LEXINGTON, Va. – State officials have ordered an outside investigation into the Virginia Military Institute following a report in The Washington Post that described Black cadets and alumni facing “relentless racism.”
Gov. Ralph Northam co-wrote a letter Monday with other state officials and lawmakers to the state-supported school’s Board of Visitors expressing “deep concerns about the clear and appalling culture of ongoing structural racism” at VMI. The letter said the state will fund an independent probe into the school’s culture, policies, practices and equity in disciplinary procedures, the Post reported.
“We want to make sure that VMI, as well as all schools in Virginia, are inclusive that they’re welcoming and that our students feel comfortable being on the campus,” said Gov. Northam.
In an interview with 10 News on Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Fairfax said he wants the investigation to get to the truth and spark change.
“What we hope, overall, is that the future looks very different from the past,” said Lt. Gov. Fairfax.
In response, the president of VMI’s Board of Visitors wrote in a letter Tuesday 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,” John William Boland wrote in the letter, which a school spokesman provided to The Associated Press.
READ THE FULL LETTER BELOW: