agents of racist ideologies that Boasian anthropology directly opposed and often worked to dismantle.

Speaking personally, however, I don’t believe there will be a perfect moment, when the optics feel just right and the language attends to everyone’s sensitivities. The many different parties to this un-naming may well hold incommensurable standards for what is appropriate. I do not fully align with the un-naming proposal as written, but I would not want whatever discomfort I may feel to obstruct this process. I am content to carry that discomfort as un-naming moves forward. I hope it is generative to say so here.

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

Gavin Kroeber
7/20/2020 9:48:53 7/20/20

On the proposed un-naming of Kroeber Hall.

Comment by James Clifford

Professor Emeritus
History of Consciousness Department
UC Santa Cruz

I am responding to the request from the UC Berkeley Building Name Review Committee for comments on the proposal to remove the name Kroeber from what is now Kroeber Hall.

I write as a scholar who has worked for the past fifty years on the history of anthropology and ethnographic museums. The relationship of these institutions to colonialism has been central to my project, as has the growing recognition of indigenous resurgence and authority. In my most recent book, Returns (2013) a 93-page chapter is devoted to Ishi, to the Kroeber-Ishi relationship, and to the successive tellings and retellings of “Ishi’s Story” by diverse Natives and non-Natives. The research for this chapter spanned a decade which saw the movement to repatriate Ishi’s remains. I attended public meetings organized by California Indians and talked informally with knowledgeable individuals. I thus have some grounds for the opinions I will briefly state below. But I hasten to add that I claim no special authority. My own access to knowledge in a complex, changing time is, like everyone’s, situated and partial.

My conclusion with respect to the proposal agrees with that provided by Professor Andrew Garrett. His well-documented and thoughtfully balanced opinion commands respect. I agree that the time is right to change the name of Kroeber Hall. But I would urge that this be done, and the building renamed, in a spirit of critical generosity. The legacy of A.L. Kroeber, and twentieth-century anthropology, is much more mixed, both positive and negative, than the Proposal allows. For me, the strongest reason for renaming is the creation of a welcoming environment for Native students at Berkeley. They deserve to encounter symbols with which they can identify. I would like to believe that the change can be done with fairness and a sense of proportionality. Whatever his failings, there is much in Kroeber’s legacy that is praiseworthy and that is contributing to positive developments in the current indigenous renewal he could not imagine but that he would surely have welcomed.

The Proposal reads like a prosecutorial brief, one-sided. Fair enough, it is making a case. I will just add some facts that balance the story. It gives me no pleasure to question this account since I support its overall goal to advance the decolonization of UC (a settler-colonial university founded in the wake of genocidal killings and dispossessions). I wholeheartedly agree with the report’s final paragraph.

The brief against Kroeber has three parts. 1) his active involvement in the collection (looting) of human remains and funereal objects 2) his “cruel, degrading, racist” treatment of Ishi, and 3) the “death sentence” he pronounced on the Bay Area Ohlone, reflecting the colonialist assumptions of “salvage anthropology.”

If I were on the jury my verdict would be 1) guilty as charged 2) innocent 3) tragically mistaken, but not culpable. However, to frame the issue before us in terms of guilt or innocence is misleading, a distortion of the historical (as opposed to merely personal) complexity that we need to recognize.

1--Tony Platt’s essential book, Grave Matters, establishes that Kroeber, while he did not personally engage in grave-robbing, did organize and encourage the practice. He argues, along with the Proposal, that this was always immoral. We can agree with this, while recognizing that many liberal, enlightened people at the time found this kind of “collecting” acceptable in the name of science. This common opinion has only recently been reversed, bringing public opinion into agreement with what Native Californians have long felt. With this in mind, a small dose of historical relativity might temper our justifiable condemnation of the practice.

2--The Report states that Kroeber “mistreated” the “captured” man called Ishi and made him a “living exhibit” in the anthropological museum. Everything about Ishi’s story is more complicated: Was he “captured?” To say this with certainty is as problematic as claiming—as was often said—that he was “giving himself up,” surrendering, to White civilization after decades of hiding. What is certain is his exhaustion. Beyond that, the speculation about his intentions--where exactly he was going--depends on being inside his head, and no-one, then or now, has access.

He was the only speaker of his language, and he declined to talk about his time in hiding. The name “Ishi” was not something simply imposed by Kroeber. It was a gesture of respect, a way of naming him in his language without pressing for the “real” name(s) that were to be kept secret. “Ishi” was thus a name of convenience, rather like the various nicknames that “Ishi” invented for the anthropologists he lived with, including the “Big Chief” Kroeber. Was he exploited as a “living exhibit”? Many witnesses record that he enjoyed his archery and craft demonstrations, bestowing arrowheads on visiting children. He was also an enthusiastic ethnographic “informant”—at least on the topics he was willing to share. He recorded a lot of Yahi traditional stories and patiently worked with anthropologists and linguists on their (partial) translation. Kroeber and his associates were eager to gain as much information as they could from a precious witness. Ishi went along with them, though it’s doubtful he did so in the name of science. What his vision of posterity was is a matter for speculation. But his recorded words, those that are comprehensible, today form part of a living Native Californian heritage.

Ishi was given the opportunity to leave the Museum and join a Native community. He repeatedly declined. Much evidence supports the conclusion that he was content with his life in San Francisco. Given the terrible violence he had seen, no doubt he felt lucky to be alive, in a context where his language and culture were respected. He made the best of a bad history.

Kroeber was very attached to Ishi. He made some condescending comments about the Indian who came under his protection early in their relationship. But this was before he had come to know the man who, on multiple occasions, he referred to with genuine respect. Ishi’s death from TB, and the autopsy that was performed, over Kroeber’s strenuous objection, contributed to his personal breakdown and retirement from anthropology for several years. It is in this context that his most unforgivable “mistreatment,” sending Ishi’s brain to the Smithsonian Institution’s collection, may be comprehensible. Kroeber returned to Berkeley and found that the brain had been preserved and not cremated with the other remains. What should be done with it? We would all agree, today, that Ishi’s body would, ideally, have been returned to his people. But his family was gone. his surviving distant relatives dispersed. Kroeber knew of no Native community prepared to receive the remains. (It would be seventy years before this solution became a concrete possibility.) Kroeber had written “Science be damned,” when he opposed the autopsy, urging his colleagues to “stand by our friend.” But Kroeber was a man of science. Perhaps the brain could be of some scientific use. (It may be recalled that cultural anthropology was, at this time, anti-racist, that Kroeber’s teacher, Franz Boas, disproved bad racial science using evidence from physical remains.) In retrospect, Kroeber’s decision was unfortunate, but in the context of his long relationship with Ishi it is, I would argue, understandable.

