What's the First Thing These GW Students Think When They Hear 'George Washington?'

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Posted: Mar 29, 2018 2:00 PM

You'd think George Washington University students would take some pride in the man whose name is emblazoned all across their campus. Yet, when documentarian Ami Horowitz stopped by to chat with some of the young adults, more than a few of them wished for the first president's name to be removed from their sight. Even though Washington was one of our Founding Fathers, he was also a slave owner, more than a few students noted.

"What's the first thing that comes to mind when I say 'George Washington?'" Horowitz asked one student, after having a discussion about slavery.

"I think about him owning slaves, yeah," the student said.

His opinion was apparently in the majority. After three hours of chatting with GWU students, Horowitz found that 70 percent were in favor of a name change for the school.

One young lady even compared Washington to Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first Grand Wizard of the KKK, noting that they had only recently succeeded in tearing down one of his statues in Overton Park in Memphis.

"It's not to say he wasn't an important man back then, it's just saying in this day and age it's not as important I don't think," another young lady said of Washington.

Washington isn't so popular outside of college campuses either. Some are even clamoring for his memorials to be removed from churches.

Horowitz's student chats are a bit disheartening, but keep watching to hear the young man at the end who would "absolutely not" change the name of his school. He's a keeper.

"If we forget liberty...then what exactly do we have?"