Restricted VMI Board of Visitors to remove Jackson statue

vmicraig

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Location
Mobile, AL
It has been decided. Jackson statue is being removed. Jackson Memorial Hall will eventually be renamed as will all buildings named for confederates (over half of VMIs buildings)


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Quaama

Sergeant
Joined
Sep 13, 2020
Location
Port Macquarie, Australia
As I do not subscribe to The Washington Post I was unable to open the link you provided but I did find a similar one here and from the VMI here.

Sounds like horrible news that will obliterate a significant part of VMI's (and Virginia's) history.

Also, what perverse logic leads to this statement:
"The Board ordered the statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson moved from the front of the historic barracks to an appropriate location, perhaps the Battlefield at New Market"?
Why the battlefield at New Market? General Jackson had been dead for over a year when the Battle for New market was waged?
 

vmicraig

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Location
Mobile, AL
As I do not subscribe to The Washington Post I was unable to open the link you provided but I did find a similar one here and from the VMI here.

Sounds like horrible news that will obliterate a significant part of VMI's (and Virginia's) history.

Also, what perverse logic leads to this statement:
"The Board ordered the statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson moved from the front of the historic barracks to an appropriate location, perhaps the Battlefield at New Market"?
Why the battlefield at New Market? General Jackson had been dead for over a year when the Battle for New market was waged?

I believe the thought process is that VMI owns the museum at New Market and they can carve out an area, perhaps along with the other statue by Sir Moses Ezekiel (Virginia Mourning her Dead), to provide a spot where the statues being removed from VMI may rest without fear of damage or vandalism (they are also forming a Statues and building name committee, so the writing is on the wall). Just a thought. Initially, many figured they would simply move the statue to a different location on the VMI grounds, but it looks like that is not the case, as the Board of Visitors under Governor Northam's lead has directed its removal, not its relocation.

The problem lies in where this will stop, if it stops at all. Jackson Memorial Hall may inevitably be renamed due to the cancel culture taking place at VMI and throughout our country, and the mural of the cadets charging the battlefield at New Market removed. Will the statue of Virginia Mourning her Dead be removed, too? Will it include removing the remains of the cadets killed at New Market from VMI and moving them back to the battlefield or to their respective family plots? Will Scott Shipp Hall, Maury Brooke Hall, Crozet Hall, Preston Library, etc all have to be renamed because of their connection to the Confederacy? Will streets like Letcher Avenue be renamed? Will the 4 cannon out front (Matthew, Mark Luke and John) be destined for a museum or put out of site because the were part of the Confederacy? Will the statue of Washington be removed since he was a slave holder? Will the museum on post have to rid itself of Civil War related items or remove Traveler from public view? The list goes on.

It is a slippery slope and politics have come into play. No other school in the nation has ever sent her entire Corps into battle as a unit..that is one of the hallmarks of VMI and a very important part of her history, from which cadets learn about fortitude, honor and sacrifice. Right or wrong, agree or disagree, many of the alumni are concerned that removing VMI's historical connections to anything Confederate or Civil War related will simply turn VMI into a bland, faceless military school with an ROTC program with no connection to her origin and past. If that's the case, then we may as well send her cadets off to get their commissions via an ROTC program at Cal Tech, SUNY, James Madison, Ferrum college, Radford or any other host of schools that have no significant wartime history.

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Viper21

Brigadier General
Moderator
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Rockbridge County, Virginia
I believe the thought process is that VMI owns the museum at New Market and they can carve out an area, perhaps along with the other statue by Sir Moses Ezekiel (Virginia Mourning her Dead), to provide a spot where the statues being removed from VMI may rest without fear of damage or vandalism (they are also forming a Statues and building name committee, so the writing is on the wall). Just a thought. Initially, many figured they would simply move the statue to a different location on the VMI grounds, but it looks like that is not the case, as the Board of Visitors under Governor Northam's lead has directed its removal, not its relocation.

The problem lies in where this will stop, if it stops at all. Jackson Memorial Hall may inevitably be renamed due to the cancel culture taking place at VMI and throughout our country, and the mural of the cadets charging the battlefield at New Market removed. Will the statue of Virginia Mourning her Dead be removed, too? Will it include removing the remains of the cadets killed at New Market from VMI and moving them back to the battlefield or to their respective family plots? Will Scott Shipp Hall, Maury Brooke Hall, Crozet Hall, Preston Library, etc all have to be renamed because of their connection to the Confederacy? Will streets like Letcher Avenue be renamed? Will the 4 cannon out front (Matthew, Mark Luke and John) be destined for a museum or put out of site because the were part of the Confederacy? Will the statue of Washington be removed since he was a slave holder? Will the museum on post have to rid itself of Civil War related items or remove Traveler from public view? The list goes on.