3--Kroeber was clearly mistaken when he called the Bay Area Native bands “extinct.” It is certainly understandable that these tribal survivors feel pain and anger at his verdict. But here too, some historical sensitivity is needed. Kroeber’s Handbook of 1925 summarized research from the prior two decades. At that time the disappearance of many California tribes, who had been decimated by conquest, disease, and dispossession, was a plausible conclusion. The demographic facts were stark. The inventive survival and later renewal of dispersed peoples that we now recognize and celebrate was far from apparent. Moreover, Kroeber worked with ideas of cultural authenticity and essentialism that today have been criticized and abandoned in the anthropological traditions he founded. The model of culture that he assumed was a sharp critique of the eugenics that was dominant in many intellectual and political contexts. But its idealist, ahistorical frame created a blindness to the adaptive, changing lives of contemporary Indians. Kroeber’s mistaken conclusion about Bay Area Indians no doubt helped create a climate of opinion that presupposed their disappearance (though it did not, it seems, directly influence the tribal termination decisions of the 1950s).

Kroeber did not, in fact, consign California Indians to a romanticized, but vanished past. In 1954, at the age of 78 and in weakened health, he testified before the Indian Land Claims Commission in support of a group of “Indians of California” suing to establish Native rights to appropriated land. The principal witness for the plaintiffs, Kroeber’s ten days of testimony were crucial in gaining a victory for the Indians. (During my research on Ishi, I worked in the Bancroft Library where I encountered very extensive files of careful notes, maps and documents which he prepared for his detailed testimony.)

Kroeber and “salvage anthropology” present a mixed legacy. The presumed inevitability of indigenous death/assimilation was consonant with the founding mythology of a settler state starting from scratch in an empty land. But while the salvage collecting of traditional knowledge and language data was often premised on assumptions that would turn out to be false, it did preserve a precious archive of tradition and language that serves today as a resource for cultural renewal. (See Professor Garrett’s comment.) The assumptions of salvage anthropology have now been pretty thoroughly criticized and abandoned in a discipline increasingly devoted to collaborative research and the analysis of changing relations of power. Kroeber’s own ethnography, as Thomas Buckley has shown in an excellent critical account, could be heavy-handed and evoke resistance. But it also forged relationships of friendship and long-term loyalty. At least one Yurok Elder, quoted by Buckley, expressed unambiguous gratitude for the Berkeley anthropologists’ preservation of traditional knowledge.

Critics of Kroeber ask why he was not more forthright about the genocide in post-Gold Rush California. Was this “moral cowardice” as has been said? Certainly, his avoidance of hard truths sits uncomfortably with our historical vision and political views today. Was there a personal, psychological dimension to the repression of sad experiences? Perhaps. Did it represent complicity with the historical innocence that needed to be claimed for the new, settler university where he was employed? Yes, in a weak, general sense. At Berkeley there was plenty of complicity to go around—as the name “Hearst” in several honored places still attests.

The current movement for changing names raises important questions about our differently-positioned assessments of a shared, sometimes ugly, history. In conclusion, I would like to urge that we not succumb to the blame games and scorched-earth moralisms so prevalent in today’s political culture. I have recommended, above, an attitude of “critical generosity,” especially with respect to ambiguous legacies like that of Kroeber and cultural anthropology. This means, in the current context, renaming Kroeber Hall in a way that honors Native Californian resilience but that also finds ways to publicly recognize, and understand, the continuing contributions of its former namesake and his changed discipline. This kind of thoughtful, informed, critical, commemoration would be especially appropriate in an educational institution.
7/20/2020 12:39:58 I am far from the first student to express concern about this naming: A 2018 article by the Daily Californian's editorial staff touches on the namesake of Kroeber Hall while discussing Berkeley's lack of tangible progress towards supporting Native Californians:
https://www.dailycal.org/2018/04/30/support-native-americans-uc-berkeley...

However, as an undergrad anthropology major, I wanted to express my own thoughts on the importance of un-naming Kroeber hall. Though Alfred Kroeber is a preeminent figure in the history of U.S. anthropology and U.C. Berkeley, the work he is best known for has contributed to pervasive myths around the "Vanishing Indian", and the fetishization and exploitation of Native peoples in the wake of colonialist expansion. For the sake of brevity, I won't lay out an entire record of Kroeber's career here. Instead, I encourage those who reflexively defend this naming to seek out Native perspectives on Ishi's life and the legacy of Kroeber's work.

While I pursue my anthropology education at U.C. Berkeley, I am conscious that the work of my forebears has contributed to social violence against Indigenous peoples around the world. In order to prevent further harm, it is vital that we prioritize the voices of the people that our field has historically wronged-- and if these voices urge us to challenge the glorification of people Berkeley's academics have long held as idols, we owe it to them to listen.

Berkeley's administration has issued the following statement in response to the current Black Lives Matter protest movement against racial injustice:
"we are more than just witnesses; we are more than just allies (people who just study and understand the theory of racism); we are co-conspirators working to overturn institutional racism. We take risks and use our power and influence to improve the lives of our community members, especially those most vulnerable. Recent events only strengthen our resolve." https://hr.berkeley.edu/people-culture-anti-racism-statement

Black people and Native peoples in this country have been subjected to institutionalized racist violence from its very inception. Today, CDC data indicates that Native Americans are killed by police at the highest rate per-capita of any racial or ethnic group in the United States: https://www.cnn.com/2017/11/10/us/native-lives-matter/index.html.

