UVa Doubles Down on Its Obsession with Race

Flaming assholes. Torch-wielding white supremacists marching at UVa last year — a useful distraction from what really ails American society.

This news is almost a month old, but I hadn’t seen anyone else pick it up, so here goes… The University of Virginia will create 20 new research professorships in “Democracy and Equity” to examine “underlying causes” of the white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville last year.

Each of the 20 professorships will be funded by $1 million in donor commitments matched one-for-one by UVA’s Strategic Investment Fund. The Board of Visitors approved the group’s recommendation to set aside $20 million in matching funds to support faculty research and teaching around “related social, cultural and political issues.”

The professorships follow a recommendation from the Deans Working Group, created last year by UVA President Emerita Teresa A. Sullivan, stated UVa Today last month.

“We have an opportunity, unique even in higher education, to advance scholarship and education on these critical issues for our society and for our way of life – via a wave of hiring into the classroom,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Tom Katsouleas.

The professorships will be awarded on a rotating basis for two- or three-year terms. The rotating professorships are designed to ensure continuity, as the work will rely not just on one faculty member, but on many faculty members across all disciplines at the University, for many years to come, stated UVa Today.

The $40 million initiative follows an international symposium, “Universities, Slavery, Public Memory and the Built Landscape,” in March, and a “Teaching Race at UVa,” a seminar covering the founding of UVA, the history of enslaved laborers, emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement, and struggles for justice and equity by African Americans at UVA and in Charlottesville.

Bacon’s bottom line: The UVa Today description of how the professorships will work is not entirely clear. I interpret it to mean that a $2 million endowment ($1 million from donors, $1 million from the Strategic Investment Fund) will be established for each professorship. If I am correct in that assumption, the endowments should throw off about $60,000 to $80,000 a year, which presumably will be used to supplement the existing salaries of professors who sign up for the project.

I can understand that the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last year, a violent demonstration that intruded upon the University of Virginia, was a traumatic event for the university community. And given the institution’s role in slavery and segregation, I have no problem with the soul-searching at UVa over the university’s racial history. These topics are worthy of some self-examination. However, it is possible to go overboard — to wallow excessively in the travails of race.

I have two concerns with this initiative. First, the focus on white supremacists constitutes a nice way to distract from far bigger issues affecting African-Americans today — the breakdown of the black family, the failure of the 50-year Great Society experiment to lift blacks from poverty, the dismal education that public schools provide poor blacks, the debacle of social-justice housing policy that peddled mortgages to poor blacks who then proceeded to lose what little wealth they had in the 2007 real estate crash, and more recently — and the direct consequence of higher-ed policies — the large-scale peddling of student loans to young blacks who subsequently drop out of college, default on their debts, and ruin their credit ratings forever. White supremacist ideology is vile, but adherents represent a tiny, marginalized, loathed and powerless group. They aren’t black peoples’ problem. Failed social policy is.

Which leads to the second point. Even at UVa, $40 million is serious money. Are these really the professorships the university wants to endow? Is this the academic expertise The University thinks will prepare UVa students for the future? I’m willing to change my assessment if presented different information, but this strikes me as institutional guilt money — designed to assuage the sensibilities of the white liberals who dominate the academic establishment.

Businessman Heywood Fralin just endowed Virginia Tech with $50 million to endow research to attract top-rated researchers to Tech’s medical research center in Roanoke. By contrast, UVa is raising money to encourage professors already employed by the university to conduct research on white supremacists. No wonder Tech, not UVa, is Virginia’s dominant research institution.

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20 responses to “UVa Doubles Down on Its Obsession with Race

  1. Great. While UVA, a good public institution of higher ed, undertakes this very expensive exercise in self-flagellation, the Russians hack us and share our intellectual property with the Chinese, who pass us on AI and in 3 decades we enter a new form of serfdom. Great. How will this help a 17-year old African-American male in Highland County who dreams big, today?

  2. I mean, can’t they just read Faulkner a few more times and try to figure it out? He was faculty there for a while, after all. Anybody understand it better than him?

    Forty-seven years ago they sent me application after application and I threw them all away. Waived the fee, and I still threw them all away. I do not regret that….

  3. Dear Jim,

    The way I see it is that White nationalism is a symptom of a problem: An elite that despises the people who founded this nation. The elites’ response to the disaffection of Whites, whether expressed in voting for Trump, Sanders, or the relative few who attended the Charlottesville rally in 2017, is to increase its expression of hatred for them and the American founding. In other words, the elite is saying, “I still hate you even more! So there!” The estrangement between rulers and non-favored ruled continues. These professorships like all of the other anti-White ideology in academia and the managerial culture are the cited justifications for our displacement. The real justifications probably have a large economic reason: Break the middle class and an independent America through political and economic globalization. Independent nation states are the bane of Globalist elites and in order to do it, the natives, i.e. patriotic American Whites, have to be brought to heel and marginalized. White nationalism is an effort to withdraw from the “New”, or Anti-, America, that “Liberals” have been erecting for the last several decades. Why would you want to go from being on top to the bottom? White nationalists are saying, “don’t go along, the elite is the problem.” In my mind, White nationalists have not yet been proven wrong, but to the contrary, are being proven correct, that politics as we have known it, is arrayed against us, and the powers that be refuse, absolutely refuse, to give an inch in their campaign against Whites and traditional America, because they regard as both evil, and an obstacle to what they want. “Houston, we have a problem.” Until that changes, I expect White nationalism to increase, hopefully without the efforts and influence of Richard Spencer. American nationalism has had much to offer, but its killing by our Globalist elites who have legitimized anti-White ideology, has paved the way for White nationalism. It’s a consequence.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

