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Perched in the old city of Akko, Israel, is an enormous citadel, one that has been built, leveled, and rebuilt again by various powers. When I visited the citadel, I recall mentally organizing the history, asking my friend to translate from Hebrew the timeline of the citadel’s ever-fraught ownership.

From the Crusaders to the Ottomans to the British, the walls of Akko tell a story, one that locals are eager to both preserve and tell through intensive restoration projects. I was reminded of this mantra—walls tell stories—when I heard of a recent push within academia to remove pictures of scientists, Nobel Prize winners, deans, and various other accolade recipients from the walls of university halls under the auspices of their insufficient racial and sex differences. Most of the suspect portraits are of older white men.

In many instances, such […]

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