Wherein Black People Have to Go to School with Confederates

Elie Mystal, Above the Law, April 15, 2014

After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee accepted a position as president of what was then called Washington College. By all accounts, he served the school well and had a nice end of life. After his death, Washington College was renamed Washington & Lee.

Today, many black people attend the university that bears Marse Robert’s surname, so I guess we won. But a group of black law students at Washington & Lee Law School is getting really sick of the university’s consistent, stars-and-bars waving support of Lee’s legacy and the whitewashing (no pun intended) of what that legacy represents.


Again, black people could have probably known what kind of university they were getting involved with when they applied to Washington & Lee, but if you want to know what’s pissing the black law students off, I can begin to explain in a picture:


Now, I don’t know if a tomb to a dead general crosses that intangible line from historical preservation to offensive nostalgia. But when you couple those traditions with other things black law students at W&L are complaining about, you can understand their problem. Here is a list of demands from a group of black law students calling themselves “The Committee”:

Here is a list of the FOUR DEMANDS:

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.

If the school does not act by SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 we WILL engage in civil disobedience.


Click through to Above the Law: Redline to see the response from the Washington & Lee administration. Apparently, they have black friends . . . .

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Tom Mixx

    The academics will cave…

    • Pro_Whitey

      Maybe, just maybe, not. I understand W&L has a proud and insular culture. If the blacks don’t like it, GTFO!

      • D.B. Cooper

        I agree with Tom, Pro_Whitey. Blacks had to have known before they were admitted under Affirmative Action what kind of school it is. Let them go to U-Mich. I heard that school is looking hard for diversity.
        Every school across America has caved to political correctness. This one will prove no different. I’m 46. I read this exact same story every year ever since I’ve been able to read.

        • dukem1

          One would think they should have had at least a passing familiarity with who the “Lee” in the college is.
          But that would ascribe some level of intellect which, to date, has not ever, not nowhere, been on display.
          I say just give ’em all their degrees and send ’em on their way to “success” in community organizing, criminal justice, or some field where the ability to mau-mau is justly rewarded.

      • MooTieFighter

        Agreed, Go to Morehouse or another black school. They knew where they were going when they enrolled.

      • Petronius

        It’s true that W&L has a proud and insular culture, but in recent years the administration there has been trying hard to run away from its Southern roots –– offering full-ride scholarships to unworthy students of every description in an effort to recruit some diversity.

        Looks like the administrators are finally getting the results they wanted.

    • You’re probably right. To wit: Debating prizes.

    • MooTieFighter

      Yep, which means they are rewarding bad behavior. Which means they will get more and more bad behavior. it’s a violent cycle. Just read an article above from the University of Michigan (I believe). They had been given a list of demands from black students, they caved, now they are getting more and more frivolous suits from blacks.

  • Howard Law is that way, and not too far away.

  • MekongDelta69

    Uh-oh. UH-OH.

    More demands from a radical black group on campus.

    Why – this has NEVER happened before…
    (If you don’t count the 3,579,263 times it’s happened before, that is.)

  • Ronald

    This would seem to be a problem that has an easy solution. Despite our Republican friends’ 14th Amendment the Congress has yet to pass a law that requires Africans and their White “Liberal” pals to attend Washington and Lee. All they need to do is to withdraw their presense from the university and enroll in a university more in step with their ideological viewpoint. Both they and the remaining White students would benefit were this common sense solution be applied.

    • DonReynolds

      Gosh…..non-black students might take their places in Law School……maybe even the ones they bumped with Affirmative Action passes……maybe even law students, very proud of the history of Washington & Lee University.

      • Anon

        A country without the rule of law has little need of future lawyers.

  • DonReynolds

    We had the same nonsense at the college I attended. (Middle Tennessee) The school mascot was Nathan Bedford Forrest and the school sports teams were the Blue Raiders. Every year the same demands……get on your knees redneck and crawl over here and kiss my stinking feet. The answer was always……a firm, but polite…..NO. Of course, in the end, it was the backstabbing white liberals in the administration building that finally replaced Nathan Bedford with My Little Pony…..apparently the first choice of some of the Skittles fans…..along with rainbows and ribbons. (Yeah, really that bad.) So a good party school that Playboy magazine once described as “Charlie Daniels and Scarlet O’Hara” has finally been stripped of it’s Southern roots.
    But I have to wonder, given that there are still a number of Historically Black Colleges, how well they would respond to the idea of banning Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Eldridge Cleaver, and Jesse Jackson from their campuses in favor of something less racially offensive?

