- The Washington Times - Friday, March 10, 2017

The Crusader, a weekly newspaper published by the students of a small Jesuit college in Worcester, Massachusetts, is considering a name change for the first time in decades amid concerns raised by an identically named publication affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan.

Calls to rename the College of the Holy Cross newspaper first surfaced late last year after a KKK publication with the same name touted President Trump’s White House bid, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported Thursday, triggering condemnation from the candidate’s campaign and raising concerns on campus.

Four dozen members of the Holy Cross faculty wrote the student newspaper last month to express concerns over its name, and its editors have since agreed to move forward with a potential rebranding.

“We strive to serve as a vehicle for student opinion and as an avenue for student engagement and dialogue on campus. Often, that dialogue involves difficult but necessary conversations. Today, the difficult conversation surrounds the use of our own moniker,” editors Megan Izzo and Jonathan Thompson responded late last month.

“Effective immediately, we would like to initiate an ongoing discussion open to all students, faculty, staff and alumni to determine whether this claim remains accurate in the year 2017. In particular, we share the faculty’s concern that the official publication of the Ku Klux Klan bears the same name as our own,” they wrote.

Holy Cross’ nonprofit, nonpartisan student newspaper was originally called “Tomahawk,” but it was changed after 30 years in 1955 to “The Crusader,” the school’s mascot.

The KKK, meanwhile, has its own “The Crusader” published quarterly by Thomas Robb, an Arkansas pastor who also serves as national director of the Knights Party, previously known as the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Mr. Robb took over the Klan in 1989, and has billed his group as “the most active white rights organization in America,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a hate-crime watchdog.

Mr. Robb all but endorsed Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign in a November 2016 front-page Crusader article that touted his “nationalist views and his words about shutting down the border to illegal aliens.” Mr. Trump’s campaign responded by calling Mr. Robb’s publication “repulsive” and unrepresentative of his supporters.

Dozens of Holy Cross faculty members later suggested the campus newspaper consider a name change in “response to the growing anti-Muslim tensions in our country, and to the fact that the Ku Klux Klan official newspaper shares the same name as our own.” The campus publication has since scheduled a public discussion on the issue slated for March 16.

“We look forward to hearing a multitude of perspectives on this complex and multifaceted issue, and we hope that all members of the Holy Cross community will consider submitting their thoughts for publication,” the editors wrote.

Holy Cross administrators are “committed” to a review of the publication’s name, they told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette this week.

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