(TeaParty.org Exclusive) – There have not been any institutions or industries in the US that have managed to evade becoming inundated with the left’s woke diversity ideology. You’d have thought the military would be the last place that would bow down to the throne of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” but even its institutions have been taken over by radical left zealots.
Now a group of alumni from the country’s oldest public senior military college is engaged in a culture war to save the school from its recent push for “diversity.”
Tensions at the Virginia Military Institute have been bubbling since Oct. 2020 when then-Governor Ralph Northam ordered an investigation into reports of alleged widespread racism at the school. The school’s board voted to remove a Confederate statue that was on campus but that was only just the beginning.
As fate would have it, both sides of the culture war are being led by “brother rats,” as VMI classmates are known, who graduated from the college in 1985.
The woke side is being led by Army Major General Cedric T. Wins, who is VMI’s first black superintendent while the opposition is led by a white retired Marine, Matt Daniel, who founded a PAC called “Spirit of VMI” that has launched ads as well as lobbying efforts opposing Wins’ diversity agenda.
“Reject the woke assault on VMI, close ranks,” one of the PAC’s websites states, adding, “We stand for a strong VMI with a proud history and a bright future.”
The PAC has understandably taken issue with the VMI board awarding Wins a $100,000 bonus on top of his $656,000 annual salary after the school saw a 25% drop in freshman enrollment. That doesn’t seem to be something Wins should be rewarded for.
Spirit of VMI has also posted cartoons mocking Wins, who appointed the college’s first chief diversity officer.
Virginia Military Institute alumni use humor to mock the college’s new woke policies pic.twitter.com/Bl0euwfcx0
— ULTRATHEY (@ultrathey) February 22, 2023
VMI is one of six US senior military colleges, the state-run institutions designated by federal law to offer military Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs.
VMI was founded in 1839 and became a key source of Confederate officers during the Civil War, and did not admit black cadets until 1968, or women until 1997. The school remains majority white and majority male with black students making up about 8% of the 1,500 cadets and women accounting for 13.5%.
In Oct. 2020, The Washington Post ran an article alleging “relentless racism” at VMI which resulted in Northam ordering a state probe. Just days later, VMI’s Board of Visitors ordered the removal of a Confederate General Stonewall Jackson statue from campus. The next month, Wins was appointed as temporary superintendent which later became permanent.
Since then, the school has been in full woke mode under Wins.
The state investigation of the school ended in June 2021, finding the school had tolerated and failed to address institutional racism and sexism.
Daniel was initially supportive of Wins taking up the position, writing in an alumni magazine, “If there was ever a leader to take the helm and navigate VMI through such odd and dark, shark-infested waters, it is Cedric Wins.”
However, it quickly became apparent that Wins intended to erase the school’s history and take it down the path of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Wins began removing all Confederate emblems from the campus and hired DEI consultants to advise the school. It wasn’t long before Wins and Daniel found themselves at odds.
Wins became the target of Daniel’s Spirit of VMI PAC. Earlier this month, the group said in a statement, “Often described broadly as a form of political correctness, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a Marxist doctrine at the center of the malignancy of identity politics.”
“Akin to a pervasive cancer that seemingly overnight has metastasized across the country, DEI sows division, destruction, and discord where ever it has been allowed to fester,” the PAC added.
Wins has, for the most part, ignored the group’s allegations but he did take to Facebook last year to respond to a VMI alum who accused the school of being taken over by critical race theory.
“That is categorically false,” wrote Wins. “We are moving forward, forward-focused, with the bedrock of Institute fundamentals defended and even brighter days ahead, with all that is essential intact and the continuing to produce citizen-soldiers.”
In December 2020, Wins issued a statement defending the removal of the Stonewall Jackson statue, which was moved to be displayed in the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park.
“It is an understatement to say the relocation of the statue has evoked strong opinions on both sides of the issue,” remarked Wins.
“VMI does not define itself by this statue and that is why this move is appropriate,” he added. “Though change can sometimes be difficult, it is time for our beloved Institution to move forward, to strengthen our unique system of education and training, and grow the leaders of tomorrow.”
Davis Estes, a close friend of Wins, told the Post that he believes Daniel and the PAC are unnecessarily demonizing equity.
“In my estimation, the PAC’s long-term fear is that VMI will no longer cater primarily to young white males, and white male enrollment will decline and be overshadowed by minority and female matriculation,” noted Estes, 59, a black former financial adviser.
That’s the usual argument for those who defend DEI efforts. Anyone opposed to radical initiatives to push DEI are automatically racist.
Wins is just the latest black leader in the US military to take the focus from strength and honor to “inclusion, diversity, and equity.” The US military is becoming weak and embarrassing.
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