    • Anon

      It is extremely unlikely that anyone graduating today, from “college” will get a job, let alone have a career in their field of study, making this very much a moot point. It will lag a generation but it is no longer a good idea to even go to college. Which is to say, a college graduate today will not ever recover the investment of paying for college in terms of future income.
      To be blunt, NO ONE, in our society is going, we have this important project that needs doing so we need to obtain the necessary skill set to get it done by hiring someone from (fill in the blank) college with (fill in the blank) degrees in this (fill in the blank) field.
      In the past, it was all about doing what was customary to take a place in our society in a manner most people recognized as appropriate. You got a degree. You got a job. You built a career. All that is over now.
      Today, what prospective wage earners need to be coming from is how the obtain leverage to force various people and organizations to pay them for doing something they can’t get done any other way.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    Four words: Then don’t go there.

  • Those Confederate flags are art, a beautiful creation of the white man. They are also sacred symbols of honor, something the blacks have no ability to comprehend. They should be encouraged to transfer to another school.

  • SaggyGenes

    “Wherein Black People Have to Go to School with Confederates”

    They have to? Who is placing guns to their heads and forcing them to go there? Who even wants them there?

    Yet again, blacks butt in on our institutions and tell us how to run them. The school should tell them all to go to hell.

    • “Wherein Black People Have to Go to School with Confederates.”

      I wasn’t aware there were any Confederates left. Since the war ended almost 150 years ago, that would make any remaining Confederates a bit old for college, wouldn’t it? Given the unfortunate limitations to the human lifespan, I suspect that finding Confederates even at nursing homes would be a mite tricky.

      • MikeofAges

        But some of the states are still paying Confederate Civil War pensions. These go to a few living disabled children of Civil War veterans. As hard as it is to believe, there might be a handful of people alive today who are the first generation children of former slaves. And other children of Civil War veterans as well, all old as hell of course.

        I think the Confederate veterans produced hugely more children late in life than the Union veterans did. Aside from the backwoods and high hills culture, veterans also had an income on account of their pensions. That, in cash poor areas, could have made them valuable men.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    Gen. Robert E. Lee was one of the greatest white men who ever lived, a true freedom fighter. If anyone deserves a holiday, it’s Lee, the great defender of states’ rights and the Second Amendment. That fraud and plagiarizer MLK could never hold a candle to Lee. He was a true southern gentleman, something which no negro or liberal could ever aspire to.

    • “Fraud and plagiarizer…”

      Don’t forget “communist and misogynist”.

      • Cayce

        You’re thinking about Bill Clinton.

    • saxonsun

      A great man–loyal and honorable. Lincoln wanted him but he wouldn’t turn his back on his state. Lee was a true gentleman.

  • SaggyGenes

    Why would blacks even attend a school named after a mean old raciss?

    Maybe they though Washington & Lee referred to Denzel & Spike.

    • dukem1

      They prolly thought it was Spike Lee! And Denzel Washington!

  • Anon

    You want to know what is truly sick about the whole thing. If one were honest about the civil war, one would notice that Lincoln wanted to expel all blacks from the US and, like most clear thinking people at the time, knew the real deal about them and predicted pretty much what is happening now if we foolishly refused to get rid of them. It is the south, that (unlike the rest of the world) attempted to give blacks a place in their society….treated them with paternalism and, quite frankly, waged a bitter civil war because they loved blacks, saw them as family and saw the north as trying to rip their family apart. The war solved nothing and these two competing ways of looking at blacks resulted in the whole problem being shelved for future generations to deal with.
    Most of the world treated black slaves as something to be worked to death and then built their bailiwicks on a tower of their skulls. Southern whites, on the other hand, VALUED blacks and a giant motivation behind slavery was the fact that what faced these black people had they not been sold into slavery was genocide. It very much was an issue of one black group genociding another but then discovering they could make money selling them instead. Southern white Christians instead “saved” these blacks and took them in….added them to the US custom of indenture. In a very real way, “slavery” was the first welfare.
    Southern anger against negros came later when the negro repaid them for their kindness….the same way as they repaid Eugene Terreblanche recently in South Africa.

    • David Ashton

      The worst bit was the Atlantic crossing. However, the slavery issue has been faked up as a pretext for “black” failure since desegregation. Paradoxically slavery is responsible for current problems viewed from the opposite perspective, because it has been a long-term drag on the development of a white America. The Muslim slave trade, including at least a million white victims, also needs much more publicity, especially among Black Muslims who focus on the “Jewish role” in the traffic and plantation ownership.

    • kenfrombayside

      The white American is our own worst enemy. Cracka John Wilkes Booth put an end to Lincoln’s dream of colonization.

