RUSCIO’S DOUBLE TALK
It has become apparent to us, in talking with and hearing from W&L alumni and students, and even members of our own heritage organizations, that MANY good people have accepted President Ruscio and other university officials’ “smoke and mirrors” explanation for the recent removal of Confederate Battle Flags from the LEE Chapel.
We, and a growing number of others who have followed this entire incident since “The Committee” sent its letter of demands in April, see through these PR attempts and are committed to exposing the act for what it was…a lame, disgraceful attempt to appease 6 agitators.
Even a cursory examination of the press releases from the University finds that President Ruscio has engaged in double talk and rhetoric that even he cannot keep straight from one month to the next.
When the flags were stripped from the Chapel in July, Ruscio released a statement which included the following:
“In his letter Tuesday, the administrator said the purpose of the historic flags in a campus setting is to educate. “They are not to be displayed for decoration, which would diminish their significance, or for glorification, or to make a statement about past conflicts,” he wrote. “The reproductions are not genuinely historic; nor are they displayed with any information or background about what they are. The absence of such explanation allows those who either ‘oppose’ or ‘support’ them to assert their own subjective and frequently incorrect interpretations.”
Link to the statement here: http://www.wlu.edu/presidents-office/messages-to-the-community/president-ruscios-july-8-2014-message
This is very interesting double talk, considering Ruscio’s comments, made just a few months earlier:
“Lee Chapel displays replicas of eight battle flags that represented different armies of the Confederate States of America, at the back of the chapel’s main floor, near the statue called "The Recumbent Lee." THESE REPLICAS ARE DESIGNED FOR HISTORICAL AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. I am aware of no similar displayed anywhere else on our campus...”
Link to the statement here: http://www.wlu.edu/presidents-office/messages-to-the-community/president-ruscios-april-16-2014-message
So…according to Ruscio, (in April, 2014) the flags were displayed for “historical and educational purposes”…and yet by July, 2014, they have become a “decoration” and therefore their removal was required.
What REALLY changed between April and July? What pressures were exerted that would force Ruscio and W&L officials to do such an “about face” and decide to desecrate the Chapel and dishonor the memory of General Robert E Lee and the thousands of Confederate Veterans with direct ties to the university? We are determined to find the answers to these questions, and continue to fight this battle from all sides, until the flags are returned, and the honor is restored to the LEE Chapel.
Last week, we sent an update with new contact information for the Rector of the W&L Board of Trustees. We received information that the email address was incorrect and have included the revised information below. PLEASE continue to contact these folks and let them know that we have only just begun to fight. FORWARD this and all communications to any W&L students and/or alumni so that we can counter the lies that are being told.
In the meantime, the Virginia Flaggers will be back at the LEE Chapel at Washington & Lee THIS SATURDAY, October 4th, from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, forwarding the colors and protesting the desecration of the RE LEE mausoleum by University officials. We will be handing out literature, and educating students, Lexington residents, and tourists about the forced removal of Confederate Battle Flags from the Chapel, in response to the demands of SIX W&L law students. JOIN US, and be a part of those taking a stand against this vile act of desecration, and for the sacred memory and honor of Gen. Robert E. Lee.
J. Donald Childress
Rector of the Board of Trustees
Kenneth P. Ruscio
President of the University
RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!