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Virginia Bill Would Award Some College Scholarships as Reparations

Virginia Bill Would Award Some College Scholarships as Reparations

“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?

Townhall reports:

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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Comments

The Friendly Grizzly | March 1, 2021 at 8:25 am

Will the scholarships be for real majors? Or, will they be squandered on Styrofoam majors like Black Studies or Genderqueer Dance Theory?

    They could be a source of funding for such silly majors. But at least they wouldn’t also be compromising academic standards in real majors unless the student was actually capable of performing in them.

    At the end of this, with these genealogies made, they can erect monuments and have commemorations and on and on. They need something to put where statues of Jefferson etc. used to be.

The bill (https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?212+ful+HB1980ER)

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 23.1-615.1 as follows:

§ 23.1-615.1. Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship and Memorial Program.

A. The Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship and Memorial Program (the Program) is established for the purpose of reckoning with the history of the Commonwealth, addressing the long legacy of slavery in the Commonwealth, and acknowledging that the foundational success of several public institutions of higher education was based on the labor of enslaved individuals.

B. Consistent with the purpose set forth in subsection A, Longwood University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Military Institute, and The College of William and Mary in Virginia shall each implement and execute the Program, with any source of funds other than state funds or tuition or fee increases, by annually
(i) identifying and memorializing, to the extent possible, all enslaved individuals who labored on former and current institutionally controlled grounds and property and
(ii) providing a tangible benefit such as a college scholarship or community-based economic development program for individuals or specific communities with a demonstrated historic connection to slavery that will empower families to be lifted out of the cycle of poverty.

C. The Council shall collaborate with the institutions set forth in subsection B to establish guidelines for the implementation of the Program, including guidelines for the identification of all enslaved individuals who labored on former and current institutionally controlled grounds and property, the development of appropriate means to memorialize these individuals, the development of programs for individuals and communities still experiencing the legacy of slavery to empower them to break the cycle of poverty, eligibility criteria for participation in such programs, and the duration of such programs.

D. Each institution set forth in subsection B shall continue the activities set forth in subsection B pursuant to the Program for a period equal in length to the period during which the institution used enslaved individuals to support the institution or until scholarships have been awarded to a number of recipients equal to 100 percent of the population of enslaved individuals identified pursuant to subsection B who labored on former and current institutionally controlled grounds and property, whichever occurs first.

E. Each institution set forth in subsection B shall annually submit to the Council information on the implementation of the Program. The Council shall compile such information in a report and submit such report no later than November 1 of each year to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the House Committee on Education, the Senate Committee on Education and Health, the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, and the Virginia African American Advisory Board.

F. Each private institution of higher education with a legacy of slavery that is similar to that of any institution set forth in subsection B is strongly encouraged to participate in the Program on a voluntary basis.

2. That the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia shall collaborate with Longwood University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Military Institute, and The College of William and Mary in Virginia to establish guidelines for the Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship and Memorial Program, as created by this act, pursuant to the provisions of this act no later than July 1, 2022.
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The Program isn’t simply scholarships: “… providing a tangible benefit such as a college scholarship or community-based economic development program for individuals or specific communities with a demonstrated historic connection to slavery that will empower families to be lifted out of the cycle of poverty.”

Providing a tangible benefit? That is a fresh phrase with wiggle room. The imagination runs wide open with possible programs to shovel funds from the institutions to “individuals or specific communities with a demonstrated historic connection to slavery”. Establishing that link promises to be interesting.

Also note the funds must not be state or fee/tuition increases.
And on and on.
Fortunately, note the duration is limited to the duration that such labor was used = this is not an ‘in perpetuity’ program. [wanna bet it never goes away? ]

Dems are trampling Virginia into the mud.

    Publius_2020 in reply to OldSchool. | March 1, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    “… with any source of funds other than state funds or tuition or fee increases”

    What exactly does that mean for UV? Is the implication that they have to find new money? Or is the implication that they have to divert existing tuition money to this, and thereby cancel some other program (in order to avoid raising tuition indirectly)?

Publius_2020 | March 1, 2021 at 12:32 pm

How did Washington & Lee manage to skate on this?

Washington & Lee is a private school, but I think they are changing their name….

If s descendant of a slave is in jail does he still qualify for a Reparations Scholarship?

Maybe by online courses, or just go ahead and parole him no matter what he is in jail for.

healthguyfsu | March 1, 2021 at 9:45 pm

LOL…sounds like something written by a VT grad

Then let the colleges pay for them. Better yet…colleges should underwrite student loans.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to rscalzo. | March 2, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    If colleges had to underwrite student loans, Styrofoam majors would vanish overnight.

Why don’t the colleges get the same treatment as Antifa-BLM non-approved statuary … tear them down !!!!

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