“VMI Test Case for the Country” Abbeville Institute


"In the wake of Floyd’s unfortunate death, a flurry not only of protests but also of writings on race ensued. In time, many of the latter took aim at VMI, a number of which asserted the school’s Confederate heritage had some connection with terms such as “structural” or “systemic” racism. Suddenly, the small but nationally-recognized military college, founded in 1839, was thrust into the limelight. One major problem with the charges – some of which have come from VMI graduates themselves – was that the published allegations fail to meet a traditional, objective definition of structural or systemic racism; in other words, racism that is part of the structure of the institution (school) itself. If such racism exists at VMI, it remains unsubstantiated as of this writing.    

A survey of the articles on VMI and racism in the last six months suggests the allegations of racially-inspired acts – nearly uniformly attributed on the internet or in print to structural or systemic racism – were, in fact, acts of individual poor judgment or an individual’s racism: 1) a second-year cadet’s unserious but equally foolish threat to “lynch” a black cadet during a fevered workout for first-year “Rats” (for which the upperclassman was suspended, a significant discipline given the nature of the event in which the Rats were to undergo intense adversities to prove themselves, an integral part of VMI’s well-known adversarial, successful, model)[1]; 2) a professor’s thoughtless, “wistful” comments in class on the entertaining parties enjoyed years ago by her father, a KKK member; or, 3) some stupid or racially derogatory comments on social media. In fact, those are the three primary anecdotes that have been repeated over and over in news articles since June: none were structural (systemic, institutional) in nature; all took place in an individual or small-group/classroom context with a single protagonist or on social media (highly individualistic by its nature). It is altogether possible that the first two incidents were one-time events that have morphed into different versions in the reporting.       

Certainly, individual acts of stupidity, poor judgment, or outright racism ought to be addressed (some, like the lynching threat, have been). Such incidents, however, are a much different thing than so-called structural (systemic, institutional) racism. Perhaps Virginia’s $1 million investigation of – in the governor’s words – a “clear and appalling culture of ongoing structural racism” [emphasis added] at VMI, will prove to be unfounded. Time will tell."  Abbeville


I have attempted to hold my tongue concerning the rape of my alma mater.  No more.  I fully and completely associate myself with the undying tradition of service, honor and sacrifice that our graduates have embodied since 1839.

That includes the dead New Market cadets buried around the base of Moses Ezekiel's statue pf "Virginia Mourning Her Dead" and the 50% of our alumni who died in Confederate service in the War Between the States.

There are VMI people who do not revere our dead.  I am not among them.  pl



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11 Responses to “VMI Test Case for the Country” Abbeville Institute

  1. J says:

    For my family, we had brother against brother, father against son, cousins against cousins in the Civil War, both Confederate and Union. I remember my grandmother on my mother’s side showing me pictures of family members in Confederate and Union uniforms. It was a trying time for our nation. She also used to talk about them Northern Carpetbaggers and their nefariousness and the misery they caused.
    If it weren’t for the dead and their sacrifices, I wouldn’t be here today. I agree with you Pat, we should honor both them and their sacrifices. Never let them be forgotten.

  2. turcopolier says:

    You asked me how one addresses systemic racism without destroying institutions like VMI. First of all there is very little systemic racism left in the US. C’mon, man. We did elect Obama twice and the crazed banshee Kamala once so far. Who have you elected like that in Canada? Wilfred Laurier? OK. Who else? The Whiteness of Canadian leadership is overwhelming. Hell. My wife is Le Petit Justin’s wife’s cousin. If Blacks want to whine and whimper about how hard VMI is, well then they ought to try to comprehend that it is hard by design for everyone. C’mon, man, we make hard people. Someone has to do that or we will all be like Le Petit Justin. You should remember that if French Canadians judge you by your systemic racism crap, they will hate you forever.

  3. Eliot says:

    Remembering the dead
    Col. John Francis Neff
    33rd Virginia Infantry
    VMI 1858
    “Colonel Neff having personally superintended their alignment, the regiment moved off at a double-quick step. The fight was raging when he reached the scene of action, and not knowing the position of General Winder’s Brigade, he rushed to the front (although solicited by other brigade commanders to unite with their brigades and go into action with them), just in time to unite with Major Wheat’s Battalion in charging and taking the battery at General Lewis’s house. The taking of this battery turned the tide of battle, and it was only a few minutes before the enemy was on a precipitate retreat, vigorously pursued. Colonel Neff joined in the pursuit.”

  4. Bill H says:

    Have you read any of the series of books by Harold Coyle? The main character is a tank officer named Scott Dixon who, like the author, is a graduate of VMI. He speaks fondly and with great respect of that institute throughout all of the tales, and is presented as an officer who I would have served under quite happily. Don’t know how accurately the books represent the Army (I was Navy), but they are good reading.

  5. turcopolier says:

    I never read any of his things. Sorry.

  6. turcopolier says:

    Stonewall Brigade. One of ours.

  7. akaPatience says:

    The epithet “white supremacist” along with the charge of “systemic racism” are just examples of a decades-long effort that’s outlived its justification and finally reached an irrational level. How does it square with, for example, the US having had a 2-term black POTUS, countless blacks among the political and professional classes including many CEOs, and the fact that blacks enjoy a 10X greater chance of being accepted into elite schools like Yale than do whites or Asians?
    The intellectual dishonesty of a racist group like BLM, which uses violence and the threat of ruination to exploit, bully, and extort, has succeeded in cowering throngs who’d rather just give in to its demands than dare to debate the issue factually and rationally. All of this, along with being expected to literally kneel in obeisance to the notion of systemic racism IMO foments racism and pushback. But maybe that’s the point, maybe it’s a purposeful strategy in order to keep the $$$$ flowing when it comes to the business of perpetual grievance.

  8. james says:

    thanks for your personal pespective… canada’s history is very different then the usa’s… slavery is more of an american specialty with all the results on display still to this day… also – petit justin is a wuss… he definitely doesn’t represent the ordinary canuck.. he is just another boring pretty face like macron – that the political class like to use to manipulate people.. obama was another one.. they get in power and generally do nothing except cater to the corporations…. systemic racism is built into the usa genetic code thru history… some of it has been erased, but definitely not all of it…

  9. LondonBob says:

    The people in Eastern Europe have managed to rebuild many of their monuments and churches, and reestablish many of their traditions, whether we will be able to is another question.

  10. turcopolier says:

    You non-French Canadians have no real grasp of how much you are hated by the French whom you treated as ignorant, trashy, superstitious serfs for CENTURIES. you will pay. You will pay.

  11. Fred says:

    “systemic racism is built into the usa genetic code thru history”
    Send the bill to the slaves sellers of Africa, then tell everyone on Earth to stop coming here as they only seemed to discover this politically expediant reality since the lefty’s took over the institutions. .

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