It is a slippery slope and politics have come into play. No other school in the nation has ever sent her entire Corps into battle as a unit..that is one of the hallmarks of VMI and a very important part of her history, from which cadets learn about fortitude, honor and sacrifice. Right or wrong, agree or disagree, many of the alumni are concerned that removing VMI's historical connections to anything Confederate or Civil War related will simply turn VMI into a bland, faceless military school with an ROTC program with no connection to her origin and past. If that's the case, then we may as well send her cadets off to get their commissions via an ROTC program at Cal Tech, SUNY, James Madison, Ferrum college, Radford or any other host of schools that have no significant wartime history.

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Well said Craig. I weep for my country.

I'm certainly frustrated, & saddened for alumni like yourself. It might actually make me nauseous if they force the removal of the KIA cadets.

The battle of New Market is one of my favorite stories of the war. I've been to the museum multiple times, as well as the one on VMI. I took this picture myself a couple years ago...
VMI Chapel2.jpg
 

RebelWeber

Private
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Jul 15, 2018
Location
Pittsgrove,NJ

Jamieva

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Forum Host
Joined
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Location
Midlothian, VA
As I do not subscribe to The Washington Post I was unable to open the link you provided but I did find a similar one here and from the VMI here.

Sounds like horrible news that will obliterate a significant part of VMI's (and Virginia's) history.

Also, what perverse logic leads to this statement:
"The Board ordered the statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson moved from the front of the historic barracks to an appropriate location, perhaps the Battlefield at New Market"?
Why the battlefield at New Market? General Jackson had been dead for over a year when the Battle for New market was waged?

That is what the head of the board said. I laughed when I read that. He is a VMI grad to top it off. Guess he was asleep that day in class.
 

Vicksburger

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Location
Saint Joseph
Here is a list of the Board of Visitors:

BOV Members​

Board of Visitors Members
John William Boland '73
Richmond, Virginia
Lara Tyler Chambers ’03
Manakin-Sabot, Virginia
Lt. Gen. Charles E. Dominy (Ret)
Oakton, Virginia
Hugh M. Fain III ’80
Richmond, Virginia
Conrad M. Hall '65
Norfolk, Virginia
Michael L. Hamlar
Roanoke, Virginia
Richard K. Hines, V '66
Atlanta, Georgia
Lester Johnson, Jr. '95
Richmond, Virginia
Scot W. Marsh '81
Winchester, Virginia
David L. Miller ‘70
Brentwood, Tennessee
Honorable Joe R. Reeder
Alexandria, Virginia
Gene Scott '80
Richmond, Virginia
Thomas R. “Tom” Watjen '76
Key Largo, Florida
Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams
Hanover, Virginia
Lt. Gen. Frances C. Wilson, EdD, USMC (Ret)
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Anyone know why these especially older alumni-board members would entertain such beliefs? Are they political cronys of the Governor?
 

Georgia

Sergeant
Sounds like another situation where there is no gray area.
I don’t know what the right answer is here as I can understand and support both sides of the argument.

I want to make sure everyone in the country is given the same respect and do not feel the sadness or negativity of images which would bring them continuing pain.
And, I’m also a strong supporter of embracing the good, the bad and the ugly of our past history.

I wish there could be a meeting in the middle where the history is not scrubbed away and could be used as learning tools instead.

It seems that the current leaders are finding the easiest path by just removing everything instead of starting a dialogue of explanation or the addition of new monuments which explain more current beliefs about certain persons, events, etc.


I’m not sure where this will end. Will the Washington Monument in DC be removed as Mount Vernon had/has a very large and thriving enslaved population? Will all mentions of enslaved holders be removed from public eye or only “those who were cruel?” And, who is going to be given the power to determine was Jefferson a cruel or loving enslaved owner- with Sally Hemmings, alone, it’s been discussed there was true affection between them and also that Sally felt she had no real options and was so young when their liaisons started there was no other option.

This is going to be a very slippery slope as this country was completely built upon the blood, sweat, and tears of the enslaved. I’d really prefer the dialogue kept and a celebration of all the enslaved workers created toward the growth of the country. The cost of this growth was incredibly severe to the enslaved but to take the visible talking points down and hide them away also seems to be saying the country won’t finally discuss and embrace the enslaved and thank them. While it was not their chosen desire to be here, it is because of them, we all have as established of a country as we do.

And, from the SE’s perspective, it was due to the enslaved that especially indigo and rice growth happened in this region as those brought from specific regions in Africa were sought for their prior knowledge that the planters lacked as to getting specific crops established and to thrive.
Taking nothing away from Eliza Lucas Pinckney- I see her a a very strong female from this region and time. But, there is no way indigo would have become established without the combined efforts of the enslaved and Eliza’s experimental ways to process and produce that lovely dyestuffs.

This is just my opinion about the current situation. Do others have differing beliefs? I’d be interested to learn what others believe should be done and how to actually implement any changes.

This group has a deep appreciation for history and I would also think a concern for their country. What do you see and believe as an answer?

As always, please be kind in your comments. But, I am genuinely interested as the time left to suggest possible changes to the current discipline of total removal will soon be gone.
 
