In the latest example of leftist academics favoring form over substance and coddling instead of challenging its members, Vanderbilt University has elected to remove the word “Confederate” from the façade of Confederate Memorial Hall. The University will pay the United Daughters of the Confederacy $1.2 million — the original $50,000 the UDC donated toward the building’s construction, plus interest — from donations solicited specifically for the purpose. Rather than raising and spending $1.2 million on something that would actually contribute to the University mission, they will hand the money to an organization whose mission and values they obviously disapprove of.
Given the stigma attached to anything associated with the Confederacy, especially its flag, this is likely the largest single donation the group has enjoyed in some time and a lifeline that will help the UDC remain viable for at least the immediate future. It will be ironic if less than a dozen little-noticed letters on a building generate such fear and consternation that the University ends up paying for scholarships for “descendants of worthy Confederates” (a UDC objective). In other words, a group of people the University has pronounced guilty of promoting “racial segregation, slavery, and the terrible conflict.” In any case, rather than encourage learning, the University will enforce the PC brand of “tolerance.”