If we at Berkeley are to truly lay claim to that title of co-conspirator against institutional racism, our co-conspiracy must also be in solidarity with the Native community. This involves self-reflection on ways in which Berkeley has been and continues to be complicit in inflicting harm, including but not limited to the memorialization of Kroeber.
7/20/2020 14:07:19 I am a second year law student and a member of the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA). In addition to believing that the collection on indigenous remains at UC Berkeley should be returned to the tribes from which they were taken, I believe that Cal, as an institution that strives to do right, should remove Kroeber's name, and acknowledge the people who were hurt by his actions. The law school was also unnamed this past year, and I think the unnaming of the law school sent a signal to the community and other institutions that Cal is a conscious institution, acknowledging problematic histories and doing something about them.
7/22/2020 17:11:19 Please add my comments to those supporting the un-naming of Kroeber Hall. As an ethnogeographer and historian dealing with northwestern California for the last 20 years, I have come to regard Alfred L. Kroeber as having failed in his duty to treat the Indians of this area with decency and respect. In addition to his having headed a department that collected Indian remains and excavated sites of significance, his own work was contaminated by an offensive and prejudicial sense of cultural superiority best expressed by this sentence from the preface to his Handbook of the Indians of California:
This book . . . is not a history in the usual sense of a record of events. The vast bulk of even the significant happenings in the lives of uncivilized tribes are irrecoverable. For the past century our knowledge is slight; previous to that there is complete obscurity. Nor do the careers of savages afford many instances of sufficient intrinsic importance to make their chronicling worthwhile [emphasis added].
Thank you for considering my comments.
Jerry Rohde
7/22/2020 18:02:44 Our building names should represent our values
7/23/2020 16:28:52 remove the name it's racist and it's that simple
7/25/2020 15:10:01 I also support this proposal.
7/26/2020 10:54:28 Since my doctoral studies at UC Berkeley from 2008-2015, I've found the name of Kroeber Hall disturbing, and walking into the building itself a disturbing experience as Kroeber's history has not been adequately acknowledged within the space. As an Asian American, I cannot even begin to imagine the effect that this may have on Native American students, faculty, and visitors. It's long overdue to rename the building after someone whose legacy will have a positive, uplifting, inspiring, and empowering effect on our campus.
7/27/2020 14:01:41 A man who engaged in grossly unethical, racist, belittling behavior under the guise of research does not deserve to have a building at Berkeley named after him.
7/29/2020 17:42:58 Alfred Kroeber's legacy is one of the most challenging aspects of the history of the University of California and the State of California. While it is important to learn that history, maintaining Kroeber's name on a campus building honors a history of genocide, enslavement, and oppression of California's indigenous peoples. I hold a BS in anthropology and certainly have benefited from Kroeber's contributions to the field. However, anthropology historically has been rooted in colonialism and has been systematically weaponized against non-European peoples and Kroeber played a significant role in this. While mainstream anthropology today provides insights into the diversity and complexity of humanity, the roots of colonialism and racism continue to challenge the field. The un-naming of Kroeber Hall is a small, but crucial step to confronting our challenging history in California and UC's relationship with the indigenous community, as well as recognizing that anthropology has largely moved beyond its colonial roots. Ishi, the Yahi, and all Californians deserve better than the legacy glorified by this building name.
8/3/2020 16:46:29 I write in strong support of un-naming Kroeber Hall. Retaining this name would be inexcusable and would represent an racist affront to Indigenous and Native American people.
8/3/2020 18:50:40 rename
8/4/2020 14:54:46 I support the removal of the name Kroeber from campus buildings.
8/4/2020 17:19:34 Indigenous students, staff, and faculty have donated untold hours of unpaid labor to get Kroeber Hall unnamed. They no doubt would rather have spent those hours of their mortal lives doing something other than explaining to the non-Indigenous majority at Berkeley how much Alfred Kroeber's racist actions and Berkeley's recognition of him have hurt them. Please just do it.
8/5/2020 10:07:34 I agree that un-naming Kroeber Hall signals an important effort to be a more welcoming and inclusive campus. We need to stop perpetuating generational bigotry, and start healing.
8/5/2020 12:54:04 I support removing Kroeber's name from the building.
8/5/2020 14:28:28 The University would best wake up from its long standing and sedimenting compliance with a violent and oppressive status quo. You have an opportunity to take clearer stand on the continuing project of colonialism and the way it is referenced and celebrated here. Please honor Native life in any and every way you can. This is an unmistakable commitment. Do not waste the organizers' brilliance on this issue any longer. Please repair what you can. This, you can easily*** do.
8/6/2020 21:21:45 I think it would be in the university's best interest to distance itself from figures of historically known injustice.
8/7/2020 9:17:43 Kroeber is indeed famous for his 'accomplishments' but we can now see they helped to perpetuate colonial relationships of academic study and Native peoples. A name change helps to signal that the era of "studying" Indigenous peoples has passed and that begins by unnaming spaces that celebrate those attitudes. Hopefully this can lead to the university making tangible reform as well: funding for Native students, hiring of Native faculty, giving Shuumi, returning the remains and items that were stolen from Indigenous nations.
8/7/2020 9:18:15 Changing the name would be one step in dismantling institutional racism and settler colonialism at Berkeley. Changing the name won't complete this journey, but is an essential step in the process. Berkeley needs to quit resting on a few moments of student activism from mid-20th century as hallmark "progressive" identity and look critically at its whole history and current structures as they prioritize the needs and experience of Native American students, staff, faculty, and community members today.
8/7/2020 9:48:13 I am in favor of rename Kroeber Hall
8/7/2020 10:29:44 Kroeber Hall should be un-named in order to recognize the harm it has perpetrated against Native Americans, educate the campus community about Kroeber's unethical and dehumanizing research practices, and create a more inclusive and supportive environment for Native American students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Furthermore, work should be done to repair the university's relationship with Native Californians and Indigenous people more generally. Un-naming Kroeber hall is an important first step.
8/7/2020 11:07:44 This important symbolic gesture of un-naming must be followed by actual substantive structural change. To start, UC Berkeley could return the Native American bones held at Hearst Museum to their relatives, actually provide a substantial Native American community space on campus, and hire more Native faculty.
8/7/2020 17:00:11 The racist legacy of Alfred Kroeber should be condemned, not honored.
8/8/2020 15:27:07 We want UCB to be a campus that is welcoming to ALL groups. Any name that that is associated with a person who has harmed any community does not deserve to be represented on our campus.
8/9/2020 10:23:40 As this proposal and supporting letter make clear, upholding Kroeber's legacy is actively harmful to Native American students, faculty, staff, and visitors to this campus. Kroeber Hall, as currently named, sends a message in opposition to the values the university claims to hold. Renaming this building is a crucial step in acknowledging the university's complicity in longstanding Indigenous dispossession and provides an opening for community dialogue and potential repair.
8/10/2020 9:30:58 Kroeber treated Native American people, remains, and artifacts reprehensibly and does not deserve to be glorified on campus.
8/11/2020 16:43:51 Please do something now. We CANNOT glorify a racist person and their actions on this campus.
8/11/2020 17:37:47 We must be vigilant of how we perpetuate a system of racism through both overt and covert means. We must be willing to learn and address past mistakes.
8/11/2020 23:14:10 As an alumna of the Department of Anthropology at UC Berkeley and an advocate for the re-imagining of systems of oppression and colonization, a re-imagining which this very university helped to develop in me during my undergraduate education, it is critical that all voices be heard, respected, valued, and raised up. It is also critical that all identities, and all bodies, living bodies and those bodies and artifacts of the ancestors no longer alive, are given the respect that they were denied in the past. No excuses. If we don't move forward and learn from our past, we are reinforcing atrocities that we claim in our discipline to be attempting to deconstruct. Inaction is support of oppression. Inaction is support of a racist and extremely problematic legacy that you have the capacity to revise.
8/12/2020 13:34:43 I am wholeheartedly in favor of unnaming Kroeber Hall.
8/12/2020 17:54:48 This is long overdue. Honestly it is the least we can be doing as a society/campus community to begin to right all of the injustices done towards the Native community.
8/13/2020 10:21:04 I am in favor of rename Kroeber Hall to one which is more inclusive and reflexes the struggle and commitment to creating a more beautiful, healthier and enlightened world.
8/14/2020 10:05:07 Kroeber violated the autonomy and sanctity of indigenous people by taking ancestral remains without tribes' or descendents' consent. Taking another indigenous person captive and displaying them in a museum is also reprehensible. Listen to indigenous people and immediately unname all buildings named after racists, colonists, and otherwise violent people.
8/14/2020 16:51:31 Kroeber's research and subsequent reputation as an Anthropologist came at the expense of a traumatized Native American man known as Ishi, the last surviving member of his entire Yahi people, which had been completely destroyed: the victims of genocide at the hands of white settlers who murdered them and their shot the deer, et.al. that were Yahi sources of food in the early 1900's.

