Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Curious Case of Anthony Johnson

The mark of slave-turned-master Anthony Johnson. Source: Wikipedia

by James A. Bacon

The man who would come to be known by the English name of Anthony Johnson was born in the Angola region of southern Africa, enslaved by the Portuguese, and transported to Virginia for sale. There he was sold to a colonist, and then resold to a merchant planter by the name of Edward Bennet around the year 1622. None of the American colonies had yet legalized slavery — Massachusetts would be the first in 1641; Virginia would not follow until 1661 — and the only legal framework for bondage was indentured servitude. Accordingly, Johnson entered his service to Bennet as an indentured servant.

Bennet sent some 50 servants, including Johnson, to a point on the James River to clear grounds for a tobacco plantation. The following month, the party was attacked by the Powhatan Confederacy headed by Chief Opechancanough, who was bent upon exterminating and expelling the English colonists. Johnson was one of only a  handful of survivors. After that harrowing episode, he proceeded to serve out his term as a servant and was given his freedom. As was standard practice at the time, he was given tools and allotted land. He settled along the Pungoteague River on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

An enterprising man, Bennet took advantage of the so-called “headrights” system, in which anyone who imported labor to the colony was granted 50 acres per head. By acquiring a dozen or more servants — some English, some of African origin — he built an estate of more than 1,000 acres, which he named Angola. Thus, Johnson was one of the only — perhaps the only — documented instance in history of an African who became the master of White Englishmen in the American colonies. Continue reading

Jeanine’s Memes

at The Bull Elephant

Violence Prevention and TATs: A Dissenting Opinion

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

There has been a lot of discussion on this blog  about violence prevention committees and threat assessment teams (TAT). There have been disagreements over whether the University of Virginia is in compliance with state law as well as lamentations about the lack of enforcement where it is considered that an institution is not in compliance with the requirements of state law.

First of all, I am not sure how the requirements would be enforced. The statutes provide no mechanism or provide authority to any agency to enforce them. The statutes themselves are fairly broad and, as has been shown in the discussions on this blog, there are various ways of interpreting those statutes. If push came to shove, I suppose one could go to court and seek a writ of mandamus against a college or university requiring it to rectify some omission or error in its policies regarding its  violence prevention committee or threat assessment team. I am not sure who would have standing to bring such a suit — faculty and students, probably; parents of students, maybe; alumni or interested citizens, probably not. Such a case would likely be expensive for anyone filing suit.

More importantly, I would advocate abolishing the requirement to establish a violence prevention committee and a threat assessment team altogether. It is an overly bureaucratic and inefficient way to deal with the potential for violence on campuses. In addition, the use of TATs can lead to abuse. Continue reading

Shapira Hits All-Time Low in VMI Coverage

Superintendent Cedric T. Wins at a VMI ceremony. Photo credit: The Washington Post.

by James A. Bacon

New rule at The Washington Post: it’s OK to insinuate that conservatives are racist for disagreeing with an authority figure who happens to be Black. No evidence of bias required.

The democracy-dies-in-darkness newspaper set a new low yesterday in an article published Monday describing how conservative alumni of the Virginia Military Institute decry the implementation of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion by the Board of Visitors and Superintendent Cedric T. Wins. Reporter Ian Shapiro never comes out directly and calls the dissident alumni racist, but he makes the implication unmistakable. His rhetorical devices are a case study in slimy journalism that stops just short of libel.

Let’s start with the headline, which may or may not be Shapira’s composition but accurately reflects the tone of the article:

“VMI’s first Black superintendent under attack by conservative White alumni”

See the trope? The superintendent is Black, the alumni are conservative and White. The headline doesn’t say explicitly that the alumni are attacking the superintendent because he is Black. But the phrase invites readers to assume that there must be a link between the superintendent’s race and the race of the alumni — why else would race be injected into the headline, which by its nature is sparing and economical with words? Continue reading

Bacon Appointed Executive Director of The Jefferson Council

CHARLOTTESVILLE—The Jefferson Council, an alumni association devoted to upholding the Jeffersonian legacy at the University of Virginia, has appointed James A. Bacon Jr. as executive director.

“The hiring of a full-time director manager is a milestone in the evolution of the Jefferson Council from an all-volunteer group to a professionally staffed organization,” said President Bert Ellis. “The appointment will position the Council to ramp up its activities in support of the longstanding Jeffersonian traditions of civility, honor, free speech and the open exchange of ideas.”

Bacon is the perfect individual to manage the day-to-day operations of the Council, Ellis said. “As a university alumnus, a life-long Virginia journalist, including 16 years as editor and publisher of Virginia Business magazine and then founder of the Bacon’s Rebellion public policy blog, Bacon has a depth of knowledge of UVa’s challenges that few can match.”

Founded two years ago, the Jefferson Council is one of the first alumni associations in the United States to organize in response to the rise of ideological intolerance and suppression of free speech on college campuses. It is one of five founding members of the Alumni Free Speech Alliance, and a leader in the alumni rebellion sweeping the United States. Continue reading

Jeanine’s Memes

From The Bull Elephant.

Alleged Shooter’s Dorm Room on UVa Property Exposed Him to University Actions Not Taken

Bice House – All photos and diagrams courtesy University of Virginia

by James C. Sherlock

Updated Nov. 19 at 8:50 AM. See details at end.

So, the University of Virginia conducted a formal threat investigation of allegations of student possession of firearms on the Grounds.

Except it really didn’t.

The accused was found after three murders and two woundings to have possessed in his dorm room a small arsenal.

The Threat Assessment Team (TAT) knew that the student had been accused of talking of possessing a gun. That was the reason the TAT was convened.

