The University of Virginia will repay a $1,000 pledge made by the Ku Klux Klan in 1921 to pay medical costs and “heal the wounds” incurred at the violent and fatal alt-right protests in Charlottesville last month.Today’s dollars of that pledge: $12,400. UVa. is rounding up.
“I have allocated $12,500 from private sources to the ‘Charlottesville Patient Support Fund’ . . . to pay medical expenses for people who were injured during the violence in August,” University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan announced Thursday at a Board of Visitors meeting.
“In other words, we are allocating that century-old pledge from white supremacists to heal the wounds inflicted by the dying vestiges of white supremacy that struck Charlottesville last month. I hope any remaining members of the KKK will appreciate the irony,” Sullivan said.
The university is acknowledging the pledge despite lack of proof that the KKK ever followed through on it, Sullivan said.
Further, Sullivan disagreed with the recent shrouding of the Thomas Jefferson statue on the grounds of the university. Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819.
“Although I recognize the rights of those protesters to express their opinions, I strongly disagree with their act of covering the Jefferson statue,” Sullivan said. “In spite of our founder’s faults, he made monumental contributions to religious freedom and other kinds of freedom, and we risk losing sight of those contributions if we shroud him in darkness because of his shortcomings.”
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