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VMI pledges cooperation with review after allegations of racist culture

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 2:26 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Military Institute Board of Visitors is pledging to cooperate with an “objective, independent review of VMI’s culture” amid allegations of racism and/or discrimination at the school.

The board sent a letter Tuesday to Governor Ralph Northam in response to Northam’s letter to VMI calling for an investigation in the wake of a Washington Post article about alleged racist incidents at the university.

The article, published over the weekend, included criticism of the New Market Parade, a VMI tradition, and other experiences that cadets claim they had.

The letter from the Board of Visitors indicates several of the incidents detailed in the article “are many years old, and had more to do with an individual’s lapse of judgment than they do with the culture of the institute.”

Read the full VMI letter here.

Sent to cadets and other members of the VMI organization Tuesday was a letter from VMI Superintendent J.H. Binford Peay III, in which he says he is “confident that the review will find that the Institute strives to act with honor, integrity, respect, and civility within the confines of what is legal and appropriate and, in particular, with respect to the incidents detailed in the Washington Post article. I do not believe that systemic racism is present at VMI; however, we can always work to improve on our actions.”

This is a developing story. Stay with WDBJ7 for updates.

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