Home African Americans Highly Anticipated Report Finds “institutional racism and sexism are present, tolerated, and...

Highly Anticipated Report Finds “institutional racism and sexism are present, tolerated, and left unaddressed at VMI”

Also: "VMI maintains an outdated, idealized reverence for the Civil War and the Confederacy"

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The report on the Virginia Military Institute (ordered by Gov. Northam last October, after the Washington Post article,At VMI, Black cadets endure lynching threats, Klan memories and Confederacy veneration”) is now available, and it’s filled with interesting information. See below for some highlights, including the following (bolding added by me for emphasis):

  • VMI has also traditionally been run by white men, for white men. VMI’s overall unwillingness to change—or even question its practices and traditions in a meaningful way—has sustained systems that disadvantage minority and female cadets and faculty, and has left VMI trailing behind its peer institutions. If VMI refuses to think critically about its past and present, and to confront how racial and ethnic minorities and women experience VMI, it will remain a school for white men.
  • “Following the developments of 2020 and the arrival of MG Cedric Wins, VMI has taken incremental steps towards a more diverse, inclusive VMI, and it has outlined plans to address the existing culture. However, many in the VMI community, including senior leaders, perceive no issues or reasons to change.
  • Racial and gender disparities persist at VMI
  • Racial slurs and jokes are not uncommon on post
  • VMI maintains an outdated, idealized reverence for the Civil War and the
    Confederacy.
  • “On gender, many respondents—including men—stated that VMI’s gender equity issues are worse than its racial-equity issues.”
  • Sexual assault is prevalent at VMI yet it is inadequately addressed by the
    Institute. In the survey, 14% of female cadets reported being sexually assaulted
    at VMI…”
  • “VMI’s culture creates barriers to addressing and solving these problems”
  • The unusual amount of vitriol, criticism, condescension, and condemnation from many in the VMI community regarding the investigation has been alarming.  Additionally, despite a pledge of cooperation, VMI’s leadership sought to control the investigation, the message, and the report’s finding.
  • “The cooperation and candor of the current cadets and faculty who did come forward stood in stark contrast to the reaction from VMI’s leadership. Many of the critical findings in this report came not from information provided by VMI but from individual cadets and faculty who provided information directly, outside of VMI’s control.”
  • VMI must be held accountable.”
  • “…while VMI has taken recent steps to improve the culture around race
    at the Institute, it did not do so until forced, following intense media scrutiny,
    executive action, and legislative attention.”
  • VMI’s past reaction to suggestions of change do not inspire confidence that it will follow through on this plan. Moreover, VMI’s messaging with respect to this investigation has been contradictory.”
  • “This investigation found that institutional racism and sexism are present, tolerated, and left unaddressed at VMI. The racist and misogynistic acts and outcomes uncovered during this investigation are disturbing.

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