Friday, April 18, 2014

From a Libertarian Perspective, I Think These Students Picked the Wrong School...

...unless you buy into the Tukeristic view of libertarianism, that  politically correct views on race are an important appendage to liberty.

WaPo reports:
A group of black law students at Washington and Lee University is urging administrators to atone for its Confederate heritage and what they call the “dishonorable conduct” of namesake Robert E. Lee.

The movement has struck a racial divide on the bucolic campus in Lexington, Va., where black students make up about 3.5 percent of the total student population.

Third-year law student Dominik Taylor, a descendent of slaves on his father’s side, said he felt betrayed by admissions representatives who touted the school’s diversity.

“They assured me it was a welcoming environment where everyone sticks together as a community,” Taylor said. “Then I came here and felt ostracized and alienated.”

Taylor is among a group of students who have urged the board of trustees to make the university more welcoming for minority students. Known collectively as the Committee, the students wrote a letter to the trustees with a list of “demands,” promising acts of civil disobedience if they see no action before Sept. 1.

The students want Confederate flags removed from the chapel. They also want administrators to ban Confederate reenactors and sympathizers from campus on the Lee-Jackson holiday in Virginia, and they ask that the university’s undergraduate school cancel classes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Washington and Lee law school began observing the holiday in 2013, but the undergraduate students still attend classes. Although Lee-Jackson Day, the Friday before the King holiday, is not a formal holiday on campus, the school does honor Lee annually around his birthday on Founder’s Day.

The Committee also wants the administrators to issue an apology for the university’s connection to slavery and the “racist and dishonorable conduct of Robert E. Lee,” the general who led Confederate forces during the Civil War.

The students’ efforts have surprised the private Southern school. Founded in 1749, the university is named for President George Washington, who endowed a $20,000 gift to the school, and Lee, who served as its president after the Civil War.

Lee, who died in 1870, is buried on the school grounds. His memorial inside the chapel is decorated with battle flags...

In response to the Committee, university President Kenneth Ruscio wrote an open letter to students stating that he had asked a “special task force” to study the history of African Americans at the school.

“While we are aware of some of that history, I believe we should have a thorough, candid examination,” Ruscio wrote. 
Washington and Lee first graduated a black law student in 1969. Today, 34 black students make up 8 percent of the total law school population.

Brandon Hicks, a second-year law school student from Charlotte, said that during one recent class his professor noted that Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Hicks said that the professor emphasized that Black’s membership did not make him racist.

“I walked up afterward and said, ‘Hey, that’s kind of insensitive,’ ’’ Hicks said. “I was told, ‘It’s my class and I’ll run it as I see fit.’ ”

Second-year law student Hernandez Stroud, a native of Huntsville, Ala., said that even among black students on campus, the Committee’s actions are seen as divisive.

“I think that a lot of people believe that water could have been used to solve these issues instead of fire,” said Stroud, president of the school’s Black Law Students Association, who is not a member of the committee.
There are plenty of colleges and universities that don't fly confederates flags, don't honor Robert E. Lee and do cancel classes on Martin Luther King's birthday. Why don't these students just leave this university alone and go to one of those institutions? What is wrong with people simply finding the groups where they are welcome? Why spend time demanding services from a business that isn't providing you what you want, when there are plenty of options to find the type of environment you want?

But the real problem from a libertarian perspective are these "acts of civil disobedience" that they threaten? I don't think we have friends of the non-aggression principle here. It sounds to me as though we have people who prefer agenda-driven intimidation over respect for private property and people.


  1. These cultural Marxists seem to let Lincoln off the hook as far as the "waaaycist" charge bc he dramatically expanded the power of the govt forever. I would like to see their reaction to finding out Lincoln states they were inferior and wanted them all deported!

    But yeah, I can see Cathy and Jeffrey supporting these protestors to prove they are not racist.

    1. think any black person has a problem calling a white person a racist? You can't be serious. They would love to call Lincoln a racist.

    2. As long as they don't disagree with the regime the cultural Marxists will call anyone a racist. But if they a racist like Lincoln or anti Semite like Keynes, it is ok since the establishment love the power those two provided the state.

  2. Cue the hate speech champions from the SPLC.

    No doubt we'll soon hear calls for Lee to be disinterred and, in good Soviet fashion, his remains be burned with the ashes scattered in the Potomac.

  3. Compared to his Union counterparts, "dishonorable" is probably the last thing I'd call Robert E. Lee, especially in terms of personal countenance and behavior, their actions in the war notwithstanding.

    1. Its funny that they went after Lee rather than Washington given that Lee was an abolitionist and Washington yanked his slaves' teeth out with pliers so he could use them for his own false teeth.

    2. True. Or the northern counterparts like Sherman and grant banning Jews from states or even being near Union camps, wiping out the Indians with genocide, Grant's family having a huge slave plantation, or all the war crimes committed against the civilians - slaves and non slaves alike - in the South. Lee was far more honorable than anyone from the war criminal Northern side.

  4. What one needs to remember about the Civil War is that about 6% of the population in the South owned slaves. So, by and large, Southerners were fighting to defend their homes and families from what they viewed as an invasion by the North.

    What would you do if you were caught up in Sherman's "march to the sea" where Union soldiers murdered innocent men (usually the older non-fighting age) and women, stole private property, destroyed private property, and pillaged whenever and whatever they could? I know what I would do: I'd fight the Northern invaders with every ounce of strength I had.

    When you put things in that context, you can understand celebrating Lee's birthday on Founder's Day. And it places the Civil War (correctly described as the War to Prevent Southern Aggression by Tom DiLorenzo) in a totally different light compared to what is commonly taught.

    Besides that, the author is right. If you don't like what's happening on campus, leave. Find somewhere else to go to law school. I'm sure that school will take your government grant &/or loan money.