Clarification on Hopkins-SCV Dispute

The other day I briefly referenced the decision of Johns Hopkins University to deny a Maryland chapter of the SCV use of their facilities for an upcoming Lee-Jackson Day celebration. The only information available at that point was an SCV blog post which reported that they had been denied access to school facilities simply because they were a Confederate organization. A brief news item in Inside Higher-Ed adds a bit more to the story. Apparently, the organization will still be able to hold their ceremony in the park adjacent to the campus, but will not have access to university facilities:

A spokesman for Hopkins noted that the university does not control the park, and that the Confederate groups are free to continue to honor their generals there. But he added, “We’re not legally required to rent meeting space to anyone who asks.” As for the change of heart this year, the spokesman said that there were complaints last year and that “we choose not to have the Confederate battle flag carried across our campus, particularly so close to the Martin Luther King holiday.”

Is anyone surprised that the university would not want to be associated with the Confederate flag given recent events? This story has nothing to do with attacking Confederate heritage or the suppression of ideas. It is better understood as a reaction to the blatant misuse of the Confederate flag for reasons that have nothing to do with the men who fought under it during the Civil War. As I stated in that earlier post, the SCV’s silence on the misuse of the flag functions as an implicit endorsement. Clearly, they are reaping the rewards for their silence and my guess is that it is too late to be rectified.  Don’t blame Johns Hopkins for your troubles, blame yourselves.

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