The TAT had access to State Police records including

  • his legal gun purchases;
  • his conviction in Chesterfield County on a concealed weapon charge, a misdemeanor;
  • his Petersburg conviction on a felony hit-and-run charge that was reduced to a misdemeanor; and
  • the fact that he was on suspended jail sentences for both of the crimes.

Let’s see who they sent to interview him. From the Charlottesville Daily Progress:

However, (Chief) Longo noted, neither the off-Grounds tipster nor Jones’s roommate ever saw a weapon, and Longo implied that the Office of Student Affairs unsuccessfully attempted to speak to Jones.

They sent someone from the Office of Student Affairs. On a gun-threat issue.  What could have gone wrong? It is perhaps a good thing the student refused to cooperate.

TAT members individually had all the authority and evidence they needed to inspect his room on university property, seize the weapons and, as a result, arrest and ban him from the grounds (possession of weapons on university property), expel him, and evict him from University housing.

They did none of that. They “meant” to refer him to the student-run Judiciary Committee. For a three-month wait for a trial and a stern warning or community service. The University actually announced that had happened. But that announcement was not true.

They later announced there was a “snafu.”

The student, the now-accused murderer, was treated with extreme and deadly deference by University security officials.

Three young men are dead. Continue reading

Hosting Your First Thanksgiving? Start Now.

by Kerry Dougherty

So, you think you’re all grown up just because you’ve graduated from the children’s table?


Truth is, you’re not really an adult until you’ve hosted Thanksgiving dinner. In your own house or apartment, for at least 10 people, with everything made from scratch. Except the rolls, that is. You may buy them.

What’s that? You thought turning 21 was your passport to adulthood? Getting married? Buying a house?

Sorry, until you prepare your first Thanksgiving meal, you’re still a culinary kid.

Nothing – not even childbirth – prepares you for the rising panic that comes with the knowledge that you’ve invited a dozen people, who may not even like one another, for a feast consisting of a perfectly roasted turkey and at least a dozen sides. And pies. Can’t forget the pies.

Expectations are high, and so are the risks.

Burn the green-bean casserole, accidentally slosh Scotch into the mashed potatoes, or undercook the bird, and you’re the butt of family jokes for years.

Thanksgiving: the deceptively difficult holiday. Continue reading

Jeanine’s Memes

From the Bull Elephant

Jeanine’s Memes

From The Bull Elephant.

Forgive and Forget The COVID Kooks? Nope.

by Kerry Dougherty

This is rich. The COVID extremists who closed schools, mandated masks and vaccines, laid down nutty curfews, dictated the number of guests we could have in our own homes for Thanksgiving, ordered the elderly to die alone and shuttered churches, now want amnesty.

Forgive and forget, they say, nervously. Let’s move on.

Two words: heck no.

Those of us who were right about almost everything concerning COVID want a reckoning. We want political leaders who supported these unconstitutional COVID measures booted from office and we want our former friends and neighbors who called us grandma killers when we refused to tie soggy bandanas on our faces to apologize.

Grovel, even. Continue reading

Blue on Blue: Richmond Progressive Attacks White Feminist Privilege

Photo credit:

by James A. Bacon

There’s big money in telling White people how racist they are. Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo have made millions of dollars doing it. Now Saira Rao, an Indian-American Richmond resident, has figured out how to cash in on the action.

Rao has written a book with Colorado co-author Regina Jackson, “White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better,” that berates White feminists. The title has been picked up by big-time publisher Penguin Random House. Peter Galuszka interviewed Rao for a friendly piece in Style Weekly

While the book is sure to rake in royalties, the author’s shtick generates loads of ancillary revenue. In a program called “Race2Dinner” Rao and Jackson direct two-hour cocktail-and-dinner sessions in which six to eight White women confront their racism. Based on one of those dinner conversations, Director Patty Ivins Specht produced a documentary, “Deconstructing Karen,” which highlights “the unwitting ways” in which White women uphold “everyday white supremacy.” A ticket to a Race2Lunch event in Toronto this summer set back attendees $495 each; a Race2Dinner event in Denver cost $625.

Rao takes no prisoners. As she and Jackson write in the book, “Privilege is power. By ignoring your white privilege, you ignore your white power. When you ignore your white power, you uphold white supremacy. This is white feminism. White feminism. Is. White Supremacy.” Continue reading

Jeanine’s Memes

A bumper crop of laugh-out-loud memes this week at The Bull Elephant.

Clarification and Additional Information

Jillian Balow, Superintendent of Public Instruction

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

In a recent article, I discussed the progress that the Department of Education (DOE) and the Board of Education have made toward fulfilling two of the top educational priorities of the administration—increasing the SOL “cut scores” and revamping the school accreditation process.

In my research for the article, I overlooked, and thus did not report, a presentation made at the Board’s October work session.  The presenter was a senior policy fellow at ExcelinED, a nonprofit organization based in Florida.  Using Florida as an example, she advocated the use of a school accountability system that ranks schools on a scale of A to F.  Only a few states use such a system and doing so in Virginia would entail a radical change from the approach the Commonwealth has used in the past.

It seems that Jillian Balow, Superintendent of Public Instruction, whom I assume has the most influence over what is presented at Board work sessions, is preparing the Board members, especially the new ones, for a major examination, and possible overhaul, of the school accreditation standards and process.  It will not be something that can be done quickly or easily.

The presentation and video of the work session can be found here.

(A Hat Tip to Charles Pyle of the Dept. of Education for bringing this omission to my attention.)

What does debt cost?

By James C. Sherlock

As part of its constant work to refinance the federal debt, the Treasury sold inflation-adjusted bonds today that earn a 9.62% interest rate.

Be very afraid.