Kroeber sought to extract and exploit the last remaining shred of human integrity and dignity from Ishi by mining his memory, language, spiritual beliefs and practices, historical observations, his total cultural/social/enviro-technological life-style in what was left of his natural environment. Kroeber literally "dogged him out", made him wear western suits and a tie, while romanticizing his existence as a "barbarous savage" in his book: "Ishi, the Last Aborigine: The Effects of Civilization on a Genuine Survivor of Stone Age Barbarism" (1912) by [Alfred L. Kroeber]

Thereafter Kroeber basically left him to die of Tuberculosis, alone and uncompensated, while Kroeber's published works on Ishi and other indigenous peoples made him the elite scholar of the racist, genocidal Anthropocene researchers.

If anyone's name belongs on that building, it should be Ishi's, for certainly Alfred Kroeber would not have had a clue about the wealth of human philosophy and the richness of the Yahi's institutions had not Ishi told him.

Opposed to the proposal to remove the name Kroeber Hall

Timestamp Comment:
8/26/2020 17:40:07 I strongly oppose the removal of Kroeber's name as outlined in the proposal, but I do support a re-naming to Ishi-Kroeber Hall. Kroeber was not a racist nor was he a white supremecist. Rather he was a leading, world-renowned anthropologist whose legacy of research and teaching did far more good for our understanding of humanity than harm. His intentions were to discredit those with racist beliefs that were dangerous but accepted by some as scientifically sound (such as eugenicists). We can learn lessons from outdated research practices that were acceptable at the time but not today. No one questions that. But to group Kroeber and his accomplishments with those of racists and white supremacists is unfair and undeserved. His name should continue to be celebrated alongside Ishi's.
7/20/2020 6:25:03 See attached PDF (Casey/Papadopoulos): Comments on Proposal to Un-Name Kroeber Hall
7/22/2020 16:34:00 See attached PDF (Lightfoot): Comments on Proposal to Un-Name Kroeber Hall
7/24/2020 13:16:00 See attached PDF (Scheper-Hughes): REFLECTIONS on Renaming Kroeber Hall —  Alfred Kroeber and his Relations with California Indians.
7/6/2020 19:39:00 I am writing because I saw the email about changing the names of certain buildings. Although I understand some people's views on removing the names, I do not believe that we should change the existing Berkeley history and culture of the buildings.
The people who have contributed to Berkeley deserve to have their names kept. The time period they lived in is different from our viewpoints now, so I don't think it is ethical to take advantage of differing viewpoints from different time periods and erase them from their mark onsite, especially when they are no longer living to defend themselves.
I do not want any of the Berkeley buildings to be renamed, and I want them to remain exactly the same, as the same elite institution it has been for hundreds of years.
7/6/2020 18:18:13 “ Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right. “
- George Orwell, 1984
7/6/2020 19:07:30 There was no reason given for the renaming; without a very good reason this is a bad idea and a huge waste of money at a time when UCB is going to be losing money--unless there is a very good reason for it. Renaming the Washington Redskins and Boalt Hall, yes. Kroeber? Why?
7/6/2020 19:12:00 It is important to consider multiple angles when deciding to strip the names of people for whom our buildings are named: what significance they contributed to the university, to society, and whether or not the first two are negated by crimes committed.

In the case of the Kroeber, my understanding is that he was a researcher whose actions were motivated by science and anthropology, not imperialism or prejudice. His contributions to the sciences and the University of California were significant, and his data collection methods were not controversial during the time in which he operated.

For this reason, removing Boalt makes sense. Removing statues of Christopher Columbus and Confederate Generals make sense; but to my knowledge, Kroeber does not rise to that level and I therefore do not support renaming Kroeber Hall.
7/6/2020 20:20:27 Destroying history will not solve it. Great men should be measured by the standards of their era, not our modern cancel culture.
7/6/2020 21:07:18 This is a very sad proposal. The content is fortified with the sadness endured by one particular indigenous man whom was rescued from homelessness by the namesake of this facility and culminates with a sad conclusion that the public education system of our country is nefariously perpetuating cultural destruction. However the saddest the part of this proposal is the the premise, which I find best summarized on page four with the statement, "Although Kroeber contributed in significant ways to the evolution of his field and curated material culture and created knowledge that is still widely used today, his approach and that of his contemporaries had fundamentally flawed assumptions and was astonishingly detached from ethical standards."

Of course the assumptions and standards referred to are those appropriate for 2020, not the time in which Professor Kroeber conducted his work (cir. 1911). And is that relevant to this proposal? Have any events significantly impacted American culture since Kroeber's time? How about the 16th through 27th amendments to our constitution? How about the Civil Rights Act? Multiple world wars? The internet? #Metoo? It's reasonable to assume that times have changed isn't it? Yet here we are, dragging historical figures through the mud as if they would conduct themselves the very same way today knowing what modern man now knows. Is this the logic of the staff here at UC Berkeley? Does this make any sense at all?

The answer is of course not. This is a learning institution and the whole point of its existence is to learn from humans who've come before us and used their amazing minds to create knowledge for us to consume with the hopes that one day we too may figure something significant out and share with our fellow human beings. Of that charge, Professor Kroeber is absolutely guilty. However, sadly the man is not here to receive a fair trail from this committee for the means by which he achieved his greatness. His intentions have been left to be spoken for him by a group of people with an agenda designed to posthumously destroy his reputation. I hardly find any justice in such an endeavor, only sadness.
7/6/2020 22:42:48 We live in tumultuous times with technology and access to information is greater than ever before. Information can be used for enlightenment or as a weapon. As one of the top universities in the country, it is the responsibility of Berkeley to educate its community to be able to assess information and use that information for good. However, that process is only possible through honest dialogue and open access to all information.

Berkeley's motto "Fiat Lux" - Let there be light - clearly outlines Berkeley as a place to achieve enlightenment. However, for every light there is a shadow cast. No individual is beyond moral reproach. To deny that would be to achieve ignorance rather than enlightenment. Every story, battle, and conscious action has at least two sides. Many individuals make decisions which are later deemed to be immoral. However, such accusations are further muddied by the fact as a society constantly striving for self-improvement the goal is for the clarity of moral truths over time. However, this is only possible through a deep reflection of history to learn how to learn from the actions taken to improve the current understanding and make a better future.

This process critically relies on the first step of reflecting on history. However, in this process one must be careful to protect oneself from allowing hindsight to cloud one's view of history. In order to learn from history, it must be understood in context. This does not mean we should condone the actions of individuals which we now recognize were wrong, but rather we should strive to understand the situation in order to see why in the moment they thought the actions were admissible so that we can be wary of similar situations in our own lives and hopefully make actions that will later be deemed morally responsible.

With all that said George Orwell in 1984 wisely wrote: "Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."

