RTD: “VMI leaders say military college will keep Confederate statues”

That stalwart, DRM89, sent in this fine piece of defiant good news:

“Leaders of Virginia Military Institute said Tuesday that the school will keep its Confederate statues and consider adding more historical context in the aftermath of last month’s violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.”

You need to read past the politically correct blah-blah-blah-Ginger fluff to get the facts. But the facts are there.

About vmijpp

VMIJPP hails from the star city of the south, Roanoke, Virginia. A 1989 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, he is a retired artillery officer in the United States Marine Corps, with time in both the active and reserve sides. He served in Iraq in 2004, and in Afghanistan in 2009-2010. He joined the magnificent OPFOR.com as a guest blogger from the now defunct but never uninteresting Rule 308, where he denounced gun control and other aspects of tyranny, and proclaimed the greatness of the United States. When the sun set on OPFOR.com, he migrated here with Keydet1976 and the others.
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One Response to RTD: “VMI leaders say military college will keep Confederate statues”

  1. burkemblog says:

    Good. I figured VMI would have to do something, and placing the statues into some larger context would be a good idea. Glad to see my BR Bill Boland, head of the BoV, taking a stand here.

    That said, I think we might not realize just how complex these things have always been. None of this is new. When I started at VMI in 1969, and coming from California (more or less–I was living in the Philippines at the time), the various “Confederate” aspects of the Institute seemed more sentimental than fundamental–the rebel yell at the beginning of parades; the statues, particularly of Virginia Mourning Her Dead; the Condeferate flags on the graves of the New Market cadets. What made it complex was that black cadets had been admitted only the year before–five in the class of 1972, only two in mine (1973). There were huge debates about whether or not the black cadets should be forced to participate in the New Market ceremony (which was much more “Confederate” then than now–“Dixie,” flags, you name it) –Doug Baumgardner (Cadet editor) and I (Cadet managing editor) wrote opposing editiorials on this issue for seems like weeks–Doug pointed out years later that few knew I was the one who wrote the more conservative ones, though i didn’t think of them that way at the time. I was more concerned with solidarity of the corps and with commemorating the courage of those young cadets, which now seems somewhat naive on my part. I recall, too, seeing a couple of KKK folks, hoods and all, appearing at the New Market parades–I think the post police escorted them off campus, though i could be wrong. maybe Townie, whose rat year coincided with all this, has more reliable recall than I.

    I also recall one of the favorite questions upperclassmen asked the rats of my time: “who won the war, rat?” There was no good answer–if you said “the North,” you were punished with pushups or some other indignity; if you answered “the South” (having learned from the first experience), you were also punished for being historically incorrect. Some of the more inventive rats tried “VMI, with the help of the South/North,” depending on the accent of the upperclass questioner. That didn’t always work, either. Like rat boxing, it taught me a great deal about being an adult–that much of the world is arbitrary, capricious, and the only way to get by was to adopt a set of core principles and follow them regardless of the consequences–which i think is the point of the Honor Code, BTW.

    My point here is that this statue business is not new, that race and slavery and history have always been intertwined in complex ways at VMI, and this is just another example of how all this plays out in our lives. Reducing it to simply two sides is woefully inadequate.

    Like

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