“a small but important step to acknowledge and address that the foundational success of five universities was based on enslaved labor”
The Democrats have pushed their agenda so aggressively in Virginia. Is there any doubt this will pass?
College Scholarships as Reparations: Virginia Gets Woke
If it were possible for each of us to trace our ancestry by millennia, it’s a fair bet that everyone in the world would be able to find slaves somewhere. But should such genealogical discoveries be a basis for a college scholarship? Costly, unconstitutional and wacky as the idea seems, many lawmakers in Virginia think it is. And it soon may become law.
On February 5, the Virginia House of Delegates voted 61-39 to approve a bill (HB 1980) that would require the state’s five colleges and universities established before 1865 – the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Military Institute, Longwood University, and the College of William & Mary – to offer four-year full scholarships and other grants to applicants who can prove descent from slaves who had worked as builders, maintenance workers or groundskeepers at these institutions. The bill’s sponsor, Delegate David A. Reid (D-Loudoun County), who is white and a career Navy man to boot, calls passage “a small but important step to acknowledge and address that the foundational success of five universities was based on enslaved labor.”
The bill, in other words, mandates reparations. And when it comes to reparations, “small” steps have a way of becoming big ones. That all the slave owners and slaves in Virginia are long deceased makes no difference to zealots like Reid. Neither does the possibility that not all the slaves were black (a great many slaves in the New World in fact were white). The only qualification to receive a scholarship is an ability to show descent from slaves.
The vetting process, needless to say, would be time-consuming. That’s why the bill requires that affected colleges and universities work with the Virginia State Council for Higher Education in constructing family trees of the laborers. In the case of the University of Virginia, for example, an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 living persons would qualify for scholarships.
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