The Virginia Military Institute has tolerated and failed to address institutional racism and sexism and must be held accountable for making changes, according to a state-sanctioned report released Tuesday.
The 145-page report, put together by an independent law firm at the request of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, states that “racial slurs and jokes are not uncommon” and “contribute to an atmosphere of hostility toward minorities.”
Some graduates welcomed the findings as long-overdue at a nearly two-century-old institution that carries the prestige of helping to educate Gen. George Patton but is also indelibly tied to nation’s history of racism and sexism. Others said the report mischaracterized “isolated” incidents that can happen at any school.
Among other findings, the report found that a racial disparity exists among cadets who have been dismissed by the school’s student-run honor court. Cadets of color represent 23% of the corps but make up 41% of those dismissed since 2011.