      • What makes you so sure that repatriation-colonization would have happened even if Lincoln would have lived?

        Wooden nickel’s worth of free advice: Don’t take alt history as anything other than “for entertainment purposes only.”

        • Cayce

          Wouldn’t it be gratifying for one to wake up one morning to see that Booth had replaced Lincoln at Mt. Rushmore.

  • 2eRep

    Time for another Kent State moment to wake these communists up.

  • bilderbuster

    The clock is ticking.
    In just a few short decades that tomb will meet the wrecking ball during the MLK Day celebrations.

  • Ed

    Considering the difficultly Black law students have passing the bar maybe they should be hitting the books as opposed to worrying about names.

  • Adolf Verloc

    I’ll probably be flamed to a crisp, but I could understand why a black student would be uncomfortable about going to an institution named after, say, Nathan Bedford Forrest. But Lee? Because he fought on the “wrong” side? It was a hundred and fifty years ago, for God’s sake. This makes about as much sense as saying that Hannibal, Missouri should be re-named for Scipio Africanus.

  • PesachPatriot

    Doesn’t this country have literally dozens of colleges and universities in all 50 states? If they dislike General Lee and the confederate flag there are several historically black colleges like More house, Spellman and a few others whose names I cannot recall at the moment…..maybe they should have gone there….I’m just glad there isn’t spray paint all over the tomb and trash all around it…..maybe instead of making ridiculous demands to an institution they didn’t create they can instruct the rest of their demographic how to obey the law….

    Even though I was born in the north and spent most of my life there I have always had a great respect and admiration for General Lee….maybe these law students should read about his life and times and the difficult decisions he was forced to make instead of threatening civil disobedience over nonsense…

    • Cayce

      Tell the narcissistic losers to leave not to let the door hit them in their fat asses on the way out.

  • Who Me?

    “Here is a list of the FOUR DEMANDS:”
    “If the school does not act by SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 we WILL engage in civil disobedience.”

    Bring it on, N****r.

    • Getting oneself expelled from law school over a non-issue like flags seems dim-witted even by the very lax standards associated with blacks. Due to Affirmative Action hiring policies at every level of government: local, state and federal, being a black who has graduated law school and passed a bar exam is a nearly guaranteed ticket to prosperity. I wouldn’t be in such a hurry to jeopardize that. Of course, they are counting on the fact that when it comes to dealing with black campus misconduct, nearly all US university officials are completely spineless.

  • A Freespeechzone

    Let’s see, WE have to put up with honoring the lies of MLK, diversity BS and political correctness to avoid offending blacks….yet, they can, like liberals and marxists, demand that we ignore history and a culture that is truth.

    Screw them.

  • thebaldchick

    May I humbly suggest that The Committee pack their bags, leave in protest, hop on I-64 and head east. Drive for a few hours and you’ll reach a school made just for you. It’s called Hampton University and, being a former (and rare) white staff member at this historically black institution, I guarantee you will find the campus devoid of confederate flags or any esteem for Robert E. Lee…but more celebration of MLK, Jr. than you can shake a stick at.

    • Bobbala

      Racism is too attractive. They can not escape its allure.

  • Brian

    Did these numbskulls think when they applied that ‘Lee’ referred to Spike Lee?

  • Anglo

    General Robert E. Lee’s greatness has been acknowledged by all. He died in 1870 at the age of 63. The New York Herald said his passing would bring “one mighty voice of sorrow, resounding throughout the country and extending over all parts of the world where his great genius and his many virtues are known.”

    This quote from Field Marshal Garnet Joseph Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley (4 June 1833 – 25 March 1913): “I have met many of the great men of my time, but Lee alone impressed me with the feeling that I was in the presence of a man who was cast in a grander mold and made of a different and finer metal than all other men.”

    Now, to America’s shame, a Black filthy, lying, whoremonger, plagiarizer, and
    Communist — Martin Luther King, Jr. — is touted and honored as a great man. How absolutely nauseating.

  • Petronius

    Agree. Traditionally the UDC, SCV, Virginia flaggers, and Confederate reenactors participate in Lee-Jackson Day ceremonies in Lexington and Staunton, which conclude with a memorial service at the Lee Chapel at W&L.

    However, Virginia’s Confederate traditions are under sharp attack on every front. In 2011, the Staunton city council voted to ban the Confederate flag from lamp posts and other public property on Lee-Jackson Day. Of course the SCV, et al. still display the flag in their gatherings and parade. The VMI May 15th remembrance ceremony for the Cadets who were killed at the Battle of New Market (1864) has also come under attack. And the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond is barely hanging on by the skin of its teeth.

