The president of Washington and Lee University, Kenneth Ruscio, announced in an email this afternoon that the eight regimental Confederate battle flags on display in Lee Chapel, which rests above the crypt where Robert E. Lee and his family are buried, will be removed. He also issued a public apology for slavery.
Back in April, a group of 12 black law students that call themselves “the Committee” issued a series of demands because they reportedly felt “alienation and discomfort” on a campus where blacks are only 3.5 percent of the student body:
1. We demand that the University fully recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on the undergraduate campus.
2. We demand that the University stop allowing neo-confederates to march on campus with confederate flags on Lee-Jackson Day.
3. We demand that the University immediately remove all confederate flags from its property and premises, including those flags located within Lee Chapel.
4. We demand that the University issue an official apology for the University’s participation in chattel slavery, including a denunciation of General Robert E. Lee’s participation in slavery.
Predictably, this petulant list of demands received state, local, and national publicity from the media, and President Ruscio created a special committee to study the issue. “The Committee” promised to engage in “civil disobedience” unless their demands to “remove Lee’s legacy” were not met by September 1.
What can we learn from this episode?
1. This isn’t the first time that blacks have been found molesting the graves of Confederate leaders. The Memphis City Council voted to rename three Confederate parks including the resting place of Nathan Bedford Forrest.
2. Rep. Tyrone Brooks of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials orchestrated the removal of the Tom Watson statue on the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta and its replacement with a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. Governor Deal swore that the removal of the Watson statue was only a public safety issue.
3. The NAACP orchestrated the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina State House in 2000 and over 1,000 blacks rallied in January in Columbia to have it removed from the State House grounds altogether.
Wherever some aspect of Southern heritage is being assaulted and destroyed, please note the striking correlation with the presence of loud, obnoxious, and aggrieved blacks whining about the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. The SCV and other Rainbow Confederates follow these blacks around and suck up to them.
It’s a losing strategy that failed in Memphis, failed twice in Lexington, and will fail again elsewhere.