[UVA] Board of Visitors member Bert Ellis anticipates a “battle royale” over the soul of the University, per texts obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by author and transparency advocate Jeff Thomas, who shared the documents with The Cavalier Daily.
“This is going to be a battle royale for the soul of UVA and a microcosm of what must happen across America to save the soul of our country,” Ellis wrote after an individual congratulated him on his appointment to the Board. “We need to build this into a big Army to fight agst [sic] the UVA Adm [sic].”
In over 20 pages of texts between Ellis and various other members of the Board and University officials, Ellis is largely unfiltered in critiques of everything from the behavior of upper-level administrators to the University Guide service.
For more on this Youngkin appointee, see UVA Students Rip Gov. Youngkin Pick of Bert Ellis to UVA Board of Visitors as “either negligent or willfully rewarding behavior that endangers students” (“We deserve someone who respects student self-governance, embraces the University’s commitment to diversity and at the very least, leaves their razor blades for shaving.”); and UVA’s Cavalier Daily Rips Youngkin: “utterly incompetent leader”; “spreading outright falsehoods”; “poor decision-making”; “fearmongering”; failure to “properly vet his nominees”; etc. Now, thanks to “author and transparency advocate Jeff Thomas” and his FOIAs, we have these text messages from Ellis, which – as UVA spokesman Brian Coy correctly puts it – “demonstrate a disappointing disregard for the hard work of U.Va. faculty and staff, as well as the University’s core values of civil discourse and honor.”
So one thing that’s not discussed in the excellent Cavalier Daily article is Ellis extolling Douglas Murray and his book, “The War on the West,” which Ellis recommends that everyone read. So who is Douglas Murray and why does Ellis love his book, “The War on the West?” Check it out:
- “Murray has been described as a conservative, a neoconservative, and a regular critic of immigration and Islam. Murray has argued that the term ‘far right’ is used far too often by the political left…Murray has argued that there is an effort by the left to destroy Western culture and has argued that criticisms of Western leaders and philosophers are motivated by attempts to hurt the west. He has also argued that Anti-racism is a religion and that it has replaced the influence that Christianity once had on the west.” (Crazy shit, in other words.)
- “Murray is a frequent critic of Islam, saying that there is ‘a creed of Islamic fascism – a malignant fundamentalism, woken from the Dark Ages to assault us here and now’…After Murray refused Paul Goodman’s offer to disown these comments, the Conservative Party frontbench severed formal relations with Murray and his Centre for Social Cohesion.” (Even the Conservatives broke ties with this bigot.)
- “Murray has described Islamophobia as a ‘nonsense term’ and in 2013 argued ‘a phobia is something of which one is irrationally afraid. Yet it is supremely rational to be scared of elements of Islam and of its fundamentalist strains in particular.'” (So yes, this guy’s virulently anti-Muslim.)
- “Murray has been described as a vocal critic of immigration and said in 2019 ‘people know immigration has different consequences depending on the numbers, the speed and the identity of the immigrants. Any one of these is explosive. All three together is dangerous. Everyone knows this’.” (In fact, everyone does NOT know this, because it’s far-right, xenophobic idiocy.)
- “In 2018, Murray filmed a video for PragerU entitled “The Suicide of Europe”. Writing in the news website Sludge, journalist Alex Koch described the video as ‘evok[ing] the common white nationalist trope of white genocide with its rhetoric of ‘suicide’ and ‘annihilation’.” Koch interviewed a senior editor at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, Mark Pitcavage, who stated that there was ‘almost certainly prejudice in the video’ and that it was ‘filled with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric’. Similarly, the Southern Poverty Law Center described the video as a ‘dog whistle to the extreme right’.” (Disturbing.)
- “In September 2016, Murray supported Donald Trump’s proposal for a wall along the southern border of the United States.” (Of course he did.)
- Murray “has said that he believes that homosexuality ‘is an unstable component on which to base an individual identity and a hideously unstable way to try and base any form of group identity’. In his book The Madness of Crowds, Murray defends voluntary conversion therapy, and asserts that homophobia has mostly been vanquished.” (Nutjob.)
- “Murray has said that it is a lie that a man can become a woman…He has stated that he thinks there is no such thing as non-binary gender.” (Again, keep in mind that Youngkin’s UVA Board appointee Bert Ellis LOVES this guy!)
- “In November 2016, Murray questioned US Democrats calling Trump sexist, homophobic, and racist” (In fact, Trump is viciously sexist, homophobic and racist.)
- “In March 2018, Viktor Orbán posted a photo on his official Facebook account of himself reading the Hungarian-language edition of The Strange Death of Europe. Murray has disputed the claim that Hungary is experiencing significant democratic backsliding under Orbán, and has called Freedom House’s comparisons of Orbán’s government to a dictatorship as ‘increasingly off-kilter’. In May 2018, Murray was personally received by Orbán in Budapest as part of the ‘Future of Europe’ conference, along with other conservative figures like Steve Bannon, and according to Hungarian state media had an individual discussion and photograph with Orbán.” (So yeah, Murray is a fan of Hungary’s authoritarian leader, along with Steve Bannon.)
So, bottom line question: given all this, does Glenn Youngkin continue to support Bert Ellis? If so, what does that say about Youngkin?