  4. I think the narrative that policies to help blacks has failed is way off the mark.

    No… the problems are not “fixed” by any stretch of the imagination.

    But to take that and then promote the idea that nothing has been achieved and the policies are a complete failure is just plain ignorant but apparently a popular view.

    Blacks as a race are infinitely better off than before but it’s also true that many others are still trapped in generational poverty and yes racism and racist policies still do exist and so UVA is basically affirming that is the reality that blacks are still dealing with.

    I don’t see anything wrong with that to be honest. We still have white folks running around claiming that statues put up in the Jim Crow era are “history”…..

    • Dear Larry,

      Should Christians go around smashing statues and pictures of Nero, Diocletian, and other past persecutors of the Church? I don’t think so. I do not feel threatened and even am interested in knowing what they looked like. I am glad that that history has been allowed to remain. Why can’t Liberals and Black radicals adopt a similar position? (By the way, I don’t think that there is an actual parallel there, but given their premises, it can be “made to fit” as a similarity.)

      Sincerely,

      Andrew

      • “Why can’t Liberals and Black radicals adopt a similar position?’

        Too much hate, and lack of education.

        • And I should have mentioned that most glaring of “pagan supremacist” structures in Rome: The Coliseum. How many untold thousands of Christians were martyred within it before howling mobs of haters? Should it be pulled down and turned into a Church so as not to “trigger” Christians? No.

          Sincerely,

          Andrew

  5. “We still have white folks running around claiming that statues put up in the Jim Crow era are “history”…..”

    Yes, me included.

  6. So this is 50% Strategic Investment Fund funded. UVA did report to the GA that the non-profit Medical Center operating profits are a source of the SIF. If you look at UVA financials in a forensic way, I think you’d have to conclude medical center operating profits are likely the majority original source of SIF funds. If it was only private donations, UVA is certainly free to do what they want, but is this really the way we intended operating profits from a health non-profit to be used?

    • Yes, I agree.

      And look how UVA just spent a mere $50 million dollars of its income spun off its ill-gotten Strategic (Research) Investment Fund:

      1/ $30 million to steal away one of Virginia Tech’s premiere medical research teams and its leader away from its Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech, and replicate it in Arlington UVa’s Fairfax health center at the Inova Bioinformatics campus., dashing the hopes and resources earlier invested by Va. Tech, its community of researchers, and all of those in that S/W Va. neighborhood who had depended to them.

      2/ $20 million to pay its own professors to whitewash its active complicity in the race riots in Charlottesville during the spring and summer of 2017.

      What a class act UVA is, screwing up the Commonwealth of Virginia with its overcharges and misapplication of students’ tuition, patients’ medical bills, and taxpayers’ subsidies.

      Well as least UVA is not out to California buying up water rights, taking them away from private farmers out there like Harvard is. See Harvard Amasses Vineyards – and Water, in today’s Wall Street Journal.

      These are rogue non-profit for profit institutions that are way of control, but only one is supposedly controlled by its state.

      • But don’t worry about VT, Fralin just donated $50M to VT to more than make up for the loss. I note that the big Fralin gift to UVA was an art museum. While I can’t believe I’m making a case for centralization of anything, maybe we need a nomenklatura to make these schools pick a lane and stay in it, rather than cannibalizing each other. Does anyone know if in other states the institutions poach from each other?

        • Pretty hard to imagine in states with strong centralized management of their higher ed systems, such as North Carolina or California. The Virginia schools will never agree to such a system.

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            Take away their money, and/or dry up their donations, and/or shame and expose them publicly, and they will cave, quick as you can blink.

  7. Here is an small slice of an article from the Smithsonian Magazine that states why it is as good thing that UVA is trying to understand the ongoing problem created by the persistence of racist attitudes as demonstrated that summer weekend …

    “The United States of 2050 will look different from that of today: whites will no longer be in the majority. The U.S. minority population, currently 30 percent, is expected to exceed 50 percent before 2050. No other advanced, populous country will see such diversity.”

    “In fact, most of America’s net population growth will be among its minorities, as well as in a growing mixed-race population. Latino and Asian populations are expected to nearly triple, and the children of immigrants will become more prominent. Today in the United States, 25 percent of children under age 5 are Hispanic; by 2050, that percentage will be almost 40 percent.”

