On Icons and Symbols in Context

In light of the attention paid recently to a debate over the display of Confederate symbols and icons at Washington and Lee University (see, for example, Kevin Levin’s discussion of this issue, as well as two followups here and here), people might find this piece interesting reading. It’s by the president of W&L.

(h/t Scott Stabler)

2 thoughts on “On Icons and Symbols in Context

  1. Bob Nelson April 17, 2014 / 5:11 pm

    A candid and well-thought-out response. I cannot disagree with anything he said.

  2. pam April 18, 2014 / 3:16 pm

    I am not a rep for African Americans, that being said……If I were to attend or send my children to this school, they would know the “heritage” behind it. The truth. What the Confederacy stood for, white supremacy,and who R E Lee really was. (a man of his time) I would not send my children there unless they had the ONLY or BEST program in t he country; neither would I send them to an all black school. This is America and I would want them to celebrate and participate in our diversity. These students do have a right to voice their opinions, (and I do agree with them,) but all of their wishes are not practical…yet. Even as the president of the college there were racial incidents that occurred in the county which Lee advised his students upon, which reflect his supremicst state of mind. I can come up with the source, I think it was from Elizabeth’s Pryors book. Bottom line, Lee was a slave owner that refused to free his slaves upon his father in law’s death, and was a racist. How to separate that from his mission as a progressive leader in education, I don’t know. It’s not simple.

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