We viewed the start of this controversy this past April, when the SHPG and other so-called “confederate heritage people” showed their racism and lack of class.
W&L President Ken Ruscio has responded to the students’ concerns in a thoughtful and, in my opinion, outstanding manner. He took their concerns seriously, studied the situation, and I believe came up with a wonderful solution. You can read his letter in its entirety here. Some press coverage is here. The press, as usual, is mediocre in their coverage of the situation and the response.
As before, Kevin Levin is all over this story. See here, here, and here. Andy Hall has also offered some coverage, including coverage a racist over at SHPG here. Brooks Simpson highlights the ravings of one particular mental case here.
Reaction from the professional southerners has been predictable.
Here’s the post that Andy highlighted for us. It has since been removed.
He claims to be “deleting” his application to W&L. Judging from the semiliterate quality of his writing, he’s not qualified to attend anyway, so his “deletion” of his application merely increases the average IQ of W&L applicants, if indeed he’s telling the truth about having applied. In addition to being a racist [“7 dark students,” etc.], he also has no clue about actual history, which is ironic as he claims others need a history lesson when it’s obvious he’s the one desperately in need of one. Here are two examples. He claims, “General lee [sic] owned no slaves.” That’s ridiculously false. Lee inherited slaves from his mother and thus owned slaves of his own. He rented his slaves out. There are records of one slave he rented to his cousin, Hill Carter, in the Berkeley Plantation Papers. Secondly, he claims, “…nor did he fight the war for slaves.” I wonder what General Lee would say if we asked him? Lee wrote to Secretary of War James A. Seddon soon after Lincoln released the Final Emancipation Proclamation:
“In view of the vast increase of the forces of the enemy, of the savage and brutal policy he has proclaimed, which leaves us no alternative but success or degradation worse than death, if we would save the honor of our families from pollution, our social system from destruction, let every effort be made, every means be employed, to fill and maintain the ranks of our armies, until God, in His mercy, shall bless us with the establishment of our independence.” [R. E. Lee to James Seddon, 10 Jan 1863]
Here is Robert E. Lee saying that he and the other confederates are fighting to maintain the institution of slavery [“our social systems”] and to maintain white supremacy [“degradation worse than death” and “honor of our families from pollution”].
We could go on for hours more highlighting more stupidity in that missive, but I think the point has been made.
The responses from the heritage of hate folks shows they didn’t understand what the demands were, and they don’t understand what President Ruscio is doing. No surprise there. These mental midgets would rather have the knock-off replicas in the chapel than have original battle flags in the museum. They’ve never been particularly bright, and this is no exception.
We hear whining about “PC” and “spineless university president.” I guess for them it beats actually learning and thinking about a subject. For them, it’s more of the same; however, for individuals with IQs above room temperature this has been a model for how to deal with complaints. Take them seriously, investigate, and come up with a fair solution that addresses valid complaints and explain why any unmet demands won’t be met.
Well done, President Ruscio. Well done.
Edit July 11, 2014: Here’s a story from NPR with an interview of President Ruscio.