A new statue on the Campus of Hampton University — a historical black college in Virginia — has caused controversy among some students.
Last week, the university unveiled Legacy Park, which exhibits statues of individuals that are considered part of the Hampton family and have supported the college's mission of academic excellence.
The park displays statues of well-known people like Rosa Parks, former President Barack Obama and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Issues arose among certain students when the university displayed a statue of the late George H.W. Bush.
“I just feel like a lot of his policies did harm to black people," Kyra Robinson, a student at Hampton told WVEC. "I just feel like as an HBCU we should definitely be uplifting more black figures than putting William Taft and George H.W. Bush on our campus."
Hampton University Junior Randall Williams joined Robinson in her concern saying the college should have been open with students informing them of the statues identities prior to the unveiling.
“Some of those statues are definitely deserving, but when you have someone like George H.W. Bush — who is honorable, do not get me wrong he is honorable — but as far as the other people up there and what they mean to the campus, I think that students and alumni deserve an explanation," he told the station.
As students worried about what H.W. Bush could have contributed to their campus, the university already had the answer to their questions on its website, stating:
“George H.W. Bush: …President Bush demonstrated a long-standing support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities over his career. He delivered the 1991 Commencement address at Hampton University. Over the next three years after President Bush spoke here, Hampton University received $40 million in federal support for faculty research, scholarships for students, and programs to enhance the university.
…President Bush founded the United Negro College Fund chapter at Yale University during his college days. As president, he continued his overwhelmingly positive support for Black Colleges with initiatives such as appointing 23 individuals to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities to advise him and the Secretary of Education on ways to strengthen the HBCUs.”
Seems like these students had the wrong idea about the late president. Bush clearly did quite a great deal to help HBCU’s, according to Hampton’s own website.
The university isn’t planning on removing the statue or replacing it. In a statement to WVEC, a spokeswoman addressed the statue controversy:
"Legacy Park pays tribute to 13 iconic individuals who have supported Hampton University’s mission of providing high-quality academics and the development of character in all who are and have been associated with this great institution. This is a noteworthy group of men and women, Black, White, and Native American, who hail from all walks of life—Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, William Howard Taft, Mary Jackson, Barack Hussein Obama, Susan B. La Flesche, Mary Peake, George H.W. Bush, Jerome Holland, Reuben Burrell, Frederick Douglas, Dr. William R. Harvey and General Samuel Chapman Armstrong. The privately funded park, commissioned by Hampton University’s Board of Trustees, recognizes the significant support from all who are represented and it will be visited and enjoyed for generations.”
Take a look at the story below:
H/T: The Blaze