Atoning for sins of the past.
As a Jesuit institution, Georgetown may technically be a Catholic school but it is decidedly progressive in its politics. The school also has a slavery related stain in its past for which it is now trying to atone.
CBS News in Washington, DC reports:
Georgetown to Give Slave Descendants Priority for Admission
Georgetown University will give preference in admissions to the descendants of slaves owned by the Maryland Jesuits as part of its effort to atone for profiting from the sale of enslaved people.
Georgetown president John DeGioia told news outlets that the university in Washington will implement the admissions preferences. He says Georgetown will need to identify and reach out to descendants of slaves and recruit them to the university.
On Thursday morning, a university committee released a report that also called on its leaders to offer a formal apology for the university’s participation in the slave trade.
In 1838, two priests who served as president of the university orchestrated the sale of 272 people to pay off debts at the school. The slaves were sent from Maryland to plantations in Louisiana.
The university says it will give descendants of those slaves “the same consideration we give members of the Georgetown community” when they apply.
Georgetown President John DeGioia penned a letter to students and faculty Thursday, writing, “I believe the most appropriate ways for us to redress the participation of our predecessors in the institution of slavery is to address the manifestations of the legacy of slavery in our time.”
Of course, it’s no mistake that this is happening now as the Black Lives Matter movement has become a common cause among those on the left.
In Massachusetts, where I live, it’s not uncommon for churches of various denominations to display Black Lives Matter banners.
Georgetown has also issued the apology mentioned above.
Georgetown University apologizes for slavery past
The Washington-based university, run by the Roman Catholic Jesuit order, will create an institute to study the history of slavery at the school. It will also rename two buildings that had honored presidents who oversaw the 1838 sale of the 272 slaves, who had worked on church-affiliated plantations in Maryland.
“This original evil that shaped the early years of the republic was present here,” Georgetown President John DeGioia told an audience that included descendants of the slaves.
The university will hold a Mass of reconciliation “in which we will seek forgiveness for our participation in the institution of slavery, specifically for the sale of 272 children, women and men who we should regard as members of our community.”
As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished:
But some criticized as inadequate the decision to give the descendants of the sold slaves the same admissions preference as the children of faculty, staff and alumni.
“We remain hopeful that we can forge a relationship with Georgetown that will lead to ‘real’ atonement,” Karran Harper Royal, an organizer of a group of descendants, said in an email.
She added that the school should have offered scholarships to slaves’ descendants and included them on the panel that made the recommendations.
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