Black Washington And Lee Law Students Criticize University For Honoring Racist Namesake
A handful of African-American law students from Washington and Lee University are coming together in protest of the school’s open honoring of its’ namesake, who was a leader in the Confederate Army. The students have requested that the board of trustees do whatever is necessary to make the school more welcoming for minority students, including removing the confederate flags that are currently flying from the campus chapel.
via Washington Post
A group of black law students at Washington and Lee University is urging administrators to atone for its Confederate heritage and what they call the “dishonorable conduct” of namesake Robert E. Lee.
The movement has struck a racial divide on the bucolic campus in Lexington, Va., where black students make up about 3.5 percent of the total student population.
Third-year law student Dominik Taylor, a descendent of slaves on his father’s side, said he felt betrayed by admissions representatives who touted the school’s diversity.
“They assured me it was a welcoming environment where everyone sticks together as a community,” Taylor said. “Then I came here and felt ostracized and alienated.”
Taylor is among a group of students who have urged the board of trustees to make the university more welcoming for minority students. Known collectively as the Committee, the students wrote a letter to the trustees with a list of “demands,” promising acts of civil disobedience if they see no action before Sept. 1.
The students want Confederate flags removed from the chapel. They also want administrators to ban Confederate reenactors and sympathizers from campus on the Lee-Jackson holiday in Virginia, and they ask that the university’s undergraduate school cancel classes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Washington and Lee law school began observing the holiday in 2013, but the undergraduate students still attend classes. Although Lee-Jackson Day, the Friday before the King holiday, is not a formal holiday on campus, the school does honor Lee annually around his birthday on Founder’s Day.
The Committee also wants the administrators to issue an apology for the university’s connection to slavery and the “racist and dishonorable conduct of Robert E. Lee,” the general who led Confederate forces during the Civil War.
These students definitely raise valid points and it’s surprising that the University would continue to pride itself on being “diverse” yet still honoring the memory of this racist man. What are you r thoughts on this, Bossip fam?