Who was David Prescott Barrows?
The bust inside this Hall says he was the President of the University of California. But he is also directly responsible for setting up the colonial education in the Philippines which perpetuates American Colonialism even to this day. He believed it was America's mission to save and "civilize," as he called us, "the little brown brothers/savages" of the Philippines. However, even before colonization by the US, Spain, and Japan, Pilipinxs had their own systems of living as evident by the writing system, baybayin.
Barrows' imperialistic actions were meant to spread American colonialism, an act that students of color on campus find morally reprehensible. Recently, both the Cal Black Student Union and the Pilipinx Community have called for the renaming of Barrows Hall for both Assata Shakur and Gabriela Silang, respectively.
The fact that there are several buildings on this campus that are named after racists and colonizers is sickening. The Ethnic Studies, Asian American Studies, Near Eastern Studies, Chicanx Studies, Native American Studies, African American Studies, and Gender & Womxn's Studies departments are all housed in Barrows. Barrow's name directly opposes the missions of these departments.
Like past demands to rename this building, the artists behind this piece echo the sentiments that Barrows Hall be renamed. We dream that a mural of revolutionaries of color chosen by students of color be painted on the wall of this wind tunnel in order to affirm our existence here. We know that physical spaces like the Multicultural Community Center and the Centers for Educational Justice and Community Engagement exist. We know that that student organizations fill the gaps. Yet these spaces were fought for by students, won by students, and we continue this tradition because we still have to fight today for affirming spaces. Barrows Hall must be decolonized. Rename Barrows Hall.