As a university striving for enlightenment, these words should cause hesitation at the idea of removing the name of a building. What are the long term ramifications of removing the name of a building. One example is that it will likely tarnish the entire legacy of the individual. Some may say that this is acceptable. However, it is often an oversimplification. It is choosing to focus on a particular set of actions and defining an individual by only those action. Furthermore, the removal of an individual's name from the building will likely bring an end to the reflection of the actions of that individual which further hampers self-improvement especially for cases such as Kroeber who was greatly admired in his time (for example he held honorary degrees from Yale, California, Harvard, Columbia, and Chicago). These cases where an individual in their time was successful and admired and yet now is viewed as amoral are of the utmost importance when attempting to navigate the complex moral decisions of our own lives.

With all this in mind, I strongly recommend keeping the building's name as is but both in the building and online create a repository of historical resources related to Kroeber's life including both instances of peer respect and instances of amoral decisions so that each member of the community who passes through the building's halls has the ability to learn from analysis of Kroeber's life to avoid committing similar immoral actions.
7/7/2020 10:13:46 As a middle school student and teacher Kroeber's tremendous legacy of work --- especially with Ishi --- has proved INVALUABLE for me in my lifetime as a field of learning, self-knowledge, and true understanding of the native peoples of California and their world. I am a graduate of Cal (1993) and still work extensively with the ORIAS office in Berkeley and researchers/students from Kroeber Hall to bring the deepest experience in local/California indigenous anthropology education possible to my mostly immigrant and working-class students in San Francisco. A HUGE PART of my motivation and background as a social studies educator came from my exposure to Kroeber's work and extensive research. Please continue to honor Kroeber in name! And promote more education about the native cultures of CA!!!
7/7/2020 10:44:01 Even in sociological disciplines like anthropology, scientific truth is decoupled from moral valence. Kroeber Hall is named as such in recognition of Alfred Kroeber's contribution to mankind's pool of knowledge, and this name should not be erased.

Furthermore, doing so would violate a promise to past generations and set a low upper bound on the value of legacy. Why build anything if your children will tear it down?
7/7/2020 11:07:52 I am a lifetime member of the Cal Alumni Association--I am so disappointed that my alma mater is giving any ground to the hysterical tantrums of children who want to destroy our history and obliterate Western Civilization. Fiat Lux means shining the light of the best education in the country---not changing names ala 1984 to fit a social justice warrior worldview. Make Cal learn and love our celebrated alumni again--and refuse any and all name changes. If you don't learn history, you are doomed to repeat it. And if you're so offended by a building name that it keeps you up at night, you don't deserve to attend the University of California.
7/7/2020 11:37:21 I don't think using nowadays standards to judge people in the past is reasonable. The naming of the building is to commemorate the figure's legacy to the school, but not his wrongdoings or personal beliefs. Also to address the proposal, I don't think publishing academic papers on whether Ohlone is culturally extinct shows any of his racism since this is a legit topic in Anthropology studies. And what was deemed legal at that time but not today cannot be deemed as morally wrong as now. To make a ridiculous joke, what if owning a pet is deemed illegal in the future if people started to realize animals should enjoy their liberty and should not be owned by another kind? I 100% oppose racism and will never in my life endorse any racists, and if professor LeConte and Kroeber did actually illegally incarcerated and tortured a man, I would definitely favor the removal of his name, since such act was horrible and morally wrong even in his time, but such statement should be carefully fact-checked. Lastly, I don't believe a "cancel culture" is what the community needed the most right now: the fact is nobody is or was perfect in this world -- no one will ever be. If the necessary condition to commemorate one's legacy is that such a figure should be consistent with every aspect of current standards (and noted that there are always new standards in every period of time), the result is nothing, and no one is worth remembering in human history.
7/7/2020 12:46:01 The current administrators are stewards of a timeless university and as such they betray their duty when making these permanent changes to campus solely to conform to a modern political zeitgeist.
7/7/2020 12:58:03 Although I don't personally feel very strongly about the topic, I felt it might nonetheless be helpful to furnish your council with some robust arguments against the name change, for the purposes of balance and diversity. Apologies as I submitted this same comment verbatim on your LeConte proposal, as my arguments are broadly applicable rather than specific.

1) Behind every great fortune there is a great crime. It is virtually impossible to amass a great deal of money without doing something that future or current generations will regard as unethical, and this is true for LeConte and for Kroeber. Are we to scrutinize the origins of all great donations and collaborations with our institution in the same manner? If so, how could we accept government grants from the military industrial complex responsible for so much death and suffering in recent decades? How can we accept donations and collaborations with tech companies that exploit quasi-slave labor around the world? Or of financial firms responsible for massively amplifying the global wealth gap and capturing the policy-making of democracies? There’s too much hypocrisy in singling out LeConte and Kroeber while enthusiastically playing ball with problematic individuals and institutions in the present day. It is fair to object to this type of hypocrisy.

2) Redemption and atonement are important ethical principles. If either LeConte or Kroeber hoped to pay an indulgence by supporting the academy in order to purge their sins, we should have no issue with this. It seems like a sensible and pragmatic framework that encourages charitable behavior from wicked people. If we retract our end of the deal, what incentive is there for future sinners to give us large sums of cash? I’d rather take their money and do good with it.

3) It strikes me as dishonorable to have accepted the money but not pay the kleos promised. A deal is a deal, and we should not break our word.

4) Politics change, morals change, and ethics change. I am concerned by the prospect of constantly editing the past to bring it in line with a sanitized present. I realize that citing Orwell is becoming a cliché, but here goes anyway: “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present”.

5) Humans are extremely complicated. The line dividing good and evil runs the hearts of every person. Even culture heroes like Ghandi or MLK have problematic aspects to their characters. I fear that we are setting a purity test for our benefactors and even ourselves that is far too stringent. Accepting that we are all complex and flawed seems like the right direction for progress.

6) Renaming these structures is arguably a superficial attempt to sanitize our ugly history. We are on stolen land, conquered through blood, fire, and genocide. Practically every aspect of our current prosperity, and virtually every stone on this campus is in part the product of tremendous historical and continuing injustice and violence. Unless the University is seriously considering returning land to the Ohlone tribe, or somehow rectifying the nightmare of the past, I fail to see how petty symbolism in any way remedies the sins of those who founded this institution. The horrors of our origins are not unique: similar bloodshed can be seen in the past of nearly every successful nation and institution on this planet. However, there’s something demoralizing about doing very little materially to help those who suffer in the present, while offering up some symbolic sacrifice to whitewash our association with the past. I disapprove of this type of shallow pageantry, however popular it may be. I would much rather see UC Berkeley take a firm stand against the open-air slave markets in Libya today, the use of slave labor in Qatar and the UAE, the slave-like conditions of illegal workers in the Californian agricultural sector, the exploitation of workers who produce our electronics, or even the working conditions of our own GSI’s and adjuncts, than busy itself with nomenclature and other superficialities. There are plenty of problems in the present, and dallying with ‘fixing’ the past is a depressingly elitist and bourgeois response to injustice.

I hope this doesn’t come across as too hostile: I intend only to sincerely engage with the call for arguments pro and contra, for the sake of diversity. I’m actually fairly neutral on the whole issue: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
7/7/2020 13:24:15 Rather than removing the name, why not fulfil our duties as educators, and add a plaque stating what Kroeber did, and why some people are offended by it?
7/7/2020 14:42:33 Kroeber’s legacy is complex and in some ways troubling, but I believe he sincerely desired to promote respect and understanding for indigenous peoples. His personal views on race actually seem advanced for his time. He fostered respectful study and consideration of the world’s diverse populations, and in this way advanced the field of modern anthropology. The story of Ishi is disturbing, but mostly for the light it sheds on the horrifying genocide of California natives, which I believe Kroeber deplored. Kroeber’s career should be studied very thoughtfully before his name is relegated to the trash heap.
7/7/2020 16:36:53 Alfred Kroeber was a great and world famous humanistic scholar who influenced the development of cultural anthropology in the United States in a very important way. He wrote and taught in the Franz Boas tradition of American anthropology, a central aim of which was to combat racism and biological determinism. I grew up in this tradition. I became an undergraduate student of anthropology at Berkeley in 1953, at the age of sixteen. I went on to earn my doctorate at Berkeley and taught as a professor there from 1964 until my retirement in 1994. I am absolutely astounded to hear that Kroeber is being mentioned in the same breath as racists and white supremacists. I am horrified that the university could even consider tarnishing his reputation by renaming Kroeber Hall, in which I worked so proudly for forty years as student and professor. Kroeber and his wife, Theodora, took Ishi in from the wilderness, where he was the sole survivor of a group that had been destroyed by white settlers, and gave him shelter and a job explaining his culture to the public. Theodora wrote a famous and beloved book explaining Ishi's experience and culture at a time when Native Americans had no voice of their own. Removing Kroeber's name from the Anthropology and Art Department would be a travesty. As a student of modern China I can only compare such injustice with the madness exhibited against innocent people during the cultural revolution in Maoist China. Please do not rename Kroeber Hall.
7/7/2020 19:08:12 As a graduate of the Anthropology program at Cal, I do not support renaming the building. While I support the renaming of various institutions and buildings to remove the obvious cases of past atrocities, I do not believe Kroeber was an unusual or especially egregious Anthropologist for his time. The fact is that Anthropology as a field has a dark and troubling past, and that you cannot find someone from that period who did not have antiquated views on race or people and hegemony. You could rename the building in favor of some modern person but good luck finding someone who hasn't ruffled feathers. It comes down to believing that Kroeber was a person of his times, neither far better, or worse, and was a leading intellectual figure of the day. There are various things he did and believed that are out of step with modern views, but none of them cross the line for me like LeConte. I sympathize with the challenge here, but don't support the change.
7/8/2020 8:10:59 Kroeber was well-intentioned in his efforts to document and preserve the history of Native Californian culture, which was largely extinguished by white settlers. While he is associated with abusive treatment of Ishi, this has to be considered in the context of his life's goals and achievements. found the statement(s) by Nancy Scheper-Hughes very compelling [https://blogs.berkeley.edu/2020/07/01/on-the-renaming-of-anthropologys-k... and hope that the committee considers Kroeber's legacy in a balanced way before erasing his name from the Anthropology building. I also strongly favor Scheper-Hughes' suggestion that in this time of reflection the University should engage with the current leadership of California's indigenous peoples and solicit their input on this decision.
7/8/2020 11:31:10 Kroeber was Franz Boas's first Ph.D. at Columbia. On this remarkable group, see Charles King's recent book, Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century. Boas's last words were: "We should never stop repeating the idea that racism is a monstrous error and an impudent lie." It is perhaps ironic that modern anti-racists who seek to cancel Kroeber, an imperfect person, are walking in his footsteps.
7/8/2020 17:01:20 One of the most enlightened of his generation, Kroeber deserves his fame and acclaim. The idea that his name on the building somehow harms living indigenous people is not sound, nor is it just.
7/8/2020 22:45:28 Alfred Kroeber made numerous contributions in the area of anthropology and is the reason that many of the records of some Native American tribes have been preserved. While it is true that Kroeber did make mistakes in his research (however I am not able to figure out what he did wrong through my research, it would be good if someone could point me to where I could find this); his overall contribution was a good one to the Native American community. Every human being makes mistakes and we are not ever going to find a perfect person to name a building after. No matter who we pick to honor, that person is sure to have made mistakes. So, I think it's good to stick to someone who made an overall good contribution. Why did UC choose to honor Kroeber in this way in the first place? Because he made big contribution.
Nitpicking someone's life and finding mistakes is not going to be effective if we don't look at the bigger picture.
7/9/2020 14:58:26 Greetings, and thank you for creating an official structure to review the concerns of our communities regarding the building name on the UC Berkeley campus carrying the name of Alfred Kroeber. Dr. Kroeber was one of the first students in the United States to be granted a doctoral degree in anthropology while he studied under Franz Boas at Columbia University. The Boas school of Anthropology, of which Kroeber was a part, was actually very progressive and even radical for its time in regards to ideas and approaches on race and gender. This was not an intellectual movement regarding culture that posited the superiority of one culture over another. In fact, there was an acknowledgment of what we today would call multiculturalism. I would refer you to the recent book written by Charles King entitled "Gods of the Upper Air" in order to verify this about the school of Anthropology to which Kroeber belonged and adhered to. Alfred Kroeber sought to chronicle, record, and preserve information about the indigenous and non-white cultures of the Western Americas, not only in California but also further south. His name acknowledges his importance in helping create and jump-start the field of Anthropology in this country and state. There is no evidence that he personally held racist views nor that he consciously used the field of Anthropology to assist in colonialism or to make arguments about cultural superiority. In fact, I think that you can see how his progressive views on gender and race, for example, were passed onto one of his daughters, Ursula K. Le Guin, when you read some of her science fiction novels and realize how she used the cultural anthropology that she learned from her father to subvert supremacist racial and gender categories. I think that the better way to acknowledge and begin to right the real wrongs done to the indigenous tribes of our state is for the University of California system to return all Native artifacts and remains to their tribes. That would be real and concrete action that goes far beyond the symbolic removal of a name from a building. With Sincere Regards, I thank you for reading my view on this matter. 
7/13/2020 20:11:34 The Kroebers played an enormous role at Berkeley (seen from today's perspective, much that is fortunate but some that was ahead of their time). But I myself would prefer to have (in this case, not in some others) a clear statement in the entry way about the complexities of their lives. I may be biased here, as a historian, but their story is fascinating and deserves to be told. I am very much for renaming other buildings where the story is not as interesting and more problematic.
7/13/2020 20:30:21 What those who propose to un-name Kroeber Hall presuppose is that historical figures whose lives do not conform with present values are for this reason blameworthy, and that their work ought not to be given recognition nowadays.

But I have learned, from anthropologists among others, that values do not transcend period and culture; they are artifacts of specific times, customs and societies.   As we are distant from our ancestors' mores, so I expect our descendants' values will differ from ours.

