Intellectual Enslavement at UVa

UVa memorial to enslaved laborers

by Jock Yellott

“This year, members of the Class of 2025 are required to attend a historical tour and debrief discussion centered around the history of enslaved
laborers at the University.”
— Sydney Hertzog, Cavalier Daily, Sept. 22, 2021.

Why does this rankle? The University of Virginia, after all, has many mandates:

• Social Sciences – 6 credits from two different departments
• Humanities – 6 credits from two different categories
• Historical Studies – one 3 or more credit course
• Non-western Perspectives – one 3 or more credit course
• Natural Science and Mathematics – 12 credits from two different
departments

Why shouldn’t 1st years also be forced to “learn about the University’s
history of white supremacy and enslavement that has been suppressed for
many years”?

If any students objected, they were smart enough not to say so. To the contrary, according to the Cavalier Daily. Students “really enjoyed going on the tour because it has given them context of where they go to school.”

This is not Woke faculty indoctrination, or at least not directly. Says the Cavalier Daily: “This program was built purely by students.”

Why should it bother us?
Would we react as strongly against a mandatory civics class
(recommended by Justice Breyer and Justice O’Connor before him)?

What if historical studies were required to include Thomas Jefferson, the
University’s Founder, as well as a founder of our nation?

What if UVa required mandatory training about the Honor System, or standards of behavior?

What about the difference between a date and date rape; always ask permission, even to hold hands? That sort of thing.

It is not the mandate per se that is bothersome. It is the subject matter.
Our visceral reaction may reflect our assumptions about that subject
matter. Our own prejudices.

We assume that the tour is not about who made the bricks in the
Serpentine Walls. It’s about about making white students ashamed,
burdened with an Original Sin of their forefathers, which can never be
expiated.

Does the tour leave out the fact that local Indians enslaved each other
long before the whites arrived?

Does it omit to mention that as much as 25% of the freed blacks in some
Virginia counties themselves owned slaves (this from the research of
former U Va professor Carter Woodson, himself black)?

We assume so.

Worse, we assume bitter lessons about the past are meant to lay the
groundwork for excusing today’s difference in test scores, exam grades;
standards of conduct.

Beware of assumptions. Left-wing racism creates the temptation to answer
it in kind, with prejudices and assumptions of our own.

There is this, though — the admitted purpose is political, to create left-wing
activists: “to destroy the legacy of white supremacy here through activism.”
“In the end, we want it to be a call to action.”

That may in part explain our visceral reaction. It is mental enslavement to
left-wing dogma, required Social Justice training.

And political indoctrination is the opposite of critical thinking. Which is what,
theory at least, a University should be for.

Jock Yellott, a retired lawyer in Charlotesville, is an occasional contributor to Bacon’s Rebellion.


Sources

Cavalier Daily article on mandatory tours: https://www.cavalierdaily.com/
article/2021/09/mandatory-tours-teach-first-years-u-va-s-history-of- enslaved-laborers

UVa College of Arts and Sciences mandated area requirements:
https://college.as.virginia.edu/area

Carter G. Woodson, Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United States in
1830: https://www.amazon.com/Negro-Owners-Slaves-United-States/dp/
1508771820 or https://www.google.com/books/edition/Free_Negro_Owners_of_Slaves_in_the_Unite/SYjXAAAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&printsec=frontcover

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Stan Gordon
Stan Gordon
23 days ago

Full disclosure and rigorous application of truth as to the US history of slavery is that in 1860, at the start of the Civil War, there was only one clearly identifiable predominant group of slaveowners, that being card carrying members of the Democrat Party. Who then as well as now in the present by removing freedoms seek to control and make dependent on the government, thereby essentially enslaving, the general US population. Add to that, if you are paying attention, their prominent members’ consistent behavioral pattern of abuse of women as demonstrated repeatedly in the present day as well as the past. And then their treatment of the most vulnerable, being the unborn. A society is judged as to how they treat their most vulnerable members and when it comes to the woke left in the Democrat Party the behavior has always been predictable and consistent. It just shows up in different forms. Control and power, always centermost in their sick minds. Yes, reparations are in fact due by those very perpetrators, members of the Democrat Party, both as to the past as well as now to all those groups they have oppressed.