Minority Students Claim Thomas Jefferson Statue is ‘Emblem of White Supremacy

They demand mandatory education about his ties to slavery and colonization.

The Minority Rights Coalition, a group of minority students at the University of Virginia, issued a list of demands for its “March to Reclaim Our Grounds” which included mandatory education about Thomas Jefferson’s ties to slavery and colonization.

Campus Reform published the ten-item list to its website which noted that a statue on campus of Jefferson “serves as an emblem of white supremacy.” And because of that, the MRC demands that a new plaque be put on the statue that re-contextualizes his relationship with “white supremacy, colonization, and slavery.” In addition, the group demands that “all students, regardless of area of study, should have required education” on those issues surrounding the Founding Father. 

While the students aren’t requesting the removal of the Jefferson statue (for now), they do want all Confederate plaques on the Rotunda placed in a museum. They also want a $1,000 donation made by the KKK in 1921 to be re-invested, and “adjusted for inflation,” into multicultural organizations at the school or around Charlottesville. MRC asked for alumni Jason Kessler, the Unite the Right organizer, and noted white nationalist Richard Spencer to be banned from campus, as well as any other “white supremacist hate groups.”

Moving forward, the MRC wants the university to enact “a strategic and actionable diversity plan” to enroll more black undergraduates and to hire more black faculty.

One other demand includes designating the lawn as a “residential space” and thereby ban “concealed arms and open flames.”

The full list is below:

Photo credit: wallyg via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND