by James A. Bacon
Washington Post reporter Ian Shapira does a victory dance in the newspaper today with his coverage of J.H. Binford Peay III’s resignation as superintendent of Virginia Military Institute. Last week the Post had published Shapira’s reporting based on quotes from a half dozen VMI cadets and graduates that alleged “relentless racism” at the military institute. Governor Ralph Northam ordered an investigation into the school’s culture, and Peay resigned on the grounds that Northam had lost confidence in his leadership.
“During Peay’s tenure, multiple accounts of racist incidents have surfaced at VMI,” summarized Shapira in his follow-up. In his original piece, he had recounted six or seven incidents over several years, which today’s article described five separate times as “relentless racism.” He quoted a half dozen or so sources who were unhappy with VMI, implying that their experiences and sentiments were typical of the 130 to 140 African-Americans enrolled at the institute.
Now that he has tasted blood — it’s quite a journalistic coup for a pasty-faced pajama boy to take out a college president with Peay’s distinguished career — Shapira has expanded his indictment against VMI. He described a 2005 incident in which cadets who dressed up in costumes parodying Nazis, Africans, and gay people, and a sexual harassment complaint in 2o11 in which a woman alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by a VMI administrator. In the complaint, Peay, according to Shapira, was indelicate enough to ask the woman if she has asked the alleged assailant to stop.
As the progressive left completes its long march through America’s universities and cultural institutions, there have been few hold-outs. VMI was one of them. Now the Northam administration is signaling it is time to bring the Institute to heel.
Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky said that “change is overdue at VMI, and the Board of Visitors bears a deep responsibility to embrace it.” She added: “Diversity is a fundamental commitment. Without this recognition, VMI cannot properly educate future citizen-soldiers nor live up to its values of honor, character and service.”
We’ll find out more about the Northam administration’s intentions when he announces who will be conducting the investigation into VMI and how he frames the scope of the investigation.
There is an incredible irony here. Even Shapira’s hit piece did not allege any racism on Peay’s part personally. The 80-year-old retired general had tried to thread the needle between the Institute’s veneration of past Confederate heroes and modern-day racial sensitivities. Yet Peay did the honorable thing under the circumstances and submitted his resignation.
By contrast, Northam refused to resign after revelations that he had posed in blackface attired like Michael Jackson while standing next to an individual dressed in KKK robes during a medical school social event. Indeed, he claimed that the person in blackface in the photograph was not him at all, he didn’t know how the picture got into the yearbook, but that he did recall having once donned blackface as Michael Jackson during a dance contest in Texas. Furthermore, Northam has yet to give an explanation for his nickname, “Coonman,” while at VMI. But now that Northam has embraced Critical Race Theory and is working to implement it in Virginia public schools, all his transgressions and dissembling have been forgiven.
What happens next? The Shapira piece signaled that a possible future target will be board president John Boland, who pushed back against the relentless-racism charge. “Systemic racism does not exist here and a fair and independent review will find that to be true,” he said in a letter to Northam. If the Washington Post stays true to its style of journalistic attack, it is now Boland’s turn to be crushed. America’s deplorables must learn that resistance is futile.There are currently no comments highlighted.