After shocking reports of an investigation being led by Governor Ralph Northam and other Democratic leadership, Virginia Military Institute superintendent J.H. Binford Peay III resigned in protest this afternoon in response.
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Retired Army Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III tendered his resignation Monday, and the Board of Visitors accepted it “with deep regret,” board President John William Boland said in a statement.
“It has been the honor of my life to be the Superintendent of VMI for over seventeen years,” Peay said in his resignation letter, describing how Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and certain legislative leaders “lost confidence in my leadership.”
The so-called investigation was launched after a Washington Post hit piece describing the Virginia Military Institute as a bastion and hive of institutional racism.
From the outset, Boland was quite clear that “institutional racism” did not exist at VMI, and defended the honor of the institution in clear, unambiguous terms:
In response to the allegations, Boland wrote in a letter last week that the school would welcome a review and pledged its full cooperation; “However, systemic racism does not exist here and a fair and independent review will find that to be true.”
Boland wrote that several of the incidents detailed in the Post’s story were many years old and that they “had more to do with an individual’s lapse of judgment than they do with the culture of the Institute.”
Thus far, the allegations of racism at VMI have yet to be independently verified. Yet Democratic lawmakers have pounced at the opportunity to brand VMI — long a bastion of tradition in Virginia circles — as a hive of racism, Southern sentimentality and backward notions of honor.