As an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin, I have taken particular interest in the recent demands made of the administration by elements of the athletic department, primarily the football team that has marched on the state capitol and conducted various press conferences and social media rants. The demands are of the usual sort having to do with “systemic racism” on the campus and in the athletic department, but includes a unique one–to do away with the University’s school song, “The Eyes of Texas”, because of its alleged racial undertones!
In response to these demands I have written the President and the Director of Athletics, and I thought you might have interest in the letter. If you happen to be a UT alumnus or supporter, you might have interest in dropping them a line as well; if so, I can supply the addresses.
Here’s the letter:
“It is very disturbing to me and many others who are loyal to UT to find several elements of our athletic department buying into many of the false narratives and overreaction to the events sparked in Minnesota by the heinous crime committed by the Minneapolis police. The students making various demands of UT are to be commended for their initiative, but unfortunately they are listening to the wrong leadership sources and that is a failure on our part because we have obviously failed to provide them with the education that they deserve, particularly in history and American founding principles.
Far too many of our kids are filling this void by listening to the Black Lives Matter message, which is an extreme left-wing anarchist movement completely antithetical to our founding and a corruption of our history, particularly as it pertains to the history of slavery. Again, our fault, but one that we should use this teaching opportunity to correct, and there are plenty of reliable sources that could help with this effort.
It is my hope that this will be your primary response to the demands that have been made and stop the nonsense before it becomes truly dangerous to the mission of the University.”
Vern Wuensche says
I wrote a letter to the University President when they began removing statues with the comment that students could not abide walking past an historical statue although history was being taught in its classrooms. I was wrong. History was NOT being taught in its classrooms.
Sandy Kress says
Thank you, Jim, for writing the President and posting the letter for us to see.
I assume you noted that the list of demands includes the prohibition against testing because it allegedly discriminates against AA students.
When I was President of the student body on the campus, I drew a lot of ire from many alums for calling HEW in to investigate the university’s failure to recruit minority students in adequate numbers. Ha! I only had legitimate and vigorous efforts to recruit in mind – under the old definition of affirmative action.
My thought today is twofold: 1) what a shame we didn’t do it right (and not through the awful 10% rule), and 2) how dreadfully off course this has gotten.
The University, like our broader society, is in real trouble.
Jim Windham says
True, and their is no transparency of the underlying rot. We’re spending millions on getting these AA kids through school once they are there and doing many of them a disservice in the process. The choice of the permanent President will be crucial and telling.
Ann McCulloch says
You have been saying it for years, Jim, our schools & universities are failing to teach the truth. The brave truth-teaching teachers & professors are few in number. Honest dialogue is suppressed by public opinion fostered by a media that has chosen to suppress the truth.
Jim Windham says
You’re right on point, Ann. When will our institutional leadership step up?
Danny Billingsley says
Great thoughts as always Jim. It’s hard to believe how far from their mission most universities have strayed in the 50 years since I was on a campus. On the occasions I’m asked by young people what I gained from college my quick reply is critical thinking. It appears that is no longer the case.
Jim Windham says
Thanks for your response to this and other posts, Danny. Watch the UT situation very closely, particularly who is hired as President.