Responding to a 2021 law signed by Ralph Northam, the state’s former Democrat governor, five Virginia schools are scrambling to meet the scholarship requirement that it being described as reparations for slavery, according to a Reuters story.
The five historic schools date back to colonial America, when slavery was legal and was involved in constructing and funding the schools. Virginia itself was later the heart of the Confederacy during the Civil War.
The five schools are University of Virginia (UVA), the College of William & Mary, Virginia Military Institute, Longwood University and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Derryck Green, a black conservative at Project 21, questions if the college students met the requirements for admission, such as ACT and SAT scores, and a good high school grand point average.
If they don’t qualify, he says a reparations scholarship is another “social justice” program.
Green also predicts racial “conflict” will arise from the scholarships, which won’t be healthy for a campus where race and racism are already a constant issue.
“I think it's going to disrupt the relationships that a lot of people have with other people in culture generally,” he says.
According to the Reuters story, advocates for the reparations scholarship are openly suggesting it is only a start.
"It's going to take a long-term effort from individual legislators, from the universities, and from the General Assembly to be able to address these issues," said David Reid, the state delegate who introduced the bill.
Melisande Short-Colomb, a student at Georgetown, said she was pleased that Ivy League school has addressed its history of slavery but predicted that effort will take years.
Georgetown officially apologized for benefitting financially from the sale of 300 black slaves who were sold in 1838, now 185 years ago.
"In 10 years, 15, 20 years we'll actually be able to put our finger on the pulse of this work," Short-Colomb said, "and see if the patient is alive and the work that we are doing now is actually creating sustainable pathways for repair and redress."