I suggest we assess Kroeber not by the standards of our time, but those of his own.

As described in the petition to un-name Kroeber Hall, Kroeber's behavior was not worse than that of other anthropologists of his day.  It is reasonable to infer that the petitioners would be no more content with the name of another American anthropologist from Kroeber's time than with Kroeber himself.  

On the other hand, Kroeber's scholarly work, while obviously of its own time, has been of lasting value to Berkeley, to California, and to the scientific community.  It is a foundation on which many have built.

In a nutshell, un-naming Kroeber Hall is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
7/14/2020 8:17:55 I am in all support of the BLM movement; however I do want BLM turn out like Culture Revolution in China. In the Culture Revolution in China in the 70s, anyone and anything that has a tad bit of link to capitalism is oppressed relentlessly. BLM is an American cultural revolution, and it is necessary for the US to proceed. But just because the person is racist does not necessarily veto everything he/she did. In addition, one person grew in a certain cultural context, it is not entirely his/her fault to hold one particular view on people. Finally, usually building names for me does not have much association with the person, instead this name reminds me of all the crazy classes I took there. I imagine this is the name for many of the students ---- building name is just a name, not that person. In sum, I do not think we have the full justification to entirely remove the building's name just because BLM.
7/15/2020 10:55:36 Alfred Kroeber, the founder of the Berkeley Anthropology Department, was a great and world famous humanistic scholar who influenced the development of cultural anthropology in the United States in a very important way. He wrote and taught in the Franz Boas tradition of American anthropology, a central aim of which was to combat racism and biological determinism. I grew up in this tradition. I became an undergraduate student of anthropology at Berkeley in 1953, at the age of sixteen. As an undergraduate student, I met Kroeber briefly and heard one of his brilliant lectures. I went on to earn my doctorate at Berkeley and taught as a professor there from 1964 until my retirement in 1994. I am absolutely astounded to hear that Kroeber is being mentioned in the same breath as racists and white supremacists. I am horrified that the university could even consider tarnishing his reputation by renaming Kroeber Hall, in which I worked so proudly for forty years as student and professor. Kroeber took Ishi in from the wilderness, where he was the sole survivor of a group that had been destroyed by white settlers, and gave him shelter and a job helping clean the museum and explaining his culture to the public. Theodora, his wife, with Kroeber as her main informant, wrote a famous and beloved book explaining Ishi's experience and documenting the horrible genocide against Native Americans that had taken place in California, at a time when Native Americans had no voice of their own.

Alfred Kroeber spent much of his career studying the Native American Indian cultures of the United States, especially those of California. His work is monumental and no one (including Native Americans) could understand these cultures and their history without the contribution of Kroeber and the other Boas-inspired anthropologists of his time, who were instructed by Boas to go out and record these precious cultures before they were completely destroyed by the white settlers. Kroeber’s study of Native American cultures was not a hostile act; it was a loving and friendly one.

Contrary to the harsh accusations of the people who want to erase Kroeber’s memory from our university, Kroeber was aided in his studies by Native Americans who volunteered their help. Without the willing assistance of Native American informants, the work of Kroeber and the other anthropologists of that time would have been impossible. The idea that he and his research were hated is simply untrue. There is no indication that Kroeber was despised by the peoples he worked with. On the contrary, from Theodora Kroeber’s books, Ishi and Kroeber, we know that Kroeber had many Native American friends who frequently visited him and sometimes stayed with his family for extended periods. Later, I will show how he testified successfully to a U. S. government commission in a legal case on behalf of Native American land rights.

Kroeber’s accusers have completely misrepresented his treatment of Ishi. I can’t state this too strongly! No one can read Theodora Kroeber’s books, Ishi or Kroeber, without noticing that Kroeber and Waterman and the other members of the museum staff in San Francisco could not have been better friends to Ishi.  They rescued him from jail and gave him shelter, a job, respect, and, yes, love.   They took him into their homes and treated him as a friend.  Ishi was given several chances to return to his homeland or join some other Native American group but, instead, he chose to remain at "his home" in the museum.  He enjoyed demonstrating his skills in tool making, fire making, and archery,  and he loved his job and especially enjoyed counting the silver half-dollars in his monthly paycheck and watching  them safely stowed away in the museum safe.  No one forced him to demonstrate his traditional skills for the visitors to the museum.  He enjoyed it!  What would one have had him do instead – alone, in a strange world without any means of subsistence?  Even the many interested visitors to the museum treated him with respect.  He wasn't treated as a side show.  How can his accusers criticize Kroeber and our  department and museum people for this truly humane behavior?  They could not have been nicer to him and I am proud of them!

One cannot read Theodora's hilarious account of the stag horseback field trip  that Ishi took to his native territory with Kroeber, Waterman, and his doctor, Pope, (like Ishi a devotee of archery), and still claim that Kroeber didn't treat Ishi as anything other than a valued and respected fellow human being.  They sang songs in English and Yahi, told tales in both languages, watched Ishi kill deer with his bow, and swam bare naked in the rivers of Ishi's ancestral home.  They had a ball! Ishi referred to Kroeber and Waterman as his friends – and they were. Like most California Native Americans,Yahi was loath to give anyone their personal names; this did not indicate a distrust of Kroeber. The museum people had to call him something. The negative accounts of the relationship between Ishi and Kroeber and the other member of the museum staff are lies and deliberate misrepresentations. Kroeber saw Ishi daily when he was home and they were dear friends. Theodora writes in her book that Kroeber was so saddened by Ishi’s death that he could never bring himself to write about his friend and their close relationship. Theodora had to do it for him.

As for the matter of Ishi's brain, Kroeber, who was in Washington D. C. on his way back from a sabbatical in Europe when Ishi died, gave specific instructions, in no uncertain terms, that no autopsy or dismemberment of  his body should be carried out. The removal of Ishi's brain was against Kroeber's expressed wishes and carried out by the hospital doctors adjacent to the museum despite the efforts of Professor Gifford to prevent it. Theodora wrote that “Kroeber was passionately determined that in his death Ishi’s body should be handled according to Yahi custom and belief. He wrote to Gifford, ‘If there is any talk of the interests of science, say that science can go to hell! We propose to stand by our friends’.” After the autopsy had been carried out, what was Kroeber supposed to do with Ishi’s brain: there were no family or tribal members left. Should he have kept what was to him a horrible and distressing reminder of his friend, on a shelf in his office or in the museum, or thrown it in the garbage?  He should not be chastised for sending it to the Smithsonian.  Kroeber's colleagues had Ishi’s body cremated and they placed the ashes in a Hopi pottery jar, as close as they could come to respecting Yahi burial customs. To criticize Kroeber for his treatment of Ishi’s remains is really a disgusting slander and libel.

