Whitewashing Washington and Lee
In 2014, in the wake of a growing movement to remove Confederate symbols, Washington and Lee University took down a Confederate battle flag from the school’s Lee Chapel.
It was a hotly debated decision.
It appears there are more changes coming to the highly selective Lexington private school that was founded in 1749 as Augusta Academy.
The university’s board of trustees met this week and, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch, announced that they will remove portraits of the school’s two namesakes in military uniforms and replace them with paintings of the two generals mowing their lawns.
OK, not exactly. Instead of featuring both men in military garb, the school will hang paintings of George Washington and Robert E. Lee in civvies inside Lee Chapel.
Good Lord. Has W&L gone pacifist?
I get why they want to undress Lee. He was a Confederate general. And they don’t want to remind everyone about THAT.
But why defrock Washington? Can't we all agree that the Revolutionary War was a good one? Not only was he the first president of the U.S., he was the commander of the Continental Army and spent most of his life in uniform. Washington and his troops are literally the reason we don’t have to curtsy to the queen.
Oh, and in 1796 Washington kept the school - which by then was known as Liberty Hall Academy - solvent with an endowment of $20,000 worth of James River Canal stock.
This is how they thank him?
Look, we all know what’s coming. It won’t be long before the school bows to pressure to scrap the names of both great men - Washington and Lee - because they were slaveholders.
Perhaps at that point they’ll rename the school Wash and Dry University. A place where history is laundered.