    The US was begun with the idea of protecting diversity, diversity of religion, ideas and people. Maybe White nationalism isn’t the “symptom of a problem: An elite that despises the people who founded this nation”, but rather a negative response to the built in accommodation of our founding ideals to the changing demographics of the country .

    • Dear Jane,

      The diversity that post-American elites prize so highly has turned Americans’ sense of belonging and identity upside down. In effect, the same elites have turned the nation, and all of the West into a vast, cruel psychological experiment in alienation. The deaths of despair that are sweeping this country are at least partly a result of this, I would argue.

      Outside of the presence of African slaves, a major caveat, who were mostly limited to the South, the racial/ ethnic diversity of the early American Republic was limited to Protestants of Northern Europe, meaning there was a relatively greater similarity. In fact, the citizenship laws of 1790 passed by Congress limited it to Whites. Current diversity is calibrated for maximum dissimilarity. I would argue that beyond the economic demands, there is a strong sense of animus in undoing, and even obliterating, the historic American nation. The hatred for non-elite Whites is visceral among elites. Anyone who would be concerned about our country ought to deeply alarmed by this. The Dali Lama has said publicly on two occasions of which I am aware, that Germany belongs to the Germans, as no doubt he would add, Tibet belongs to the Tibetans. America, according to our elites, belongs not to Americans, but to the 700+ million of fellow Earthlings, who, according to pollsters, who have extrapolated the numbers from those they have sampled, would like to immigrate here. That is not a nation, but a colony, and its residents at the not-so-tender-mercies of its proprietors. This is a recipe for strife and great unhappiness. The road to utopia leads to perdition, or at least, dystopia.

      Sincerely,

      Andrew

    • Some of my ancestors were here in the 1600s. But interestingly, descendants supported the British, as did quite a few colonial residents. But mine were thrown out of the country, their land confiscated and they were exiled to the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec. Shouldn’t the first Americans have been more tolerant? And how about making amends to those of us whose more recent ancestors had to immigrate again?

      Overtime, as the demographics of the U.S. change, the wastefulness of government and crony capitalism will endure, many, but not all, of the people will turn conservative on economic issues. Hell, the Irish, Italians, Slavs and Greeks were all immigrant trash at one time.

  8. Dear TMT,

    Two points: I respect the Loyalists and think they got a raw deal. Second, a belief that there is a cultural and ethnic core does not require a belief that immigrants from other ethnicities and cultures are “trash.” The questions are: What kind of society do we want to have? Do we want our people and culture to survive or not, and what kinds and how many immigrants do we want to admit based on that answer? The point is that if there is not common culture then you will have what amounts to a “no-man’s land” and it will be a very depressing place to live, with low levels of identity, trust, civic engagement. Healthy human beings, regardless of their race, need these things to thrive psychologically. With them, there will be a combination of listlessness and an inchoate withdrawal. This is no “dream” society, but very sad, lonely one, where the main topics of conversation will be in addition to the weather, sports, and a nasty politics that combines envy, recrimination, corruption, environmental degradation to house the “teeming hordes.”

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

  9. Andrew asks:

    “What kind of society do we want to have?”

    Why do we need to ask that question? Is it because growing amounts of Americans do not know what kind of society they want, or don’t have the ability to know, or care?

    Most of our elite college professors who teach these matters believe and teach that Western Civilization, its culture and its institutions, are corrupt, obsolete, and abusive of its citizens. They teach this to their students each and every day. None of us seem to care. We can’t be bothered. All we talk about is money.

    Do we want our people and culture to survive or not?

    Growing numbers of Americans have not given this question a thought. They don’t know what their culture is, because their culture has never be taught to them, unless in the most negative of terms. Most of our university intellectuals do not want our culture to survive. They been taught and now teach others that it should not survive because it is evil, a system that empowers the few to rule the many. That is Western Civilization, its institutions, it American strain.

    “The point is that if there is not common culture then you will have what amounts to a “no-man’s land.”

    We are very rapidly entering into that “no-man’s land”, a land without a coherent culture, ethics, beliefs, language, faith, family, or community. This is what happens when a people destroys and hate its own identity. And has none to replace it.

    This is what is a stake in America today.

    • Dear Reed,

      And then, when polarization continues apace, just WHO will fill the vacuum? Those who promise to create, by fiat, a “culture,” or a cult at any rate that is ideological, the real culture having been destroyed. And WHO will that be? An extremist ideology, either pro-White or anti-White. And on what basis will people then make their decision? One based mainly on their racial identity that promises protection from the hated “Other.” People will not accept that there can be any honest dealings or outcomes that are anything but zero-sum gains, which is what today’s “diversity” mania is all about. For Blacks and other non-Whites to gain, Whites must lose; if Whites gain from anything, even a cessation of immigration, MEANS that non-Whites are losing in the struggle for power and status over them, since progress, really a rapturous “New Manifest Destiny,” is said to hinge on Whites, the new “savages,” being subsumed, though wages might rise and their rents might fall or hold steady, for the lower and middle classes. Can people not see that all of this will end badly?

      Sincerely,

      Andrew

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