Historical periods are often characterized, sometimes misleadingly, as the "Age of..." with the appropriate words to follow. So, we have the Age of Discovery, the Age of Enlightenment, or even the "Middle Ages." I propose that we christen our current age, "The Age of Groveling."
Groveling has taken on myriad forms, and one of its newer configurations is that of institutional groveling, such as the recent case of the (once) respected college of Washington and Lee, located in Lexington, Virginia. President Kenneth P. Ruscio [Email him] announced that for the school's past ownership of slaves, all Confederate flags, including from the main chamber of Lee Chapel, would be removed.
The college has always maintained its firm connections to the South, and in particular to one of Virginia's former leaders, Robert E. Lee, who served as President of the College, and is buried in the crypt of the chapel of that college. It appears that a group of black students protested the presence of the flags, and claimed it was "unwelcoming" to minorities. But what is also mentioned by unnamed "officials" at Washington and Lee is that the decision was "a nod to history and not a message intended to offend anyone." (Emphasis mine.) [Washington and Lee University to remove Confederate flags following protests, By T. Rees Shapiro, Washington Post, July 8, 2014 ]
I have no interest in debating the idiocy of the above statement, or the absurd notion that what was done more than a century and a half ago is still an applicable criterion to judge the current school, its faculty and student body.
Perhaps in all of this groveling, however, President Ruscio failed to notice that the only people offended were those former students who recognized that the late President Lee was a Southern gentleman who would not tolerate any criticism of General Grant in his presence.
Chiarello is a retired Foreign Service Officer whose tours included U.S. embassies in Latin America and Europe. See Vincent Chiarello's previous letters to VDARE.com.