The Board of John Tyler Community College in Chester, Virginia has recommended that the school be renamed “Brightpoint” (The Progress-Index, July 8th online). It turns out that John Tyler — the 10th President of the United States, for whom the college is named — was a slaveholder. Uh-oh.
According to Dr. Edward Raspiller, President of the college, the proposed name evokes two powerful images that are central to the institution’s evolving mission: assisted living facilities for the elderly, and large, high-end appliances for the kitchen, laundry room, and deck.
In Raspiller’s words, “in the coming decade we plan to reach out to our county’s senior-citizen population with a variety of one-credit courses, such as ‘Napping’ and ‘Chewing’. During focus groups at nursing homes around the state, we found that residents smiled broadly when consultants projected the word ‘Brightpoint’ on the screen. In fairness, they also smiled broadly when the words ‘Pringles’, ‘tooth’, and ‘tapeworm‘ were displayed. But ‘Brightpoint’ elicited the most intense response. Folks said they would love to spend time in a place with that name.
“The second plus for ‘Brightpoint’ is that it brings to mind a deluxe line of stoves, refrigerators, washer/dryer units, and barbecue grills. In the Spring 2022 semester we will begin selling these items in the campus bookstore, in an attempt to offset reduced budget allocations to our school from those sons of bitches in the state legislature. A free kitten will accompany each purchase of $300 or more. Virginians love their felines.”
“WHEN YOU TAKE A COURSE AT BRIGHTPOINT, YOU’RE MAKING THE RIGHT POINT!”
“Our consulting firm tells me that I should say this every time I speak in public. How does it sound?”
Terrific, Mr. President. Absolutely terrific.