    • KonservativeKonfederateKarl

      It occurs to me that if students of VMI are unhappy with the institute’s traditions they could enroll in another military academy; similar to the situation at W&L.

  • Bobbala

    I am increasingly come to the conclusion that the most celebrated heroes in history were probably it’s worst bad guys. It’s most egregious villains were probably “not so bad”.

    Undoubtedly, the greatest men are completely unknown! … or at least the truth about them.

  • Mrfinoni

    More Black bellyaching!!!!!….. blah…blah….blah!!!!!

  • IstvanIN

    The honor Lincoln for the emancipation proclamation and dishonor General Lee for his support of the Confederacy, and by association slavery. There is no deep, analytical thought process behind their opinions.

    • Ringo Lennon

      Why pick on Lincoln? They seceded because of Lincoln’s election. Not very noble. Very shameful.

    • There is never any deep analytical thought behind their opinions. Their support of the Democrats’ amnesty attempts for illegal aliens is a fine example. These illegals are illiterate Mexicans who hate blacks and who will be stealing unskilled jobs and make-work government jobs from blacks; they won’t be stealing office jobs and skilled trade jobs from whites. If blacks were lucid thinkers, they would be screaming bloody murder at the amnesty plan!

      Some blacks also make a show of converting to Islam when in fact Saudi Arabia, the center of the Muslim religion only abolished slavery in 1962, and Muslim Arabs frequently still call blacks “abed”, which means “slave”. Saudi Arabia has in fact recently made a show of deporting large numbers of African blacks.

      They frequently blame whites for importing street drugs, when in fact it is the Mexican cartels that are doing that. The implication in their argument is also that so long as drugs are somehow available, blacks simply can not help themselves but use them.

    • PesachPatriot

      A lot only know who Lincoln is because he is on the money and has a car named after him and that tunnel in NYC…..I think i read once that more books have been written about Abraham Lincoln than any other historical figure from his lifetime until the present day…..

      If they were engaging in deep analytical thought they would revere General Lee and the other rebel generals because if it weren’t for the plantation owners and the men who wore the gray they wouldn’t be multi-millionaire rappers or basketball players, they’d be dying of starvation or infected bullet wounds in pointless civil wars somewhere back in africa….

      • General Lee disliked slavery, but his loyalty was to Virginia. The Federals originally wanted him to command their army.


    Part of the school’s response statement:

    “Washington and Lee does recognize Martin Luther King Jr. each year with a university-wide MLK Legacy Week during the week of MLK Day. This annual observance features a prominent guest speaker. Recent examples are Donna Brazile, Andrew J. Young, and Julian Bond.”

    All liberal Democrats! Whatever happened to “needed diversity”? Why not a Walter Williams or a Thomas Sowell or a Condoleeza Rice?

  • Brian

    When I have to go to Browntown I’ve found that wearing a Confederate kepi reduces the number of interviews.

  • Cayce

    That would be “hysterically black.”

  • Brian

    Heh…yeah, if you dress a certain way, have facial hair, etc (basically just don’t look like Chris Hayes from MSNBC) it cuts this type of thing down. I’ve even had some LarQuavii cross the street to get away from me. Def Leppard’s Pyromania t-shirt is a good one for this. I have another one with Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi and Stravinsky busts wearing KISS makeup. Camouflage pants work well too.

  • Jonathan Vere

    Maybe it’s time for Washington & Lee to admit black students on the same standard as all others.

  • Jacqonta Green

    It is terribly unfair. I say name every school in the country after RAP ARTISTS. Sorry, no white rappers please.

  • Psalm 34:14

    As a black person the flag does not bother me. I do not have time to be offend by a flag besides, It is apart of history. I proudly wear “My Black is Beautiful” t-shirt, so if you want to wear a confederate flag tee or “My White is Wonderful” t-shirt, I do not care. But if your black and you choose to go to such a school, why are you offended? That’s like the guy who asked a Muslim butcher to cut up a pig, knowing that Muslims do no eat pork. That’s ignorant. Who are you guys trying to impress or what are you trying to accomplish by going there?

  • KonservativeKonfederateKarl

    You’ve made a number valid points. As to the freed slaves trashing all the major cities in the North: After the Emancipation Proclamation was issued and with the Federal armies liberating thousands of black slaves and the war winding down, Northern states began passing exclusionary laws intended to prevent the freed negroes from migrating up from the South. The Federal govt. negated those efforts with the passage of the 14th Amendment, and the Yankees got to reap some of the “benefits” of the abolitionist seeds they had sown.