With Gratitude for a Truth-Seeking Perspective On Presentism

American culture has been riven in the past decade or two with a destructive practice, often called Cancel Culture.  It embraces the erasure of institutions and individuals for failing to embrace what has come to be known as woke ideology and its companion theory of identity synthesis.  A widespread aspect of it is found in the compunction to rename buildings and remove statues of individuals with historical connections. This is due to the current culture guardians, who feel they do not measure up to their purported high and unassailable standards of today’s era.  In the academy, this process is known as Presentism.

Today we are bringing you a very recent piece circulated by The College Fix, a publication that focuses on these matters.  One of its noble practices is accepting articles from college students.  Current Washington & Lee students have been featured authors.  After reading today’s featured story and possibly exploring other stories they have produced, you may be interested in subscribing and supporting their work.

Our goal today is to introduce you to a current matter being considered by the Board of Trustees at our neighbor, the University of Virginia.  Paul Harris, a member of that board, is quoted in the text you will see and The College Fix has offered access to a full transcription of his statement.  Better yet, you will find towards the end of the article a YouTube recording of it.  It takes a little over 5 minutes to hear it through.  I recommend this option to you, along with the access to the reporting and the full statement.  Here is a link to the article: https://www.thecollegefix.com/bulletin-board/black-uva-trustee-rips-cancel-culture-as-board-strips-presidents-name-off-library/

In the summer of 2018 I wrote to President Dudley about Presentism and have written of it often since.  Other alumni have generously and passionately joined in this effort.  Readers of the pieces TGR circulates know full well the dreadful story of Presentism at Washington and Lee.  Our hope is that in the very near future, someone from the official Washington and Lee community will have the courage to speak truth to the protectors of a misdirected ideology, as did Paul Harris in Charlottesville last week.

Thomas P. Rideout ‘63, Chair

Tom Rideout

The Generals Redoubt

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