In Brief Huzzah: BoV Ends All Stereotypes About UVa April 24, 2007 Waldo Jaquith 14 Comments UVa Board of Visitors member Warren Thompson hopes that their newly-passed resolution expressing regret for the school’s use of slaves will “put an end to stereotypes about the University.” Good luck with that, Warren.
14 thoughts on “Huzzah: BoV Ends All Stereotypes About UVa”
thank god! now maybe people will stop muttering “goddamn slaveowner” under their breath every time they see my class ring. thanks, warren!
This was certainly my most pressing issue… I’m glad every thing’s in the clear now.
I guess I don’t understand how issuing an apology for somehting that people did many generations ago helps. I doubt the people from that generation, if here today would apologize so why should someone apologize on their behalf?They were a product of what they knew. Thank goodness we know better now – its called growth and evolution. This apology is a band-aid. It will appease for now but after the novelty of wears off, it will be as if no apology was issues at all. Don’t get me wrong – I think the intention is good but it’s what we do from this point forward that matters. I for one do not shoulder the guilt and responsibility of ancestors. I say stop harping on the past – learn from it, stop asking white people to apologize for the ignorance and horrible actions of our ancestors. We were not there!! Healing starts from the inside – not from what others say or do. UVA is beautiful and if an ancestor of mine had contributed to it in any way, I’d be proud! They could build it and not attend it – I get it but all those enrolled back then have left nothing to write in the history books about – look at UVA -it still stands and people marvel at it all the time! Who were the real contributors?
UVa is happy to take credit for everything that Jefferson did at the school. They should likewise be prepared to take the blame for it.
Remember, UVa was around during slavery, and they benefitted from it. What you’re basically arguing is that corporations shouldn’t be held responsible for egregious behavior or even criminal acts if none of the people who work for the company now had anything to do with those acts. I don’t imagine that you actually believe that.
Imagine it! I do actually beleive it!
A chemical manufacturing company employs 10,000 people. For a period of a decade they bury enormous amounts of toxic waste (illegally, of course) in a plot of land they own a few towns over. Then they cover it up with a few feet of dirt and they sell it to a town to build a school. Twenty years pass. The kids grow up and they start dying of cancer. Somebody puts the puzzle pieces together.
What you’re saying is that, if none of the employees from 1987 work for that company now, they shouldn’t be held liable? No lawsuit should be permitted to move forward against them? They should be charged with no federal crime?
I’ll give you a tip: This is the point in which you say “oh, yes, you’re right, I hadn’t thought about that.” If ever there was a foolish consistency, this would be it, hobgoblin and all.
Wrong! I don’t agree with you the least little bit. Of course those responsible for actually putting the chems in the ground and those ordering it done should be held accountable. The people working at the factory who had nothing to do with it or had any power over it should not – exactly how would they be liable? No knowledge, no power = no liability! Tip for you – stop putting people who know better in the same category as those who don’t know better. I guess next you are going to say the parents and sister of the maniac killer at VT should be held responsible and prosecuted for the masacre or better yet all South Korean’s should be held responsible – how about that? Good Grief!
That’s one of the most stunning anti-capitalist statements I think I’ve ever seen. The kindest interpretation of your remarks is that you have no knowledge whatsoever of law, business, or government.
So let’s say you bought that land. The chemical company signed a document saying that the land is clear and safe — they never touched it. Now you have cancer. You’re cool with that? You’ll just cover the cost out of pocket because, hey, sucks to be you?
What about the school? You believe that you (as a taxpayer) have to help pay the many, many millions it will cost to clean up the site? The company gets off without any punishment or fine because they were clever enough to hide it for two decades?
I actually know a great deal about government (it was my major). Also having worked with a corporate attorney for 10 years, I picked up a smidgen of knowledge about law & business as well. I doubt there is anyone who knows as much as you, however. Above all, I know about personal responsibility. I don’t accept personal responsibility for slavery and if the University wants to – fine, if you want to-fine. If you think it will help race relations – great. I hope it does – it probably won’t but good luck with that.
Not answering my questions is a smart move. There’s no way you can go down that road without looking foolish. I feel like I’ve discovered a real-life flat earther, one who actually becomes angry and defensive if somebody suggests that the earth might, in fact, be round, and refuses to say a word after being shown pictures of the planet from space. I’m fighting the urge to call the Smithsonian and report the sighting.
Oh, sorry. I thought I was pretty clear on the whole PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY thing. I was pretty sure that did answer the questions. But if you need more clarification then I guess if were stupid enough to buy land on someone else’s claim on it being safe & clear and not have my own soil/water tests done then shame on me. Don’t you worry. I’m not the least bit angry or defensive. I think your opinions are hilarious – I’m actually getting a big kick out of this.
“What you’re basically arguing is that corporations shouldn’t be held responsible for egregious behavior or even criminal acts if none of the people who work for the company now had anything to do with those acts. I don’t imagine that you actually believe that.”
waldo, i get your point, but your comparison is off base. dumping toxic waste is illegal, so those who do it or allow it to be done should be held accountable. slavery was a legal institution between 1819 and 1865. reprehensible, yes. but still legal. in your example, all 10,000 employees of that company are not going to go to jail for illegally dumping that waste. most of them will likely lose their jobs when the company goes under (can you say Enron?), but only a handful will face legal action. those who actively broke the law. i have no problem with UVA saying they regret slavery. but there isn’t a single person alive today who can legitimately be held responsible for the institution. i agree with WWNT, in the respect that i think these apologies for slavery are nothing but a feel-good PR move aimed at deflecting bigger problems rather than solving them.
AMEN Blanco Nino!!
I don’t think you want to go down the “legality” road either. If we can all agree that slavery is highly immoral and toxic waste dumping (and lying about it) is also highly immoral, then we don’t need to bring laws into it.
Saying “No one told me not to back then!” doesn’t exculpate you.
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