Recently, a few colleges and Universities in the United States have begun to acknowledge their participation and benefit from slavery such as Georgetown University, Emory University and now Wesleyan College. The small college in Macon, Georgia, recently admitted to its ties and history with the infamous white supremacy organization known as the Ku Klux Klan.
The statement comes in the wake of a scathing article penned by alumnus and journalist, Dana Amihere of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Interestingly, she began criticizing the Ku Klux Klan traditions while still a student, but the college’s top administrators and fellow students chastised her for it.
In a statement released on their website, the institution acknowledges that they actively supported the Ku Klux Klan and even named a class after it, while abusing black students there. They did appalling things—like students treating some African Americans who worked on campus like mascots, or deciding to name one of their classes after the hate-espousing Ku Klux Klan, or developing rituals for initiating new students according to Klan traditions.
Wesleyan College’s history includes parts that are deeply troubling, and we are not proud of them. When Wesleyan was founded in 1836, the economy of the South was based on the sin of slavery. We are sorry for the pain that parts of our past have caused and continue to cause. We also celebrate how far our College has come and how we are striving to become the inclusive community we are called to be. Wesleyan can be a community where all kinds of people are able to know, trust, learn from, and care for one another. Our story is one of hope, where the lessons of history make us stronger. Read more
In taking the first step to acknowledge their participation in racist activities, it still remains to be seen whether the institution will change its culture and traditions as diversity becomes a focal point in higher education.