|Posted by Brandon Dorsey on July 29, 2014 at 9:35 AM|
The Stonewall Brigade, Sons of Confederate Veterans #1296
Lexington, VA ~ July 28, 2014
The Stonewall Brigade calls upon the President of Washington & Lee University to apologize for the university's mistreatment of a 15 year old boy this past weekend.
The boy had attended the rally hosted by the SCV and gave the following account of his mistreatment in his own words: [photo attached]
"Since it was my first time in Lexington I wanted to see the Lee Chapel and the grave of Lee's horse Traveller. As I began to head for the Lee Chapel, a [campus] Police Officer stopped me and said that I could not enter the campus property with my Battle Flag or any images of Confederate Flags on any of my possessions including my clothing. I really wanted to pay my respects to General Lee and Traveller so I had to turn my shirt inside-out, take off my hat, and take off my badge."
We have to wonder if this is the sort of reception that the thousands of visitors to Lexington and Lee Chapel can expect to receive in the future. The majority of these visitors are Civil War history enthusiasts and many can be expected to wearing items with flags or other images related to the Confederacy. We were even told that individuals bearing the likeness of Robert E. Lee were told they had to be removed before entering the Washington & Lee campus.
W&L went so far in their overreaction towards participants, that they improperly blocked the main access road to VMI thus making it nearly impossible for visitors to the VMI Museum, George C. Marshall Museum, and VMI Post to find their way onto that campus.
We ask Washington and Lee to issue this apology and abide by their own Mission Statement and not obstruct freedom of expression and thought and respect the viewpoints of others.
“Washington and Lee University provides a liberal arts education that develops students' capacity to think freely, critically, and humanely and to conduct themselves with honor, integrity, and civility. Graduates will be prepared for life-long learning, personal achievement, responsible leadership, service to others, and engaged citizenship in a global and diverse society.”
We do however have to question the president's commitment to freedom of expression as he made the following statement in his July 8 address: “As a private university, we are not bound by the same legal and constitutional First Amendment constraints as public institutions.” Does this statement represent the best of academic freedom in America today? We do not think so. Therefore, we ask members of the public, donors to the university, and alumni to demand that freedom of expression be honored by the Washington and Lee administration and that an apology be quickly given to the young man who was treated with such indignity by the university.
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