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Viper21

Brigadier General
Moderator
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Joined
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Location
Rockbridge County, Virginia
I want to make sure everyone in the country is given the same respect and do not feel the sadness or negativity of images which would bring them continuing pain.
And, I’m also a strong supporter of embracing the good, the bad and the ugly of our past history.

I wish there could be a meeting in the middle where the history is not scrubbed away and could be used as learning tools instead.

It seems that the current leaders are finding the easiest path but just removing everything instead of starting a dialogue of explanation or the addition of new monuments which explain more current beliefs about certain persons, events, etc.
Sadly, there is no middle ground. Everyone in our country isn't given the same respect. If you disagree with the current narrative, you're a bad person, & your opinion is irrelevant.

My increasing cynical view of it all is, it's purely political nonsense. It's favoring one political groups views over another. Many times, against the wishes of the community, or those the most vested in it.

I'll be curious to see how all of these removals, & changing of narratives, actually improves people's lives moving forward. Forgive me if I'm skeptical that removing the monuments on Monument Ave in Richmond is going to lower the city's crime rate, or result in less poverty. Will demonizing Jackson at VMI create better Officers in our military..? Is the overall removal of Confederate everything, going to create more Patriotism in our country, or more disdain/hate for our country, as we've seen on full display for a good part of the year..?

There is a significant segment of our population that thinks Patriotism is a bad thing. There are folks who think, honor, & respect are one way streets. In my 5 decades, I've never seen so much division, & polarization. It's quite saddening at times. We should be able to disagree, & still be respectful of others. That is certainly not the case for many folks.
 
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PapaReb

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Location
Arkansas CSA occupied
Sadly, there is no middle ground. Everyone in our country isn't given the same respect. If you disagree with the current narrative, you're a bad person, & your opinion is irrelevant.

My increasing cynical view of it all is, it's purely political nonsense. It's favoring one political groups views over another. Many times, against the wishes of the community, or those the most vested in it.

I'll be curious to see how all of these removals, & changing of narratives, actually improves people's lives moving forward. Forgive me if I'm skeptical that removing the monuments on Monument Ave in Richmond is going to lower the cities crime rate, or result in less poverty. Will demonizing Jackson at VMI create better Officers in our military..? Is the overall removal of Confederate everything, going to create more Patriotism in our country, or more disdain/hate for our country, as we've seen on full display for a good part of the year..?

There is a significant segment of our population that thinks Patriotism is a bad thing. There are folks who think, honor, & respect are one way streets. In my 5 decades, I've never seen so much division, & polarization. It's quite saddening at times. We should be able to disagree, & still be respectful of others. That is certainly not the case for many folks.
1860 was an election year also

We seem almost as divided now as then just over somewhat different issues. New narratives don't change anything...history is history whether we like it or not, whether we agree with the prevailing attitudes of the day or not. It is what it is.

I'm sick of all of this.
 

Georgia

Sergeant
1860 was an election year also

We seem almost as divided now as then just over somewhat different issues. New narratives don't change anything...history is history whether we like it or not, whether we agree with the prevailing attitudes of the day or not. It is what it is.

I'm sick of all of this.
I’m sick of not knowing what to do. I’ve asked friends who happen to be black and I get varied answers from them as to the interpretation and how they feel concerning things like monuments. I believe it’s the same if you ask white persons- some may be more sensitive to things than others.

I know there isn’t a playbook and there definitely isn’t an answer that will satisfy and please all. But, I’d do better with the changes if I knew what was trying to be accomplished and to what end the line will
be drawn. Are founding father’s getting a pass? Should they? If they do, then why not this person?

What’s the goal of these activities and are we sure we are doing the correct measures?
 

Viper21

Brigadier General
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Location
Rockbridge County, Virginia
Are founding father’s getting a pass? Should they? If they do, then why not this person?

What’s the goal of these activities and are we sure we are doing the correct measures?
Make no mistake, the founding father's aren't getting a pass, at least not long term, if the current hoo ha isn't stopped.
 

Dave D

Private
Joined
Feb 21, 2019
Sounds like another situation where there is no gray area.
I don’t know what the right answer is here as I can understand and support both sides of the argument.

I want to make sure everyone in the country is given the same respect and do not feel the sadness or negativity of images which would bring them continuing pain.

I frequently see the statement that these statues cause pain and then, the remedy is to remove or destroy the memorials. By doing this you supposedly have relieved the pain of the aggrieved group. However, now you have inflicted pain and sadness on another group of people. Out of all this, the lasting effect is mutual contempt by both sides.
 

Georgia

Sergeant
I frequently see the statement that these statues cause pain and then, the remedy is to remove or destroy the memorials. By doing this you supposedly have relieved the pain of the aggrieved group. However, now you have inflicted pain and sadness on another group of people. Out of all this, the lasting effect is mutual contempt by both sides.
Very good and true points made for both retention of the monuments as well as removal.

( To remove and not educate is really missing a teachable opportunity to me.)
 
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