The head of the Virginia Military Institute resigned on Monday after the Virginia governor ordered an independent investigation into allegations of systemic racism at a state-backed military college.
80-year-old General JH Binford Peay III, who has led the school since 2003, said his letter of resignation that Governor Ralph Northam’s staff and members of the Virginia legislature “lost confidence in my leadership” and asked him to resign on Friday.
General Binford, a retired four-star Army general, led an 181-year-old school in a stormy re-examination of his past and culture, which honored confederate leaders and slave owners for generations and prepared annual commemoration indictment of the rebels.
The institute has long been associated with the affairs of the confederation. 1864 The entire corps of cadets took up arms in the Battle of the New Market. Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was an instructor at the institute before the Civil War.
In recent years, more and more students have called for the removal of the Stonewall Jackson statue from its central location on campus.
This year, General Binford tried to tackle racism in college, but said in the letter in the summer that he would not rename the buildings in honor of the Confederates and that a statue of Jackson would remain, calling him a “faithful Christian” and a “military genius.”
Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that black students in college “experience relentless racism” and have experienced ridicule lenses and other forms of violence.