Native Americans had a good friend in Alfred Kroeber. Kroeber spoke up for the rights of Native Americans in a practical and political way. He testified before the Indian Claims Commission in a legal procedure designed to clarify California Native American rights to their ancestral lands, putting all of his knowledge gained through years of research to practical use on their behalf. Omer C. Stewart, wrote of this in his article, “Kroeber and The Indian Claims Commission Cases.”:

“In 1952 Kroeber was asked by attorneys for Indians of California to help them preserve Native American lands worth millions of dollars and he agreed. Kroeber, over 75 years of age, entered energetically and wholeheartedly into restudying the ethnohistory of California in order to present accurately the information needed to support the Native American case. Aboriginal Indian title could be established by evidence that an identifiable group used and occupied a definable area, at the exclusion of others, since time immemorial. Kroeber and [Berkeley professor of anthropology] Robert Heizer, one of Kroeber’s students, with the help of a number of Berkeley graduate students, combed the massive ethnographic literature to assemble the data necessary to support the Native American land case against the U. S. Justice Department. Kroeber prepared a new map of the aboriginal linguistic groups of California, changing boundaries which had been drawn for the Handbook of California Indians in 1925 where new evidence had become available…Kroeber’s Handbook of the Indians of California was, of course, the primary basis for the case of the Indians of California, but in addition 186 exhibits were required to present ethnographic, historical, botanical and archaeological data not covered by the handbook.”

Stewart continues:

“Kroeber spoke or submitted to cross-examination for three hours a day for ten days. It was a masterful performance by a gifted scientist and talented, energetic scholar....Kroeber was an exceptionally impressive witness. The fifteen main points covered included a definition of anthropology, an explanation of ethnological procedures, an evaluation of ethnogeography and demography, a characterization of California Indian political-territorial groups, an exposition on land use for food and other purposes, etc. … All of the other witnesses [from the Berkeley anthropology department] demonstrated great erudition; Kroeber, however, was the significant presence; he seemed at all times the ‘ideal witness.’ Because of Kroeber’s age and health, in 1954, the attorneys for the Indians wished to present their case as soon as possible.”

The Indians won their case: “The Commission therefore concludes that the Indians have proven aboriginal Indian title to all of said lands in Area B except those Spanish or Mexican grants located therein.”

Does the real Kroeber I have tried to portray here resemble the hateful image projected by the advocates for renaming Kroeber Hall? I think not. Such intemperate hate and vitriol! Removing Kroeber's name from the Anthropology and Art Department would be a travesty. As a student of modern China I can only compare such injustice with the character attacks and humiliations carried out against innocent people, on the basis of trumped up charges, by zealots like the Red Guards during the cultural revolution in Maoist China.

Native Americans have every reason to resent the crimes, including genocide, done to them by white Americans. But Kroeber, admittedly an imperfect person like all human beings, does not deserve to have all that hate and blame laid at his door. Alfred Kroeber was a gentle and compassionate man who was a scholar of such stature as we shall probably never see again.

Please do not rename Kroeber Hall.
7/24/2020 12:07:47 Un-naming the Kroeber Hall is a shame to anthropology, a shame to Native Americans, a shame to the American Nation!
7/24/2020 17:11:17 Alfred Kroeber was a renowned anthropologist who contributed a great deal to the study of Native Americans especially in California. He was a world famous scholar.
7/31/2020 10:24:39 Given that Kroeber was a leader in the scholarly movement to appreciate the diversity of humankind, it is perverse to cancel him for not meeting 21st century purity.
8/6/2020 15:04:55 About the “un-naming” of Kroeber Hall at UC Berkeley

Dear Members of the Committee,
I am a Berkeley alumna (PhD ’98) on the Engineering faculty at the University of Nebraska. During my graduate studies in engineering, I took several graduate courses in Archeology and Anthropology (yes, in Kroeber Hall), as I have had a life-long interest in these subjects.

In support of Alfred Kroeber, I would point out that in his monumental work he displays the type of cultural sensitivity toward Native Americans that was uncommon in his era but that is the standard today. It is rather ironic that we accuse Kroeber of violating today's standards which may well not be in place were it not for his pioneering and extensive work.

To have an argument about re-naming Kroeber Hall because of issues connected to Ishi is even stranger. Alfred Kroeber never did anything illegal under the laws of his time. He asked for Ishi’s wishes about last rites to be respected in an act of cultural sensitivity that was not the prevailing norm in those times and was deeply saddened by his death. His contributions to anthropology in general are vast, and his contributions to the then nascent field of Native American Studies are nothing short of foundational. I do not wish to go into detail about scientific merits of his work or its political implications for subsequent self-governance issues for the tribes. Rather my argument here rather relates to judging and valuing the contributions of Alfred Kroeber within the larger context of what is an appropriate way of thinking about the legacy of our scientific ancestors.

We inscribe their names on buildings in a place of learning as a symbol of both excellence in scholarship and power of example for future generations of scholars in that field. The act does not mean that they were perfect in every way. We would have a very hard time finding such a person. It means that their body of work is not only impressive, and perhaps fundamental to that field, but it can also inspire. Imagine if we could name nothing “Newton” because Sir Isaac Newton waged vendettas against other scientists, like Robert Hooke or Leibniz, doing a great disservice to science in the process. Or that we stop playing Amazing Grace at our laic, yet sacred, ceremonies because the one who wrote it was at some point in his life, the captain of a slave ship?

I believe that we can safely say that Alfred Kroeber’s work with Ishi, and in general Ishi’s collaboration with Berkeley anthropologists, from a deeply human perspective, gave Ishi a measure of peace and worth on the one hand and on the other gave us a wealth of knowledge and understanding about his people. The work he did with anthropologists to preserve this knowledge, while also earning a living, gave him a sense of self-worth and dignity. In a way he did find a new family with the anthropologists who worked with him. Alfred Kroeber to him was more than a friend; he was like family.

While we might try to imagine what he, Ishi, might have thought, I believe that we should be careful trying to claim the right to speak for Ishi who lived a century ago and especially to take umbrage for him when there is ample evidence that he considered himself lucky not only to have found shelter in a strange new world for him but to also find friends and a sense of family with whom he could SHARE his heritage, which, moreover, would be preserved for future generations. I do not know what the spirits of his ancestors may say - I would not dare to speak for them – but seeing the treasure of knowledge we have today about them, I think they ought to be pretty proud of Ishi and of Kroeber. In a sense, Kroeber was like Ishi’s son, to whom he passed on the knowledge of his traditions.

In that sense, - and herein lies the beauty of that interaction - we are ALL Ishi’s sons and daughters because of the passionate, enlightened, and compassionate work of Alfred Kroeber. If only for that I hope that his trespasses would be forgiven by descendants of those whom he wronged. While the most unfavorable motives are are being ascribed to him, I would submit that his record warrants a more charitable view that he was motivated more by curiosity and devotion to the subject of his research, rather than a lack of respect or cultural sensitivity.

So, his name ought to stay on the frontispiece of the building that houses the Department of Anthropology that he founded, at UC Berkeley, for he was a visionary, a true scholar, and one of the founders of the very field of Anthropology itself, and as such he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

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